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Bernhard Rogge

Bernhard Rogge

German admiral
Bernhard Rogge
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German admiral
Was Navy officer
From Germany
Type Military
Gender male
Birth 4 November 1899, Schleswig, Schleswig-Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Death 29 June 1982, Reinbek, Stormarn, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (aged 82 years)
The details


Bernhard Rogge (4 November 1899 – 29 June 1982) was a German naval officer who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. Later, he became a Konteradmiral in West Germany's navy.

Rogge became a Vizeadmiral (vice-admiral) by the end of World War II, and, when the West German navy was established after the war, returned to service as a Konteradmiral (rear-admiral). He also was one of the few German officers of flag rank who was not arrested by the Allies after the war. This was due to the way he had exercised his command of Atlantis.

Early life

Rogge was born in Schleswig, the son of a Lutheran minister, and was himself devoutly religious.

Rogge was one of many German officers who were forced to apply for a German Blood Certificate, that would allow their racial background to be overlooked (he had a Jewish grandparent). His wife, Anneliese née Frahm, committed suicide on 4 September 1939. The next day, his mother-in-law also ended her life willingly.


J. Armstrong White, captain of the British City of Baghdad, which Atlantis sank in July 1941, stated, "His treatment of prisoners left respect, instead of hatred". White later wrote the foreword to Atlantis, the Story of a German Surface Raider, written by U. Mohr & A. V. Sellwood.

Admiral Karl Dönitz, who was prosecuted for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials, cited his own support of Rogge in an effort to clear himself of the charge of being antisemitic.

Rogge confirmed the death sentence of the 21-year-old sailor Johann Christian Süss. Süss was sentenced to death on 10 May 1945, one day after the German capitulation, for "undermining the discipline" and "disruptive speeches" based on paragraph 5 numeral 2 of the Kriegssonderstrafrechtsverordnung (KSSVO—Special War Criminal Regulation). Süss was executed by firing squad on 11 May 1945.


  • Iron Cross (1914) 2nd and 1st Class
  • Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (7 November 1934)
  • Italian Bronze Medal of Military Valor (Medaglia di bronzo al Valore Militare) (25 September 1941)
  • Japanese sword (27 April 1942)
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st Class
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 7 December 1940 as Kapitän zur See and commander of auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (HSK 2)
    • Oak Leaves on 31 December 1941 as Kapitän zur See and commander of HSK 2 auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (Ship 16)
  • Commanders Cross, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (31 March 1962)


  • Rogge, Bernhard, and Wolfgang Frank. Under Ten Flags. New York: Ballantine, 1960; which is a translation of Schiff 16.
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