SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

OTTO  WERMUTH  (1344-1990)

Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe

Commanding Officer, U-530


Formal photo on promotion to Kapitšnleutnant   In his leathers late in the war

OTTO WERMUTH commanded U-530 and most of his Feindfahrten (war patrols) were "Spook" work patrols.  Her final Feindfahrt was in July/August 1944 under the codename "TANNE" (fir tree).  She patrolled in the central Atlantic but her mission was to meet with a Japanese I-Boat, which she did on 23 June 1944.  They transferred German specialists and advanced equipment to the Japanese boat but that Japanese I-Boat was attacked shortly thereafter and sunk with all hands lost.

The Japanese boat went down in something like 19,000 feet of water but recently researchers/treasure hunters located the I-Boat and confirmed she was carrying a vast amount of gold and silver.

When the war ended, WERMUTH took U-530 to Argentina where she surrendered in late July 1945, two and a half months after the German surrender.  In letters to us, WERMUTH did not refer to this patrol as "ein Feindfahrt" (war patrol).  Instead he called it "ein Reise" (a journey).  The photo right is WERMUTH and his men in Mar del Platte, the Argentine Navy base a few hundred miles south of Buenos Aires.


It was officially reported that there was no paperwork left aboard U-530 when they surrendered in Mar del Platte; that all communications, all letters, all codebooks and logbooks were thrown overboard before they surrendered the boat in the Argentina submarine base.

However, in 1947, two years after the end of the war, PETER HANSEN (251-1987) was sent to Argentina to translate and explain all the documents that "were not aboard" U-530.

The Argentine Navy was extremely hospitable and helpful when Sharkhunters Founder and President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) visited Mar del Platte in 2008.  These files were laid out in front of his for him to view and to show that, indeed, there was a lot of paperwork aboard U-530 when she surrendered.

The story of U-530 is one of the more puzzling of the war, but much of it is revealed in our book "The Secret Alliance" by Michael Ivinheim.  Click on this book title and read more about this World War Two secret.