Hintze, Fritz Julius, born 13-01-1901, was appointed captain of the German battleship “Scharnhorst” on 14-10-1943. The former commander, Friedrich Hüffmaier who died age 73, on 13-01-1972 in Münster, welcomed on the “Tirpitz” his successor, Captain Fritz Julius Hintze, forty-two years old, born and grown in Bad Bevensen the Lüneburg Heath (Lüneburger Heide) situated south of Hamburg. The new commander of the battleship was a true son of a miller, but as a young boy he had only one wish, he wanted to be a seaman and naval officer. In autumn 1918, he was admitted to the imperial academy cadets, but World War I will soon be over. Germany lost it and had to be reconciled with the humiliating peace treaty. Professional officers had no future. As Hintze was seventeen he enrolled in banking. “But life on the mainland, it is not amused. In 1920, at the earliest available opportunity, applied for admission to the new German navy, which was still in its infancy. Be sure to want to realize your childhood dreams.. ” In autumn 1918, he was admitted to the imperial academy cadets, but World War I will soon be over. Germany lost it and had to be reconciled with the humiliating peace treaty. Professional officers had no future. Hintze seventeen he enrolled in banking. “But life on the mainland, it is not amused. In 1920, at the earliest available opportunity, applied for admission to the new German navy, which was still in its infancy. Be sure to want to realize your childhood dreams.. ” When Hintzego late autumn of 1942 he was promoted to commander and head of the Department for Experimental Torpedo Weapons in Eckernförde (Torpedoversuchsanstalt) north of Kiel, he had three dramatic years of his life and gained a lot of experience in handling large ships, surface ships located under combat conditions. In the autumn of 1943, became the new commander of the battleship “Scharnhorst”, and Hintze himself regarded this as the culmination of his childhood dreams. 26-12-193 Hintze, age 42, died along with Admiral, Erich Bey
, age 45, in the sinking of the Scharnhorst off the coast of Norway, during the Battle of the North Cape by combined ships of the British Royal Navy. During the Battle of the North Cape, the Royal Navy battleship HMS Duke of York, commander Fleet Admiral, Bruce Austin Fraser and her escorts sank the Scharnhorst. Admiral Fraser, unmarried, died at the very old age of 93, on 12-02-1981. Erich Bey served as commander of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla during the German assault on the Norwegian port of Narvik and the full invasion of Norway.
Death and burial ground of Hintze, Fritz Julius.
Captain Fritz Hintze and Admiral Bey take leave of each other with a handshake and address their men saying “If any of you get out of this alive, say hello to the folks back home, and tell them we did our duty to the last.” Bey was reported as having been seen in the water but was not rescued Only 36 men under his command were rescued and were pulled from the icy seasout of a total of 1.968 crewmen. He reportedly gave his life-vest to another sailor before jumping into the frigid North Atlantic Sea
Scharnhorst’s loss was an enormous psychological blow to the German nation. Equally important to the Allied war effort, the routes of the Murmansk convoys were now much more secure. The loss of the Scharnhorst marked the beginning of the end for the era of the big gun. In future, aircraft-carriers would dictate the outcome of major naval engagements. In the five and a half years of the war, German shipyards built 1.156 U-boats, of which 784 were lost from enemy action or other causes. Their toll of enemy shipping was 2.603 merchant ships of over 13 million tons and 175 naval vessels of all types. In terms of human lives, 28.000 German U-boat crew of the total 40.900 men recruited into the service lost their lives and 5.000 were taken prisoners of war. Some 30.000 men of the allied merchant service died, in addition to an unknown number of Allied naval personnel. When the war was ended, 156 U-boats surrendered, 221 were scuttled by their own crews and two escaped to Argentina. There is a remembrance stone on the Waldfriedhof Medingen, Bad Bevensen the same cemetery where Oskar von Hindenburg