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Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller

Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller

German general
The basics
About
Occupation Military personnel
Country Germany
Date of birth Barmen, Wuppertal, Düsseldorf Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia
Date of death May 20, 1947 Chaidari, Chaidari Municipality, Attica Region, Greece
Awards German Cross in Gold, Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Authority VIAF id
The details
Biography

Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller (29 August 1897 – 20 May 1947) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. Müller was born in Barmen, Prussia. When the Great War began, Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller served as an infantryman with German 2nd Infantry Regiment. In 1915, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of the 266th Regiment. After WWI, Müller remained in the German Army and continued to rise through the ranks, obtaining the rank of major in 1936. Shortly after WWII began, Müller was made a Lieutenant Colonel.

As the commanding officer of 105th Infantry Regiment, he saw action with the Soviets, for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in 1941 and Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross in 1942. In Aug 1942, Müller was made the commanding officer of 22nd Air Landing Infantry Division. Müller became notorious as a most brutal commander responsible for several atrocities against Greek civilians.

The attacks on civilians included the massacres at Viannos, Anogia, Amari, and Damasta. During the autumn of 1943, Müller led the German forces in their victory over the Italian-British forces in the Dodecanese Campaign. On the 6 October 1943, on the island of Kos, under his orders, German forces killed and buried in mass graves over one hundred Italian army officers captured at the end of the battle for the island, who would not side with their former allies. On 1 July 1944, he replaced Bruno Brauer as commander of occupied Crete. His infamy earned him the nickname of "The Butcher of Crete."

Müller was also responsible for the Holocaust of Kedros on 22 August 1944. Under his orders, the Wehrmacht infantry killed 164 Greek civilians which was followed in the coming days by the razing of most villages, looting, and the destruction of livestock and harvests. By 1945, Müller commanded the German 4th Army on the Eastern Front. Müller ended the war in East Prussia where he surrendered to the Red Army.

After the war, he was tried by a Greek military court for war crimes. In 1946, Müller was convicted by a Greek court in Athens for the massacres of hostages for reprisals. He was sentenced to death on 9 December 1946 and executed by firing squad on 20 May 1947, along with former General Bruno Bräuer, on the anniversary of the German invasion of Crete.

Awards

  • Iron Cross (1914) 1st Class (25 May 1916) & 2nd Class (29 August 1916)
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 1st Class (22 December 1939) & 2nd Class (12 June 1940)
  • German Cross in Gold on 18 June 1943 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 22. Infanterie-Division
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
    • Knight's Cross on 22 September 1941 as Oberstleutnant and commander of Infanterie-Regiment 105
    • 86th Oak Leaves on 8 April 1942 as Oberst and commander of Infanterie-Regiment 105
    • 128th Swords on 27 January 1945 as General der Infanterie and commanding general of the LXVIII. Armeekorps
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