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Johann-Friedrich Wessels

Recipient of the Knight's Cross
The basics
Date of birth Wilhelmshaven
Date of death Feb 09, 1988 Oldenburg
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, U-boat Front Clasp
The details

Johann-Friedrich Wessels (28 May 1904 in Wilhelmshaven-Rüstringen – 9 February 1988 in Oldenburg) was a German chief engineer on a U-boat in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Wessels was chief engineer on board of U-47 for four war patrols, including Günther Priens' infiltration of Scapa Flow and sinking of HMS Royal Oak. He then transferred to U-198 under the command of Werner Hartmann with whom he went on one patrol lasting 199 days. His final posting was on U-870 under Ernst Hechler.


  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th and 3rd Class (2 October 1936)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (25 September 1939)
    • 1st Class (17 October 1939)
  • U-boat War Badge (1939) (19 December 1939)
  • U-boat Front Clasp in Bronze (4 October 1944)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 9 March 1944 as Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) and chief engineer on U-198
  • ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 427.
  • Busch & Röll 2003, p. 428.
  • Scherzer 2007, p. 781.

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