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Georg Lassen
File:Georg Lassen.jpg
Born (1915-05-12)12 May 1915
Died 18 January 2012(2012-01-18) (aged 96)[1]
Place of birth Berlin-Steglitz, German Empire
Place of death Mallorca, Spain
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit 2nd U-boat Flotilla
24th U-boat Flotilla
4th U-boat Flotilla
10th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-29, 3 January 1941 – 14 September 1941 (Training)
U-160, 16 October 1941 – 14 June 1943 (4 patrols)
1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision July 1944–May 1945
Battles/wars Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945)
Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Lieutenant Commander Georg Lassen (May 12, 1915 – January 18, 2012)[1] was a German U-boat captain who served with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was a Watchkeeping Officer on U-29 at the outbreak of the war and later the skipper of the U-160 and winner of the Iron Cross. He sank 26 ships for a total of 156,082 gross register tons (GRT) during 4 patrols, leading to a remarkable average of 39,020 GRT per patrol. His total tonnage made him the 10th most successful U-boat ace of the war.


Lassen was born in Steglitz, a Berlin suburb. He joined the Kriegsmarine as Seekadett on 25 September 1935. When World War II started, Lassen was an Oberleutnant zur See and serving as I. Wach-Offizier (1st Watch Officer) on U-29 under Kapitänleutnant Otto Schuhart. While serving with U-29 Schuhart sank 13 ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. On 3 January 1941 Lassen assumed command over the U-29, which served as a training boat in 24th U-boat Flotilla by this time. He ended his command on 14 September.

On 16 October 1941 Lassen commissioned the Type IXC U-Uboat U-160. Lassen spent about four months training the crew and testing the boat with 4th U-boat Flotilla, before U-160 became operational and was transferred to 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 March 1942.

U-160 left on her first patrol in early March 1942. During this patrol Lassen sank or damaged six ships for a total of 43,560 GRT. On 10 August 1942 he received the Ritterkreuz. On 1 September he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant. On his fourth and final patrol to South African waters in March 1943 he sank or damaged six ships in less than 5 hours for a total of 41,076 GRT during the night between 3 March and 4 March. On 8 March 1943 he sank the SS James B. Stephens and on 9 March he received a radio message awarding him with the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves). On 14 June 1943 Lassen was transferred away from U-160 to take up duties as a tactics instructor and commander of the "Offiziers-kompanie" in 1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision, a training unit for future U-boat commanders. On 1 April 1945 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän.


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Tuesday, 14 April 1942 Bei den Erfolgen im Atlantik zeichneten sich die Unterseeboote des Kapitänleutnants Hardegen und des Oberleutnants zur See Lassen besonders aus.[5] In the successes in the Atlantic, the submarines of Kapitänleutnant Hardegen and of Oberleutnant zur See Lassen particularly distinguished themselves.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography of Georg Lassen
  2. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 234.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 235.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 495.
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 86.
  • Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • 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) (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. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

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