Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Dieter Zinke, askropp and Frech.
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AlifRafikKhan
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the highest success rate of sinking of any skipper in Bahamas

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 05 Jan 2015 16:39

Ernst Bauer on patrol - he had by far the highest success rate of sinking of any skipper in Bahamas.

Photo source: Verlag AG, U-Boot-Krieg in der Karibik, Gaylord Kelshall, translated by Hans Steffen

Following Poske in U 504 was Ernst Bauer in U 126 whose killing spree in the region exceeded even the exploits of di Cossato the Italian. Between March 1st (when he entered the area midway from Bermuda to Anegada and northeast of Cat Island) Bauer sank the Gunny, Mariana, Barbara, Cardonia, Esso Bolivar (in the Windward Passage), Hanseat, Texan Olga, and Colabee (damaged) – all within the area of the Bahamas or its border with Haiti and Cuba.

This patrol yielded a highly impressive tally of seven ships sunk for 32,955 tons and two damaged for 15,907 in the space of less than two weeks - he sank or attacked ships on the 2nd, 5th, 7th (twice), 8th, 9th, 12th (twice) and 13th of March. Bauer was a highly successful commander who built on these sinkings to amass 24 ships sunk for 111,564 tons, one warship (albeit one being carried by a transport ship) of 450 tons, and five ships damaged for over 38,000 GRT (gross registered tons) in his career.

This patrol began on the 2nd of February 1942 in Lorient and ended there on the 29th of March. As we shall see in survivor reports, crew of both the Cardonia and Esso Bolivar are reported to have accused the submarine of machine-gunning lifeboats as they were lowered. The Colabee was salvaged. Wynn credits the U 126 with damaging the US freighter Halo (which was originally damaged off Cape Hatteras and later sunk by U 506 south of New Orleans on the 20th of April 1942) on this patrol of Cabo Corrientes, on the western tip of Cuba.

The theory that U 126 damaged Halo west of Cuba is unsubstantiated by the war log of the submarine. Also it would not have been geographically possible for the sub to motor from the northeast tip of Cuba to the southwest tip in the time period available to it between sinkings, which would have meant 12 hours or less each way. If U 126 damaged Halo on the eastern end of Cuba he did not catalogue it in his war patrol diary, or KTB. As it was, U 126 expended all of her torpedoes, or “fish” on this patrol. (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.103, Mason, UboatArchive.net)

Bauer was promoted from Kapitänleutnant to Korvettenkapitän in the last weeks of the war. During his stunning patrol of the Bahamas he was awarded the Knights Cross and this was embellished in April 1945 with the War Merit Cross First Class with Swords. He began his naval career in the Crew of 1933, and after a stint on the cruiser Konigsberg joined the U-boat arm in 1938. After successes in the Caribbean and West Africa he became a training officer and survived the war, rejoining the navy in 1955 and living until 1988 at age 74 as a Kapitän Zur See.
Source: http://uboatsbahamas.blogspot.com/2013/ ... nk-10.html
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Marcus
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Re: Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Post by Marcus » 14 Jan 2015 20:31

This thread was featured on our Facebook page recently.

/Marcus

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First Bordfunker Ritterkreuzträger

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 22 Jan 2015 19:01

Hauptmann Manfred Meurer (right) and his radar operator Oberfeldwebel Gerhard Scheibe (KIA 21-22 January 1944). Scheibe was the first radar operator in the Luftwaffe who won the Knight`s Cross in 10 December 1943. Meurer itself was an amazing pilot, achieving his first victory on his first combat mission on the night of 26-27 March 1942...

Source:
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/meurer.html
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Ste
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Re: Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Post by Ste » 17 Feb 2015 21:03

Another one who died on his birthday:

Adam Riedmüller 10.11.1919 - 10.11.1986

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The Most Successful Bomber Pilot

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 18 Feb 2015 17:46

Werner Baumbach is the first Kampfflieger (bomber pilot) who received Schwerter zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub (17 August 1942, Schwerter #16). He was also the most successful bomber pilot specialized in anti-shipping operation with over 300,000 tons of shipping sunk...


Source:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Baumbach
http://www.aircrewremembered.com/Kracke ... %2C+werner
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Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 12 Apr 2015 07:51

Gentlemen,

Reinhard Hardegen,famous U-boat commander had turned 102 years of age last month! I don't know if there are any former WWII submarine commanders of any nation that is 100 or over years of age.

Sincerely,
Edward L. Hsiao

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The First Battalion Commander to be Killed in Barbarossa

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 14 Feb 2016 21:21

Hauptmann Robert Praxa, the commander of III./ Infanterie-Regiment 135 / 45. Infanterie-Division at the start of the Battle for Brest Fortress (22 June 1941). Likely, he was the first battalion commander in the Wehrmacht to be killed in the Operation Barbarossa. Praxa had planned the attack for the fortress in detail, building sand tables based on aerial photographs and maps from the days of the occupation in 1939; the battalion's task was to conquer the western island and the citadel. When the artillery barrages began the assault waves were some 30 meters away from the river Bug, at 03:19 hours the first wave, led by Leutnant Wieltsch rushed into the river dragging their boats and crossed the stream, the second wave will followed at 03:23 hours. The German soldiers stormed the fort and clashed heavily against around 300 defenders mostly from the detachment of border guards and school units, after overcoming the resistance the Germans broke through the Terespol gate and entered the citadel, taking the officers' mess (the old church) and the mess of the 84 Rifle Regiment, but then the assault stalled. III./IR 135 was pinned down in the vicinity of the church and partly surrounded by Russians. Reinforcements attempting to follow up through the West Island were slowed to crawling pace, picking their way forward with extreme difficulty. Commanders were being struck down by snipers with depressing rapidity. Hauptmann Praxa and his artillery battery commander, Hauptmann Krats, were killed at 04:45 hours attempting to coordinate the move forward. Later on, Major Oeltze, commanding I./IR 135 trying to break into the citadel from the eastern side, was struck down alongside his artillery forward observer Leutnant Zenneck. The advance was steadily denuded of its leadership.
Source : Book "The Siege of Brest 1941: A Legend of Red Army Resistance on the Eastern Front" by Rotislav Aliev
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Klingsor
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Re: Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Post by Klingsor » 18 Mar 2016 10:42

Edward L. Hsiao wrote:Gentlemen,
Reinhard Hardegen,famous U-boat commander had turned 102 years of age last month! I don't know if there are any former WWII submarine commanders of any nation that is 100 or over years of age
He is turning 103 today. :)

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The First Divisional Commander who Received Ritterkreuz

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 02 Sep 2016 02:59

On September 11, 1939 Hitler made a visit to the front in the area of Tomaszów, southeast of Łódź (Poland) by plane and car. Afterwards he went back to Illnau. On September 13, 1939 AH left Illnau to go to Łódź by plane and car. In the afternoon he went to Gogolin, where his Sonderzug (special train) was. There he paid a visit to Generalleutnant Kurt von Briesen (Kommandeur 30. Infanterie-Division). Wilhelm Keitel recalled: "The fourth occasion was a visit to my friend General von Briesen (30. Infanterie-Division) who had been in the middle of the weakly-defended flank of Blaskowitz's army and had, with just his one division, beaten back a mass break-out attempt by a cut-off Polish army in a bitter struggle against enormous odds. Only the Führer's authority had sufficed to get us through to this headquarters position, well within range of the enemy's guns. In a schoolroom von Briesen, whose left forearm had been shot away in the battle, outlined to him the developing fight his division had put up during the hard and bloody days of the battle. Asked about his injury, he confessed he had led his last reserve battalion into action himself. As we made our way back from the command post, which was inaccessible except on foot, Hitler said to me: That is a real Prussian general of the Royal school. You can’t have enough soldiers like him. He’s a man after my own heart. Before today is over I want him to be the first divisional commander to get the Knight's Cross. He has saved Blaskowitz's army by his gallantry and drive.."
Von Briesen received his Ritterkreuz in 27 October 1939.
Source :
Book "Der Große Deutsche Feldzug gegen Polen" by Heinrich Hoffmann
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... tler+front
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Ste
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Re: Youngest, Oldest, The First, The Most, and Other Records

Post by Ste » 12 Feb 2017 11:36

Ste wrote:Another one who died on his birthday:
Adam Riedmüller 10.11.1919 - 10.11.1986
Also Werner Weihrauch 22.8.1916 - 22.8.1999

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The First Heer NCO to Receive Ritterkreuz

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 08 Oct 2017 08:17

Ste wrote:SS-Hauptscharführer Ludwig Kepplinger was the first SS-NCO awarded with the RK on 4.9.1940.
SS-Sturmmann Fritz Christen was the first SS enlisted man awarded with the RK on 20.10.1941.
Gefreiter Hubert Brinkforth was the first enlisted man awarded with the RK on 7.3.1941
On behalf of der Führer Adolf Hitler, SA-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Brückner (Chefadjutant Führer und Reichskanzler) awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes to Oberfeldwebel Josef Portsteffen (Stoßtruppführer 1./Pionier-Bataillon 51 [mot.]/X. AK/18. Armee/ Heeresgruppe B). Watching from behind are, from left to right: SS-Gruppenführer Julius Schaub (Persönlicher Adjutant des Führers und Reichskanzlers) and SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Karl Wolff (Verbindungsoffizier zischen dem Reichsführer-SS und dem Führerhauptquartier). Just after the German Fallschirmjäger attacked and captured the Belgian Fort Eben-Emael, the first land forces of the Wehrmacht from Pionier-Bataillon 51 arrived. Portsteffen was the first to fight in a dinghy under fire via the Albert-Kanal to reach the paratroopers position. For a couple of hours, there were hard battles for the seizure of the Canal. For his bravery, Portsteffen received the Ritterkreuz at Führerhauptquartier Felsennest in 21 May 1940. He was the first NCO from the Army to receive such a prestigious award!
Source : https://ritterkreuztraeger.blogspot.co. ... josef.html
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Longest Serving Gruppenkommandeur

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Oct 2017 15:54

Major Walter Ehle was one of the longest serving Gruppenkommandeure in the Luftwaffe, leading II.Gruppe / Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) from 6 October 1940 until his death in 17 November 1943. He was succeeded by Oberstleutnant Eckart–Wilhelm von Bonin
Sources:
http://das-ritterkreuz.de/index_search_ ... hword=ehle
https://ww2gravestone.com/people/edward ... anilaus-2/
http://www.ww2.dk/air/njagd/njg1.htm
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The First Recorded Night Victory

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Oct 2017 01:15

Oberfeldwebel Paul Gildner achieved one of the first recorded night victories of the war after he shot down a British Hampden bomber with his Messerschmitt Bf 110 on the night of 2/3 September 1940, his first night victory.

Source:
http://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-110/NJG1/ ... G1-01.html
https://ww2gravestone.com/people/gildner-paul/
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The Only Rittmeister Awarded with Ritterkreuz in 1940

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Oct 2017 08:11

Rittmeister Horst Niemack (Kommandeur Aufklärungs-Abteilung 5 / 5.Infanterie-Division) distinguished himself in the campaign in the West in 1940, where his battalion formed the nucleus of the division's advance guard. He was among the first across the Meuse, and his forces raced ahead through enemy resistance across the Aisne and as far as the Marne. He led from the front and was personally credited with knocking out enemy vehicles. Along the Marne, Niemack's battalion was credited with cutting off the retreat for large enemy elements. Acting on his own initiative, Niemack advanced along the Marne at Damery, a decision that ultimately saw him awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 13 July 1940, the only Rittmeister in the German Army to be so honored in the 1940 fighting in France.

Source:
Book "Elite Panzer Strike Force: Germany's Panzer Lehr Division in World War II" by Franz Kurowski
http://www.gettyimages.com/license/545922985
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Another Longevity

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 29 Oct 2017 23:53

Eichenlaubträger Johann Schwerdfeger (24 November 1914 - 29 December 2015) : 101 years and 1 month

Additional info: From his marriage with Maria Stolz, Schwerdfeger blessed with 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. He still worked at his own joinery until the age of 88!

Source: http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Schwerdfeger,_Johann
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