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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985)
Born 6 May 1923 in Berlin, the son
of a chemistry professor at the university there, HESS did not
attend the Naval Academy at Mürwik as so many of the other Skippers did
because the war was already going on. He joined the Kriegsmarine at
U-995 was not a busy
boat and certainly was not successful under her first Skipper,
Kapitänleutnant Walter Köhentopp because, in mid-1944 it was evident
that the war was lost for Germany and also that a huge number of U-Boats
were not returning from their very first Feindfahrt (war patrol) so
Captain Köhentopp did not put the boat into any situations that could
kill the boat. His men knew that they would come out of the war
alive because he would not expose the boat to combat. Köhentopp
was then accused of not being aggressive enough, busted to common seaman and
became an AA gunner. Command of U-995 was given to
HESS, a young 'Draufganger' (fire breather) who became a
lawyer after the war and eventually became a Doctor of Law in Germany.
FANG DEN HUT!
By the end of the war, their young
'Draufganger' Skipper had proven himself more than capable
many situations and brought his boat and his men home safely after not
one or two Feindfahrten, but from five war patrols at a time when nine
out of ten boats did not return from their very first patrol.
After the war, his boat, U-995
was handed over to the Norwegian Navy where she was renamed KAURA
and served there for more than a decade. U-573 had been
interned in Cartagena during the war then was S-7 in the Spanish
Navy. When she was decommissioned, the Spanish Navy offered her to the
German Government to be used as a Memorial. The German Government quickly
refused. When KAURA (the former U-995) was
about to be decommissioned, the Norwegian Navy offered her to the German
Government and got the same reply. However, the VDU (Verband Deutscher
U-Bootfahrer or German Submarine Veterans Association) stepped forward and
Norway handed the boat over to them. U-995 now rests in
concrete bunkers by the German Navy Memorial in Laboe, a town near Kiel, and the
waters of the Baltic are literally fifteen feet away. She is open to the
public as a tribute and memorial to the nearly 30,000 U-Bootfahrer who still
sleep in their iron coffins and she is the only Type VII-C submarine left in the
world. She is beautifully maintained by the VDU - a true memorial!
U-995 almost ready to head out to sea....
At the 1987 "Patrol in Paradise"
|At the first ever (1987) Sharkhunters "Patrol",
5th from the left (behind TRIEBEL (197-1986) in blue shirt) at Atlantis
Dive Shop owned by Captain SPENCER SLATE (1657-1990).
|During our time on the water with
took command of the dive boat as
GERD THÄTER (194-1986) supervises.
|Starboard view of the conning tower||Portside view of the conning tower|
The Skipper, HANS-GEORG HESS proudly
standing next to his old 'girlfriend'
HANS-GEORG HESS and Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) became best of friends and COOPER was a guest in the HESS home often. HESS almost never missed a Sharkhunters gathering in Germany.
|Discussing tactics and history||Enjoying tea and cake|
HANS-GEORG HESS was without
question, the strongest supporter of Sharkhunters in all Europe. He helped
put more and more veterans in contact with COOPER and Sharkhunters, he
provided the chantychor (sailor's singing group) at the 1988 Sharkhunters
Convention in Hamburg, hosted our three-hour harbor cruise and helped in so many
ways even to 'putting out fires' when problems came up. HESS
was without question, the giant solid steel bridgepost for Sharkhunters in
You may listen to HANS-GEORG HESS by clicking these clips:
from our DVD-4, the history of U-995 SCENE 1 SCENE 2 SCENE 3 SCENE 4
from DVD-58, the 1994 interview with HESS SCENE 1 SCENE 2 SCENE 3
from DVD-42 'Black May to the End' SCENE 1 SCENE 2
from DVD-43 'Strange Stories' SCENE 1 SCENE 2 SCENE 3
from DVD-74, the 2000 interview with HESS SCENE #1 SCENE #2
To see all DVDs available, return to the main page then click DVDs to see nearly 200 selections.
HANS-GEORG HESS hand signed some of our very rare fine art prints. Click on the prints to see their descriptions.
"ALMOST HOME" "CONVOY IN SIGHT"
"Youngest Skipper" "Thäter und Hess"
"Yesterday's Enemies are Today's Friends"
Enjoy your morning coffee with
HANS-GEORG HESS. Click on the
CLICK HERE to see HANS-GEORG
HESS aboard an American submarine
HANS-GEORG HESS served ten years on our Sharkhunters Advisory Board and you can see the Board Members by clicking here TO THE ADVISORS PAGE
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