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Bernhard Jope

Bernhard Jope
Bernhard Jope
Born (1914-05-10)10 May 1914
Died 31 July 1995(1995-07-31) (aged 81)
Königstein im Taunus
Buried at city cemetery at Königstein im Taunus
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit KG 30, KG 40, KG 100
Commands held KG 40, KG 100
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Other work Deutsche Luft Hansa pilot

Oberstleutnant Bernhard Jope (born 10 May 1914 in Leipzig; died 31 July 1995 in Königstein im Taunus) was a German World War II Luftwaffe bomber pilot. He was also a recipient of the 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. Jope flew the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 "Condor" on missions across the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean in support of the Kriegsmarine, damaging the RMS Empress of Britain in October 1940. He led Kampfgeschwader 100 (KG 100—100th Bomber Wing) in the attacks on the Italian battleship Roma, the British battleship HMS Warspite and cruiser HMS Uganda, and the US cruiser USS Savannah.


  • Biography 1
  • Awards 2
    • Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht 2.1
  • After the war 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Bernhard Jope and Fritz Fliegel

Bernhard Jope joined the military service of the Luftwaffe on 1 April 1935 after graduating from the Königliche Technische Hochschule zu Danzig (technical university in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz) in aircraft construction. Prior to joining the military service he had already almost completed his flight training at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Air Transport School).[1]

In support of the Kriegsmarine, Jope flew the Fw 200 "Condor" on experimental missions across the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean on behalf of Deutsche Luft Hansa. On 26 October 1940 he spotted the troop transport RMS Empress of Britain and severely damaged her with two 250 kg bombs. The Empress of Britain was subsequently sunk by U-32, commanded by Hans Jenisch, on 28 October 1940.

During his time at Kampfgeschwader 100 (KG 100) Jope led an attack on 9 September 1943 on the Italian battle fleet that was sailing from La Spezia en route to Malta, to surrender to the Allies. Jope led a formation of eleven Dornier 217's armed with the Fritz X radio controlled glide bomb and in the ensuing action the 45,000 ton Italian battleship Roma was hit twice and sank. The Roma's sister ship, Italia, was hit by a single Fritz, but was able to make it to Malta. In later action, Jope and KG 100 scored hits with the Fritz on the British battleship HMS Warspite and cruiser HMS Uganda, and the US cruiser USS Savannah.


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Tuesday, 29 October 1940 Beim ersten Angriff auf den großen, stark geschützten Transportdampfer "Empress of Britain" zeichente sich die Besatzung eines Kampfflugzeuges unter Führung des Oberleutnants Jope besonders aus.[4] The crew of a combat aircraft under the leadership of Oberleutnant Jope distinguished itself in the initial attack on the large and heavily defended transport steamer "Empress of Britain".

After the war

After the war, and his subsequent time in captivity, Jope was flying again, this time working until his retirement as a pilot for Lufthansa. Jope died on 31 July 1995, in Königstein.


  1. ^ a b c Kaiser 2010, p. 44.
  2. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 212.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 423.
  4. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 344.
  • Kaiser, Jochen (2010). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kampfflieger—Band 1 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Bomber Fliers—Volume 1] (in German and English). Bad Zwischenahn, Germany: Luftfahrtverlag-Start.  
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.  
  • 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 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985.  

External links

  • "Bernhard Jope". Ritterkreuzträger 1939–45 (in German). Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  • "Bernhard Jope". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Major Fritz Auffhammer
Geschwaderkommodore of Kampfgeschwader 100
10 September 1943 – 8 August 1944
Succeeded by
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