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Much of this information, the data, the photos etc. comes directly from the veterans, the veterans' organizations and is the most accurate available anywhere..............much of this information is not even known elsewhere.
|II-B||Deutsches Werft (Kiel)||28 Aug 1936|
|24 Sep 1936 and again
3 June 1943
|M02984||10 Sep 1944|
|SUNK BY||LOCATION SUNK||POSITION SUNK|
|her crew||off Turkish coast||unknown|
Commanders of U-23 include:
|LAST NAME||FIRST NAME||RANK||FROM||TO||OTHER BOATS||COMMENTS|
|KRETSCHMER||OTTO||Kplt||Sep 1938||23 Mar 1940||U-99||POW from U-99|
|Beduhn||Heinz||Kplt||23 Mar 1940||Mar 1942||U-25||KIA aboard U-25|
|Wahlen||Rolf-Birger||Kplt||Mar 1942||U-2514 and U-2541|
|Reichenberg-Klinke||Kurt||Kplt||U-217||KIA aboard U-217|
|Driver||Heinrich||Kplt||U-20, U-145 and U-371|
|Bruller||Kplt||U- 7 and U-407|
|Graf||Ulrich||U-69||KIA aboard U-69|
|KRETSCHMER (122-1985)||Heinrich Driver|
NOTE - Sharkhunters
Member's names appear in bold capital letters followed by their Membership
U-23 finished up maneuvers over 13 to 23 September 1939 then she was attached as a Frontboot (combat boat) attached to the U-Bootflottille Weddigen then transferred to the 1st U-Bootflottille in Kiel. She undertook three Feindfahrten (war patrols) in the North Sea. She covered Northeastern Scotland September 1939 and February 1940 then in the area of the Orkney and Shetland Islands over December 1939 and January 1940, laid mines in Cromarty Firth on 4 November 1939.
|No one else is aware that U-23 under OTTO KRETSCHMER (122-1985)
was ready to sail into Scapa Flow and attack the battleship HMS ROYAL OAK.
He was quite angry when he and the other Type II-B boats in the North Sea were
ordered to stand away from the Orkney Islands to avoid making the Royal Navy
aware that an effort was coming to sneak U-47 into the anchorage
to sink the battleship. KRETSCHMER knew nothing of this plan even
though Günther Prien was a good friend AND it was KRETSCHMER's
own brother, flying for the Luftwaffe, who did much of the aerial reconnaissance
over Scapa Flow for Prien's mission.
Aerial photo of Scapa Flow (right)
U-23 was then assigned to the 21st U-Bootflottille based at Pillau where she was a Schulboot (school boat). Later U-23 was decommissioned and disassembled, transported via autobahn and rivers to Romania where she was rebuilt and recommissioned in the 30th U-Bootflottille and operated out of Costanzia, Romania against Soviet forces based in the Black Sea.
SHIPS SUNK BY U-23 (KRETSCHMER commanding)
|4 Oct 1939||GLEN FARG||England||Freighter||876 tons|
|8 Dec 1939||SCOTIA||Denmark||Freighter||2,400 tons|
|9 Dec 1939||unknown||unknown||unknown||2,500 tons est.|
|11 Jan 1940||FREDVILLE||Norway||Freighter||1,150 tons|
|12 Jan 1940||DANMARK||Denmark||Tanker||10,517 tons|
|24 Jan 1940||BISP||Norway||Freighter||1,000 tons|
|18 Feb 1940||HMS DARING||England||Destroyer||1,375 tons|
|22 Feb 1940||LOCH MADDY||England||Freighter||4,996 tons|
|HMS DARING||LOCH MADDY bow (sinking)||LOCH MADDY stern (salved)|
LOCH MADDY was initially torpedoed by
U-57 (Korth) and abandoned. U-23 hit her again and
she broke apart.
SPECIAL NOTE; MORE INFORMATION - There is much more information on this boat and others in our book "The Rare Types". CLICK HERE for more information on this boat.
SHIPS SUNK BY U-23 (Wahlen commanding)
|24 Aug 1943||SC-207||Soviet||Mine sweeper||586 tons|
|15 Oct 1943||unknown||Soviet||unknown||2,000 tons|
|23 Oct 1943||unknown||Soviet||Freighter||1,000 tons|
|23 Oct 1943||unknown *||Soviet||Fishing boat||unknown|
|?? Jan 1944||unknown||Soviet||Freighter||1,500 tons|
|?? Jan 1944||unknown||Soviet||Tanker||2,000 tons|
|5 Apr 1944||unknown **||Soviet||Minesweeper||unknown|
|29 May 1944||unknown ***||Soviet||Tanker||1,800 tons|
|2 June 1944||unknown ****||Soviet||Fishing boat||unknown|
|3 June 1944||unknown||Soviet||Gunboat||unknown|
Fishing boat sunk by gunfire;
** Minesweeper sunk by gunfire
*** The tanker was beached when U-23 hit her with one more torpedo;
**** Fishing boat sunk with hand grenades; they took three prisoners.
SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-23 (Ahrendt commanding)
|Sep 1944||OITUZ||Soviet||Freighter||2,686 tons|
Ahrendt fired three torpedoes into Costanzia Harbor through the nets and
reported two detonations near the dock of the Romanian destroyer REGELE
FERDINAND and one detonation near a 6,000 ton freighter. Actually
only OITUZ was hit and damaged but she was already damaged and
this torpedo caused her to be a total loss. The other torpedo hit a dock
and damaged it.
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Many thanks to our friend and Sharkhunters Member since 1987 GEORG HÖGEL for all the conning tower emblems used in our monthly KTB Magazine and also here on the pages of our website. GEORG was radioman aboard U-30, the first boat into combat, the first to sink a ship (the liner ATHENIA) and the first into an occupied French port. When that Skipper (Lemp) took command of U-110, GEORG was one of the former crew to transfer to the new boat under Lemp. After the war, he was Professor of Art at a major German university.