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Friedrich Ruge visiting a Minensuchflottille
24 December 1894|
|Died||3 July 1985
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany (to 1945)
|Service/branch|| Kaiserliche Marine
|Years of service||1914–1945, 1955–1961|
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Great Cross of Merit
|Relations||Peter von Zahn|
Friedrich Oskar Ruge (24 December 1894 – 3 July 1985) was an officer in the German Navy 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.
Friedrich Ruge was the son and grandson of German educators. Joining the Imperial German Navy as a cadet in March 1914, he was soon a participant in the 1914, 1915, and 1916 Baltic Sea operations. In 1917 and 1918, he sailed with the destroyer raids in the North Sea and English Channel.
After the armistice, Ruge was an officer aboard the German destroyer B-112, interned at Scapa Flow and in June 1919, he played a role in the scuttling of the German Fleet.
Returning to Germany to continue his naval career in the service of the new Weimar Republic, for the next two decades he concentrated on mines and mine warfare. From 1921 to 1923, he commanded a minesweeper. After studies at Berlin Institute of Technology, he was the senior officer of a flotilla of minesweepers, and, in 1937, achieved the top post in that division.
In World War II, he was a part of the Polish Campaign in 1939 and the North Sea-English Channel operations during 1940. From 1940 to 1943, he was stationed in France, rising through the upper ranks to become Vice Admiral in 1943. Sent to Italy in 1943, he served as Senior German Naval Officer until mid-summer. He was appointed as Naval Advisor to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in November 1943. In August 1944, he became the Kriegsmarine's Director of Ship Construction, a position in which he served till the end of World War II.
At the end World War II, he became a POW. In 1946, he started a new life as a translator, writer and educator in Cuxhaven. He was one of four Flag Officers who made up the Naval Historical Team at Bremerhaven, sponsored by the United States Navy.
He entered politics as a political independent to the Cuxhaven Town Council.
During the early 1950s, he advised as to how the navy could be restructured in the new Bundesmarine, as detailed in Searle's Wehrmacht Generals. Called out of retirement when Germany became a part of NATO, Ruge was appointed Inspector of the Bundesmarine (a position similar to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations), a post he occupied until 1961.
Afterward, he became a member of the faculty at the University of Tübingen, eventually becoming an Associate Professor on 21 July 1967 there. He was a guest lecturer at many universities, including the U.S. Naval War College at Newport.
He died in 1985.
Ruge was the author of several books, including The Soviets as Naval Opponents, 1941-1945, written for Annapolis Naval Institute in 1979, and Rommel in Normandy, written in 1984.
Quoted at Normandy: Utilization of the Anglo-American air forces is the modern type of warfare, turning the flank not from the side but from above.
In the movie "The Longest Day" (1962), he played himself, and was a consultant to the film.
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Cross of Honor
- Long Service Award 2nd to 4th class (2 October 1936)
- German Olympic Games Decoration 2nd class (21 December 1936)
- Sudetenland Medal
- Clasp to the Iron Cross
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 October 1940 as Kapitän zur See and commodore leader of the Minensuchboote West
- Minesweeper War Badge (15 February 1940)
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 16 February 1942
- Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Legion of Merit, Commanders Cross (1961)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (28 September 1961)
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Monday, 16 February 1942||An dem Gelingen des Durchbruchs unserer Seestreitkräfte durch den Kanal haben die unter Führung von Kapitän zur See und Kommodore Ruge stehenden Minensuch- und Räumboote sowie Sicherungsfahrzeuge hervorragenden Anteil.||In the breakthrough success of our naval forces through the channel, the under the leadership of Captain at Sea and Commodore Ruge subordinated mine detection and minesweepers and patrol vessels had a prominent part.|
- Dörr 1996, p. 191.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 367.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 645.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 36.
- Dörr, Manfred (1996). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2: L–Z [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2497-6.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- 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.
- Ruge, Friedrich (1984). Rommel in Normandy.
- Ruge, Friedrich (1979). The Soviets as Naval Opponents, 1941-1945.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Searle, Alaric (2003). Wehrmacht Generals, West German Society, and the Debate on Rearmament, 1949-1959. Westport, Connecticut USA: Praeger Pub.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Friedrich Ruge.|
- Friedrich Ruge in the German National Library catalogue
- The Citadel Archives: Friedrich Ruge Collection