Hans Hedtoft Hansen (21 April 1903 – 29 January 1955) was Prime Minister of Denmark from 13 November 1947 to 30 October 1950 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft I and again from 30 September 1953 to 29 January 1955 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft II.
Hedtoft was a Social Democrat, and had taken over the leadership of his party from Thorvald Stauning in 1939, but was forced by the Nazis to resign his posts in 1941 because he was too critical of the German occupation of Denmark. In September 1943, he was instrumental in starting the rescue of the Danish Jews.
In his first term progressive taxation was introduced. Also, after the failure to create a Scandinavian defence union, Denmark joined NATO in 1949. In October 1950 his government lost a vote on lifting the rationing of butter. Because this failure to get his policy through signalled that his party had lost its parliamentary support, new elections were called. Erik Eriksen from the Liberal Party was able to form the Cabinet of Erik Eriksen together with the Conservative People's Party on 30 October 1950.
On 30 September 1953 Hedtoft was able to return as Prime Minister, and formed the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft II, consisting only of the Social Democrats. He did not have the support of the Danish Social Liberal Party as they were unsatisfied with the large amount of resources allocated to the military because of Denmark's obligations to NATO. On 29 January 1955 Hedtoft died suddenly from a heart attack while in a meeting in the Nordic Council in Stockholm. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by his friend and Foreign Minister H. C. Hansen. The liner MS Hans Hedtoft was named after him.
... Hans Hedtoft was armed with three 40mm anti-aircraft guns, on the orders of the Danish Ministry of Defence (MoD) ... guns were dismounted and carried aboard Hans Hedtoft at the time of her sinking ... It was claimed that the arming of Hans Hedtoft resulted in a warship being constructed without the approval of the Folketing ...