Hans-Günther Lange

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Hans-Günther Lange
Born (1916-09-28)28 September 1916
Died 3 April 2014(2014-04-03) (aged 97)[1]
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1937–45
Rank Kapitänleutnant (Kriegsmarine)
Fregattenkapitän (Bundesmarine)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
torpedo boat Jaguar
Commands held U-711
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Hans-Günther Lange (28 September 1916 – 3 April 2014)[2] was a German naval officer who was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later served with the Bundesmarine. He was also a recipient of the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He was born in Hanover.


Lange served as 1st Watch Officer on U-431 from 15 December 1941 to 30 June 1942. He went on three war patrols on U-431 under the command of Wilhelm Dommes.

U-711 under the command of Lange attacked and sank the HMS Bluebell on 17 February 1945. On 4 May 1945 U-711 was damaged in Operation Judgement, an attack by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy at Kilbotn aimed at the depot ships Black Watch and Senja, and sank after attempts by Lange and seven other crew members to keep it afloat. The rest of the crew, who had gone on board Black Watch, did not survive. Only a few hours earlier Lange had received the signal from Germany ordering all U-boats to cease attacks on allied shipping with immediate effect. He was interviewed in 2008 at the age of 92 for a book published in Norway which also contains information from Norwegian and British eyewitnesses.[3] The book also reveals that Lange took U-711 on patrols far along the Arctic coast of North Russia, past Novaya Zemlya and into the Kara Sea. Isachsen's book describes how Lange was awarded the Oak Leaf Clasp by his commanding officer, who had no spares and presented Lange with one of his own.

The wreck of U-711 was filmed in 2007.[4]

In October 1957 Lange joined the Bundesmarine. Here he took part in the construction of a new German U-boat force within NATO. For two years he commanded the 1. Ubootgeschwader (1st Submarine Squadron) and in January 1964 became commander of the entire U-boat force. Later he held several staff positions, ending his second naval career in 1972 as staff officer in the Marinedivision der Nordsee (naval forces in the North Sea).



  1. The sequential numbers greater than 843 for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves are unofficial and were assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) and are therefore denoted in parentheses.[10]



  1. http://www.kn-trauer.de/37952222-traueranzeige-hans-gunther-lange
  2. Hans-Günther Lange
  3. Isachsen 2009, p.[page needed]
  4. Film of U-711 at Kilbotn on YouTube
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 472.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thomas 1998, p. 6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 473.
  8. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 268.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 492.
  10. Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 102–111.


  • 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). 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>
  • Isachsen, Harald (2009). Operation Judgement : angrepet på "Black Watch" Kilbotn 4. mai 1945 (in Norwegian). Harstad: Harald Isachsen. ISBN 978-82-998024-2-0.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>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<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>
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of the 1. Ubootgeschwader of the Bundesmarine
1 October 1961 – 30 September 1963
Succeeded by
Fregattenkapitän Walter Ehrhardt