Hans-Dietrich von Tiesenhausen

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Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen
Hans-Dietrich von Tiesenhausen.jpg
Born (1913-02-22)22 February 1913
Riga, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
Died 17 August 2000(2000-08-17) (aged 87)
Vancouver, Canada
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit U-23
Commands held SSS Gorch Fock
light cruiser Karlsruhe
U-331
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Other work Interior designer

Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen[Note 1] (22 February 1913 – 17 August 2000) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was also a 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.

Life[edit]

Von Tiesenhausen was born on 22 February 1913 in Riga, at the time a Governorate of Livonia of the Russian Empire, as a member of the Baltic German nobility family Tiesenhausen. He joined the Reichsmarine[Note 2] on 8 April 1934. After he underwent basic military training in the 2nd department (II. Abteilung) of the standing ship division (Schiffsstammdivision) of the Baltic Sea in Stralsund, he was transferred to the training ship Gorch Fock on 15 June 1934, attaining the rank of Seekadett (Naval Cadet) on 26 September 1934.

HMS Barham exploding, 25 November 1941.

Tiesenhausen sailed with the U-23 and U-331. He achieved his greatest success as a U-boat commander by sinking the British battleship HMS Barham on 25 November 1941. On his 3rd patrol U-331 returned to the Egyptian coast. On 17 November she landed seven men of the Lehrregiment Brandenburg[1] east of Ras Gibeisa, on a mission to blow up a railway line near the coast, which failed.[2]

U-331 was sunk on 17 November 1942, north of Algiers, during "Operation Torch". She had been badly damaged after being attacked by a Lockheed Hudson bomber and signalled surrender, but was attacked and sunk by a Fairey Albacore torpedo-bomber from the British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable. Of her crew 32 were killed and 17 survived including Tiesenhausen. He was a prisoner of war in England and Canada until 1947 when he returned to Germany. He worked as a joiner, but in late 1951 he returned to Canada.[3]

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 26 November 1941 Wie bereits durch Sondermeldung bekannt gegeben, hat die britische Kriegsmarine in den letzten Tagen wieder schwere Verluste erlitten. Außer der im gestrigen Wehrmachtbericht gemeldeten Beschädigung eines größeren britischen Kriegsschiffes durch Lufttorpedotreffer hat vor Sollum ein deutsches Unterseeboot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants Freiherr von Tiesenhausen ein britisches Schlachtschiff angegriffen und ihm einen schweren Torpedotreffer beigebracht.[7] As previously announced by special bulletin, the British Navy in the past few days has again suffered heavy losses. In addition to the damage inflicted to a major British warship by aerial torpedo hits, which was announced in yesterday's armed forces report, a German submarine under the command of Captain Lieutenant Freiherr von Tiesenhausen attacked a British battleship near Sollum and imposed a heavy torpedo hit.
Tuesday, 27 January 1942 Wie im Wehrmachtbericht vom 26. November gemeldet wurde, griff ein deutsches Unterseeboot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants Freiherr von Tiesenhausen vor Sollum ein britisches Schlachtschiff an und beschädigte es schwer durch Torpedotreffer. Wie inzwischen festgestellt werden konnte, handelt es sich um das Schlachtschiff "BARHAM", das nach drei Torpedotreffern gesunken ist.[8] As announced in the Army report of 26 November attacked a German submarine, under the leadership of Captain Lieutenant Freiherr von Tiesenhausen before Sollum a British battleship and damaged it severely with torpedo hits. As has been determined by now, it is the battleship "BARHAM", which sank after three torpedo hits.

Combat career[edit]

Date U-boat Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
10 October 1941 U-331 HMS TLC-18 (A 18) United Kingdom British 372 damaged
25 November 1941 U-331 HMS Barham United Kingdom British 31,100 sunk
9 November 1942 U-331 USS Leedstown United States American 9,135 sunk

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a former title (translated as Baron), which is now legally a part of the last name. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.
  2. ^ The German Reichsmarine which was renamed the Kriegsmarine on 1 June 1935.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "Report on the interrogation of survivors from U-331". www.uboatarchive.net. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  2. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-331 from 12 Nov 1941 to 3 Dec 1941 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  3. ^ "Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  4. ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 190.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Busch & Röll 2003, p. 191.
  6. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 745.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 732.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, pp. 20–21.
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). 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] (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • 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. 
  • 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). 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. 
  • Williamson, Gordon & Bujeiro, Ramiro (2005). Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1941-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-642-9.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3. 

External links[edit]