Eugen Meindl

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Eugen Meindl
Eugen Meindl.jpg
Eugen Meindl
Born (1892-07-16)16 July 1892
Donaueschingen, Grand Duchy of Baden
Died 24 January 1951(1951-01-24) (aged 58)
Munich, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1912–1945
Rank General der Fallschirmtruppe
Battles/wars

World War I
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Eugen Meindl (16 July 1892 – 24 January 1951) was a highly decorated German Fallschirmjäger and general during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Biography[edit]

Eugen Meindl was born in Donaueschingen. He served with the artillery from July 27, 1912. In World War I he commanded a platoon and later a battery and subsequently served as adjutant with the 67th Artillery Regiment and with the Artillery Commander, 52nd Corps.

Meindl served with various artillery units in the Reichswehr. Promoted to Hauptmann on August 1, 1924, he was assigned to the Reichwehr Ministry on September 14, 1926 and spent the ten years there before being promoted to Major.

On November 10, 1939 Oberstleutnant Meindl was named commander of the 112th Mountain Artillery Regiment in Graz. As an Oberst he led the “Meindl Group” and made his very first parachute jump at Narvik. His transfer to the Luftwaffe followed on November 28, 1940, even though he had been commander of the “Assault Regiment Meindl” of the parachute troops since August 9.

The airborne invasion of Crete saw Meindl jump near the Platanias Bridge, where he was shot through the chest. Major Edgar Stentzler led the regiment until Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke arrived.

On February 26, 1942 Generalmajor Meindl became commander of the newly formed Luftwaffe Division Meindl in Russia and on September 26 he took over XIII. Fliegerkorps (later I Luftwaffe Field Corps).

Meindl distinguished himself in the winter fighting in Russia, was named in the Wehrmachtbericht and on November 5, 1943 was promoted to commanding general of II Parachute Corps, which he led in the west on the invasion front and later at Cleves and in the Reichswald. Meindl’s corps fought with distinction at Goch and in the Wesel bridgehead. Meindl was taken prisoner and held until September 29, 1947. He died in Munich.

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Monday, 9 June 1941 Die unter Führung von Generalmajor Meindl, Oberst Heidrich, Oberst Bräuer, Oberst Ramke und Oberst Sturm stehenden Fallschirmverbände schufen in harten Kämpfen die entscheidenden Voraussetzungen für die Eroberung von Kreta.[8] The parachute units under the leadership of Major General Meindl, Colonel Heidrich, Colonel Bräuer, Colonel Ramke and Colonel Sturm, created in hard fighting, the crucial conditions for the conquest of Crete.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Eugen Meindl's nomination by the troop was approved by each of his commanding officers. However the nomination contains no final remark on the proceedings. Oberst Nicolaus von Below, Hitler's Luftwaffe adjutant, had sent a teleprinter message to the commanding general of the Fallschirmarmee Generaloberst Kurt Student, requesting a statement for this nomination. The copy of the teleprinter contains a note: resubmission "23 April 1945". It seems that the statement was never returned. The paperwork was not finalized by the end of the war. The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) claims that the award was presented in accordance with the Dönitz-decree. This is illegal according to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) and lacks legal justification. The sequential number "155" was assigned by the AKCR. Fellgiebel assigned the presentation date. Meindl is mentioned on a list of the Oberbefehlshaber Nordwest for "Nominations and Bestowal of War Awards" from May 1945. This list, which was intended to be presented to Karl Dönitz, contained twelve names of pending nominations which had been submitted via the chain of command. Dönitz has never signed this list, most likely he has never even seen this list. The responsible personnel offices awarded or declined eight nominations from this list by the end of the war by, two remained unprocessed by the Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Personnel Office) and Luftwaffenpersonalamt (LPA — Luftwaffe Personnel Office) and two further were left ready for signing at the OKW/WFSt.[7]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d Thomas 1998, p. 69.
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas and Wegmann 1986, p. 175.
  3. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 301.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 306.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 87.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 49.
  7. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 159.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 555.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knights of the Wehrmacht Knight's Cross Holders of the Fallschirmjäger. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military. ISBN 978-0-88740-749-9. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Walter Koch
Commander of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1
1 September 1940 – 21 May 1941
Succeeded by
Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke
Preceded by
Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke
Commander of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1
19 June 1941 – 26 February 1942
Succeeded by
Luftwaffen-Division Meindl