Designated Ship 16, the Atlantis began cruising on 11 March 1940. Rogge sank his first vessel on 5 May in the South Atlantic. He soon sailed to the Indian Ocean, where he met with great success. The Atlantis sank 22 ships weighing an aggregate 145,697 tons, the most of any commerce raider during the war. On 22 November 1941, while on her return to Germany, Atlantis stopped for repairs and refueling from a U-boat in the South Atlantic; there, the vessel was surprised by the British heavy cruiser Devonshire and sunk. Rogge and most of his crew survived, and their lifeboats were taken in tow by the U-126. The crew of the Atlantis set records for 622 continuous days at sea and for sailing more than 102,000 nautical miles.
Rogge made it back to Germany, where Adolf Hitler personally awarded him the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross. In 1942, Rogge was appointed inspector general of training establishments and commander of fleet training formations. In March 1943, he was promoted to Konteradmiral (U.S. equiv. rear admiral) and given command of Kampfgruppe Rogge. In 1945, he was promoted to Vizeadmiral (U.S. equiv. vice admiral) and commanded the 3rd Battle Group in the Baltic.
In 1955, Rogge joined the new West German Bundesmarine (navy) as a vice admiral. He died in Reinbek bei Hamburg, Germany, on 29 June 1982.
Duffy, James. Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001.; Rigg, Bryan. Hitler's Jewish Soldiers. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002.; Ruge, Friedrich. Der Seekrieg: The German Navy's Story, 1939–1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1957.; Von der Porten, Edward. The German Navy in World War II. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1969.