|Born||28 September 1916(age 105)|
|Place of birth||Hanover|
Nazi Germany (to 1945)|
|Years of service||1937–1945, 1957–1972|
Iron Cross 1st Class|
Iron Cross 2nd Class
German Cross in Gold
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Hans-Günther Lange (born 28 September 1916) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later served with the Bundesmarine. He is also a recipient of the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: 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 was born in Hanover.
Career[edit | edit source]
U-711 under the command of Lange attacked and sank the HMS Bluebell on 17 February 1945. On 4 May 1945 U-711 was damaged in Operation Judgement, an attack by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy at Kilbotn aimed at the depot ships Black Watch and Senja, and sank after attempts by Lange and seven other crew members to keep it afloat. The rest of the crew, who had gone on board Black Watch, did not survive. Only a few hours earlier Lange had received the signal from Germany ordering all U-boats to cease attacks on allied shipping with immediate effect. He was interviewed in 2008 at the age of 92 for a book published in Norway which also contains information from Norwegian and British eyewitnesses. The book also reveals that Lange took U-711 on patrols far along the Arctic coast of North Russia, past Novaya Zemlya and into the Kara Sea.
The wreck of U-711 was filmed in 2007.
In October 1957 Lange joined the Bundesmarine. Here he took part in the construction of a new German U-boat force within NATO. For two years he commanded the 1. Ubootgeschwader (1st U-boat squadron) and in January 1964 became commander of the entire U-boat force. Later he held several staff positions, ending his second naval career in 1972 as staff officer in the Marinedivision der Nordsee (naval forces in the North Sea).
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Destroyer War Badge (24 December 1940)
- U-boat War Badge (1939)
- U-boat Front Clasp
- German Cross in Gold (11 May 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Knight's Cross on 26 August 1944 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-711
- (853rd) Oak Leaves on 29 April 1945 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-711[Note 1] (Isachsen's book describes how Lange was awarded the Oak Leaf Clasp by his commanding officer, who had no spares and presented Lange with one of his own).
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Harald Isachsen (2009), Operation Judgement: Angrepet på <<Black Watch>>, Kilbotn 4 Mai 1945, ISBN 978-82-998024-2-0
- Film of U-711 at Kilbotn
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 472.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 473.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 492.
- Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 102–111.
- 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.
[edit | edit source]
|Commander of the 1. Ubootgeschwader of the Bundesmarine
1 October 1961 – 30 September 1963
Fregattenkapitän Walter Ehrhardt
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