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Hans-Ludwig Witt
File:File:Hans Witt.jpg
Born (1909-12-25)25 December 1909
Died 13 February 1980(1980-02-13) (aged 70)
Place of birth Bautzen
Place of death Hamburg-Poppenbüttel
Allegiance Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of Weimar Republic (jack).svg Reichsmarine
War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1929–1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Commands held U-161
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.


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.[1]

Summary of careerEdit

Ships attackedEdit

Date[2] Name Flag Tonnage Fate
10 June 1942 L. A. Christensen Flag of Norway.svg Norway 4,362 Sunk
12 June 1942 Hardwick Grange Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom 9,005 Sunk
17 June 1942 Millinrocket Flag of the United States.svg USA 3,274 Sunk
27 June 1942 Las Choapas Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico 2,005 Sunk
27 June 1942 Tuxpam Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico 7,008 Sunk
1 July 1942 Taspe Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union 6,320 Sunk
12 July 1942 Tachirá Flag of the United States.svg USA 2,325 Sunk
19 July 1942 Port Antonio Flag of Norway.svg Norway 1,266 Sunk
23 July 1942 Onodaga Flag of the United States.svg USA 2,309 Sunk
16 October 1942 Trafalgar Flag of Norway.svg Norway 5,542 Sunk
23 October 1942 Reuben Tipton Flag of the United States.svg USA 6,829 Sunk
30 October 1942 West Kebar Flag of the United States.svg USA 5,620 Sunk
5 November 1942 Astrell Flag of Norway.svg Norway 7,595 Sunk
5 November 1942 Meton Flag of the United States.svg USA 7,027 Sunk
2 April 1943 Melbourne Star Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom 12,806 Sunk
24 April 1943 Santa Catalina Flag of the United States.svg USA 6,507 Sunk
4 May 1943 Panam Flag of Panama.svg Panama 7,277 Sunk



  1. "Korvettenkapitän Hans-Ludwig Witt". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  2. "Ships hit by U-129 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats -". Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 290.
  4. 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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