Müller, Friedrich Wilhelm, “The Butcher of Crete.”, born 29-08-1897 in Barmen, Prussia, joined the German 2nd Infantry Regiment in 1915. He became a second leutnant in the 266th Regiment in 1915 and was in the fields of the first war. In 1936 he became a major in the German army, and by 1940 was a Oberstleutnant and commander of the 105th Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross in 1941 and received Oak Leaves in 1942 for operations in Russia. In August 1942 General Müller took command of the 22nd Air Landing Infantry Division he succeeded General der Infanterie Ludwig Wolff , which was transferred from the Eastern Front to garrison occupied Crete. Kurt Student
General der Infanterie Ludwig Wolff died 09-11-1968, aged 75. The Battle of Crete was a on the Greek island of Crete. It began on the morning of 20-05-1941, when Nazi Germany launched an airborne invasion of Crete under the code-name Unternehmen Merkur, “Operation Mercury”. Greek and Allied forces, along with Cretan civilians, defended the island in Crete, (see the brothers Blücher, Wolfgang and Hans) , three brothers who died the same first day on Crete. Müller became notorious for his brutality, and he was responsible for many of the atrocities committed on the island, the holocaust of Viannos, the destruction of Anogia and the Kedros villages of Amari, the execution of civilians in Damasta. The Holocaust of Viannos refers to a mass extermination campaign launched by Nazi forces against the civilian residents of around 20 villages located in the areas of east Viannos and west Ierapetra provinces on the Greek island of Crete during World War II. The killings, with a death toll in excess of 500, were carried out on the 14th, 15 and 16 September 1943 by Wehrmacht forces. They were accompanied by the burning of most villages, and the looting and destruction of harvests. The massive loss of life amounted to one of the deadliest massacres during the Axis occupation of Greece. It was ordered by Müller, in retaliation for the support and involvement of the local population in the Cretan resistance. Müller, who earned the nickname “the Butcher of Crete”, was executed after the war for his part in the massacre. On Crete there was another massacre, the Massacre of Kondomari was an execution of male civilians from the village of Kondomari in Crete by an ad hoc firing squad consisting of German paratroopers on 02-06-1941 The shooting was the first of a series of reprisals in Crete. It was orchestrated by Generaloberst Kurt Student, in retaliation for the participation of Cretans in the Battle of Crete which had ended with the surrender of the island two days earlier. The massacre was photographed by a German army war propaganda correspondent whose negatives were discovered 39 years later in the federal German archives by a Greek journalist.
During the autumn of 1943, Muller led the German forces in their victory over the Italian-British forces in the Dodecanese Campaign. On 13-08-1944 he replaced Generalmajor der Fallschirmjäger, Kommandeur der 9th Division on Crete, Bruno Bräuer
as Commander on Crete. By 1945, Müller commanded the German 4th Army on the Eastern Front, he succeeded General der Infanterie, Friedrich Hossbach. The 4th Army had already been decimated by fighting in the Heiligenbeil Pocket by the time he assumed command. The Heiligenbeil Pocket or Heiligenbeil Cauldron ( was the site of a major encirclement battle on the Eastern Front during the closing weeks of World War II, in which the Wehrmacht’s 4th Army was almost entirely destroyed during the Soviet Braunsberg Offensive Operation (13–22 March 1945). The pocket was located near Heiligenbeil in East Prussia in eastern Gerrmany (now Mamonovo, Kaliningrad Oblast), and the battle, part of a broader Soviet offensive into the region of East Prussia, lasted from 26 January until 29-03-1945.
Death and burial ground of Müller, Friedrich Wilhelm “The Butcher of Crete”.
Müller ended the war in East Prussia and was captured by the Soviets. In 1946, Müller was tried by a Greek court in Athens for the massacres of hostages for reprisals. He was sentenced to death on 09-12-1946 and executed by firing squad 20-05-1947, along with former General Bruno Bräuer, on the anniversary of the German invasion of Crete. Friedrich Müller is buried on the German war cemetery of Dyonissos in Greece.
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