Trettner, Heinrich "Heinz"
* September 19th, 1907 (Minden/Westphalia, Germany)
+September 18th, 2006 (Mönchengladbach/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Knights Cross: May 24th, 1940
As: Major im Generalstab Ia, 7. Flieger-Division
Awarded for the role he played in planning the successful German airborne assault on Holland in 1940.
Heinrich "Heinz" Trettner (19 September 1907 – 18 September 2006) was a German general who served in the Spanish Civil War, and during World War II and the Cold War. From 1964 to 1966 he served as Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, the head of the military of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was the last living general of the Wehrmacht.
After completing the third course at the Luftkriegsschule 2 (Air Warfare School) in Berlin, Trettner joined the Condor Legion and served as adjutant and IIa to Generalmajor Hugo Sperrle and Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen during the Spanish Civil War. On 2 October 1937 he was made Staffelkapitän of 1./K 88.
World War II
From the start of the war until December 1940 Trettner served as Staff Officer, Operations (Ia) in the Staff of the 7th Paratroop Division until 14 June 1939. He was later appointed Chief Of Operations in the Staff of the XI. Paratroop Corps (15 December 1940 to 6 April 1942), taking part in the airborne operation on Crete. He was promoted to Chief of Staff of the XI. Paratroop Corps, but on 4 October 1943 was reassigned to head formation and become Commanding Officer of the 4th Parachute Division, a command he held until 3 May 1945 when he surrendered to the US troops.
Trettner was released from internment in April 1948 and worked initially for the charity Caritas. In 1949 he enrolled at the University of Bonn and studied Economics and Jurisprudence, and received his diploma in Economics in 1956. Trettner then joined the Bundeswehr and was transferred to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe SHAPE in Paris serving as commander of the logistics department until 15 September 1959.
Trettner's 1964 appointment as Inspector General incurred criticism from the East German DDR government. Senior Communist official Albert Norden alleged that Trettner had been involved in the bombing of Guernica, during the Spanish Civil War. In 1965, former Spanish Republican Air Force commander Ignacio Hidalgo de Cisneros made a public statement criticizing Trettner's Bundeswehr appointment. As Inspector General he apparently had a poor relationship with Karl Gumbel, the civilian Deputy Minister of Defence, and objected to taking orders from a civil servant, Gumbel, in the absence of the Minister. He was also opposed to a ruling by the Minister, in the face of a court order, that members of the military could join a union. These factors led to his resignation, which nearly coincided with that of Werner Panitzki, the chief of staff of the Air Force.
Trettner was one of the umpires for the 1974 Sandhurst wargame on Operation Sea Lion. Heinrich Trettner was Catholic, and in 1978 he published an article, The Holy See and disarmament, in the German-language edition of the Vatican literary journal Communio, and a corresponding reply the next year.
Trettner died one day before his 99th birthday. He was the last living general of the Wehrmacht.
Postwar signed photo measuring 3 1/2" x 5"
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