Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Günter Hessler

Günter Hessler


Branch: Reichsmarine / Kriegsmarine
Born: 14 June 1909 Beerfelde, Beerfelde, Märkisch-Oderland.
Died: 4 April 1968 Bochum-Laer.

Fregattenkapitän 1 December 1944
Korvettenkapitän 1 September 1941
Kapitänleutnant 1 October 1936
Oberleutnant zur See 1 July 1933
Leutnant zur See 1 October 1931
Oberfähnrich zur See 1 June 1931
Fähnrich zur See 1 April 1929

Iron Cross 1939
2nd Class 18 November 1939
1st Class 1 March 1941
U-boat War Badge 1939, 3 July 1941
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 24 June 1941
German Cross in Gold 9 November 1944

Takes command on March 1939
Ends command on March 1940

Takes command on 8 October 1940
Ends command on 1 December 1941

Personal Information:

Günter Hessler was born on 14 June 1909 in Beerfelde, Märkisch-Oderland and was a serving member of the Kriegsmarine during World War II and managed to attain the rank of Fregattenkapitän and went on to command the following Falke and U-107.

Günter Hessler joined the Reichsmarine in April 1927, serving on torpedo boats and the pre-dreadnought battleship Schlesien. In 1937 Günter Hessler got married to Karl Dönitz's daughter, Ursula Dönitz. In April 1940 Günter Hessler was reassigned to the U-boat arm, and six months later commissioned the U-107, remarkably without having served as either a first watch officer or a Kommandantenschüler (Commander-in-Training). On Günter Hessler first patrol he sank four ships for a total of 18,514 GRT, but Günter Hessler became famous with his second patrol the most productive patrol of the whole war sinking fourteen ships for a total of 86,699 GRT. Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Witte was his first watch officer on these two patrols. Günter Hessler third patrol accounted for an additional three ships, totalling 13,641 tons, leaving Günter Hessler career total of 21 ships totalling 118,822 GRT, including two Royal Navy vessels HMS Crispin and HMS Manistee. Günter Hessler then transferred to the BdU to serve on the staff.

After the Second World War was over Günter Hessler spent over a year in Allied captivity, and testified at the Nuremberg Trials on behalf of the Ubootwaffe and his father-in-law, Großadmiral Karl Dönitz. In 1947 Günter Hessler was commissioned by the British Royal Navy to write The U-boat War in the Atlantic, a explicit account of the German U-boat offensive. Aided by Alfred Hoschatt, the previous commander of U-378 and also a staff officer of the BdU, Günter Hessler finished the three volume book in 1951. Günter Hessler passed away at the age of 58 in 1968.


Other: Personnel


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