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This is the place to discuss general issues related to the U-boat war or the war at sea in WWII. 
Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration
Posted by: Ying ()
Date: January 10, 2001 05:43AM

<HTML>Just finished ¡°Operation Drumbeat¡±, but what touched me most was not the audacious adventures Hardegen has taken, but the humanity and compassion he showed in the war. I can¡¯t help but sharing my feelings here with all the Kameraden.

The most moving incident happened when U-123 (Kptlt. Hardegen) was en route home after its first American patrol. On 27 Jan. 1942, U-123 sank a Norwegian tanker ¡°Pan Norway¡±. Noticed that there was another ship (it was the Greek ¡°Mount Aetna¡± sailing under a Swiss flag) nearby, U-123 first approached the lifeboats to check whether the survivors were all right. Then it stopped ¡°Mount Aetna¡±, directing it to pick up the survivors. Hardegen went on to ensure that every man in the water was rescued, even when some of the saved Norwegians themselves attempted to persuade the Swiss master to depart prematurely (they feared that U-123 would sink ¡°Mount Aetna¡± too).

39 years later, one of the survivors, tanker motorman Wilfred Larsen, experienced nightmares of his escape from death and his nevers became really raw because he was ¡°unable to shake the mental picture of the man who had been both executioner and savior on that night¡­ when his ship went down¡±, and he felt himself ¡°in terrible debt to the German who had transmuted the Atlantic from a battlescape to a sea of mercy and thus given him a life he would not otherwise have had.¡± Finally he decided to meet Hardegen because he believed it was the only remedy to cure his mental condition.

In December 1981 Wilfred met Hardegen at his home in Bremen¡¯s suburb. After a long, friendly talk, Hardegen took Wilfred out onto his lawn and garden. As the two men walked, Hardegen noticed that one of Wilfred¡¯s shoelaces had become untied. He then knelt in the grass to tie the sailor¡¯s shoe. When Wilfred returned home, he said: ¡°I shall tell you what made the deepest impression on me. When the German U-boat commander knelt down and tied my shoelace, at that moment I felt that, at last, all that had happened to me long ago was gone and forgotten.¡±

History has made them foes, but humanity has made them friends.

I¡¯m not trying to depict Hardegen as a philanthropist, I¡¯m well aware that as the winner of Knight¡¯s Cross with Oak Leaves, Hardegen definitely has sunk many ships that went down with great loss of lives. However, still I would like to thank Korvettenkapitaen Hardegen, for in such a cruel and bloody war, he has let us see humanity shine at the darkest hours of human history. In this sense he is an inspiration.

I wish him all the best and a long long life. I shall greatly appreciate if any Kameraden here could give me some clues as to how to contact him. Thank you in advance!

Best regards,
Ying
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Subject Written By Posted
Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Ying 01/10/2001 05:43AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration John 01/10/2001 09:14AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Fin Bonset 01/10/2001 01:25PM
RE: Fin ! MPC 01/10/2001 08:40PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Joe Brennan 01/11/2001 07:30AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Ying 01/11/2001 08:50AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/10/2001 01:40PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/10/2001 01:46PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Ying 01/11/2001 08:52AM
RE: Ying - Reinhard Hardegen MPC 01/11/2001 09:34AM
RE: Ying - Reinhard Hardegen MPC 01/11/2001 09:44AM
RE: Ying - Reinhard Hardegen kpp 01/11/2001 10:09AM
RE: Ying - Reinhard Hardegen kpp 01/11/2001 10:08AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/11/2001 12:02PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Capt. George W. Dufy 01/11/2001 02:20AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Rainer Bruns 01/11/2001 03:54AM
Inflation of Tonnage Ying 01/11/2001 08:56AM
RE: Inflation of Tonnage James Stewart 01/15/2001 10:36PM
RE: Inflation of Tonnage Geoffrey 01/16/2001 04:20PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Joe Brennan 01/11/2001 07:25AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Torlef 01/11/2001 08:07AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Bill 01/11/2001 11:20AM
The Other Side of the Story Ying 01/11/2001 08:55AM
RE: The Other Side of the Story George Walker 01/11/2001 12:12PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/11/2001 12:09PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Sergio 01/11/2001 12:17PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/11/2001 02:53PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration John 01/12/2001 11:25AM
Topp is tops with me! Craig McLean 01/17/2001 12:13AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Ying 01/12/2001 03:26AM
RE: Hardegen.? Joe Brennan 01/12/2001 07:52AM
RE: Hardegen.? Craig McLean 01/17/2001 12:29AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Bill 01/12/2001 01:45PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration George Walker 01/12/2001 08:39PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Fin Bonset 01/12/2001 04:16PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Rainer Bruns 01/12/2001 04:57PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Fin Bonset 01/12/2001 06:00PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Rainer Bruns 01/12/2001 06:23PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Fin Bonset 01/12/2001 06:29PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration John 01/12/2001 09:44PM
RE: To Capt Duffy (Ying,Fin,RB usw) MPC 01/12/2001 09:47PM
RE: To Capt Duffy (Ying,Fin,RB usw) Pat 01/13/2001 12:00AM
RE: To Capt Duffy (Ying,Fin,RB usw) Rainer Bruns 01/13/2001 03:39AM
RE:Enough is Enough! Joe 01/13/2001 08:52AM
RE:Enough is Enough! Rainer Bruns 01/13/2001 02:10PM
RE:Enough is Enough! Joe 01/16/2001 11:00AM
RE: To Capt Duffy (Ying,Fin,RB usw) Ying 01/13/2001 01:51PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAnother Line Ying 01/13/2001 02:03PM
RE: Duffy friend or foe JB 01/15/2001 11:18AM
Dodgy keyboard !! Eddie K 01/15/2001 12:10PM
RE: Dodgy keyboard !! jb 01/15/2001 02:52PM
RE: Dodgy keyboard !! Eddie Ke 01/15/2001 03:48PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen contact Craig McLean 01/17/2001 12:38AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen contact christian 03/19/2003 10:13AM
Re: RE: Reinhard Hardegen contact Lux 07/22/2013 02:45PM
Re: RE: Reinhard Hardegen contact Ian Anderson 04/25/2018 02:48AM
Re: RE: Reinhard Hardegen contact NautilusGuy1954 04/25/2018 02:53AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Rainer Bruns 01/11/2001 03:00PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Bill 01/11/2001 07:23PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Rainer Bruns 01/11/2001 11:10PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Willy 01/12/2001 12:00AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration J.K 01/12/2001 07:24AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration John 01/12/2001 11:23AM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Steve Cooper 01/12/2001 01:43PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration op 01/12/2001 02:17PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Steve Cooper 01/12/2001 05:31PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Pat 01/12/2001 11:49PM
Captain Duffy &amp; Captain Bligh Robert Eno 01/13/2001 05:37PM
RE: Captain Duffy &amp; Captain Bligh Steve Cooper 01/14/2001 02:49AM
RE: Captain Duffy &amp; Captain Bligh Sean 01/15/2001 01:08PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration james stewart 01/15/2001 11:10PM
RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration Jeb 01/16/2001 02:23AM
Re: RE: Reinhard Hardegen¡ªAn Inspiration paul tjader 08/14/2013 07:30AM


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