Helmut Witte

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Helmut Witte
Helmut Witte.jpg
Born (1915-04-06)6 April 1915
Bojendorf on Fehmarn
Died 3 October 2005(2005-10-03) (aged 90)
Duisburg
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Commands held U-159
Battles/wars

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Spanish Cross
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Other work Personnel manager

Helmut Witte (6 April 1915 – 3 October 2005) was a German naval officer with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. As commander of the Type IXC U-boat U-159, he sank twenty-three ships on four patrols, for a total of 119,554 tons of Allied shipping, to become the 20th highest scoring U-Boat ace of World War II.[1] He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.

Career[edit]

Witte joined the Reichsmarine in April 1934, serving on the light cruiser Köln, the destroyer Z22 "Anton Schmitt", and on several torpedo boats before transferring to the U-boat arm in July 1940.[1] Witte was 1.WO (second-in-command) on U-107 under Günther Hessler, and took part in the most successful patrol of the war in early 1941, during which 14 ships totalling 86,699 tons were sunk.[2]

Witte commissioned U-159 in October 1941,[1] and in late 1942 accomplished World War II's fourth most successful patrol, sinking 63,730 tons of shipping.[3] In his four patrols in U-159 Witte sank 23 ships in all totalling 119,554 GRT. From June 1943 he served in several staff positions.[1]

Post-war[edit]

At the end of the war Witte spent two months as a prisoner of the British. After spells as a farm hand and a factory worker, Witte had a successful business career, and in the 1960s became personnel manager of a large German industrial group. He died in 2005 aged 90.[1]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "Korvettenkapitän Helmut Witte". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-107 from 29 Mar 1941 to 2 Jul 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Most successful U-boat patrols". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Busch & Röll 2003, p. 267.
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 792.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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 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. 
  • 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.