Portal:Submarine/Selected person

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William Donald Aelian "Bill" King
B.  (1910-06-23) June 23, 1910 (age 106)

Commander William Donald Aelian "Bill" King, DSO & Bar, DSC (born 23 June 1910), is a retired British naval officer, yachtsman and author. He was the oldest participant in the first solo non-stop around the world yacht race, the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, and is the oldest surviving World War II submarine commander.

Brought up by his mother and grandmother, King went to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He was first assigned to HMS Resolution, and later became Commanding Officer of HMS Snapper. He served on three separate vessels in World War II, and was promoted to Commander and awarded seven medals during the war. King not only survived World War II, but succeeded in a singlehanded circumnavigation in 1973 on his third attempt. During the latter journey, he managed to reach port despite a collision with a large sea creature 400 miles (640 km) southwest of Australia.

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B. (1913-10-15)October 15, 1913 – d. May 14, 1945(1945-05-14) (aged 31)

Captain Wolfgang August Eugen Lüth (15 October 1913 – 14 May 1945) was the second most successful German U-boat ace of World War II. His career record of 46 merchant ships plus the French submarine Doris sunk during 15 war patrols, with a total displacement of 230,781 gross register tons (GRT), was second only to that of Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, whose 47 sinkings totaled 272,958 GRT.

Lüth joined the Reichsmarine in 1933. After a period of training on surface vessels he transferred to the U-boat service in 1936. In December 1939 he received command of U-9, which he took on six war-patrols. In June 1940 he took command of U-138 for two patrols. In October 1940 he transferred again, this time to the ocean-going U-43 submarine for five war-patrols. After two war-patrols on U-181, the second being his longest of the war, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten). He was the first of two U-boat commanders to be honored in such a way during World War II, the other recipient being Albrecht Brandi.

Lüth's last service position was commander of the Naval Academy Mürwik at Flensburg-Mürwik. He was accidentally shot and killed by a German sentry on the night of 13 to 14 May 1945. Lüth was given the last state funeral of the Third Reich, the only U-boat commander to be so honored.

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B. (1908-02-27)February 27, 1908 – d. March 8, 1943(1943-03-08) (aged 35)

Gustav Julius Werner Hartenstein (27 February 1908 – 8 March 1943) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and commander of U-156. 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. He is credited with the sinking of 20 ships for a total of 97,504 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging three ships of 18,811 GRT and damaging one warship of 1,190 GRT.

Hartenstein joined the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic in 1928. After a period of training on surface vessels and service on various torpedo boats, he transferred to the U-boat service in 1941. In September 1942, Hartenstein was involved in the Laconia incident. He and the entire crew of U-156 were killed in action by depth charges from a US PBY Catalina aircraft on 8 March 1943.

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Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1976-127-06A, Karl Dönitz.jpg
Karl Dönitz
B. (1891-09-16)September 16, 1891 – d. December 24, 1980(1980-12-24) (aged 89)

Karl Dönitz (16 September 1891 – 24 December 1980) was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine, or "Imperial Navy") before World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of UB-68, the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner. While in a prisoner of war camp, he formulated what he later called Rudeltaktik ("pack tactic", commonly called "wolfpack"). At the start of World War II, he was the senior submarine officer in the German Navy. In January 1943, Dönitz achieved the rank of Großadmiral (Grand Admiral) and replaced Grand Admiral Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine).

On 30 April 1945, after the apparent death of Adolf Hitler and in accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Dönitz was named Hitler's successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State), with the title of Reichspräsident (President) and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. On 7 May 1945, he ordered Alfred Jodl to sign the German instruments of surrender in Rheims, France. Dönitz remained as head of the Flensburg Government, as it became known, until it was dissolved by the Allied powers on 23 May.

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