Helmuth Beukemann

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Helmuth Beukemann
Helmuth Beukemann II.jpg
Birth name Wilhelm Berthold Helmuth Beukemann
Birth date 9 May 1894
Place of birth Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, German Empire
Death date 13 July 1981 (aged 87)
Place of death Hamburg, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1914–1945
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held 75. Infanterie-Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Berthold Helmuth Beukemann (9 May 1894 – 13 July 1981) was a German officer of the Imperial German Army in World War I as well as officer of the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht, finally Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General) and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II.

Military career (chronology)

Helmuth Beukemann IV.jpg
Wilhelm Berthold Helmuth Beukemann as Hauptmann of the Reichswehr.jpg
Helmuth Beukemann III.jpg
  • Fahnenjunker in the 165th Infantry-Regiment (04 May 1914)
  • Severely wounded, Hospital (23 Oct 1914-24 Dec 1914)
  • Transferred into the I. Replacement-Battalion of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (24 Dec 1914-01 Mar 1915)
  • Transferred into the II. Replacement-Battalion of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (01 Mar 1915-25 Apr 1915)
  • Platoon-Leader in the 165th Infantry-Regiment (25 Apr 1915-22 Nov 1915)
  • Adjutant of the II. Battalion of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (22 Nov 1915-25 Jul 1916)
  • Company-Leader in the 165th Infantry-Regiment (25 Jul 1916-08 Apr 1917)
  • Machine-Gun-Officer with the Staff of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (08 Apr 1917-03 Sep 1918)
  • Temporary-Regiments-Adjutant of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (26 Aug 1917-11 Sep 1917)
  • Temporary-Regiments-Adjutant of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (09 Dec 1917-14 Jan 1918)
  • Regiments-Adjutant of the 165th Infantry-Regiment (04 Sep 1918-29 Jul 1919)
  • Regiments-Adjutant of the 8th Reichswehr-Rifle-Regiment (29 Jul 1919-01 Oct 1919)
  • Regiments-Adjutant of the 7th Reichswehr-Rifle-Regiment (01 Oct 1919-01 Oct 1920)
  • Platoon-Leader in the 12th Infantry-Regiment (01 Oct 1920-01 Dec 1926)
  • Company-Commander in the 12th Infantry-Regiment (01 Dec 1926-01 Oct 1934)
  • Tactics-Instructor at the Infantry School Munich (01 Oct 1934-01 Oct 1935)
  • Tactics-Instructor at the War School Munich (01 Oct 1935-10 Nov 1938)
  • Commander of the I. Battalion of the 89th Infantry-Regiment (10 Nov 1938-13 Jan 1940)
  • Commander of the 382nd Infantry-Regiment (13 Jan 1940-18 Aug 1942)
    • At the same time, Garrison-Senior Lemnos Island (25 Apr 1941-00 Aug 1941)
    • At the same time, Garrison-Senior Salonika / Thessaloniki (00 Aug 1941-18 Aug 1942)
    • At the same time (until 10 August 1942 when Colonel Carl-Hans Lungershausen took over), Leader of the 164. leichten Afrika-Division which was in the process of being formed (this process was completed on 15 August 1942)
      • In July 1942, 35 Junkers Ju 52 flew the Infanterie-Regiment 382 (later Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 382[1]) from Crete to Africa. Colonel Beukemann reported to Erwin Rommel near Sidi el Rahman.
  • Leader Reserve (Führer-Reserve) OKH (18 Aug 1942-15 Sep 1942)
  • Delegated with the Leadership of the 75th Infantry-Division (15 Sep 1942-01 Nov 1942)
  • Commander of the 75th Infantry-Division (01 Nov 1942-10 Jul 1944)
  • Führer-Reserve OKH (10 Jul 1944-04 Sep 1944)
  • Commander of Special-Purpose-Division 539 / Division z. b. V. 539 (04 Sep 1944-09 May 1945)
  • In US captivity (09 May 1945-27 Jun 1947)
  • Released (27 Jun 1947)

Knight's Cross

On the 6 April 1941, Colonel Beukemann was the leader of the foremost divisional march group. The Colonel was constantly among the point elements of the infantry as they overcame the Greek border fortifications near Meg Palas. The skillful employment of the regiment’s battalions by the regimental commander enabled the Infanterie-Regiment 382 to make swift progress towards Xanthi, occupy this city already on the 8 April 1941 and reach the bank of the Nestos river near Toxote. With this, the preconditions for the crossing of the Nestos river by the XXX. Armee-Korps with the 50. Infanterie-Division were fulfilled. On 8 April 1941, Colonel Beukemann personally guided the fire of Flak, Pak and even artillery against the Greek cliff position on Hill 785 (Fortress Chinos), which was part of the Metaxas Line. He also led the Grenadiers forwards in this same engagement. The swift advance of the Infanterie-Regiment 382 helped to bring about the capitulation of the Greek Eastern Macedonian Army on the morning of the 10 April 1941.

On the morning of 16 April 1941, Infanterie-Regiment 382 (part of the 164th Infanterie-Division) under the command of Colonel Helmuth Beukemann carried out an amphibious assault operation against the island of Samothraki in the Aegean Sea which was allegedly defended by a combination of Greek and British troops. When five fishing boats carrying German troops landed on the island, several Greek police officers who had previously shot at them disappeared into the mountains. The arrival of the German troops was greeted enthusiastically by the island's inhabitants, who gave the German salute greeting Beukemann and his men. There was no resistance at all on the island, which during the First World War served as a foothold for the Allied military operations at Gallipoli.


Helmuth was the son of Dr. phil. Adolf Friedrich Wilhelm Beukemann (b. 7 March 1856 in Gittelde im Harz, Duchy of Brunswick) and his wife Julie Justine Dora, née Moeller. Father Wilhelm, after studying political science, worked for three years as a research assistant at the Imperial Statistical Office and transferred to the Prussian Royal Statistical Bureau in 1884, before taking a position as civil servant (zweiter Beamter) in the Statistical Bureau of the Tax Deputation in 1889 in Hamburg. He succeeded Koch as Director of the Statistical Bureau of the Tax Deputation on 1 January 1906. Not just his sons went to war, but also Dr. Beukemann. As Hauptmann der Reserve (Reserve Captain) he commanded a company and was severely wounded in battle. He died of his wounds on 4 March 1915.[2] Helmuth had (at least) three siblings: Ulrich, Hildegard and Wilfried, the youngest.

Wilfried Beukemann

Ulrich Reinhold Helmuth Hildemar Wilfried Beukemann (b. 27 June 1899 in Hamburg) joined the Imperial German Army in 1917 and fought as an officer candidate, receiving the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Brunswick War Merit Cross 2nd Class and the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross. In WWII, he was battalion and regiment commander, earnin, among other things, the Iron Cross 1st Class and the German Cross in Gold.[3] In July 1944, he was delegated with the leadership of the Sicherungs-Regiment 360 (for Heinrich Tode) when the 454. Sicherungs-Division was trapped in the Kessel of Brody at the Eastern Front. Most of the division was destroyed during the breakout attempt in the night of 21/22 July 1944. He was reported missing at the end of July 1944, but was actually taken prisoner by the Red Army. The family had hope for years, but in December 1948 it got certainty: Colonel Wilfried Beukemann had died on 25 August 1948 in soviet captivity in Tscherepowez.[4]



  • 4 May 1914 Fahnenjunker (Officer Candidate)
    • in the 5. Hannoversches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 165
  • 1 August 1914 Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter
  • 2 August 1914 Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier
  • 22 September 1914 Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • 21 October 1914 Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) with Patent from 19 February 1913
  • 20 June 1918 Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)


  • 1 February 1928 Hauptmann (Captain)
  • 1 December 1934 Major


  • 1 October 1937 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1 September 1940 Oberst (Colonel)
  • 1 November 1942 Generalmajor
  • 1 May 1943 Generalleutnant

Awards and decorations

Colonel Helmuth Beukemann with three generals and a German Red Cross siter shortly after the Knight's Cross award ceremony on 14 May 1941 in Greece. To the far right: Generalleutnant Josef Folttmann, commandeur of the 164. Infanterie-Division.


  1. The Panzer Grenadier Regiment 382 was formed on 1 September 1942 in Africa. The regiment emerged from the 382nd Infantry Regiment, which was transferred from Crete, Greece. The regiment was subordinated to the 164th Light Africa Division by order of 22 September 1942. The regiment was to be reorganized into two battalions. The regiment, along with the division under Generalmajor Kurt Frieherr von Leibenstein, was destroyed in Tunis in May 1943.
  3. Beukemann, Wilfried
  4. Oberst Wilfried Beukemann (1899–1948)