Rudolf Petersen (Kapitän zur See)

Rudolf Petersen (Kapitän zur See)

Rudolf Petersen
Born (1905-05-15)15 May 1905
Atzerballig on Alsen, Germany
Died 2 January 1983(1983-01-02) (aged 77)
Buried at Cemetery Adelby in Flensburg
Allegiance Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
Years of service 1925–1945
Rank Kapitän zur See
Commands held 2. Schnellbootflottille
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Rudolf Jesper Petersen (15 June 1905 in Atzerballig on Alsen, Germany – 2 January 1983 in Flensburg) was a German officer in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. 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.

Petersen, in his role as Kommodore, was the head of the court of what might have been the last desertion-trial of Nazi Germany. Matrose Fritz Wehrmann, age 26 from Leipzig, Funker Alfred Gail, age 20 from Kassel, and Obergefreiter Martin Schilling, age 22 from Ostfriesland were executed on board Buéa on 10 May 1945 two days after the Unconditional surrender of Germany.

The accused had received news of the German capitulation to the British forces on 4 May 1945. On 6 May 1945 they left their stations on Fünen to get to the mainland. They were caught by the Danish Police and handed over to the German authorities on Fünen.


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 9 March 1941 Bei dem im gestrigen Wehrmachtsbericht bekanntgegebenen großen Erfolg der Schnellbootwaffe haben sich die unter der Führung des Korvettenkapitäns Petersen, des Kapitänleutnants Birnbacher und des Oberleutnants zur See Wuppermann stehenden Schnellbootverbände besonders ausgezeichnet.[4] In yesterdays in the Wehrmacht report announced huge success of the fast attack craft force, have fast attack craft units under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander Petersen, the Captain Lieutenant Birnbacher and Lieutenant at Sea Wuppermann particularly distinguished themselves.


  1. ^ a b c d Dörr 1996, p. 120.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 148.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 590.
  4. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 441.

External links

  • Berliner Zeitung Article about the desertion trial
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 2. Schnellbootflottille
1 August 1938 – 20 October 1941
Succeeded by
Korvettenkapitän Klaus Feldt