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Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller
29 August 1897(1897-08-29) – 20 May 1947 (aged 49)
General F.-W. Mueller.jpg
Place of birth Barmen, Prussia
Place of death Athens, Greece
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Infanterie
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller (August 29 1897 – May 20 1947) was a General in the German army in World War II. He is notorious for being the most brutal commander of occupied Crete, where he earned the nickname "The Butcher of Crete." After the war, he was executed by the Greek government for war crimes.


Pre-war and early war

In 1914 Müller joined the German 2nd Infantry Regiment. He became a second lieutenant in the 266th Regiment in 1915. In 1936 he became a major in the German army and by 1940 was a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 105th Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1941 and received oak leaves in 1942 for operations in Russia.


In August 1942 General Müller took command of the 22nd Air Landing Infantry Division, which was transferred from the Eastern Front to garrison occupied Crete. In Crete, Müller became notorious for his brutality, and was responsible for many of the atrocities committed on the island (e.g. the destruction of Anogia, the execution of civilians in Damasta, etc). On 13 August 1944 he replaced Bruno Brauer as Commander on Crete. During the autumn of 1943, he led the German forces in their victory over the Italian-British forces in the Dodecanese Campaign.

By 1945, Müller commanded the German 4th Army on the Eastern Front. The 4th Army had already been decimated by fighting in the Heiligenbeil Pocket by the time he assumed command. Müller ended the war in East Prussia and was captured by the Soviets.

In 1946, Müller was tried by a Greek court in Athens for the massacres of hostages for reprisals. He was sentenced to death on 9 December 1946 and was shot on 20 May 1947,[1] along with Bruno Brauer.

Ill Met by Moonlight

The original plan, as published in the book Ill Met by Moonlight, was to capture General Müller, commander of the Sebastopol division. However, he had been replaced by General Kreipe and SOE believed that Müller had left the island when he was really in Hania replacing Brauer as the commander of the island. The operation was carried out nevertheless, as it was reckoned that one German general was as good as another.



  1. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 555.
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Beevor, Antony (1991). Crete: The Battle and the Resistance.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Ludwig Wolff
Commander of 22. Infanterie-Division
1 August 1942 - 15 February 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe
Preceded by
General der Infantrie Friedrich Hoßbach
Commander of 4. Armee
29 January 1945 - 27 April 1945
Succeeded by


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