This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2019)
|Born||8 April 1889|
Rottenburg, Württemberg, German Empire
|Died||23 January 1977 (aged 87)|
Tutzing, Upper Bavaria, West Germany
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1907–51|
|Relations||Helma Bodewig (wife); 2 children|
During World War I, Ott served with distinction on the Eastern Front as an officer with the 26th (Württemberg) Infantry Division. His commander was General Wilhelm von Urach, who was elected king of Lithuania in 1918 as Mindaugas II of Lithuania.
In 1934, he was sent to Tokyo as military attaché at the German embassy.
In early September 1940, Heinrich Georg Stahmer arrived in Tokyo to assist Ott in negotiating the Tripartite Pact with Japan. Stahmer later replaced Ott as ambassador when Richard Sorge, who had been working for Ott in Japan as an agent for the Abwehr, was unmasked as a Soviet spy in Japan in late 1941.
Prange suggests in his analysis of Sorge that Sorge was so entirely trusted by Ott that he was allowed access to top secret cables from Berlin in the embassy. That trust was the main foundation for Sorge's success as a Red Army spy.