Military Wiki
Erik Heinrichs
Army's commander-in-chief Axel Erik Heinrichs
Born (1890-07-21)July 21, 1890
Died November 16, 1965(1965-11-16) (aged 75)
Place of birth Helsinki, Finland
Place of death Helsinki, Finland
Allegiance  Finland
Years of service 1915 - 1945
Rank General
Unit III Corps
Army of the Isthmus
Army of Karelia
Chief of Defence
Awards Mannerheim Cross 1st class
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Axel Erik Heinrichs (21 July 1890 – 16 November 1965) was a Finnish military general. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded by the Third Reich to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Heinrichs was one of the Finnish Jaeger troops trained in the volunteer Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion between 1915 and 1918. During the Finnish Civil War he served as a battalion commander in the battles of Tampere and Viipuri. He commanded the III Corps in the Winter War and from February 19, 1940 the Army of the Isthmus. He was made Chief of the General Staff in June 1940 and promoted to General of Infantry in 1941.

During the Continuation War he commanded the Army of Karelia until January 1942, after which he was again appointed the Chief of the General Staff. After the war he served as the Army's commander-in-chief but was forced to resign because of the Weapons Cache Case.

In 1944 Heinrichs became the second person to receive the Mannerheim Cross, First Class.

Heinrichs was one of the military experts of the delegation sent by president Paasikivi to Moscow for the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 

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