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Hans-Georg Hess
File:Hans-Georg Hess.jpg
Born (1923-05-06)6 May 1923
Died 29 March 2008(2008-03-29) (aged 84)
Place of birth Berlin
Place of death Wunstorf-Idensen
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1940–1945
Rank Oberleutnant zur See
Unit 3rd U-boat Flotilla
29th U-boat Flotilla
13th U-boat Flotilla
14th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-995, 10 October 1944 – 8 May 1945
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans-Georg Hess (6 May 1923 – 29 March 2008) was a German U-boat commander of the Second World War. He commanded a single U-boat from September 1944 until the end of the war, and sank five ships for a total of 2,298 GRT, and caused another to be declared a total loss for 7,176 GRT. For this he received the Knight's Cross.


U-995 Type VIIC at the Laboe Naval Memorial

Hess joined the Kriegsmarine as a volunteer in April 1940, when he was 16. He was initially assigned to the surface fleet, where he spent two years on minesweepers before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1942. He was first assigned to U-466 under the command of Captain Gerhard Thäter and was with her for her last five patrols, which were mostly spent in the North Atlantic. She broke into the Mediterranean during her last patrol, but was caught in Toulon during the Allied invasion of the south of France and was scuttled on 19 August 1944. Hess returned to Germany, having been promoted to Oberleutnant zur See on 1 March 1944.

He was appointed to command U-995 and took command on 10 October 1944. He eventually carried out a total of five patrols with her in the Arctic Sea, sinking a number of Soviet ships and causing one American one to be written off. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 11 February 1945. With the end of the war, U-995 surrendered on 8 May 1945 in Trondheim. Hess was imprisoned by the Norwegians, eventually spending a year in captivity.

After his release he returned to Germany, eventually becoming a lawyer in Hannover. He died on 20 March 2008 in Wunstorf-Idensen at the age of 84, and is buried at the village cemetery.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As a U-boat commander of U-995 Hans-Georg Hess is credited with the sinking of 3 merchant ships for a total of 1,560 gross register tons (GRT), an auxiliary warships of 633 GRT, a warship of 105 GRT and severely damaging a ship which was later declared a total loss of 7,176 GRT.

Date Name of ship Flag Tonnage Fate
5 December 1944 Proletarij  Soviet Union 1,123 sunk at 69°57′N 32°53′E / 69.95°N 32.883°E / 69.95; 32.883 (Proletarij (ship))
21 December 1944 Reshitel'nyj  Soviet Union 20 sunk at 68°44′N 37°49′E / 68.733°N 37.817°E / 68.733; 37.817 (Reshitel'nyj (ship))
26 December 1944 RT-52 Som  Soviet Union 417 sunk at 68°41′N 38°58′E / 68.683°N 38.967°E / 68.683; 38.967 (RT-52 Som (ship))
29 December 1944 T-883 (No 37)  Soviet Union 633 sunk at 68°41′N 38°58′E / 68.683°N 38.967°E / 68.683; 38.967 (T-883 (No 37) (ship))
2 March 1945 BO-224  Soviet Union 105 sunk at 69°21′N 33°38′E / 69.35°N 33.633°E / 69.35; 33.633 (BO-224 (ship))
20 March 1945 Horace Bushnell United States 7,176 damaged at 69°23′N 35°17′E / 69.383°N 35.283°E / 69.383; 35.283 (Horace Bushnell (ship))



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 504.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 505.
  3. Scherzer 2007, p. 387.
  • 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. 

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