Bernhard Rogge

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Bernhard Rogge
Bernhard Rogge.jpg
Bernhard Rogge
Born (1899-11-04)4 November 1899
Died 29 June 1982(1982-06-29) (aged 82)
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany (to 1962)
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
 German Navy
Years of service 1915–45
Rank Vizeadmiral
Unit SMS Freya
SMS Moltke
SMS Stralsund
SMS Pillau
Light cruiser Amazone
SMS Schleswig-Holstein
SSS Niobe
Commands held SSS Niobe (in deputize)
SSS Gorch Fock
SSS Albert Leo Schlageter
Auxiliary cruiser Atlantis

World War I

World War II
Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Great Cross of Merit

Bernhard Rogge (4 November 1899 – 29 June 1982) was a German naval officer who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. Later, he became a Konteradmiral in West Germany's Bundesmarine.

He was awarded a Japanese ornate Samurai sword and the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions as the commander of the Hilfskreuzer (auxiliary cruiser) Atlantis (Schiff 16).

Rogge eventually became a Vizeadmiral (vice-admiral) by the end of World War II, and, when the West German Bundesmarine was established after the war, returned to service as a Konteradmiral (rear-admiral).

Rogge also was one of the few German officers of flag rank who was not arrested by the Allies after the war. This was due to the way he had exercised his command of Atlantis.

Early life[edit]

Rogge was born in Schleswig, the son of a Lutheran minister, and was himself devoutly religious.[1]

Rogge was one of many German officers who were forced to apply for a German Blood Certificate, that would allow their racial background to be overlooked (he had a Jewish grandparent).[2] His wife, Anneliese née Frahm, committed suicide on 4 September 1939. The next day, his mother-in-law also ended her life willingly.


J. Armstrong White, captain of the British City of Baghdad, which Atlantis sank in July 1941, stated, "His treatment of prisoners left respect, instead of hatred". White later wrote the foreword to Atlantis, the Story of a German Surface Raider, written by U. Mohr & A. V. Sellwood.

Admiral Karl Dönitz, who was prosecuted for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials, cited his own support of Rogge in an effort to clear himself of the charge of being antisemitic.[3]

Rogge confirmed the death sentence of the 21-year-old sailor Johann Christian Süss. Süss was sentenced to death on 10 May 1945, one day after the German capitulation, for "undermining the discipline" and "disruptive speeches" based on paragraph 5 numeral 2 of the Kriegssonderstrafrechtsverordnung (KSSVO—Special War Criminal Regulation). Süss was executed by firing squad on 11 May 1945.[citation needed]

Military career[edit]

  • 1915 — joins the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) as a volunteer
  • After World War I — serves on various cruisers
  • Mid-1930s to 1939 — commander of the sail training ship SSS Albert Leo Schlageter
  • September 1939 — assigned to the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis
    • Mid-December 1939 — Atlantis is formally commissioned
    • 31 March 1940 — Atlantis sets out to sea
    • 22 November 1941 — Atlantis is sunk by HMS Devonshire
    • 15 Apr 1942- Chief of Staff to Inspector of Training Affairs
    • 1 March 1943- promoted to Konteradmiral and Inspector of Training Affairs
    • 20 Sept 1944- Cdr Fleet Training Formations
    • 1 March 1945- promoted to Vizeadmiral
  • After World War II — discharged
  • 1 June 1957 — enters the post-World War II West German Bundesmarine with the rank of Konteradmiral
    • 1 June 1957 – 29 September 1957 — delegated with the Command of Military Area Command I
    • 30 September 1957 – 31 March 1962 — Commander of Military Area Command I
    • 15 April 1958 – 31 March 1962 — at the same time, NATO Commander of Land Forces in Schleswig-Holstein (COMLAND-SCHLESWIG)
  • 31 March 1962 — retires from the German Bundesmarine as a Konteradmiral



19 April 1916: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)[5]
13 December 1917: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)[5]
10 January 1921: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant) without patent[5]
14 May 1921: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)[5]
1 January 1928: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)[5]
1 October 1934: Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)[5]
1 November 1937: Fregattenkapitän (Frigate Captain)[5]
1 November 1939: Kapitän zur See (Captain at Sea)[5]
1 March 1943: Konteradmiral (Rear Admiral)[5]
1 March 1945: Vizeadmiral (Vice Admiral)[5]
1 June 1957: Konteradmiral in the Bundesmarine[5]

His publications[edit]

  • Rogge, Bernhard, and Wolfgang Frank. Under Ten Flags. New York: Ballantine, 1960; which is a translation of Schiff 16.[8]


Rogge and the cruise of Atlantis were depicted in the 1960 film Sotto dieci bandiere (Under Ten Flags) starring Van Heflin and Charles Laughton.



  1. ^ Gossage & Levitt 2012, p. 21.
  2. ^ Kansas Press
  3. ^ Leon Goldensohn. The Nuremberg Interviews. Vintage Books. New York. 2004. ISBN 1-4000-3043-9.
  4. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 222.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Dörr 1996, p. 180.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 362.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 56.
  8. ^ Rogge, Bernhard, and Wolfgang Frank. Under Ten Flags. New York: Ballantine, 1960. OCLC 14954520


  • 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) [1986]. 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. 
  • Gossage, Carolyn; Levitt, Peter (2012). The Accidental Captives: The Story of Seven Women Alone in Nazi Germany. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-991-3. 
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 

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