W. Willirich General Meindl, Airborne Commander
1941 Major General Eugen Meindl, Airborne Commander, color picture postcard. "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. 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. He died in 1951." Credit Wikipedia.