Skip to comments.The Last World War II U-Boat Commander Has Died at 105
Posted on 07/05/2018 10:56:27 AM PDT by Gamecock
Four months after the Pearl Harbor attacks, Kapitanleutnant Reinhard Hardegen decided that Americans should see for themselves what war with Adolf Hitler's Germany was going to look like.
He began with Florida sunbathers. On April 11, 1942, Hardegen's submarine, U-123, torpedoed the tanker SS Gulfamerica off Jacksonville. He maneuvered U-123 around the flaming wreck and surfaced between the SS Gulfamerica and the beach. He sank it with U-123's deck gun.
Hardegen later wrote in his log: "All the vacationers had seen an impressive special performance at [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt's expense. A burning tanker, artillery fire, the silhouette of a U-boat -- how often had that been seen in America?"
Hardegen was one of the few "Unterseeboot" commanders to survive the war. Most did not, as the U.S. turned to the convoy system and sonar to devastate the "wolfpacks" and keep open the supply lines to Britain.
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
Even though he was on the wrong side I’m still sad to see an actual man pass away.
As a former submariner who lives in Jacksonville today, I have a lot of respect for this guy. Glad he had a long, successful life after the war. Many WW2 submariners on both sides did not.
It’s remarkable he even survived the war.
Screw him. He was part of a nation that sought to dominate the world. Have a thought to all those he sent to the bottom.
War has many bad aspects. One of them is the spectacle of good, honest, honorable men killing each other ... often on behalf of the most vile members of society.
Roosevelt’s expense? HE didn’t pay for the tanker!
Toward the end of the war, U-Boat crews had an almost 100% mortality rate.
They were brave beyond my comprehension.
U-Boats were a reaction to the Brits’ naval blockade of Germany, a lot easier to choke off Germany from shipping than Britain.
[ War has many bad aspects. One of them is the spectacle of good, honest, honorable men killing each other ... often on behalf of the most vile members of society. ]
I would imagine a lot of those who stayed in the military under Obama can now empathize.
[ Toward the end of the war, U-Boat crews had an almost 100% mortality rate.
They were brave beyond my comprehension. ]
I still wonder about those which supposedly went to Argentina or Antarctica....
AS another former submariner who lives in Jacksonville today, I have near ZERO respect for this guy.
He apparently embraced the NAZI regime and killed innocent people. May he rot in He$$.
Full circle my parents were kids during Musolini.
I am only 56 but can tell their stories of when the german soldiers came to their homes....
75% of all German sub crews died in the war. The highest casualty rate in all German forces. I havent heard of anything with a higher rate except oddball things like Japanese Kamikaze.
As for Captain Hardegen ... He deserved a better fate than serving in the Kriegsmarine under Hitler. Too bad he didn't follow the lead of Captain Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp.
Now that is Freeper Funny!
Outstanding book. I read it in college many years ago.
Interesting bit of trivia: They often had American currency on board and when they weren't sinking ships off the coast, they used to sneak small parties ashore to go grocery shopping.
Don’t forget this one;
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