Witte, Helmut

Date of birth:
April 6th, 1915 (Bojendorf/Sleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Date of death:
October 3rd, 2005 (Duisburg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Helmut Witte began his naval career in April 1934. Later he served on the light cruiser Köln, on the destroyer Z-22, and on several torpedo boats. In July 1940 Witte transferred to the U-boat force. After the usual training he became IWO on the newly commissioned U-107 under Kptlt. Hessler. Before he left the boat in July 1941, he had taken part in the most successful patrol of the war. He commissioned U-159 in October 1941 and operated in the waters of Panama on his second patrol. On his third patrol U-159 was a part of the wolfpack Eisbär, which operated in the waters off Capetown in September 1942. He left the boat in June 1943 and served from then until the end of the war in several staff positions. After two months in British captivity, he worked for a time as a farm hand and factory worker. Later he built up a successful civil career and in the 1960s became personnel manager of a great German industry group.
Helmut Witte sunk 23 ships for a total of 119.684 ton and damaged 1 ship for a total of 265 ton.

Promotions:
8th April 1943: Offiziersanwärter
1st July 1934: Fähnrich zur See
1st January 1937: Oberfähnrich zur See
1st April 1937: Leutnant zur See
1st April 1939: Oberleutnant zur See
1st September 1941: Kapitänleutnant
20th april 1945: Korvettenkapitän

Career:
Leichter Kreuzer Köln,
Torpedoboot Kondor / 5. Torpedobootsflottille,
Torpedoboot Tiger / 5. Torpedobootsflottille,
September 1939 - April 1940: Zerstörer Z 22 Anton Schmitt,
April 1940 - May 1940: Marineregiment Erdemenger,
1st July 1940 - 28th July 1940: U-Boot-Waffe / BdU Befehlshaber der U-Boote Org., U.W.O-Artillerielehrgang Schiffsartillerieschule, Kiel-Wik,
29th July 1940 - 30th September 1940: U-Lehrgang 1.Unterseeboots-Lehr-Division, Pillau,
1st October 1940 - 2nd November 1940: U.T.O-Lehrgang Torpedoschule, Flensburg-Mürwik,
3rd November 1940 - 24th November 1940: U.W.O-Sperrlehrgang Sperrschule, Kiel-Wik,
25th November 1940 - 21st December 1940: U.W.O-Lehrgang Marine-Nachrichtenschule, Flensburg-Mürwik,
22nd December 1940 - 27th April 1941: 1. WO U 107 [Kdt. Hessler] / 2.U-Flottille, Wilhelmshaven / Lorient,
28th July 1941 - 7th September 1941: KSL 24.U-Flottille, Trondheim,
8th September 1941 - 3rd October 1941: Baubelehrung U 159 Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG [A.G. Weser], Bremen / 6.K.L.A., Bremen,
4th October 1941 - 5th June 1943: Kommandant U 159 / 4.U-Flottille, Stettin u. 10.U-Flottille, Lorient (Commander. Completed four war patrols 257 days. Sank 2 tankers 12.285 GRT, sank 1 passenger ship 4.693 GRT, sank 2 sailing ships 2.440 GRT, sank 18 merchant ships 100.263 GRT and damaged 1 sailing ship 265 GRT. Kptlt. Helmut Witte was removed from the command and replaced by Oblt. Heinz Beckmann),
5th June 1943 - November 1943: Marine-Lazarett,
November 1943 - February 1944: Lehrgang Marineakriegskademie, Bad Homburg,
March 1944 - April 1944: Mitglied/Referent Schiffsbaukommission,
April 1944 - 8th May 1945: Admiralstabsoffizier/Vertreter Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine / 2.Seekriegsleitung,
8th May 1945: Detained after capitulation. British war captivity in P.O.W Camp,
14th July 1945: Released.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See (1st Lieutenant at Sea)
Unit:
Leuchte Kreuzer "Köln" (Licht Kruiser "Keulen")
Awarded on:
June 6th, 1939
Spanienkreuz, Bronze
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See (1st Lieutenant at Sea)
Unit:
Zerstörer Z 22 "Anton Schmitt" (Torpedobootjager Z 22 "Anton Schmitt")
Awarded on:
January 12th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See (1st Lieutenant at Sea)
Unit:
Zerstörer Z 22 "Anton Schmitt" (Torpedobootjager Z 22 "Anton Schmitt")
Awarded on:
October 19th, 1940
Zerstörer-Kriegsabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See (1st Lieutenant at Sea)
Unit:
Erste Wachoffizier U 107 / 2.Unterseebootsflottille (Eerste Wachtofficier U 107 / 2.Unterseebootsflottille)
Awarded on:
July 10th, 1941
U-boot Kriegsabzeichen (ohne Brillianten)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See (1st Lieutenant at Sea)
Unit:
Erste Wachoffizier U 107 / 2.Unterseebootsflottille (Eerste Wachtofficier U 107 / 2.Unterseebootsflottille)
Awarded on:
July 10th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Kommandant U 159 / 10.Unterseebootflottille (Bevelhebber U 159 / 10.Unterseebootflottille)
Awarded on:
October 22nd, 1942
Action:
By the time of his award of the Knight's Cross Witte had sunk 16 ships with 77681 GRT and damaged 1 ship with 265 GRT.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant
Awarded on:
April 27th, 1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant
Awarded on:
July 18th, 1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant
Awarded on:
November 24th, 1944
Kampfabzeichen der Kleinkampfmittel 1.Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant
Awarded on:
December 23rd, 1944
U-Boots-Frontspange in Bronze
Awarded on:
April 1st, 1938
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse, 4 Jahre
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 18th, 1942
Action:
The submarines under the leadership of Captain Lieutenant Mohr, Topp, Witte and von Rosenstiel and Lieutenant at Sea Ites have in the fight against the enemy supply shipping particularly distinguished themselves.
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 30th, 1944
Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2.Klasse mit Schwertern
Awarded on:
December 10th, 1980

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