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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
REINHARD HARDEGEN (102-LIFE-1985)
Kriegsmarine, Flier and U-Boat Skipper
Knights Cross with Oak Leaf
U-Boat Combat Badge with Diamonds
Born 13 March 1913 in Bremen and
celebrated his 98th birthday in 2011. When we spoke with him on
the telephone he said that he was in good health..............but he
wasn't playing much golf anymore.
Due to his advanced rank (he was
already Kapitänleutnant) he was attached to a combat boat as a
Kommandantenschüler (Commander in training) aboard one of the most
successful Frontboots (combat boats) of the war - the Edelweißboot (U-124)
commanded by WILHELM SCHULZ (162-1986).
He commissioned the Type II-D
coastal boat U-147 and his success was minimal. In
May of 1940, he relieved Knights Cross winner Karl-Heinz Moehle of
command of the Type IX-B boat U-123. With this boat
he conducted two Feindfahrten (war patrols) against the United States.
Here he is seen returning from his first American Patrol when he kicked
off Operation PAUKENSCHLAG (Drumbeat). This was opening of
action against the USA and he was the first of the Drumbeat boats on
station - he was off New York. He was amazed that the cities were
brightly lit, coastal steamer traffic was fully lit and not using code
in their radio transmissions - and that there was no U.S. Navy ASW
patrols. He had great success on this patrol with no serious
After his second Feindfahrt off
the American coast, this time off Florida, he was decorated with the Oak
Leaf to his Knights Cross as we see in this photo of Kapitänleutnant
HARDEGEN signing the 'Golden Book' of important people in
Bremen. Only 28 Skippers were so decorated during World War Two.
REINHARD HARDEGEN did not
join the Bundsmarine in the middle 1950's when Germany again had a navy
but rather went into politics and served 32 years in the Bremen
Government. A fine and honorable man, and very distinguished
looking, he always joined us for our "Patrols" in North Germany
and signed autographs freely. This photo was taken during one of
our "Patrols" in the mid-1990's.
To the left is a composite photo of Captain HARDEGEN on the bridge as a young man and as he nears his 100th birthday.
See Captain HARDEGEN yourself here.
Click on these clips from our DVD-52. SCENE 1 SCENE 2 SCENE 3
You may buy this DVD CLICK HERE to order this DVD.
REINHARD HARDEGEN hand signed some of our very rare fine art prints. Click on the print to see their descriptions.
"The Drumbeater is Home"
Enjoy your morning coffee with
REINHARD HARDEGEN. Click on the
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