This profile is based on a copy of Generalmajor Kreipe’s microfilmed service record housed at the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

NAME: Generalmajor Karl Heinrich Georg Ferdinand Kreipe

PW NO:          046002

RANK:           Generalmajor


DATE:            26 April 1944


DATE OF BIRTH:     5 June 1895

PLACE OF BIRTH:   Niedererspier/Kreis Sondershausen/Thüringen

DATE OF DEATH:   14 June 1976

PLACE OF DEATH: Northeim         

NATIONALITY:       German

RELIGION:               Evangelical

OCCUPATION:        Regular Soldier

HEIGHT:                    5'9"

WEIGHT:                   175lbs

HAIR COLOUR:        Dark Brown Turning Grey

EYE COLOUR:         Blue Grey

NEXT OF KIN:         Margarete Schmidt, Nordheim Hannover (British Zone)


Parents: Friedrich and Maria (née Pfannschmidt) Kreipe. A pastor in Niedererspier, Friedrich Kreipe died on 30 October 1914 in Sondershausen.


Wife: None (Bachelor).


Commands & Assignments:

Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe, Commander Of Troops, Crete. Captured wearing this tropical uniform during a Commando raid intended to kidnap him. Note this field marchal's collar insignia

Extract from the book Thresholds of Peace: Four Hundred Thousand German Prisoners and the People of Britain, 1944-1948 by Matthew Barry Sullivan (Hamish Hamilton, London, United Kingdom, 1979):

The luckless Heinrich Kreipe, the general abducted from Crete had come back from Canada rather earlier. He was twice moved to hospital Camp 99 at Shugborough Park in Staffordshire to have his diabetes treated before being moved to Special Camp 11. His hurt pride, because of the indignity of those eighteen days in the Cretan mountains would dog him for the rest of his life: he would one day take out an injunction against both the book [Ill Met by Moonlight by W. Stanley Moss] and the film about the kidnap appearing in Germany, on the grounds of defamation of character: he had not, he claimed, given his word of honour not to try to escape, as was maintained. He won his case.

Find out more about the German invasion of Crete and the kidnapping of Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe at:

Decorations & Awards:

Generalmajor Kreipe’s World War I Combat Service Record

Western Front, 1914-1916

Eastern Front, 1916
Western Front, 1916-1918

[1] On 4 September 1941, Generalmajor Dr. phil. Friedrich Altrichter succeeded Generalleutnant Iwan Heunert as commander of the 58th Infantry Division. During Oberst Kreipe’s tenure as a regimental commander, the division was commanded thereafter by Oberst (later Generalleutnant) Karl von Graffen from 27 March 1942.

[2] The commander of the 22nd Infantry Division was subordinated to Luftwaffe Generalleutnant (later General der Fallschirmtruppe) Bruno Bräuer, the Fortress Commandant of Crete. Bräuer served in this post from 6 September 1942-31 May 1944. On 20 May 1947, he was hanged in Athens for war crimes. On 1 July 1944, newly promoted General der Infanterie Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller, the original objective of the kidnap mission, returned to the island as the Fortress Commandant of Crete. He was hanged along with Bräuer on 20 May 1947 for war crimes.

[3] Following the kidnap of Generalmajor Kreipe, command of the 22nd Infantry Division passed to Generalleutnant Helmut Friebe effective 1 May 1944. This officer was the older brother of Generalmajor Werner Friebe, an inmate of Island Farm Special Camp 11. Two months after the kidnapping of Generalmajor Kreipe, Captain W. Stanley Moss attempted to repeat the operation with Generalleutnant Friebe as the objective. However, increased German security measures prevented him from carrying out the plan.