Richard Heidrich pictured as a Generalmajor while commanding the 7th Flieger-Division in Russia, winter 1942/1943.


  • the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross worn at the throat awarded for his role commanding Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3 during the conquest of Crete.
  • The German Cross in Gold, worn on the right breast, recognized his leadership of the regiment on its first deployment to Russia in late 1941.

NAME: General der Fallschirmtruppe Richard Heidrich (Luftwaffe)

PW NO:          B33414

RANK:            General der Fallschirmtruppe

CAPTURED:   St. Christofore, Italy

DATE:             3 May 1945


DATE OF BIRTH:     28 July 1896

PLACE OF BIRTH:   Lewalde/Saxony

DATE OF DEATH:    22 December 1947

PLACE OF DEATH:  Hamburg-Bergedorf (while in hospital care)

NATIONALITY:        German

RELIGION:                Evangelical

OCCUPATION:        Regular Soldier

HEIGHT:                    166cm

WEIGHT:                   76kg

HAIR COLOUR:        Fair

EYE COLUR:             Blue

NEXT OF KIN:         British Zone


Wife: None (Bachelor).


Commands & Assignments:

Decorations & Awards:


[1] Achieving the rank of Generaloberst, Kurt Student was held for a time as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11. Student continued to command the 7th Flieger-Division until 14 May 1940 when he was severely wounded in the head by a stray bullet while in Rotterdam negotiating the Dutch surrender. Shortly thereafter, temporary divisional command passed to Generalmajor Richard Putzier. Generalleutnant Wilhelm Süßmann later assumed permanent command of the 7th Flieger-Division. After recovering from his head wound, Student was appointed commanding general of the XI. Flieger-Korps effective 1 January 1941.

[2] After the Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over southern England during the Battle of Britain, Adolf Hitler postponed Operation “Seelöwe” on 17 September 1940. On 12 October 1940, Hitler further postponed the invasion, if then feasible, to the spring of 1941. With Hitler’s attention firmly turned to his next conquest – the Soviet Union – the invasion fleet was dispersed and the armies allocated to “Seelöwe” were released for duty in the east.

[3] On 20 May 1941, Generalleutnant Wilhelm Süßmann, the commander of the 7th Flieger-Division, was killed while en route to Crete when his DFS 230 glider crashed on the island of Aegina after the tow rope parted. Temporary divisional command passed to Oberst (later Generalmajor) Alfred Sturm, the commander of Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2. Generalleutnant Erich Petersen, in turn, succeeded Generalmajor Sturm as divisional commander on 1 October 1941. 

[4] On 20 May 1941, Oberst Heidrich’s Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3 consisted of three battalions: I. Battalion commanded by Hauptmann Friedrich-August von der Heydte; II. Battalion commanded by Major Helmut Derpa (killed in action); and III. Battalion commanded by Major Ludwig Heilmann. Achieving the rank of Generalmajor, Ludwig Heilmann was later held as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11. For a frank characterization of his regimental commander and fellow battalion commanders, refer to Friedrich-August von der Heydte’s memoir Daedalus Returned (pp.23-24). Of interest, then Gefreiter Max Schmeling, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, was a member of Hauptmann von der Heydte’s battalion and made the combat jump over Crete.   

[5] Generalmajor Hans Korte held temporary command of the 1st Fallschirmjäger-Division from 4 January 1944-21 February 1944.  

[6] Two battalions of the 1st Fallschirmjäger-Division were dispatched to the west and attached to the Panzer Division “Hermann Göring” facing the Allied landings at Salerno (Operation Avalanche).

[7] General der Fallschirmtruppe Schlemm was later held as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11.