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Hans Heidtmann

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Title: Hans Heidtmann  
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Subject: HMAS Parramatta (U44), German submarine U-14 (1935)
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Hans Heidtmann

Hans Heidtmann
File:Hans Heidtmann.jpg
Born (1914-08-08)8 August 1914
Railway Station Gleschendorf/Pönitz district of Lübeck
Died 5 April 1976(1976-04-05) (aged 61)
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1934 – 1945
1958 – 1972
Rank Kapitänleutnant (Kriegsmarine)
Kapitän zur See (Bundesmarine)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Emden
Panzerschiff Deutschland
Commands held U-14
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Heidtmann (8 August 1914 in Lübeck – 5 April 1976 in Hamburg) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and 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.

U-559 under the command of Heidtmann came under attack by several British warships and an aircraft on 30 October 1942. Fatally damaged and forced to the surface, the U-boat was abandoned after scuttling herself in the Mediterranean. A British boarding party, consisting of Lieutenant Francis Anthony Blair Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier, and Canteen Assistant Tommy Brown, from destroyer HMS Petard recovered the cryptographic materials, but the U-boat sank before the Enigma cipher machine could be brought out. Eight German crewmen and two British seamen were lost, and 37 German survivors were taken prisoner of war.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As a U-boat commander of U-559 Hans Heidtmann is credited with the sinking of four ships for a total of 11,811 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging two ships of 6,117 GRT that they had to be declared a total loss and sinkging one warship, the HMAS Parramatta, of 1,060 metric tons (1,040 long tons; 1,170 short tons).

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[1]
19 August 1941 Alva  UK 1,584 Sunk
27 November 1941 HMAS Parramatta  Australia 1,060 Sunk
23 December 1941 SS Shuntien  UK 3,059 Sunk
26 December 1941 Warszawa  Poland 2,487 Sunk
10 June 1942 Athene  Norway 4,681 Sunk
10 June 1942 Brambleleaf  UK 5,917 Damaged for total loss
12 October 1942 Bringhi  Egypt 200 Damaged for total loss


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 12 June 1942 Das Unterseeboot des Kapitänleutnants Heidtmann hat sich bei der Bekämpfung des Geleitzuges im östlichen Mittelmeer besonders ausgezeichnet.[5] The submarine of Captain Lieutenant Heidtmann has particularly excelled in the fight against the convoy in the eastern Mediterranean.


  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939-1945 - Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

External links

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