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Richard Heidrich
27 July 1896(1896-07-27) ‚Äď 22 December 1947 (aged 51)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-L19501, Richard Heidrich.jpg
Richard Heidrich
Place of birth Lawalde, Saxony
Place of death Hamburg-Bergedorf
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Rank General der Fallschirmtruppe
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Richard Heidrich (27 July 1896 ‚Äď 22 December 1947), was a highly decorated German Fallschirmj√§ger and general during World War II.

Military career

Richard Heidrich volunteered for military service in World War I. He became an officer and won the Iron Cross 1st Class. After the war he was accepted by the Reichswehr, where he served in a number of posts in the infantry.

In 1938 Heidrich commanded the parachute battalion which he had formed as a Major in the infantry. Heidrich and his unit were transferred into the Luftwaffe on 1 January 1939. The Fallschirmjäger, while still in an early stage of formation, were thus augmented by a 2nd Battalion for the 1st Parachute Regiment. Heidrich was transferred to the staff of the 7th Air Division, but then left the Luftwaffe to lead the 514th Infantry Regiment in the Battle of France.

In June 1940 General Kurt Student was able to persuade Heidrich to transfer back to the Luftwaffe. He then formed the 3rd Parachute Regiment which he led with great success in the Battle of Crete.

In November 1942 Heidrich commanded the 1st Parachute Division, which was deployed on the Eastern Front.

The 1st Parachute Divisions toughest fighting came after the Allied landings on the Italian mainland, particularly in the three battles of Monte Cassino. Elements of the division under Heidrich's command also participated in the fighting at Anzio-Nettuno. As commanding general of the I Parachute Corps, Heidrich oversaw the corps’ withdrawal up the entire length of Italy.

Richard Heidrich was captured by the Americans on 2 May 1945 and was later handed over to the British. He died in a hospital in Hamburg-Bergedorf on 22 December 1947.

Awards

References

Citations
  1. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 374.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die h√∂chstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger, 2006. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Tr√§ger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Kurowski, Franz. Knights of the Wehrmacht Knight's Cross Holders of the Fallschirmj√§ger. Schiffer Military. ISBN 0-88740-749-8.
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubtr√§ger 1940 - 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham - Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le M√©rite. ISBN 3-932381-20-3.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuztr√§ger 1939‚Äď1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verb√ľndeter Streitkr√§fte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Erich Petersen
Commander of 7. Flieger-Division
August 1, 1942 ‚Äď May 1, 1943
Succeeded by
1st Fallschirmjäger-Division
Preceded by
1. Flieger-Division
Commander of 1st Fallschirmjäger-Division
May 1, 1943 ‚Äď November 18, 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Karl-Lothar Schulz
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