Otto Ites

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Otto Ites
Otto Ites
Born (1918-02-05)5 February 1918
Died 2 February 1982(1982-02-02) (aged 63)
Years of service 1936–45
Commands held
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Order of Merit
Other work Dentist

Otto Christian Ites (5 February 1918 – 2 February 1982) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later a Konteradmiral with the Bundesmarine. 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.


Otto Ites, born on 5 February 1918 in Norden in the Province of Hanover a Free State of Prussia, joined the military service of the Kriegsmarine on 3 April 1936.

Men of valor - They fight for you.jpg

Ites served as second watch officer on nine war patrols on U-48, the first five patrols under the command of Herbert Schultze, two patrols under Hans-Rudolf Rösing and two patrols under Heinrich Bleichrodt. Promoted to Oberleutnant zur See on 1 October 1940 and he was made first watch officer on U-48. In this position he went on one more patrol (10 November 1940 – 13 March 1941), U-48 now again under the command of Herbert Schultze. He commanded U-146 and U-94, sinking fifteen ships on seven patrols, for a total of 76,882 gross register tons (GRT) tons of Allied shipping. In September 1941 the Pegasus was torpedoed and all the crew managed to scramble into 2 lifeboats. One of the lifeboats was rescued but the other was found empty and upside down. The Captain reported that the Pegasus was torpedoed twice, the first one caused quite a lot of damage and the crew left the ship, but then she was torpedoed again and she sank. On 28 August 1942 U-94 was sunk by depth charges in the Caribbean Sea, in position 17°40′N 74°30′W / 17.667°N 74.500°W / 17.667; -74.500 (U-94 (submarine)) from a Catalina of VP-92 and by the Canadian corvette Oakville. Ites and 25 of his crew were taken prisoner of war. Ites remained in US captivity at Camp Crossville, Tennessee, until 1 May 1946.

After the war Otto Ites matriculated at the University of Bonn in the winter semester 1946/47. He submitted his dissertation on 20 October 1950 at the medical faculty. Dr. Ites joined the military service of the Bundesmarine and as Fregattenkapitän commanded the destroyer Zerstörer 2 (D171), formerly USS Ringgold (DD-500), from November 1960 until September 1962. His twin brother, Oberleutnant zur See Rudolf Ites, commander of U-709, was killed in action on 1 March 1944. U-709 was sunk by depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS Thomas, Bostwick and Bronstein north of the Azores at 49°10′N 26°00′W / 49.167°N 26.000°W / 49.167; -26.000 (U-709 (submarine)).

Summary of career[edit]

Ships Attacked[edit]

As commander of U-146 and U-94 Otto Ites is credited with the sinking of 15 merchant ships for a total of 76,882 gross register tons (GRT) and damaging one further ship of 8,022 GRT.

Date Name of ship Flag Tonnage Fate
28 June 1941 Pluto  Finland 3,496 Sunk at 58°48′N 08°45′W / 58.800°N 8.750°W / 58.800; -8.750 (Pluto (ship))
15 September 1941 Newbury  United Kingdom 5,102 Sunk at 54°39′N 28°04′W / 54.650°N 28.067°W / 54.650; -28.067 (Newbury (ship))
15 September 1941 Pegasus  Greece 5,762 Sunk at 54°40′N 29°50′W / 54.667°N 29.833°W / 54.667; -29.833 (Pegasus (ship))
15 September 1941 Empire Eland  United Kingdom 5,613 Sunk at 54°00′N 28°00′W / 54.000°N 28.000°W / 54.000; -28.000 (Empire Eland (ship))
1 October 1941 San Florentino  United Kingdom 12,842 Sunk at 52°50′N 34°40′W / 52.833°N 34.667°W / 52.833; -34.667 (San Florentino (ship))
24 February 1942 Empire Hail  United Kingdom 7,005 Sunk at 44°48′N 40°21′W / 44.800°N 40.350°W / 44.800; -40.350 (Empire Hail (ship))
9 March 1942 Cayrǘ  Brazil 5,152 Sunk at 39°10′N 72°02′W / 39.167°N 72.033°W / 39.167; -72.033 (Cayrǘ (ship))
11 March 1942 Hvoslef  Norway 1,630 Sunk at 38°27′N 74°54′W / 38.450°N 74.900°W / 38.450; -74.900 (Hvoslef (ship))
25 March 1942 Imperial Transport  United Kingdom 8,022 Damaged at 46°26′N 41°30′W / 46.433°N 41.500°W / 46.433; -41.500 (Imperial Transport (ship))
12 May 1942 Coclé  Panama 5,630 Sunk at 52°37′N 29°13′W / 52.617°N 29.217°W / 52.617; -29.217 (Coclé (ship))
13 May 1942 Tolken  Sweden 4,471 Sunk at 51°50′N 33°35′W / 51.833°N 33.583°W / 51.833; -33.583 (Tolken (ship))
13 May 1942 Batna  United Kingdom 4,399 Sunk at 52°09′N 33°56′W / 52.150°N 33.933°W / 52.150; -33.933 (Batna (ship))
5 June 1942 Maria de Glória*  Portugal 320 Sunk at 50°14′N 39°12′W / 50.233°N 39.200°W / 50.233; -39.200 (Maria de Glória (ship))
10 June 1942 Ramsay  United Kingdom 4,855 Sunk at 51°53′N 34°59′W / 51.883°N 34.983°W / 51.883; -34.983 (Ramsay (ship))
10 June 1942 Empire Clough  United Kingdom 6,147 Sunk at 51°50′N 35°00′W / 51.833°N 35.000°W / 51.833; -35.000 (Ramsay (ship))
11 June 1942 Pontypridd  United Kingdom 4,458 Sunk at 49°50′N 41°37′W / 49.833°N 41.617°W / 49.833; -41.617 (Pontypridd (ship))

* Sailing vessel




  1. ^ a b c Busch & Röll 2003, p. 207.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 240.
  3. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 414.


  • 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) [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. 
  • 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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Fregattenkapitän Günter Kuhnke
Commander of German destroyer Z-2 (formerly USS Ringgold)
December 1960 – September 1962
Succeeded by
Fregattenkapitän Paul Brasack
Preceded by
Konteradmiral Günter Luther
Chief of the Navy Office
1 April 1975 – 30 September 1977
Succeeded by
Konteradmiral Horst Geffers