Eugen Meindl

Eugen Meindl (16 July 1892 – 24 January 1951) was a German paratroop general in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

Eugen Meindl
Eugen Meindl.jpg
Born(1892-07-16)16 July 1892
Died24 January 1951(1951-01-24) (aged 58)
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Commands held2nd Parachute Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
ChildrenWilhelm Meindl

Life and careerEdit

Born in 1892, Eugen Meindl enlisted in the army in 1912 and served during World War I. Meindl served with various artillery units in the Reichswehr, the post-war armed forces of the Weimar Republic, and subsequently in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany. In November 1938, Meindl was named commander of the 112th Mountain Artillery Regiment in Graz. Promoted to Oberst, he led the "Meindl Group" and made his very first parachute jump at Narvik. He transferred to the Luftwaffe in November 1940.

During the airborne invasion of Crete, Meindl jumped near the Platanias Bridge, where he was shot in the chest and seriously wounded. In February 1942, Meindl, now a Generalmajor, became commander of the newly formed Luftwaffe Division Meindl in the Soviet Union. In September he took over the 13th Air Corps (later I Luftwaffe Field Corps).

In 1943, he was promoted to commanding general of the 2nd Parachute Corps, which he led in the west on the invasion front and later at Cleves and in the Reichswald. His unit participated in the Battle of Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden (September 1944), but was halted on the Groesbeek Heights by dug-in American paratroopers, and thus unable to stop the Allies from taking the city and the strategically important bridges across the river Waal.[1] Meindl’s corps fought at Goch and in the Wesel bridgehead, where he was made commander on 5 March 1945. Meindl immediately advised High Command that the bridgehead ought to be evacuated, but was unable to secure Hitler's agreement to this until the evening of 9 March. In the intervening four days Meindl had already organized the evacuation of the bridgehead, and was therefore able to bring away the remains of seven divisions and two panzer units with most of their equipment; in his words,'all that would float came back again'. Meindl continued to command the 2nd Parachute Corps until its eventual surrender at Grossbrekendorf near Schleswig in early May.[2] He died in 1951.

Eugen Meindl at medal ceremony with paratroopers on June 21, 1944


Nomination for Swords to Knight's CrossEdit

In April 1945, Meindl was nominated for Swords to the Knight's Cross; the nomination by the troop was approved by each of his commanding officers. However the nomination contains no final remark on the proceedings. Oberst Nicolaus von Below, Hitler's Luftwaffe adjutant, had sent a teleprinter message to the commanding general of the Fallschirmarmee Generaloberst Kurt Student, requesting a statement for this nomination. The copy of the teleprinter contains a note: resubmission "23 April 1945". It seems that the statement was never returned. The paperwork was not finalized by the end of the war. The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) claims that the award was presented in accordance with the Dönitz-decree. This is illegal according to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) and lacks legal justification. Fellgiebel assigned the presentation date.[7]

Meindl is mentioned on a list of the Oberbefehlshaber Nordwest for "Nominations and Bestowal of War Awards" from May 1945. This list, which was intended to be presented to Karl Dönitz, contained twelve names of pending nominations which had been submitted via the chain of command. Dönitz has never signed this list, most likely he has never even seen this list. The responsible personnel offices awarded or declined eight nominations from this list by the end of the war by, two remained unprocessed by the Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Personnel Office) and Luftwaffenpersonalamt (LPA — Luftwaffe Personnel Office) and two further were left ready for signing at the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht/Wehrmacht-Führungsstab (OKW/WFSt—leadership staff of the Army High Command).[7]



  1. ^ Saunders, Tim (2008). Nijmegen: U.S. 82nd Airborne Division - 1944. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. p. 151–153. ISBN 9781783461141. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  2. ^ U S Archives Foreign Military Studies B093 & B327
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 69.
  4. ^ a b c Thomas & Wegmann 1986, p. 175.
  5. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 301.
  6. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 534.
  7. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 159.


  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Walter Koch
Commander of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1
1 September 1940 – 21 May 1941
Succeeded by
Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke
Preceded by
Oberst Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke
Commander of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1
19 June 1941 – 26 February 1942
Succeeded by
Luftwaffen-Division Meindl