|Born||12 May 1915|
|Died||18 January 2012(aged 96)|
|Place of birth||Berlin-Steglitz, German Empire|
|Place of death||Mallorca, Spain|
|Years of service||1935–1945|
2nd U-boat Flotilla|
24th U-boat Flotilla
4th U-boat Flotilla
10th U-boat Flotilla
U-29, 3 January 1941 – 14 September 1941 (Training)|
U-160, 16 October 1941 – 14 June 1943 (4 patrols)
1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision July 1944–May 1945
|Battles/wars||Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945)|
Iron Cross 1st Class|
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Lieutenant Commander Georg Lassen (May 12, 1915 – January 18, 2012) was a German U-boat captain who served with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was a Watchkeeping Officer on U-29 at the outbreak of the war and later the skipper of the U-160 and winner of the Iron Cross. He sank 26 ships for a total of 156,082 gross register tons (GRT) during 4 patrols, leading to a remarkable average of 39,020 GRT per patrol. His total tonnage made him the 10th most successful U-boat ace of the war.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Lassen was born in Steglitz, a Berlin suburb. He joined the Kriegsmarine as Seekadett on 25 September 1935. When World War II started, Lassen was an Oberleutnant zur See and serving as I. Wach-Offizier (1st Watch Officer) on U-29 under Kapitänleutnant Otto Schuhart. While serving with U-29 Schuhart sank 13 ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. On 3 January 1941 Lassen assumed command over the U-29, which served as a training boat in 24th U-boat Flotilla by this time. He ended his command on 14 September.
On 16 October 1941 Lassen commissioned the Type IXC U-Uboat U-160. Lassen spent about four months training the crew and testing the boat with 4th U-boat Flotilla, before U-160 became operational and was transferred to 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 March 1942.
U-160 left on her first patrol in early March 1942. During this patrol Lassen sank or damaged six ships for a total of 43,560 GRT. On 10 August 1942 he received the Ritterkreuz. On 1 September he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant. On his fourth and final patrol to South African waters in March 1943 he sank or damaged six ships in less than 5 hours for a total of 41,076 GRT during the night between 3 March and 4 March. On 8 March 1943 he sank the SS James B. Stephens and on 9 March he received a radio message awarding him with the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves). On 14 June 1943 Lassen was transferred away from U-160 to take up duties as a tactics instructor and commander of the "Offiziers-kompanie" in 1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision, a training unit for future U-boat commanders. On 1 April 1945 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän.
Achievements[edit | edit source]
- 26 ships sunk for a total of 156,082 GRT
- 5 ships damaged for a total of 34,419 GRT
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (5 April 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Memel Medal (26 October 1939)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (18 July 1940)
- U-boat Front Clasp (22 October 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 14 April 1942
Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit | edit source]
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Tuesday, 14 April 1942||Bei den Erfolgen im Atlantik zeichneten sich die Unterseeboote des Kapitänleutnants Hardegen und des Oberleutnants zur See Lassen besonders aus.||In the successes in the Atlantic, the submarines of Kapitänleutnant Hardegen and of Oberleutnant zur See Lassen particularly distinguished themselves.|
References[edit | edit source]
- Biography of Georg Lassen
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 234.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 235.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 495.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 86.
- Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2.
- 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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.
- Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
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