Historian finds out that his grand father arrested ‘Heinrich Himmler’

An amateur historians search for the identities of the soldiers who captured the right hand of Adolf Hitler, ended in a personal revelation. He found out that one of the soldiers were actually his grandfather.

The British men belonged to British Army’s 196 Battery of the 73rd anti tank Regiment. Until recently no one actually knew who these men were. While going through old military records Chris Mannion, found out that his grandfather Lt. Sergeant Patrick Mannion was amongst those who arrested and identified the SS Commander ‘Heinrich Himmler’.

Heinrich Himmler was considered one of the masterminds behind Holocaust. Seen in almost all of Hitler’s photographs from military meetings and ceremonies, he planned and executed nearly all of the Nazi atrocities. After Hitler’s suicide Himmler tried to escape and was captured by four British and two Russian soldiers.

Mannion discovered this while going through military records of his grandfather. He spent £30 for the records and while reading through the documents he found  an arrest report. The report said the Himmler was arrested by three gunners and one non-commissioned officer. The three gunners were John Fletcher, N. Carlson and Michael Faye, while the non-commissioned officer was his grand father.

Mannion said that he grew up hearing about his grandfather’s achievements in the military. He said there was always a mention of some German commander but no one knew who he was. Mannion said he always wanted to know what his grandfather did during WWII. When he received 2600 pages of his grandfather’s record, he knew he had to go through them to satisfy his childhood curiosity.

After Hitler’s suicide Himmler went to Flensburg, where he stayed for a few days. He then dismissed his staff and on May15, went to hiding in the Harz Mountains. He was accompanied by two of his most trusted men.

He travelled across country hiding and living in woods and spending nights under haystacks. They were stopped on a number of occasions but they succeeded in deceiving soldiers posing as locals. When they were almost near the border, they were stopped and arrested by British soldiers on suspicion. Himmler was later identified and committed suicide by biting on a cyanide pill, the Mail Online reports.

Mannion found that his grandfather had also landed on Normandy a day after the D-day and fought in Germany, Holland, and Belgium. Near the end of the war he was part of the peacekeeping patrol units. It was during one of these patrols that he arrested the most wanted man of that time.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE