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Hans Heidtmann
File:File:Hans Heidtmann.jpg
Born (1914-08-08)8 August 1914
Died 5 April 1976(1976-04-05) (aged 61)
Place of birth Railway Station Gleschendorf/Pönitz district of Lübeck
Place of death Hamburg
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Naval Ensign of Germany.svg German Navy
Years of service 1934 – 1945
1958 – 1972
Rank Kapitänleutnant (Kriegsmarine)
Kapitän zur See (Bundesmarine)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Emden
Panzerschiff Deutschland
U-14
Commands held U-14
U-2
U-559
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Heidtmann (8 August 1914 in Lübeck – 5 April 1976 in Hamburg) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and 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 to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

U-559 under the command of Heidtmann came under attack by several British warships and an aircraft on 30 October 1942. Fatally damaged and forced to the surface, the U-boat was abandoned after scuttling herself in the Mediterranean. A British boarding party, consisting of Lieutenant Francis Anthony Blair Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier, and Canteen Assistant Tommy Brown, from destroyer HMS Petard recovered the cryptographic materials, but the U-boat sank before the Enigma cipher machine could be brought out. Eight German crewmen and two British seamen were lost, and 37 German survivors were taken prisoner of war.

Summary of careerEdit

Ships attackedEdit

As a U-boat commander of U-559 Hans Heidtmann is credited with the sinking of four ships for a total of 11,811 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging two ships of 6,117 GRT that they had to be declared a total loss and sinkging one warship, the HMAS Parramatta, of 1,060 metric tons (1,040 long tons; 1,170 short tons).

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[1]
19 August 1941 Alva Flag of the United Kingdom.svg UK 1,584 Sunk
27 November 1941 HMAS Parramatta Flag of Australia.svg Australia 1,060 Sunk
23 December 1941 SS Shuntien Flag of the United Kingdom.svg UK 3,059 Sunk
26 December 1941 Warszawa Flag of Poland.svg Poland 2,487 Sunk
10 June 1942 Athene Flag of Norway.svg Norway 4,681 Sunk
10 June 1942 Brambleleaf Flag of the United Kingdom.svg UK 5,917 Damaged for total loss
12 October 1942 Bringhi Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt 200 Damaged for total loss

AwardsEdit

Wehrmachtbericht referenceEdit

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 12 June 1942 Das Unterseeboot des Kapitänleutnants Heidtmann hat sich bei der Bekämpfung des Geleitzuges im östlichen Mittelmeer besonders ausgezeichnet.[5] The submarine of Captain Lieutenant Heidtmann has particularly excelled in the fight against the convoy in the eastern Mediterranean.

ReferencesEdit

Citations
  1. "Ships hit by U-559 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/successes/u559.html. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  2. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 341.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 342.
  4. Scherzer 2007, p. 374.
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 157.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Bearers of the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck 1939–1945]. Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-925480-79-9. 
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3. 
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