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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.
 

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-B Germania Werft (Kiel) 4 August 1940
     
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
14 September 1940 M29052 30 March 1945
     
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
her crew Wilhelmshaven Harbor unknown


             No Men lost

Commanders of U-96 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK
               (120-1985)
HEINRICH 14 Sep 1940 March 1942 U-8, U-5 and U-256  
Hellriegel Heinz-Jürgen March 1942 March 1943 U-543 KIA aboard U-543
Willner Horst Training      
Rix Robert Training      
 
HEINRICH LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK
(120-1985)
  Heinz-Jürgen Hellriegel

NOTE - Sharkhunters Member's names appear in bold capital letters followed by their Membership Number.

U-96 was initially attached to the 7th U-Bootflottille based at St. Nazaire, France as a Frontboot until March 1943.  She was transferred to the 22nd U-Bootflottille based at Gottenhafen as a Schulboot (school boat) and used there for training until she was destroyed dockside 30 March 1945 by an American bombing raid.

U-96 undertook 11 Feindfahrten (War Patrols), mostly in the North Atlantic.  In November 1941, she was ordered into the Mediterranean and stopped in the harbor at Vigo, Spain to replenish fuel and supplies from the 'interned' German supply ship BESSEL on the night of 27/28 November.  She attempted the break-through the night of 30 November/1 December 1941 but was so badly damaged that she had to withdraw back to St. Nazaire for repairs.  Over February and March 1942 she operated for one Feindfahrt off Nova Scotia and New England.

If this war history and the emblem appear familiar, this was part of the plot for the excellent movie "Das Boot" because during one patrol, LEHMANN-WILLEMBROCK had a PK (Propaganda Kompanie) sketch artist/photographer aboard named Lothar-Günther Buchheim!  He was to later become the author of the book turned movie "Das Boot" and to be quite frank, pretty well hated by most surviving U-Bootfahrer.

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-96 (LEHMANN-WILLENBROCH commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
11 Dec 1940 ROTORUA England Steamer 10,890
11 Dec 1940 TOWA Netherlands Steamer   5,419
12 Dec 1940 STUREHOLM Sweden Motorship   4,575
12 Dec 1940 MACEDONIER Belgium Steamer   5,227
14 Dec 1940 WESTERN PRINCE England Motorship 10,926
16 Jan 1941 OROPESA   (1) England Steam liner 14,118
17 Dec 1941 ALAMEDA STAR  (2) England Steam liner 14,935
   
ROTORUA   STUREHOLM   MACEDONIER
         
   
WESTERN PRINCE   OROPESA   ALEMEDA STAR

(1)  OROPESA was still afloat two and a half hours after the initial attack, so she was finally sunk by a coup d'grace shot.
(2)
  ALEMEDA STAR evaded three separate attacks by U-96 before finally being hit and even then, it took three more torpedoes to sink her.
 

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
13 Feb 1941 CLEA England Motorship   8,074
13 Feb 1941 ARTHUR F. CORWIN  (3) England Motorship tanker 10,516
18 Feb 1941 BLACK OSPREY England Steamer   5,589
22 Feb 1941 SCOTTISH STANDARD   (4) England Steamer   6,668 Tons
23 Feb 1941 HUNTINGDON England Steamer 10,946
24 Feb 1941 LINARIA England Steamer   3,385
24 Feb 1941 SVEIN JARI Norway Steamer   1,908
24 Feb 1941 SIRIKISHNA England Steamer   5,458
28 Apr 1941 OILFIELD England Motorship   8,516
28 Apr 1941 CALEDONIA Norway Motorship tanker   9,892
28 Apr 1941 PORT HARDY England Steamer   8,897
19 May 1941 EMPIRE RIDGE England Steamer   2,922
  5 Jul 1941 ANSELM    (5) England Steamer transport   5,954
ARTHUR F. CORWIN BLACK OSPREY SCOTTISH STANDARD
     
CALEDONIA PORT HARDY ANSELM
(3)  ARTHUR F. CORWIN was first hit by two torpedoes from U-123; two more torpedoes from U-96 sank this ship.
(4)  SCOTTISH STANDARD was damaged by bombs from an FW 200 CONDOR (similar to the photo right) of I/KG 40, then she was finally sunk by U-96.
 
 

(5)  U-96 fired one torpedo each at the armed merchant cruiser HMS CATHAY and the yacht HMS CHALLENGER in a group escorted by three destroyers.  Both torpedoes missed their intended target and hit ANSELM, sinking her.
 

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
31 Oct 1941 BENNEKOM Netherlands Steamer 5,998
19 Feb 1942 EMPIRE SEAL England Motorship 7,955
20 Feb 1942 LAKE OSWEGA   (6) United States Motorship 2,398
22 Feb 1942 TORUNGEN Norway Steamer 1,948
22 Feb 1942 KARS England Motorship 8,888
  9 Mar 1942 TYR Norway Motorship 4,265

 

BENNEKOM

 

TORUNGEN

 

 

 

 

KARS  (after section beached)

 

TYR

(6)  This ship LAKE OSWEGA was built in 1918, owned and operated by Ford Motor Company and her master was Karl Prinz.  Her armament consisted of two 3” guns and she carried 2,398 tons of general cargo.  She was bound from New York to Iceland by way of Halifax.  U-96 had sunk EMPIRE SEA some hours earlier and then went after this zigzagging freighter.  One torpedo hit this old ship amidships, breaking her in two, and she sank quickly.  The log of U-96 indicates that three lifeboats were launched, but none of the eight officers, twenty-two men and seven Armed Guards was ever found.

                  SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-96 (LEHMANN-WILLENBROCH commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
 14 Dec 1940 EMPIRE RAZORBILL England Steamer   5,118
18 Dec 1940 PENDRECHT Netherlands Motorship 10,746

 

PENDRECHT

 

ELISABETH von BELGIE

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-96 (Hellriegel commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
10 Sep 1942 ELISABETH von BELGIE Belgium Steamer 4,241
10 Sep 1942 SVEVE Norway Motorship 6,313
11 Sep 1942 BELAES   (7) Portugal Trawler    415
25 Sep 1942 NEW YORK England Steamer 4,989

(7)  BELAES was sunk by gunfire from the deck gun.
 

                  SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-96 (Hellriegel commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
10 Sep 1942 F. J. WOLFE    (8) England Motorship tanker 12,190

(8)  This damaged tanker continued in convoy all the way to St. Johns where she arrived on 19 September.

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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.