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Kreipe file photo [19453]

Heinrich Kreipe

Given NameHeinrich
Born5 Jun 1895
Died14 Jun 1976


ww2dbaseKarl Heinrich Georg Ferdinand Kreipe was born in Niederspier, Thüringen, German Empire in 1895. He volunteered for the German Army in WW1, and was made a lieutenant in Dec 1915. Shortly after WW1, he joined the Hessen-Thüringen-Waldeck Freikorps para-military organization, and in Oct 1919 the Reichswehr. When the European War of WW2 broke out in Sep 1939, he held the rank of colonel. He commanded 209th Infantry Regiment of German 58th Infantry Division during the invasion of France in 1940. In 1941, in the same capacity, he saw action during Operation Barbarossa, driving his regiment toward Leningrad in northern Russia. In May 1942, he was transferred out of the Leningrad area back to Germany, where he would serve at desk and teaching positions for the following year. Between Jun and Oct 1943, he commanded the 79th Infantry Division on the Eastern Front. In Mar 1944, he was made the commanding officer of 22nd Air Landing Infantry Division based in Crete, Greece, where he very quickly made a reputation of being harsh on Greek resistance fighters. In the spring of 1944, prior to his arrival at Crete, the British Special Operations Executive had already been planning a kidnapping mission against Kreipe's predecessor Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller; it was decided to carry out the planned operation against the newly nicknamed "Butcher of Crete". On 26 Apr 1944, after he left his headquarters in Archanes, he was kidnapped by British operatives Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Captain Bill Stanley Moss, who successfully extracted themselves and the captive by sea to Mersa Matruh, Egypt. Kreipe spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war first in Canada and later in Wales, United Kingdom. He was released in 1947. In 1972, he would meet his kidnappers in Greece, in front of a televions camera. He passed away in Northeim, Niedersachsen, Germany in 1976.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Nov 2013

Heinrich Kreipe Timeline

5 Jun 1895 Heinrich Kreipe was born in Niederspier, Thüringen, German Empire.
13 Oct 1941 Heinrich Kreipe was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
1 Mar 1944 Heinrich Kreipe was made commanding officer of 22nd Air Landing Infantry Division.
26 Apr 1944 Heinrich Kreipe was kidnapped by British operatives at Archanes, Crete, Greece.
14 May 1944 Heinrich Kreipe and his captors were picked up by a British ship at near Rodakino, Crete, Greece.
14 Jun 1976 Heinrich Kreipe passed away in Northeim, Niedersachsen, Germany.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of France and the Low Countries
» Operation Barbarossa

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