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Ernst Bauer
File:Ernst Bauer.jpg
Nickname "Dwarf"
Born (1914-01-03)3 January 1914
Died 12 March 1988(1988-03-12) (aged 74)
Place of birth Fürth
Place of death Westerland auf Sylt
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1933–1945, 1955–1972
Rank Korvettenkapitän (Kriegsmarine)
Kapitän zur See (Bundesmarine)
Commands held U-120
27th U-boat Flotilla
26th U-boat Flotilla
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ernst Bauer (3 January 1914 – 12 March 1988) was a German U-boat commander of World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-120 and U-126, sinking 25 ships on five patrols, for a total of 118,560 long tons (120,460 t) of Allied shipping, to stand 22nd on the list of highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.[1] He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Bauer joined the Reichsmarine on 23 September 1933. He served on the light cruiser Königsberg before transferring to the U-boat arm in 1938. He served as watch officer on U-20 and U-37 before commanding the training U-boat U-120 from April 1940. On 1 March 1941, he was given command of U-126, and conducted 5 combat patrols, sinking 25 merchant ships for a total of 118,560 long tons (120,460 t).[1]

On 22 November, Bauer was aboard the auxiliary cruiser Atlantis in the south Atlantic, when she was sunk by the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire. U-126 crash-dived, leaving her captain behind, and after Devonshire left the area, she resurfaced to pick up survivors.

From March 1943, Bauer served as training officer in 27th U-boat Flotilla based at Gotenhafen, becoming commander of the unit in October 1944. During the last month of the war, he was transferred to command of 26th U-boat Flotilla at Warnemünde.[1]


Bauer joined the Bundesmarine in 1955 and held several staff positions, before retiring in 1972 with the rank of Kapitän zur See. He died in 1988.[1]


Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 30 July 1941 In der Atlantikschlacht haben sich die Unterseeboote unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Mützelburg, Kapitänleutnant Bauer und Oberleutnant zur See Schüler besonders ausgezeichnet. [5] The submarines under the command of Captain Lieutenant Mützelburg, Captain Lieutenant Bauer and First Lieutenant at Sea Schüler have particularly distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Sunday, 15 March 1942 Bei den Operationen deutscher Unterseeboote in westindischen Gewässern hat sich das Unterseeboot unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Bauer besonders ausgezeichnet. [6] The submarine under the command of Captain Lieutenant Bauer has particularly distinguished itselves in the operations in West Indian waters.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Korvettenkapitän Ernst Bauer". Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 200.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 123.
  4. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 201.
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 628.
  6. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 57.
  • 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 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2. 
  • 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). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Erich Topp
Commander of 27th U-boat Flotilla
October 1944 – March 1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Fregattenkapitan Helmut Brümmer-Patzig
Commander of 26th U-boat Flotilla
April – May 1945
Succeeded by

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