Monday, 9 March 2015

Richard Heidrich

Richard Heidrich


Branch: Luftwaffe
Born: 27 July 1896 in Lawalde, Saxony.
Died: 22 December 1947 in Hamburg-Bergedorf.

General der Fallschirmtruppe

Wound Badge in Black 1914
Iron Cross 1914
2nd Class
1st Class
Cross of Honor
Sudetenland Medal with Prague Castle Bar
Clasp to the Iron Cross 1939
2nd Class 25 May 1941
1st Class 25 May 1941
German Cross in Gold 31 March 1942
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Knight's Cross 14 June 1941
Oak Leaves 5 February 1944
Swords on 25 March 1944


Personal Information:

Richard Heidrich was born on 27 July 1896 and became a highly decorated German Fallschirmjäger and general during Second World War. Richard Heidrich was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to acknowledge extreme battlefield bravery and successful military leadership.

Richard Heidrich volunteered for military service in First World War. Richard Heidrich became a military officer and won the Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse). After the war he was admitted by the Reichswehr, where he served in a number of posts in the infantry. In 1938 Richard Heidrich commanded the parachute battalion which he had formed as a Major in the infantry. Richard Heidrich and his unit were reassigned to the Luftwaffe on 1 January 1939. The Fallschirmjäger, although still in an early phase of formation, were therefore increased by a 2nd Battalion for the 1st Parachute Regiment. Richard 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 Richard Heidrich to transfer back to the Luftwaffe. Richard Heidrich then formed the 3rd Parachute Regiment which he led with great success in the Battle of Crete.

In November 1942 Richard Heidrich commanded the 1st Parachute Division, which was deployed on the Eastern Front. On 12 July 1943, the 1st Parachute Division was deployed to Sicily to counter the Allied invasion of the island. The division was directly involved in fighting around the Primosole Bridge.

The 1st Parachute Divisions hardest fighting came after the Allied landings on the Italian mainland, especially in the three engagements of Monte Cassino. Elements of the division under Richard Heidrich command also took part in the fighting at Anzio-Nettuno. As commanding general of the 1st Parachute Corps, Richard Heidrich supervised the corps' retreat up the entire length of Italy.

Richard Heidrich was caught 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.


Other: Personnel


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