Kurt-Caesar Hoffmann

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Kurt-Caesar Hoffmann
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2004-1123-500, Kurt-Cäsar Hoffmann.jpg
Born (1895-08-26)26 August 1895
Kiel
Died 19 May 1988(1988-05-19) (aged 92)
Mölln
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1919)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
 Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1912–45
Rank Vizeadmiral
Unit SMS Hansa
SMS Wettin
Cruiser Köln
Cruiser Amazone
Commands held Light cruiser Königsberg
Battleship Scharnhorst
Battles/wars

World War I
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Vizeadmiral Kurt-Caesar Hoffmann (26 August 1895 – 19 May 1988) was a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient during World War II and commander of the battleship Scharnhorst. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit]

Hoffmann joined the military service of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) on 1 April 1912 as a Seekadett (midshipman) and took his first ship training on the cruiser SMS Hansa. On 1 April 1913 he underwent further training at the Naval Academy Mürwik and on 12 April 1913 was promoted to Fähnrich zur See (ensign at sea).

Battleship Scharnhorst, 1939

He relinquished command of the Coastal Artillery School and was appointed commander of the light cruiser Königsberg on 27 June 1939. After the outbreak of World War II, he initially remained in command of Königsberg. On 21 September 1939 he took over command from Kapitän zur See Otto Ciliax of the battleship Scharnhorst. Scharnhorst‍ '​s first operation began on 21 November 1939 lasting until 27 November 1939. Accompanied by her sister Gneisenau, the light cruiser Köln, and nine destroyers, Scharnhorst patrolled the area between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The intent of the operation was to draw out British units and ease the pressure on the heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, which was being pursued in the South Atlantic. Two days later, the German flotilla, under the command of Admiral Wilhelm Marschall aboard Gneisenau, intercepted the auxiliary cruiser Rawalpindi. At 16:07, lookouts aboard Scharnhorst spotted the British vessel, and less than an hour later Scharnhorst had closed the range. At 17:03, Scharnhorst opened fire, and three minutes later a salvo of her 28 cm guns hit Rawalpindi‍ '​s bridge, killing the captain and the majority of the staff. During the brief engagement, Rawalpindi managed to score at hit on Scharnhorst, which caused minor splinter damage. Rawalpindi was sunk within 40 minutes.

After this Hoffmann remained at the helm of the Scharnhorst until after the "Channel Dash" in February 1942, thus captaining the ship through both Operation Weserübung, Operation Juno and Operation Berlin.

On March 28, 1942 Hoffmann became the commanding Admiral of the German Navy in the Baltic and was promoted to Rear Admiral on April 1. From July 1, 1942 til March 4, 1943 he was the commanding naval officer of the German Navy in the Netherlands. On being promoted to Vice Admiral on April 1, 1943, Hoffmann became the head of department for artillery development and construction in the naval armaments office of the German Navy.

On May 23, 1945, after the collapse of Germany, Hoffmann was arrested by British forces but released on February 20, 1947.

He was allowed to join the new German Navy and from June 26, 1956 to August 31, 1957 Hoffmann was first deputy head of the Maritime Office Hamburg and thereafter head of administration until his retirement on March 31, 1965.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e Dörr 1995, p. 263.
  2. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 191.
  3. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 399.
Bibliography
  • Dörr, Manfred (1995). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine, Band 1: A-K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2453-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck 1939–1945] (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-925480-79-9. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]