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Hans Witt

German World War II U-boat commander
The basics
About
Occupation Korvettenkapitän Submariner
Country Germany
AKA Hans-Ludwig Witt
Date of birth Bautzen
Date of death Feb 13, 1980 Hamburg
The details
Biography

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

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

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Flag Tonnage Fate
10 June 1942 L. A. Christensen  Norway 4,362 Sunk
12 June 1942 Hardwick Grange  United Kingdom 9,005 Sunk
17 June 1942 Millinrocket  United States 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  United States 2,325 Sunk
19 July 1942 Port Antonio  Norway 1,266 Sunk
23 July 1942 Onodaga  United States 2,309 Sunk
16 October 1942 Trafalgar  Norway 5,542 Sunk
23 October 1942 Reuben Tipton  United States 6,829 Sunk
30 October 1942 West Kebar  United States 5,620 Sunk
5 November 1942 Astrell  Norway 7,595 Sunk
5 November 1942 Meton  United States 7,027 Sunk
2 April 1943 Melbourne Star  United Kingdom 12,806 Sunk
24 April 1943 Santa Catalina  United States 6,507 Sunk
4 May 1943 Panam  Panama 7,277 Sunk

Awards

  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (23 August 1942)
    • 1st Class (23 August 1942)
  • 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
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-129". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  • ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 290.
  • Scherzer 2007, p. 791.
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