Admiral Günther Lütjens

Günther Lütjens was born on May 25, 1889 in Wiesbaden.  He served as Commander of Torpedo Boats, Commander of Reconnaissance Forces and finally Chief of the Fleet.  A winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, he was killed in action in the North Atlantic aboard the battleship Bismarck on May 27, 1941 in combat with the British Home Fleet.

Before the final action, he made the following announcement to the crew:

“Seamen of the battleship Bismarck!  You have covered yourselves with glory!  The sinking of the battlecruiser Hood has not only military, but also psychological value, for she was the pride of England…The German people are with you, and we will fight until our gun barrels glow red-hot and the last shell has left the barrels.  For us seamen, the question now is victory or death!”