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Bernd Klug

Bernd Klug
Born (1914-12-12)12 December 1914
Died 15 June 1975(1975-06-15) (aged 60)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1933–1945, 1956–1968
Rank Korvettenkapitän (Wehrmacht)
Flottillenadmiral (Bundeswehr)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
1. Schnellbootflottille
Commands held 5. Schnellbootflottille

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Spanish Cross in Bronze
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Bernd Georg Wilhelm Klug (12 December 1914 – 15 June 1975) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later a Flottillenadmiral with the Bundesmarine. He is also a recipient of the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Korvettenkapitän Klug led E-boats (Schnellboote) on 28 April 1944 in an attack against Convoy T-4 consisting of LSTs during the Allied large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, dubbed Exercise Tiger. During the attack, German E-boats sank USS LST-507 and 531, and damaged 289, resulting in the deaths of 749 American servicemen.


  • Career 1
    • Battle of Lyme Bay 1.1
  • Awards 2
    • Wehrmachtbericht reference 2.1
  • Translation notes 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Klug joined the Reichsmarine on 1 April 1933 as a member of "Crew 1933" (the incoming class of 1933) where he received his basic military infantry training with the II. Schiff-Stamm-Abteilung der Ostsee (2nd department of the standing ship division) of the Baltic Sea in Stralsund.[Note 1] He was transferred to the school ship SSS Gorch Fock on 30 June 1933 for his on board training.[1] Here he was promoted to Seekadett (Midshipman) on 23 September 1933.[2] He was then transferred to the light cruiser Karlsruhe on 24 September 1933.[1]

Klug sailed on Karlsruhe '​s third training cruise. Karlsruhe left Wilhelmshaven on 14 October 1933. The ship first sailed to the Mediterranean Sea and then to East Asia where they stopped at Kalkutta, Padang and Soerabaja. The journey went on to Brisbane and Apia, via Honolulu and Tacoma to San Diego in the United States, then through the Panama Canal to Boston and A Pobra do Caramiñal, Spain. Karlsruhe returned to Kiel on 16 June 1934.[3] While stationed on Karlsruhe, he advanced in rank to Gefreiter on 1 April 1934.[2]

He was then posted to the Naval Academy at Mürwik on 28 June 1934. Following a brief vacation, he started the main cadet course at the Naval Academy in Mürwik on 12 July 1934.[1][Tr 1] During his vacation he was promoted to Fähnrich zur See (officer cadet) on 1 July 1931.[2] The main cadet course lasted until 18 April 1935 and was interrupted by two navigational training cruises, the first on the tender Nordsee (10–16 October 1934) and the tender Saar (31 January – 6 February 1935).[1]

Battle of Lyme Bay

S-204 on 13 May 1945, similar to those led by Klug.

On 28 April 1944 Klug led six E-boats of the 5th Schnellbootflottille across the English Channel. The German's had received signals of Allied naval operations in the Lyme Bay. Klug led the attack in groups of two, S-100 and S-143, S-140 and S-142, and S-136 and S-138. His force was augmented by additional three boats from the 5th Schnellbootflottille, S-130, S-145 and S-150, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Götz Freiherr von Mirbach.[4]


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
28 April 1944 Deutsche Schnellbootgruppen unter Führung von Korvettenkapitän Klug und Kapitänleutnant von Mirbach versenkten in den Morgenstunden des 28. April an der englischen Südküste aus einem von Zerstörern und zahlreichen Kleinkampfschiffen gesicherten Geleitzug drei Schiffe mit zusammen 9100 BRT und torpedierten ein weiteres von 200 BRT, mit dessen Sinken zu rechnen ist. Im Verlauf der harten Gefechte wurde ferner ein Zerstörer torpediert, dessen Untergang infolge der einsetzenden Abwehr nicht beobachtet werden konnte, jedoch mit Sicherheit anzunehmen ist. Die eigenen Verbände kehrten ohne Beschädigungen und Personalausfälle in ihre Stützpunkte zurück.[6] In the early morning hours of 28 April off the southern coast of England, German fast attack craft under the leadership of Korvettenkapitän Klug and Kapitänleutnant von Mirbach sank three ships totaling 9100 GRT from a convoy defended by destroyers and numerous smaller combat vessels; a further vessel of 200 GRT was torpedoed and assumed to have been sunk. During the course of the hard fought battle a destroyer was also torpedoed; its sinking could not be observed due to the resistance that had commenced, but can assumed with certainty. Our units returned to their bases without damage nor loss of personnel.

Translation notes

  1. ^ main cadet course—Hauptlehrgang für Fähnriche


  1. ^ The German Reichsmarine was renamed to Kriegsmarine on 1 June 1935.


  1. ^ a b c d Dörr 1995, p. 339.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Dörr 1995, p. 340.
  3. ^ Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz 1993, v. 5., p. 89.
  4. ^ Hoyt 1999, p. 97.
  5. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 451.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 90.
  • Dörr, Manfred (1995). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Überwasserstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine—Band 1: A–K [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Surface Forces of the Navy—Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio Verlag.  
  • Hildebrand, Hans H.; Röhr, Albert; Steinmetz, Hans-Otto (1990). Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe. Biographien – ein Spiegel der Marinegeschichte von 1815 bis zur Gegenwart. (10 Bände) [The German Warships. Biographies - a Mirror of Naval History from 1815 to the Present. (10 Volumes)] (in German) 3. Mundus Verlag.  
  • Hoyt, Edwin P. (1999). The Invasion Before Normandy: The Secret Battle of Slapton Sands. Lanham, Md: Scarborough House.  
  • Lawrence, Wendy Susan (2013). Exercise Tiger: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Silent Few. Stroud: Fonthill Media.  
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy] (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag.  
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld - Primozic [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color II Ihlefeld - Primozic] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite.  
  • 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.  
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.  
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985.  

External links

  • "Bernd Klug". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  • "Bernd Klug". Ritterkreuzträger 1939–45 (in German). Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  • "Kopf unter". Der Spiegel (in German) 47. 1987. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 5. Schnellbootflottille
15 July 1941 – 1 June 1944
Succeeded by
Kapitänleutnant Kurt Johannsen
Preceded by
Carl-Heinz Birnbacher
Commander of Kommando der Schnellboote
1962 – 1964
Succeeded by
Jens Matzen
Preceded by
Kapitän zur See Karl Schneider-Pungs
Commander of the Naval Academy Mürwik
1 October 1966 – 31 March 1968
Succeeded by
Kapitän zur See Reinhard Ostertag
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