Facts and Events
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Hans Rose was one of the most successful and highly decorated German U-boat commander in the Kaiserliche Marine during .
Rose was one of the most respected and brave U-boat commanders and famous for his humanity and fairness in battle. Sometimes when he torpedoed a ship he would wait until all the lifeboats were filled, he would then throw a tow line, give the victims food, keeping all the survivors together until a rescuing destroyer appeared on the horizon when he would let go and submerge. There exist many reports of him caring for survivors even when putting his own boat at risk.
Rose sank 79 ships for a total of during the entire war.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Hans Rose, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, accessed 2 Feb 2017.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hans Rose, in Uboat.net, http://uboat.net/wwi/men/commanders/273.html , accessed 12 Feb 2017.
Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/03)
81 ships sunk with a total of 220,892 GRT
1 warship sunk with a total of 1,050 tons
9 ships damaged with a total of 45,606 GRT
Born: 15 Apr 1885 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Died: 6 Dec 1969
1 Apr 1903 Seekadett
15 Apr 1904 Fähnrich zur See
28 Sep 1906 Leutnant zur See
15 Jul 1908 Oberleutnant zur See
14 Jul 1914 Kapitänleutnant
24 Nov 1919 Korvettenkapitän (Charakter)
24 Nov 1919 Out of naval service
Prewar - Order of the Medjidie, Iron Cross 2nd class, Iron Cross 1st class
2 Nov 1916 - Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Hanseatic Cross
20 Dec 1917 - Pour le Mérite
U53 22 Apr 1916 - 17 Aug 1918
Hans Rose joined the Kaiserliche Marine as a Seekadett in 1903. In 1914 was promoted Kapitänleutnant and CO of a torpedo boat. In 1915 he joined the U-Boot Schule and became Commander of U2. In 1916 he was some time a teacher at the U-Boot Schule but returned to active duty as Co of U53.
In September 1916 he sailed to the USA and even went to Newport. In October he had a very good campaign on the Atlantic, while returning home. 1917 Kaiserbild and Pour le Mérite on the 20th December. On the 5th of December 1917 he sank the US destroyer USS Jacob Jones. In 1918 he became Admiralstaffofficer on the staff of the U-boat commander.
He left service in November 1919 as Korvettenkapitän. After the war he became active in the industry.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 U-53 Survivor photographs, in Naval Historical Collection, MSC-0039, Box 25 - U.S. Naval Station (Newport, R.I.), Retrieved 3 Mar 2017.
Photographs of survivors of the U-53 German submarine attack on the morning of October 8, 1916. The day before, October 7, 1916, the U-53 captain, Kapitanleutnant Hans Rose anchored his ship off Goat Island and made a cordial visit to the U.S. Naval Station in Newport, RI including touring the Naval War College.
The war in Europe was two years old when Rose arrived in Newport harbor. Lieutenant Rose met with Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic, Admiral Albert Gleaves and Naval War College President Rear Admiral Austin Knight for a cordial chat.
A number of U.S. sailors, including Admiral Gleaves and his wife and daughter, boarded and toured the U-53 including the Aide to Commandant, Naval District and Lieutenant Bristol of the Commander Destroyer Force's Staff. These men, and Commander H.B. Price, commander of the USS Melville were given, by all accounts, a very candid tour of the U-53 from stem to stern where they discussed the U-Boat's voyage to Newport, engine design and armament. It was noted that many of the submarine's officers and crew spoke English.
The next day, Lieutenant Rose took the U-53 out to international waters and proceeded to sink five ships flying European flags off Nantucket. According to some reports, Rose knew which ships to look out for based on newspaper reports he picked up while ashore in Newport.
After each attack, Rose did his best to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on ships he sank. He and his crew often towed lifeboats and provided food and water until rescue ships arrived. The photographs here are of the survivors of the torpedo attacks. It is interesting to note that not a single survivor's hair or clothes are damaged in any way and at least one survivor still has her luggage.
After the war, Admiral William S. Sims, U.S. Navy, and President, Naval War College commented on Hans Rose, "We acquired a certain respect for Hans because he was a brave man who would take chances which most of his compatriots would avoid, and above all because he played his desperate game with a certain decency."
The German government awarded Rose one of the highest military awards, the Orden Pour le Mérite, for repeated and continual gallantry in battle as commander of the U-53.
After the war, Rose retired from the Navy and became a German industrial businessman. Rose returned to active duty during World War II; in 1940, he commanded a U-boat training unit. He died in Germany in 1969 at the age of 84.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Hans Rose's autobiographical account of his trip to Newport with the U-53, in UNZ.org: The Living Age, Pages 327-333, 15 Nov 1926.
- ↑ Office of Naval Intelligence Report on German Submarine U-53 arrival in Newport, Rhode Island, 1916, in Naval Historical Collection, RG-0008, Series II - Intelligence and Technical Archives (Record Group 8), 7 Oct1916.
Office of Naval Intelligence (O.N.I) report 7141 on visit and arrival of German submarine, U-Boat, U-53 to Newport, Rhode Island on 7 October 1916.
- ↑ Dec. 6 1917: German Submarine U-53 sank USS Jacob Jones (DD 61), in Library of Congress (as reproduced at YouTube} , Audio: SecNav Josephus Daniels "No Rank in Sacrifice", 20 Dec 2012.
On 6 December 1917, during World War I, German submarine, U-53, torpedoed and sank USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) off England with the loss of 64 lives. There were 38 survivors, with two men captured by the enemy submarine. U-53's Commanding Officer, Hans Rose, in a rare gesture in war, reported the remaining men's drift location to the American base in Queenstown, Ireland. Note, throughout the night of 6 to 7 December, British sloop-of-war Camellia and British liner Catalina conducted rescue operations. By 0830 the following morning, HMS Insolent picked up the last survivors of Jacob Jones.
Note written by YouTube user, "RMH2" in 2015: "If it wasn't for the U-Boat Captain Hans Rose, I would not be here today making this post because my Grandfather, Boyd Hamp Sr., was one of the 38 survivors from the sinking of USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) on December 6th,1917. I am his grandson, Richard Hamp Sr. and my father is Boyd Hamp Jr. My father was a Navy veteran of the South Pacific and he was wounded on the invasion day on Saipan June 15, 1944 during in WW-2. He will be 91 Y/O next month...May 18th, 2014."
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Extract of Attacks on U.S. Shipping that Precipitated Amereican Entry into World War I, in The Northern Mariner (Le marin du nord), XVII No 3, Pages 44-47 (Article by Rodney Carlisle), July 2007.
Under the command of Captain Thomas A. Ensor, Housatonic sailed from Galveston, Texas for Britain on 6 January 1917 more than three weeks before Germany announced the unrestricted submarine warfare policy. The ship put in to Newport News, Virginia, and began her crossing of the Atlantic on 16 January, still more than two weeks before the German policy was announced.7 Her cargo was 144,200 bushels of wheat, consigned to Brown, Jenkinson, and Company of London. About sixty miles off the Scilly Isles at the southwest tip of Britain, she was hailed by the commander of U-boat U-53, under the command of Hans Rose.
The U-53 and Lieutenant Rose were well known to the American public, because he had made a dramatic entry with that U-boat into the Newport, Rhode Island harbor on 7 October 1916, while the United States was still neutral, and had visited for a few hours before slipping out again. Rose, handsome and highly intelligent, had impressed reporters and shipboard visitors with his command of the English language and his altogether proper manners. Described by journalists as about thirty-three years old, with dark hair, a clipped mustache, and blue eyes, and “of more than medium height,” Rose had exchanged “felicitations” with American naval officers in the port, and asked that a letter be posted to Ambassador von Bernstorff in Washington. A newspaperman took the mail to the Newport post office for Rose.
Lieutenant Rose was well aware that neutrality rules would limit his stay in port to twenty-four hours, and that he was entitled only to essential stores and repairs. He stated that he was not in need of any stores, and that his ship was in fine repair. Apparently he made the visit simply to show that U-boats could now undertake roundtrip transatlantic missions. He left at 5:30 in the afternoon, and proceeded to sink five Allied and neutral merchant ships off Nantucket Lightship, while American destroyers looked on and rescued the passengers and crews of the stricken vessels. Those sunk were the three British ships, S.S. Stephano, S.S. Strathdene, and S.S. West Point, the Dutch S.S. Blommersijk, and the Norwegian S.S.Christian Knudsen. Each of these steamships was an average size for the day, capable of carrying freight and a few passengers, running in tonnage between 3,400 and 4,300 gross tons.
Rose’s 1916 visit had stimulated an extensive debate in the press over submarine policy, revealing the ability of German submarines to cross the Atlantic, and at the same time, showing the American public that submarines could conduct warfare just outside the three-mile limit. Admiral Bradley Fiske, one of the U.S. Navy’s most articulate proponents of technological advancement and preparedness, saw Rose’s visit and subsequent operations off the U.S. coast as an excellent warning to the American people about the future of naval warfare. Fiske pointed out that if U-53 “could go into Newport harbor she could go into New York harbor” in time of war. 11 Apparently shocked that the U.S. Navy had to stand by helplessly, Woodrow Wilson sent a note to Ambassador Bernstorff insisting that such attacks just off American waters should not be repeated.
In February 1917, Hans Rose initiated the series of events that constituted acts of war, not in New York Harbor, but in the sea lanes approaching the British Isles. Thomas A. Ensor, Housatonic’s American captain, recorded in his log the details of the encounter with Rose’s U-53. “At 10:30 o'clock on Saturday [3 February] we saw a submarine, flying no colors, about 250 yards astern. She fired two shots, the second passing close to the ship and striking the water just ahead. We stopped the engines and then reversed them. We were ordered to take our papers aboard the submarine. ... [The commander] spoke perfect English. He said, ‘I find that the vessel is laden with grain for London. It is my duty to sink her.’ I protested vigorously. The commander at first took no notice, and then explained: ‘You are carrying foodstuffs to an enemy of my country, and though I am sorry, it is my duty to sink you.’”
Members of the submarine crew came aboard to knock off the seacocks and open the hatches, then took the opportunity to remove a quantity of soap from the Housatonic, explaining it was in short supply in Germany due to the demands of the munitions industry for glycerine. As the thirty-seven members of the Housatonic crew watched from two lifeboats, the submarine fired a torpedo to hasten the sinking. Rose threw a towline that was then tied to the lifeboats, and the submarine, running on the surface with her powerful diesel engines, began towing the boats northward. Ensor and his crew watched the Houstonic slowly sink beneath the waves.
After being towed for about an hour and a half, Ensor spotted a British patrol boat, and Rose fired two shots from his deck gun to attract the attention of the British vessel. Once he was certain that the patrol boat had seen the lifeboats, he submerged and quietly slipped away. The patrol vessel landed the crew at Penzance.
The New York Times and other American newspapers reacted cautiously to the sinking of the Housatonic, generally agreeing that the action did not represent the “overt act of war” that Wilson had mentioned on 3 February. Because the ship had left port before the announced policy, it was unclear whether the gentlemanly rescue by Rose represented a special case, or whether the Germans would continue to be as respectful and careful of human life aboard American ships that they sank. The striking fact that Rose had not only towed the lifeboats to safety, but that he had gone to the trouble to alert a British naval patrol boat by firing signal shots, seemed to represent an extraordinarily courteous procedure. The New York Times reported, “No ‘overt act’ which can be regarded as a cause for war between this country and Germany is to be found in the torpedoing of Housatonic, high officials held today, after reading a preliminary report from Joseph G. Stephens, Consul at Plymouth, England . . . The Housatonic was warned before being sunk and efforts were made by the commander of the submarine to put the crew in a place of safety. The Housatonic’s cargo of wheat for the British Government would be contraband under any interpretation of international law.”
The New York Times went on to provide other reasons why the sinking of the Housatonic would not convince Wilson to ask for a declaration of war, apparently based on unofficial remarks by State Department personnel.
There was also a suggestion that this regard for the vessels already on their way to the war zone might prevent serious developments, affecting American interests, for two weeks or more. In some messages from Berlin, moreover, it has been intimated that the blockade policy would be conducted with a certain moderation at the outset, but would become more ruthless as the days went by.
In this last remark, the New York Times reporters were taking note of one line in the German announcement of 1 February 1917, alluding to the fact that ships that had left port prior to the announcement might expect more lenient treatment than those departing later.
Few journalists had taken the trouble to read the German note in its entirety, and therefore speculated whether the courteous treatment of the Housatonic crew was a matter of official German policy or the result of an individual decision of a particularly humane submarine commander. For example, The Independent, a journal of comment on political, social and economic news, noted “that the Germans had been more scrupulous than usual in providing for the safety of the crew.” Perhaps, The Independent implied, the more ruthless measures announced by the Germans were not in place at all.
Lieutenant Hans Rose was indeed among the most humane of the U-boat commanders in his treatment of crews and passengers. Had journalists taken the time to examine the record of his treatment of the five ships off Nantucket, they would have recognized that Rose was particularly careful to ensure the safety of those aboard the ships he destroyed. Later in the war, after torpedoing the U.S. destroyer Jacob Jones, Rose radioed the exact position of the lifeboats with survivors to U.S. forces in the Irish port of Queenstown so that they could be rescued. 20 However it was quite natural in February 1917 for the American press to read into the Housatonic episode some indication of the trend of broader German submarine policy, not the behaviour of an individual U-boat officer.