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Bernhard Rogge
File:Bernhard Rogge.jpg
Bernhard Rogge
Born (1899-11-04)4 November 1899
Died 29 June 1982(1982-06-29) (aged 82)
Place of birth Schleswig
Place of death Reinbek
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Naval Ensign of Germany.svg West German Navy
Years of service 1915–1962
Rank Vizeadmiral
Unit SMS Freya
SMS Moltke
SMS Stralsund
SMS Pillau
Light cruiser Amazone
SMS Schleswig-Holstein
SSS Niobe
Commands held SSS Niobe (in deputize)
SSS Gorch Fock
SSS Albert Leo Schlageter
Auxiliary cruiser Atlantis
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Great Cross of Merit

Bernhard Rogge (4 November 1899 – 29 June 1982) was a Captain (German language: Kapitän zur See) of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider.

He was awarded a Japanese ornate Samurai sword and the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions as the commander of the Hilfskreuzer (auxiliary cruiser) Atlantis (Schiff 16).

Rogge eventually became a Vizeadmiral (vice-admiral—equivalent to a two star admiral during World War II) by the end of World War II, and, when the West German Bundesmarine was established after the war, returned to service as a Konteradmiral (rear-admiral—a two star admiral).

Rogge also was one of the few German officers of flag rank who was not arrested by the Allies after the war. This was due to the way he had exercised his command of Atlantis.

Early life

Rogge was born in Schleswig, the son of a Lutheran minister, and was himself devoutly religious.[1]

Rogge was one of many German officers who were forced to apply for a German Blood Certificate, that would allow their racial background to be overlooked (he had a Jewish grandparent).[2]



The skipper of the British vessel, City of Baghdad, which the Atlantis sank in July 1941, stated, "His treatment of prisoners left respect, instead of hatred". The Captain of the City of Baghdad, J. Armstrong White, later wrote the foreword to Atlantis, the Story of a German Surface Raider, written by U. Mohr & A. V. Sellwood.

Admiral Karl Dönitz, who was prosecuted for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials, cited his own support of Rogge in an effort to clear himself of the charge of being antisemitic.[3]

Rogge confirmed the death sentence of the 21 year old sailor Johann Christian Süss. Süss was sentenced to death on 10 May 1945, one day after the German capitulation, for "undermining the discipline" and "disruptive speeches" based on paragraph 5 numeral 2 of the Kriegssonderstrafrechtsverordnung (KSSVO—Special War Criminal Regulation). Süss was executed by firing squad on 11 May 1945.

Military career

  • 1915 — joins the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) as an ensign
  • After World War I — serves on various cruisers
  • Mid-1930s to 1939 — commander of the German Navy's sail training ship SSS Albert Leo Schlageter
  • September 1939 — assigned to the Hilfskreuzer Atlantis
    • Mid-December 1939 — the Atlantis is formally commissioned
    • 31 March 1940 — the Atlantis sets out to sea
    • 22 November 1941 — the Atlantis is sunk by HMS Devonshire
  • After World War II — discharged
  • 1 June 1957 — enters the post-World War II West German Bundesmarine with the rank of Konteradmiral
    • 1 June 1957 – 29 September 1957 — delegated with the Command of Military Area Command I
    • 30 September 1957 – 31 March 1962 — Commander of Military Area Command I
    • 15 April 1958 – 31 March 1962 — at the same time, NATO Commander of Land Forces in Schleswig-Holstein (COMLAND-SCHLESWIG)
  • 31 March 1962 — retires from the German Bundesmarine as a Konteradmiral



Rogge and the cruise of Atlantis were depicted in the 1960 film Sotto dieci bandiere (Under Ten Flags) starring Van Heflin and Charles Laughton.


  1. [1]
  2. Kansas Press
  3. Leon Goldensohn. The Nuremberg Interviews. Vintage Books. New York. 2004. ISBN 1-4000-3043-9.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 362.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 56.
  • Dörr, Manfred (1996). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 2:L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2497-2.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Huß, Jürgen & Viohl, Armin (2003). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 (in German). VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 3-925480-79-X.
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo: Helden der Wehrmacht – Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2004. ISBN 3-924309-53-1.

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