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Erdmenger, Hans Otto

    Date of birth:
    October 29th, 1903 (Gersthofen/Bavaria, Germany)
    Date of death:
    December 28th, 1943 (Gulf of Biskaij, France)
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

    Biography

    Hans Otto Erdmenger entered service with the Reichsmarine in 1922. He served as Kommandant T-Boot "Jaguar", Kommandant Torpedoboot Z-21 "Wilhelm Heidkamp" and as Chef 8. Zerstörerflottille aboard the Z-27. in this last function he was killed in action on December 28th, 1943, when the ship was sunk by H.M.S. Enterprise at approximately 11W / 46N.

    Promotions:
    October 1st, 1923: Seeoffizier-Anwärter;
    April 1st, 1924: Fähnrich zur See;
    October 1st, 1926: Leutnant zur See;
    July 1st, 1928: Oberleutnant zur See;
    June 1st, 1934: Kapitänleutnant;
    January 1st, 1938: Korvettenkapitän;
    March 1st, 1942: Fregattenkapitän;
    June 1st, 1943: Kapitän zur See.

    Career:
    April 1st, 1922: 19. (Bayerische) Infanterie-Regiment;
    May 1st, 1923: II. Schiffsstammabteilung, Reichsmarine;
    ?: Segelschulschiff Niobe;
    July 2nd, 1924: Kreuzer Berlin;
    March 30th, 1924: Fähnrichs-Hauptlehrgang, Marineschule Mürwik;
    November 1st, 1925: Kreuzer Berlin;
    November 20th, 1926: Kreuzer Emden;
    January 1st, 1929: Torpedoboot Kondor, II. Torpedobootsflottille;
    November 5th, 1930: Stab, Befehlshaber der Linienschiffe;
    November 4th, 1932: Kompanieoffizier, Torpedo- und Nachrichtenschule, Flensburg-Mürwik;
    November 1st, 1935: Kommandant, Torpedoboot Jaguar;
    November 1st, 1936: Kommandant Torpedoboot Wolf;
    November 1st, 1937: Referent, Torpedo-Erprobungs-Kommando;
    March 14th, 1939: Baubelehrung, Zerstörer Z 21 "Wilhelm Heidkamp";
    June 10th, 1939: Kommandant Zerstörer Z 21 "Wilhelm Heidkamp";
    April 1940: Kommandant Marinebataillon Erdmenger;
    May 31st, 1940: Marinestation der Nordsee;
    June 2nd, 1940: Referent, Amtsgruppe Torpedowaffe, Oberkommando der Marine;
    July 22nd, 1941: Baubelehrung Zerstörer Z 28;
    August 9th, 1941: Kommandant Zerstörer Z 28;
    March 18th, 1942: Chef, 8. Zerstörerflottille.

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    Rank:
    Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Torpedoboot Jaguar, Kriesmarine
    Awarded on:
    October 2nd, 1936
    Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht  2. Klasse, 18 Jahre
    Period:
    Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    August 21st, 1939
    Period:
    Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    June 6th, 1939
    Spanienkreuz, Bronze mit Schwertern
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    October 28th, 1939
    Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    November 15th, 1939
    Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    1940
    Zerstörer-Kriegsabzeichen
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    1940
    Awarded for:
    Operation Weserübung Nord
    Narvikschild in Gold
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Kommandant, Zerstörer Z 21 (Wilhelm Heidkamp), 2. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    November 3rd, 1940
    Awarded for:
    Operation Weserübung Nord
    The following press article, dated 09.11.1940, describes why Erdmenger would be awarded the Knight’s Cross…

    “Korvettenkapitän Ermenger has participated in numerous operations against the English coast as the captain of a destroyer, specifically the command destroyer of Kommodore Bonte, and was heavily involved the the successes achieved during these operations. Later on, during the operation of our destroyers against Narvik, his outstanding navigational and naval expertise ensured that our ships reached the Narvik harbour before the English naval forces despite the very difficult sea conditions.

    After the loss of his destroyer, he would go on to serve as a Bataillon and Kompanie commander during the fighting around Narvik, and in this capacity he especially distinguished himself. General der Gebirgstruppen Dietl would later attribute the swift transition of the destroyer crews into units capable of mountain operations to the energy and prudence of Korvettenkapitän Erdmenger. He and his sailor detachments would prove themselves quite well during the marches through the snow-covered arctic mountains as well as in the combat that had to be fought under difficult conditions. Only his personal devotion to duty was responsible for his soldiers holding up as well as they did given their insufficient equipment and limited supplies.”
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
    Unit:
    Referent, Amtsgruppe Torpedowaffe, Oberkommando der Marine, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    March 11th, 1941
    Ordine della Corona d'Italia - Ufficiale
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Kapitän zur See (Captain Royal Navy)
    Unit:
    Chef, 8. Zerstörerflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    December 31st, 1943
    Wehrmachtbericht

    Sources

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