Bartels, Hans.

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germanyKapitän zur See

Bartels, Hans, born 05-07-1910 in Frankfurt,  was a Korvettenkapitän  with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross . The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

   Bartels here with General der Infantry Hermann Tittel,

Tittel, Hermann Karl Richard Eugen    Commanding General of the LXX Army Corps.

Hans Bartels joined the Reichsmarine  on 01-04-1931 and had his training at the Segelschulschiff, sailingship Niobe . With the Light Cruiser Karlsruhe he made a foreign trip from 30-11-1931 until  08-12–1932 under Kapitän zur See Erwin Wassner .. Wassner died young age 50 on 24-08-1937. Bartels was promoted to Fahnrich zur See on 01-01-1933 and from 30-09-1934 transferred  to the Line Ship Schlesien . On 01-04-1935 promoted to Leutnant zur See. Bartels was appointed as officer on the Minesweeper M 89. and on 01-10-1936 n the M 146. On 01-01-1937 promoted to Oberleutnant zur See and appointed to commander of the minesweeper M 1 on 05-03-1939.

Germany attacked Poland and as a ‘reason’ for the war, the Nazis came up with a dirty trick on August 31. A staged German attack on the (German) radio station in Gleiwitz  near the Polish border. The attack was carried out by approximately 150 German soldiers. SS men allegedly staged an attack on a German border town and a radio station. After this attack they would send a triumphant radio message in Polish. As ‘proof’, the SS would shoot dead a few drugged prisoners from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp dressed in Polish uniforms: the first cynical victims of the Second World War. Shortly before, Hitler and Stalin had agreed to conquer and destroy Poland together. In September 1939, Poland would be crushed and ‘decapitated’.

During the Poland invasion his ship operated in the Danziger Bucht  from September until October 1939. As early as 24-08-1939, M 1 and the other five boats of the First Minnesuch flotilla had fetched the 230 men of the Marinestossgruppegruppe (MSK) in Memel, and they were still on the same evening at the height of Stolpmünde on the high sea Of Schleswig-Holstein; The MSK occupied the Westerplatte on 01-09-1939.  Even before the end of the war against Poland, the Bartels, who had been promoted to captain lieutenant on 01-10-1939, was ordered to move to the North Sea with M 1. In the early morning hours of 24-02-1940, he dived in the area of the Doggerbank, where the four Danish Eskjerg Ejjam (E 92), Gerlis (E 456), Merkator (E 348) and Polaris (E 504) By rams. Bartels reported to his superiors that “for military reasons” no one was saved by the crew; 16 fishermen from neutral Denmark lost their lives.

 For his achievements in securing the West Norwegian fjords, Bartels was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 11-05-1940, and the Knight Cross five days later. On 07-12-1942, Bartels was placed as the first officer on the destroyer Z 24, with whom he was deployed in the North Sea. On 12-08-1943, he became commander of the torpedo boat T14. On this occasion he took part in the disarmament of the Danish navy on 29-08-1943. On 01-10-1943, he was promoted to the corvette captain.

He was transferred to command the Kleinkampfverbände (small combat units) and after a training course was appointed leader of the Kleinkampf-Flottille 261 (261st Biber flotilla), operating the midget submarine Biber, in August 1944.

In March 1945, Bartels commanded a special command post (“Puma”)   of combat swimmers of the war armies of the Kriegsmarine (naval units) and frogmen of the “SS-Jagdverbund Donau” , which was to break the bridge of Remagen

 , captured by American troops on 07-03-1945. The bridge was capured by the 9th Armored Division  Major General John William Leonard of the U.S First Army  under command of General Courtney Hicks Hodges.  The first attempt on March 12 failed because the men were discovered by searchlights and then taken under fire. Since two pontoon bridges had already been put into operation on 11-03-1945, Bartels considered a second attempt to be meaningless, and Admiral Hellmuth Heye,

head of the K-units, then rejected the use of combat swimmers. The bridge finally collapsed on 17 March and 24 Americans of the 276th Engineer Battalion  lost their life, when they were repairing a truss which had been damaged when the Germans attempted to blow up the bridge…

Death and burial ground of Bartels, Hans.

   After the war ended Bartels was retained in British custody and was assigned to the German Mine Sweeping Administration, where he was killed in an accident near Rendsberg on 31-07-1945 and buried on the Garnisonsfriedhof of Rendsberg.

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