Heinz Hellmich

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Heinz Hellmich
Born (1890-06-09)9 June 1890
Karlsruhe, Germany
Died 17 June 1944(1944-06-17) (aged 54)
Cherbourg, France
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1908–44
Rank Generalleutnant
Battles/wars

World War I


World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Heinz Hellmich (9 June 1890 – 17 June 1944) was a German Generalleutnant during World War II. Awarded with a posthumous Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 9 September 1944 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 243rd Infantry Division.[1]

Career[edit]

Born in Karlsruhe, Hellmich joined the German Army in 1908. On 22 March 1910, while serving in 136th Infantry Regiment, he became Leutnant. After World War I he served in various units and kept various commanding positions. His service was followed with the promotions: Oberstleutnant (1 February 1934), Oberst (1 January 1936), Generalmajor (1 October 1939), and Generalleutnant (1 September 1941).

When World War II began on 1 September 1939, he was on duty as a supply officer in the German 7th Army. From 25 October 1939 he managed supplies in Army Group B. As a commander of the 23rd Infantry Division (from 1 June 1940 to 17 January 1942) he took part in the French campaign (May-June 1940), invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa, 22 June 1941) and in the bloody 1941 battles for Bialystok-Minsk, Brest, Smolensk, Vyazma, and, finally, Moscow.

After several months, on 1 April 1942, he became commander of the 141st Reserve Division. In 1943, he worked with a Soviet defector, Red Army general Andrey Vlasov, and other volunteers from the Soviet Union as "General of the Eastern Troops" (General der Osttruppen), a position he held until early January 1944.[2]

On 10 January 1944, Hellmich was moved to France and put in a command of the 243rd Infantry Division, a coastal defense division stationed in the Cotentin Peninsula. The division protected the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula when Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, began on 6 June 1944. Hellmich was killed by 20-millimeter cannon shells during an Allied air attack[3] while commanding the division in the defense of Cherbourg against advancing American forces on 17 June 1944.

Awards and decorations[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 221.
  2. ^ Strikt-Strikfeldt (1973), pg 118
  3. ^ Citino, Robert M., "Danger Zone," World War II History, July-August 2016, p. 26.
  4. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 379.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • 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. 
  • Strikt-Strikfeldt, Wilfried (1973). Against Stalin and Hitler: Memoirs of the Russian Liberation Movement, 1941–1945. New York, USA: The John Day Company. ISBN 0-381-98185-1. 
Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Walter von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt
Commander of 23. Infanterie-Division
1 June 1940 – 17 January 1942
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Curt Badinski
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Ulrich von Waldow
Commander of 141. Reserve-Division
1 April 1942 – 10 December 1942
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Otto Schönherr
Preceded by
Position established
General of the Eastern Troops (General der Osttruppen)
1943 – 1 January 1944
Succeeded by
General der Kavallerie Ernst August Köstring
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hermann von Witzleben
Commander of 243. Infanterie-Division
10 January 1944 – 17 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Bernhard Klosterkemper