SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
PW NO: 560270
CAPTURED: Huerna bei Flensburg
DATE: 28 May 1945
DATE OF BIRTH:
21 December 1886
PLACE OF BIRTH: Gumbinnen
DATE OF DEATH: 13 December
PLACE OF DEATH: Waiblingen /
OCCUPATION: Regular Soldier
NEXT OF KIN: Gertrud Heinrici,
Muenster Westfalen, (British Zone)
The Heinrici family had been soldiers since the 12th century, so it was not
surprising that he should continue the tradition by joining the 95th Infantry
Regiment in 1905.
Heinrici played an important part in the fighting on the Eastern Front, being
appointed to command the 4th Army in January 1942.
He was a very professional military man who had a reputation for being a master
of defensive tactics. On 20 March 1945, Heinrici succeeded Reichsführer-SS
Heinrich Himmler as Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Weichsel [Vistula] on
the Eastern Front. On the 17 April 1945, Heinrici was made responsible
for the defence of Berlin, but Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, the Chief
of the Armed Forces High Command, personally relieved him of his command on
29th April because he ordered a withdrawal despite Hitler’s wishes to the
contrary. Keitel later recalled the incident in his memoirs:
“…Colonel-General Heinrici telephoned me…announcing that in view
of the continued worsening of the situation…he had ordered his Army
Group to resume its retreat. I told him that his attitude—for which
there was no valid justification whatsoever—was flagrant disobedience.
He countered that in that case he would no longer accept responsibility
for the command of his troops, for whom he claimed he alone was responsible.
I replied that in my view he was no longer suitable to command an
Army Group, and that he was to consider himself dismissed: he was
to relinquish his command to the senior army commander [21st Army],
General [Kurt] von Tippelskirch.”
Heinrici was related to Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt and
spent much time with him at Island Farm. (See picture of Heinrici
returning from the Nuremburg War Trials with Generalfeldmarschall von
Rundstedt and General der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt. Click here
- Fahnenjunker: 8 March 1905
- Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier: 19 July 1905
- Fähnrich: 19 December 1905
- Leutnant: 18 August 1906 (Patent 15 February 1905)
- Oberleutnant: 17 February 1914
- Hauptmann: 18 June 1915
- Major: 1 February 1926
- Oberstleutnant: 1 August 1930
- Oberst: 1 March 1933
- Generalmajor: 1 January 1936
- Generalleutnant: 1 March 1938
- General der Infanterie: 1 June 1940
- Generaloberst: 30 January 1943 (RDA 1 January
Commands & Assignments:
- 8 March 1905: Entered Army service as a Fahnenjunker
in 6. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.95.
- 1905-1906: War School Hannover.
- 10 May 1905: Adjutant of the II. Battalion of
Infantry Regiment 95.
- November 1914: Regimental Adjutant of Infantry
Regiment 95, Gotha.
- 1915: Company Leader in and, later, Battalion
Leader of II. Battalion of Infantry Regiment 95.
- May 1916: Adjutant of the 83rd Infantry Brigade.
- 27 August 1916: Transferred to a General Staff
position in the General Command of XXIV Reserve Corps.
- 7 December 1916: Transferred to the General Staff
of the 115th Infantry Division.
- 13 March 1917: In this position, transferred to
the General Staff of the Army.
- 28 March 1917: Transferred to the General Staff
of Inspectorate 15.
- September 1917: General Staff course in Sedan.
- 9 October 1917: Officer of the Army and transferred
as Second General Staff Officer for Special Employment to the General Command
of the VII Army Corps.
- 4 December 1917: Transferred to the High Command
of Army Detachment B for Special Employment (VIII Army Corps).
- 28 February 1918: Operations Officer (Ia) in the
General Staff of the 203rd Infantry Division.
- 19 January 1919: Transferred back to Infantry
- 18 February 1919: Transferred to the General Staff
of the I Army Corps; took part in the border defense of East Prussia as
Operations Officer (Ia) of Volunteer Division von Tschischwitz.
- 1 October 1919: Transferred to the staff of Wehrkreis
[Military District] Command I.
- 1 October 1920: Tactics Instructor for leader
assistant training on the staff of the 1st Division.
- 1 September 1924: Chief of the 14th Company in
Infantry Regiment 13, Schwäbisch-Gmünd.
- 1 October 1927: Transferred to the Reich Defense
Ministry as Group Leader in the Army Organization Department (T2), Troop
- 1 October 1930: Transferred to Infantry Regiment
- 1 November 1930: Commander of the III. Battalion
of Infantry Regiment 3, Osterode.
- 7 October 1930-30 October 1930: Detached to the
Firing Course for Heavy Infantry Weapons in Döberitz.
- 10 September 1931-1 October 1931: Detached to
the Lithuanian Army.
- 1 October 1932: Operations Officer (Ia) on staff
of Group Command 1, Berlin.
- 1 February 1933: Transferred to the Reich Defense
Ministry as Chief of the General Department of the Defense Office.
- 1 March 1933: Department Chief in the Reich Defense
Ministry, on 21 May 1935 in the Reich War Ministry.
- 1 June 1937: Chief of the Replacement and Army
Matters Office Group in the Reich War Ministry/AHA (Ag EH(AHA) (after introduction
- 12 October 1937: Commander of the 16th Infantry
- 31 January 1940: Führer Reserve in the Army High
- 31 January 1940-12 February 1940: Delegated with
the leadership of the VII Army Corps.
- 8 April 1940: Delegated with the leadership of
the XII Army Corps.
- 18 June 1940-20 January 1942: Commanding General
of the XXXXIII Army Corps. [Heinrici’s corps took part in the invasion of
France in May-June 1940 and was engaged in Russia from 22 June 1941.]
- 20 January 1942-4 June 1944: Commander-in-Chief
of the 4th Army on the Eastern Front.
- 6 June 1942-13 July 1942: On leave.
- 1 June 1943-31 July 1943: On leave.
- May 1944: Contracted Hepatitis—four week cure
- 4 June 1944: Führer Reserve in the Army High Command.
- 16 August 1944-19 March 1945: Commander-in-Chief
of the 1st Panzer Army on the Eastern Front.
August 1944-21 October 1944: At the same time, Commander-in-Chief of Army
Group “Heinrici” on the Eastern Front (the 1st Panzer Army and the Hungarian
1st Army commanded by Colonel-General Béla Miklós and then Colonel-General
Dezsö László from mid-October 1944).
December 1944-18 February 1945: At the same time, Commander-in-Chief of
Army Group “Heinrici” on the Eastern Front (the 1st Panzer Army and the
Hungarian 1st Army commanded by Colonel-General Dezsö László).
March 1945-29 April 1945: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Weichsel [Vistula]
on the Eastern Front. [On
29 April 1945, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel
personally dismissed Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici from command of Army Group Weichsel for conducting an unauthorized withdrawal. Keitel named Generaloberst
Kurt Student as his replacement. However, Student did not arrive from Holland
to assume physical command of Army Group Weichsel
until 1 May 1945. In the meantime, General der Infanterie
Kurt von Tippelskirch had been persuaded by Generalfeldmarschall Keitel
and Generaloberst Alfred Jodl to assume acting command of the army group
on 29 April 1945 pending Student’s arrival.]
May 1945-19 May 1948: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
- 9th January 1946
transferred Island Farm Special Camp 11 from Camp 1
- 13th June 1946
transferred to LDC (London District Cage) from Island Farm Special Camp
- 2nd September
1946 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from LDC
- 9th October 1947
transferred on loan to US Authorities
- 2nd November
1947 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from LDC
- 15th January
1948 transferred to Camp 99
- 27th February
1948 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 12th May 1948
transferred to Camp 186 for repatriation
- 19th May 1948 Released from captivity.
Decorations & Awards:
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross: 18 September
1941, General der Infanterie, Commanding
General of XXXXIII Army Corps on the Eastern Front.
- Oakleaves (No. 333): 24 November 1943, Generaloberst,
Commander-in-Chief of the 4th Army on the Eastern Front.
- Swords (No. 136): 3 March 1945, Generaloberst,
Commander-in-Chief of the 1st Panzer Army on the Eastern Front.
- Prussian Royal Hohenzollern House Order, Knight's
Cross with Swords: 9 August 1918.
- Prussian Iron Cross 1st Class (1914): 24 July
- Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class (1914): 27 September
- 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross 1st Class
(1914): 16 May 1940.
- 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class
(1914): 13 May 1940.
- Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Carl Eduard War Cross
- Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Duke Carl Eduard Medal,
2nd Class with Swords and Date
- Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach House Order of Vigilance
or the White Falcon, Knight 2nd Class with Swords
- Saxe-Ernestine Ducal House Order, Knight 2nd Class
- Reuß Honor Cross, 3rd Class with Swords
- Schwarzburg Honor Cross, 3rd Class with Swords
- Hamburg Hanseatic Cross
- Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
- Armed Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year
- Armed Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year
- Austrian Military Merit Cross, 3rd Class with
- Medal for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941/1942
NOTE: Heinrici's two awards from the Duchy
of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were very rare awards indeed! The Carl Eduard War Cross
(a pin-back award worn on the breast like the Iron Cross 1st Class) was awarded
only 97 times during World War I. The Duke Carl Eduard Medal, 2nd Class with
Swords and Date (worn on the ribbon bar) was awarded only 344 times during World