|Born||25 December 1909|
|Died||13 February 1980(aged 70)|
|Place of birth||Bautzen|
|Place of death||Hamburg-Poppenbüttel|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)|
|Years of service||1929–1945|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Hans-Ludwig Witt (25 December 1909 in Bautzen—13 February 1980 in Hamburg-Poppenbüttel) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. With nineteen ships sunk for a total of 100,773 gross register tons (GRT), he was the thirty-second highest scoring U-Boat ace of World War II.
Career[edit | edit source]
Witt joined the Reichsmarine in 1929, and in October 1940 entered U-boat training, taking command of U-161 as part of training flotilla 4th U-boat Flotilla in July 1941. He then took command of U-129 as a member of 2nd U-boat Flotilla in May 1942. Witt sailed on three successful combat patrols in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean between May 1942 and July 1943, sinking 19 ships for a total of 100,773 GRT, including Mexican tankers Tuxpam and Las Choapas.
Witt spent a year on the BdU staff, before returning to active duty in January 1945 commanding U-3524, one of the new Type XXI Elektroboote that were commissioned under U-boat commanders such as Adalbert Schnee, Peter-Erich Cremer, Carl Emmermann and Erich Topp to try and turn the tide in the Atlantic. However, Witt sailed on no combat patrols and sank no ships in his new U-boat. He died in 1980.
Summary of career[edit | edit source]
Ships attacked[edit | edit source]
|10 June 1942||L. A. Christensen||Norway||4,362||Sunk|
|12 June 1942||Hardwick Grange||United Kingdom||9,005||Sunk|
|17 June 1942||Millinrocket||USA||3,274||Sunk|
|27 June 1942||Las Choapas||Mexico||2,005||Sunk|
|27 June 1942||Tuxpam||Mexico||7,008||Sunk|
|1 July 1942||Taspe||Soviet Union||6,320||Sunk|
|12 July 1942||Tachirá||USA||2,325||Sunk|
|19 July 1942||Port Antonio||Norway||1,266||Sunk|
|23 July 1942||Onodaga||USA||2,309||Sunk|
|16 October 1942||Trafalgar||Norway||5,542||Sunk|
|23 October 1942||Reuben Tipton||USA||6,829||Sunk|
|30 October 1942||West Kebar||USA||5,620||Sunk|
|5 November 1942||Astrell||Norway||7,595||Sunk|
|5 November 1942||Meton||USA||7,027||Sunk|
|2 April 1943||Melbourne Star||United Kingdom||12,806||Sunk|
|24 April 1943||Santa Catalina||USA||6,507||Sunk|
|4 May 1943||Panam||Panama||7,277||Sunk|
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1939)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (23 August 1942)
- U-boat Front Clasp (7 October 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 December 1942 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-129
References[edit | edit source]
- "Korvettenkapitän Hans-Ludwig Witt". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/men/witt.htm. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- "Ships hit by U-129 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/successes/u129.html. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 290.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 791.
- 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]. Friedburg, 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.
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