Friedrich Bonte

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Friedrich Bonte (born October 19, 1896 in Potsdam , † April 10, 1940 near Narvik , Norway ) was a naval officer (most recently from 1940 with the rank of commodore ) in the German navy during the Second World War .


Bonte joined the Imperial Navy on April 1, 1914 as a midshipman . On July 13, 1916, he was promoted to lieutenant at sea .

After the end of World War I , he was released and joined then in February 1919 in the Free Corps Marine Brigade Ehrhardt , called the 2nd Marine Brigade, one that by its right-wing extremism and brutality during their high-handed intervention against the Soviet Republic in Munich made a name. After the brigade was dissolved in April 1920, Bonte was taken over into the Reichsmarine .

There he was promoted to first lieutenant at sea on September 28, 1920, to lieutenant captain on April 1, 1926 , to corvette captain on September 1, 1933 and to frigate captain on April 1, 1937 . On November 1, 1938, Bonte became head of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, which he led until October 23, 1939, and thus also at the beginning of the Second World War . On April 1, 1939, he was promoted to captain at sea .

On October 24, 1939, Bonte was appointed “ leader of the torpedo boats ” of the Navy . On October 26, 1939, he became “ leader of the destroyers ”, but gave up command of the torpedo boats three days later. On February 10, 1940, Bonte was promoted to commodore.

April 1940: Narvik

On April 9, 1940, Bonte was in charge of "Warship Group 1" as part of Operation Weser Exercise during the attack by the German Navy on the Norwegian port of Narvik . In the course of the attack, Narvik was occupied by German mountain troops under Major General Eduard Dietl , who had been transported to Narvik by the destroyers Bontes . On the morning of April 10, the Bonte-led unit was attacked in the port of Narvik by British destroyers under Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee . As the battle developed, its flagship , the destroyer Wilhelm Heidkamp , was hit by a torpedo and exploded. Bonte died in the process. The loss of the ten destroyers of the Narvik group led by Bonte in this early phase of the war had a significant impact on the progress of German operations at sea, since with them half of all operational destroyers had been lost; a number that could never be fully balanced. In particular, the security and mine operations in the North Sea had to be severely restricted as a result.


After his death there were further honors. In Magdeburg during the National Socialist era, for example, a street was named after him, the Kommodore-Bonte-Straße .

A street of the same name still exists in the Frisian town of Varel and in Wilhelmshaven , where there is also a Bontekai street name. After Bonte on June 5, 1940 in Wilhelmshaven the Kommodore-Bonte-Bridge was renamed from the Gazelle Bridge . A home for the crews of the destroyers lying there was also named Bonte-Heim from that day on .

In Flensburg - Mürwik , a barracks block of the former naval base was named after Bonte. The Bonte barracks is at the southern end of the site that now belongs to Sonwik .


  • Manfred Dörr: The knight's cross bearers of the surface armed forces of the Navy , 2 volumes, Biblio, Osnabrück 1995 and 1996, ISBN 3-7648-2453-0 , ISBN 3-7648-2498-0 . (= The knight's cross bearers of the German Wehrmacht: 1939 - 1945, part 7)
  • Hans H. Hildebrand and Ernest Henriot: Germany's Admirals 1849-1945 . Biblio, Osnabrück 1990, ISBN 3-7648-1499-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Nordwest Zeitung : Straße In Varel. Namesake with a dubious reputation , from September 7, 2018; accessed on: November 16, 2018
  2. ^ Wilhelmshavener Zeitung of March 17, 2007, supplement: Heimat am Meer; Ship chimneys at Bontekai