Being a U-Boat commander or crewman in the closing moments of the war was almost always a one-way ride. In ‘Black May’ (May of 1943) the U-Bootwaffe lost nearly four dozen U-boats – in that month alone! After that month and for the balance of the war, of every ten U-boats that put to sea on their first patrol; only one returned!
Only one of ten returned from their very first patrol and nine did not!
Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985) was given command of U-995 in August 1944 – he had celebrated his 21st birthday just three months earlier. He was the youngest combat submarine Skipper of World War II and possibly of all time. He brought his men and his boat home safely after not just one, but five war patrols. During these patrols, he sank several ships, dodged aircraft, destroyers and minefields. He earned the Knights Cross.
HESS talks about what it was like being a combat submarine Skipper in the closing moments of WW II, then answers questions from the audience. It’s all on this DVD.
Captain HESS speaks in German – his son, also a Sharkhunters Member, TILMAN HESS translates for the camera.