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Hans-Werner Kraus

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Subject: Kraus, German submarine U-83 (1940), Bronze Medal of Military Valor
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Hans-Werner Kraus

Hans-Werner Kraus
File:Hans-Werner Kraus.jpg
Born (1915-07-01)1 July 1915
Died 25 May 1990(1990-05-25) (aged 74)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–1945
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Karlsruhe
cruiser Königsberg
Commands held U-83, U-199

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans-Werner Kraus (1 July 1915 – 25 May 1990) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross(German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Kraus served as 1st watch officer on U-47 from January 1940 until November 1940 having replaced Engelbert Endrass. He later commanded U-83 and U-199. He was on board the latter when it was bombed and sunk by aircraft off the coast of Brazil on 31 July 1943. Captured, he was sent as a POW to the United States. Kraus was one of the 25 POWs who escaped from Camp Papago Park, Arizona, during the night of 23–24 December 1944.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

Date U-boat Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[1][2]
12 October 1941 U-83 Corte Real  Portugal 2,044 Sunk
26 October 1941 U-83 HMS Anguani  United Kingdom 6,746 Damaged
17 March 1942 U-83 Crista  United Kingdom 2,590 Damaged
8 June 1942 U-83 Esther *  Mandatory Palestine 100 Sunk
8 June 1942 U-83 Said  Egypt 231 Sunk
9 June 1942 U-83 Typhoon *  Mandatory Palestine 175 Sunk
13 June 1942 U-83 HMS Farouk  United Kingdom 96 Sunk
17 August 1942 U-83 Princess Marguerite  Canada 5,875 Sunk
4 July 1943 U-199 Changri-Lá  Brazil 20 Sunk
24 July 1943 U-199 Henzada  United Kingdom 4,161 Sunk

* Sailing vessel


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
22 March 1942 Bei den Unternehmungen gegen feindliche Kriegs- und Transportschiffe vor der Cyrenaika hat sich das Unterseeboot unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Kraus besonders ausgezeichnet.[5] The submarine under the command of Kapitänleutnant Kraus distinguished itself in the operations before the Cyrenaica against enemy war and transport shipping.


  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Moore, John Hammond (2006). The Faustball Tunnel: German POWs in America and Their Great Escape. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-526-4.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

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