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9 June 1890|
|Died||17 June 1944
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1908–44|
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.
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.
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 while commanding the division in the defense of Cherbourg against advancing American forces on 17 June 1944.
Awards and decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 2 September 1944 as Generalleutnant and commander of 243. Infanterie-Division
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 221.
- Strikt-Strikfeldt (1973), pg 118
- Citino, Robert M., "Danger Zone," World War II History, July-August 2016, p. 26.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 379.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) . 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.
General der Infanterie Walter von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt
|Commander of 23. Infanterie-Division
1 June 1940 – 17 January 1942
Generalleutnant Curt Badinski
Generalleutnant Ulrich von Waldow
|Commander of 141. Reserve-Division
1 April 1942 – 10 December 1942
Generalleutnant Otto Schönherr
|General of the Eastern Troops (General der Osttruppen)
1943 – 1 January 1944
General der Kavallerie Ernst August Köstring
Generalmajor Hermann von Witzleben
|Commander of 243. Infanterie-Division
10 January 1944 – 17 June 1944
Generalmajor Bernhard Klosterkemper
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