19 October 1896|
|Died||10 April 1940
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Service/branch|| Kaiserliche Marine
|Years of service||1914–40|
|Rank||Kapitän zur See|
|Commands held||Führer der Zerstörer und der Kampfgruppe Narvik|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (posthumous)|
Friedrich Bonte (19 October 1896 – 10 April 1940) was the German naval officer commanding the destroyer flotilla that transported invasion troops to Narvik during the German invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung) in April 1940.
Born in Potsdam, Bonte joined the Imperial German Navy as a midshipman in April 1914 and was commissioned Leutnant zur See in July 1916. He was retained in the drastically reduced post-war German navy, where he had a steady career. He was promoted to Oberleutnant zur See in September 1920, Kapitänleutnant in April 1926, Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander) in September 1933, and Fregattenkapitän (Commander) in April 1937. In November 1938, he was given command of the Second Destroyer Flotilla, and in April 1939 he was promoted to Kapitän zur See (Captain). On 24 October 1939, Bonte was appointed type commander of torpedo boats (Führer der Torpedoboote) and two days later also type commander of destroyers (Führer der Zerstörer) of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. He relinquished command of the torpedoboats at the end of November 1939, but held the command over the destroyers until his death. On 10 February 1940 he was promoted to Commodore.
During the German invasion of Norway, Bonte commanded the ten destroyers carrying General Dietl's mountain troops to Narvik on 9 April 1940. On the morning of 10 April, the flotilla was attacked in Narvik fjord by British destroyers under the command of Commodore Bernard Warburton-Lee. In the ensuing battle, Bonte's flagship, the destroyer Wilhelm Heidkamp, was hit by a torpedo and exploded. Bonte and most of the crew perished. Bonte was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Cross of Honor (24 October 1935)
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Destroyer War Badge (posthumously)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 October 1940 (posthumously) as Kapitän zur See and Führer der Zerstörer (leader of the destroyers) and of Kampfgruppe Narvik
- Narvik Shield (posthumously)
- Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht
- Dörr 1995, p. 68.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 139.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 234.
- Dörr, Manfred (1995). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 1: A–K [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2453-2.
- 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.
- 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.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.