Kriegsmarine Officers – Ship Captains

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Korvettenkapitän Hans Bartels

Hans Bartels (5 July 1910 – 31 July 1945) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

On 24 February 1940, without prior warning, M-1 rammed and sank four Esbjerg based Danish trawlers, Ejjam (E 92), Gerlis (E 456), Mercator (E 348) and Polaris (E 504) in the vicinity of the Dogger Bank. Bartels reported to his superiors that no one was rescued due to “military reasons”; 16 fishermen from the then neutral Denmark lost their lives.

He was transferred to command the Kleinkampfverbände (small combat units) and after a training course was appointed leader of the Kleinkampf-Flottille 261 (261st Biber flotilla), operating the midget submarine Biber, in August 1944. After the war ended Bartels was retained in British custody and was assigned to the German Mine Sweeping Administration, where he was killed in an accident near Rendsburg on 31 July 1945.

Fritz Breithaupt

Fritz Breithaupt (5 September 1892 – 25 December 1944) was a Fregattenkapitän of the Reserves with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Korvettenkapitän Werner Dobberstein

Werner Dobberstein (4 April 1911 – 25 February 1993) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. After World War II he served in the Bundesmarine.

Korvettenkapitän Klaus Feldt

Gustav Waldemar Klaus Feldt (14 April 1912 – 7 September 2010) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He is also a recipient of the coveted Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He is credited with the destruction of HMS Exmoor on 25 February 1941 as commander of Schnellboot “S30”. He was born in Kiel.

Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Hoffmann

Heinrich Hoffmann (17 August 1910 – 29 January 1998) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

With only three serviceable torpedo boats, T-28, Jaguar and Möwe, at his disposal, Hoffmann attacked the Allied Invasion fleet, including the HMS Warspite and HMS Ramillies, near the Bay of the Seine on the morning of D-Day on 6 June 1944. During the attack, 18 torpedoes were launched, resulting in the sinking of the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS Svenner.

After World War II he rejoined the military of the Bundeswehr. In 1961 he became commander of the 1. Zerstörergeschwader (1st Destroyer Squadron), which included three former U.S. destroyers of the Fletcher-class, Z-1, Z-2 and Z-3.

Korvettenkapitän Bernd Klug

Bernd Georg Wilhelm Klug (12 December 1914 – 15 June 1975) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later a Flottillenadmiral with the Bundesmarine. He is also a recipient of the coveted Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Korvettenkapitän Klug led E-boats (Schnellboote) on 28 April 1944 in an attack against Convoy T-4 consisting of LSTs during the Allied large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, dubbed Exercise Tiger. During the attack, German E-boats sank USS LST-507 and 531, and damaged 289, resulting in the deaths of 749 American servicemen.

Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann

Otto Ernst Lindemann (28 March 1894 – 27 May 1941) was a German naval captain. He was the only commander of the battleship Bismarck during its eight months of service in World War II.

Lindemann joined the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) in 1913, and after his basic military training, served on a number of warships during World War I as a wireless telegraphy officer. On board SMS Bayern, he participated in Operation Albion in 1917. After World War I, he served in various staff and naval gunnery training positions. One year after the outbreak of World War II, he was appointed commander of the battleship Bismarck, at the time the largest warship in commission anywhere in the world and the pride of the Kriegsmarine (Nazi Germany’s navy).

In May 1941, Lindemann commanded Bismarck during Operation Rheinübung. Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen formed a task force under the command of Admiral Günther Lütjens on board Bismarck. Orders were to break out of their base in German occupied Poland and attack British merchant shipping lanes in the Atlantic Ocean. The task force’s first major engagement was the Battle of the Denmark Strait which resulted in the sinking of HMS Hood. Less than a week later, on 27 May, Lindemann and most of his crew lost their lives during Bismarck ’s last battle.

He was posthumously awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), an honour that recognised extreme bravery on the battlefield or outstanding military leadership. The medal was presented to his widow, Hildegard, on 6 January 1942.

Korvettenkapitän Werner Töniges

Werner Töniges (7 January 1910 – 25 January 1995) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He sailed with the Schnellboot “S 24”, “S 26” and “S 102”, sinking eighteen ships on 281 combat patrols, for a total of 86,200 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping.

Kapitänleutnant Siegfried Wuppermann

Siegfried Wuppermann (15 December 1916 – 15 April 2005) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later served with the Bundesmarine. He was a recipient of the coveted Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History

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