Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller

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Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller
General F.-W. Mueller.jpg
Müller in 1944
Nickname(s) The Butcher of Crete
Born (1897-08-29)29 August 1897
Died 20 May 1947(1947-05-20) (aged 49)
Athens, Greece
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army
Rank General of the Infantry
Battles/wars Dodecanese Campaign
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller (29 August 1897 – 20 May 1947) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Müller was notorious for having been a most brutal commander of occupied Crete. The infamy earned him the nickname of "The Butcher of Crete." After the war, he was tried by a Greek military court for war crimes, convicted and executed.

During the autumn of 1943, Müller led the German forces in their victory over the Italian-British forces in the Dodecanese Campaign. On the 6th of October, on the island of Kos, under his orders, German forces killed and buried in mass graves over one hundred Italian army officers captured at the end of the battle for the island, who would not side with the former allies.[1] On 1 July 1944, he replaced Bruno Brauer as Commander on Crete. By 1945, Müller commanded the German 4th Army on the Eastern Front. Müller ended the war in East Prussia where he surrendered to the Red Army.

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 executed by firing squad on 20 May 1947,[2] along with former General Bruno Bräuer, on the anniversary of the German invasion of Crete.


  • Iron Cross (1914) 1st Class (25 May 1916) & 2nd Class (29 August 1916)[3]
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 1st Class (22 December 1939) & 2nd Class (12 June 1940)[3]
  • German Cross in Gold on 18 June 1943 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 22. Infanterie-Division[4]
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
    • Knight's Cross on 22 September 1941 as Oberstleutnant and commander of Infanterie-Regiment 105[5]
    • 86th Oak Leaves on 8 April 1942 as Oberst and commander of Infanterie-Regiment 105[5]
    • 128th Swords on 27 January 1945 as General der Infanterie and commanding general of the LXVIII. Armeekorps[5]



  1. ^ Isabella Insolvibile, Kos 1943-1948. La strage, la storia, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane (31 December 2012)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 104.
  4. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 318.
  5. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 555.


  • Beevor, Antony (1991). Crete: The Battle and the Resistance.
  • 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 Militaer-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. 
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
Generalleutnant Hermann Böhme
Commander of V. Armeekorps
4 May 1944 – 2 June 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Dr. Franz Beyer
Preceded by
General der Infantrie Friedrich Hoßbach
Commander of 4. Armee
29 January 1945 – 27 April 1945
Succeeded by