Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen

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Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen
File:Hans-Dietrich von Tiesenhausen.jpg
Born (1913-02-22)22 February 1913
Riga, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
Died 17 August 2000(2000-08-17) (aged 87)
Vancouver, Canada
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Commands held U-331
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations Gerhard von Tiesenhausen (father)
Other work joiner, interior architect

Hans-Diedrich Freiherr[Note 1] von Tiesenhausen (22 February 1913 – 17 August 2000) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Early lfe

Von Tiesenhausen was born on 22 February 1913 in Riga, at the time part of the Governorate of Livonia of the Russian Empire, as a member of the Baltic German nobility family Tiesenhausen and son of Gerhard von Tiesenhausen.

Naval career

He joined the Reichsmarine[Note 2] on 8 April 1934. After undergoing basic military training in the 2nd department (II. Abteilung) of the ship core division (Schiffsstammdivision) of the Baltic Sea in Stralsund, he was transferred to the windjammer training ship Gorch Fock on 15 June 1934, attaining the rank of Seekadett (Naval Cadet) on 26 September 1934.

Promoted Leutnant zur See, von Tiesenhausen served on the light cruiser Nürnberg, taking part in security patrols in Spanish waters in 1937. He then had served with the 5th Marine Artillery Battalion in Pillau.

U-Boats

Promoted to Oberleutnant zur See on 1 April 1939, he reported for submarine training in October 1939, after the outbreak of World War 2. On graduation, from December 1939 he served as Second Watch Officer on U-23, commanded by Otto Kretschmer. During his tour on U-23, he completed three successful patrols during which the boat sank five ships for a total of 27,000 tons, as well as one destroyer. His fourth patrol on U-23 was under the command of Commander Beduhn, after which he was posted as First Watch Officer to the new U-93, commanded by Klaus Korth.

U-331

HMS Barham exploding, 25 November 1941.

On 31 March 1941, he was given command a of new Type VIIC boat, U-331. The boat left Kiel on 2 July 1941, patrolling out into the mid-Atlantic Ocean as far the Azores, before arriving at Lorient, France on 19 August.[1]

After sailing from Lorient on 24 September, and making the difficult passage into the Mediterranean Sea, on 10 October the boat engaged three British tank landing craft off Sidi Barrani, Egypt. Inflicting slight damage with her deck gun, the attack was broken off after being hit by 40 mm shells, which wounded two men (one fatally) and damaged the conning tower. The following day the boat arrived at Salamis, Greece.[2]

Departing Salamis on 12 November 1941, the boat was tasked with landing seven men of the Lehrregiment Brandenburg[3] east of Ras Gibeisa, on a mission to blow up a railway line near the Egyptian coast.[4] After completing this important task, von Tiesenhausen was given free movement to patrol and attack Allied targets along the Egyptian coast. On 25 November 1941, north of Sidi Barrani, U-331 fired three torpedoes into the British Queen Elizabeth-class battleship HMS Barham. As the ship rolled over, her magazines exploded and she quickly sank[5] with the loss of 861 men, while 395 were rescued.[6] U-331 returned to Salamis on 3 December, where von Tiesenhausen was promoted to Kapitänleutnant and awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[7]

Her next five patrols passed without incident or further sinkings, as she patrolled from Salamis to La Spezia, Italy. On her tenth patrol, U-331 was sunk on 17 November 1942, north of Algiers, during "Operation Torch". She had been badly damaged after being attacked by a Lockheed Hudson bomber and signalled surrender, but was attacked and sunk by a Fairey Albacore torpedo-bomber from the British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable. Of her crew 32 were killed and 17 survived, including von Tiesenhausen.

Later life

Now a prisoner of war, von Tiesenhausen was initially moved to England, he then spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Canada, until his release in 1947.

Returning to a worn-torn West Germany, he worked as a joiner, but in late 1951 he returned to Vancouver, Canada,[8] where he became an interior architect and a nature photographer.

Awards

Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 26 November 1941 Wie bereits durch Sondermeldung bekannt gegeben, hat die britische Kriegsmarine in den letzten Tagen wieder schwere Verluste erlitten. Außer der im gestrigen Wehrmachtbericht gemeldeten Beschädigung eines größeren britischen Kriegsschiffes durch Lufttorpedotreffer hat vor Sollum ein deutsches Unterseeboot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants Freiherr von Tiesenhausen ein britisches Schlachtschiff angegriffen und ihm einen schweren Torpedotreffer beigebracht.[13] As previously announced by special bulletin, the British Navy in the past few days has again suffered heavy losses. In addition to the damage inflicted to a major British warship by aerial torpedo hits, which was announced in yesterday's armed forces report, a German submarine under the command of Lieutenant Freiherr von Tiesenhausen attacked a British battleship near Sollum and imposed a heavy torpedo hit.
Tuesday, 27 January 1942 Wie im Wehrmachtbericht vom 26. November gemeldet wurde, griff ein deutsches Unterseeboot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants Freiherr von Tiesenhausen vor Sollum ein britisches Schlachtschiff an und beschädigte es schwer durch Torpedotreffer. Wie inzwischen festgestellt werden konnte, handelt es sich um das Schlachtschiff "BARHAM", das nach drei Torpedotreffern gesunken ist.[14] As announced in the Army report of 26 November attacked a German submarine, under the leadership of Lieutenant Freiherr von Tiesenhausen before Sollum a British battleship and damaged it severely with torpedo hits. As has been determined by now, it is the battleship "BARHAM", which sank after three torpedo hits.

Combat career

Date U-boat Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
10 October 1941 U-331 HMS TLC-18  Royal Navy 372 Damaged
25 November 1941 U-331 HMS Barham  Royal Navy 31,100 Sunk
9 November 1942 U-331 USS Leedstown  United States Navy 9,135 Sunk

Notes

  1. Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a former title (translated as Baron), which is now legally a part of the last name. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.
  2. The German Reichsmarine which was renamed the Kriegsmarine on 1 June 1935.

References

Citations

  1. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-331 from 2 Jul 1941 to 19 Aug 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-331 from 24 Sep 1941 to 11 Oct 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Report on the interrogation of survivors from U-331". www.uboatarchive.net. Retrieved 2010-01-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-331 from 12 Nov 1941 to 3 Dec 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Barham (04) (Battleship)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Jason Stevenson. "The Barham Conspiracy". www.webatomics.com. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Kapitänleutnant Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 190.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 191.
  11. Scherzer 2007, p. 745.
  12. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 423.
  13. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 732.
  14. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, pp. 20–21.

Bibliography

  • 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 978-3-8132-0515-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Williamson, Gordon & Bujeiro, Ramiro (2005). Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1941-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-642-9.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 14 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2014.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>