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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
JÜRGEN WATTENBERG (154-1984)
When JÜRGEN WATTENBERG was
a training officer with the rank of Kapitänleutnant, two of his cadets
in the cadet crew during the 'round the world cruise of the German Fleet
in the early 1930's were Joachim Schepke and OTTO KRETSCHMER
(122-1985). OTTO told us that WATTENBERG
was nicknamed 'the Watchmaker' because everything had to be
absolutely correct and accurate. In Yokohama, they took a train
from the base into town and OTTO told us that all the cadets had
to remain seated - at attention, on the train while WATTENBERG
stood at attention during the ride to make sure there were no wrinkles
at all in his spotless uniform.
JÜRGEN WATTENBERG and
U-162 were in the war only one more year, being sunk on 3
September 1942 but during this year, he conducted several Feindfahrten
(war patrols) in the North Atlantic, then off the South American coasts
and finally in the Caribbean where she was sunk with the loss of three
men. During this year she sank many ships which was reported in
great detail in the Sharkhunters KTB Magazine.
One of the ships sunk by
WATTENBERG was the sailing ship DOUGLASS and when the
ship went down, two pigs swam away from the wreckage. They were
quickly plucked from the sea and one of them was immediately "invited
to dinner" with the crew of U-162. Naturally, he
WAS the dinner. The other pig was named Douglass after the
ship they sank, and he was adopted as sort of a pet on that patrol.
When they returned to homeport at Lorient, France with the 2nd
U-Bootflottille this photo was taken as JÜRGEN was presenting
Douglass to Flotillenchef (Flotilla Commander) Korvettenkapitän Viktor
Schütze. Douglass suffered the same fate as the other pig in that
he graced the dinner table at the officer's mess that night.
A lover of American wild west stories and
history, WATTENBERG adopted the name "Watache" which apparently
means "Lone Warrior" and he lived in a cave in the Arizona desert for a
month. As the P.O.W.s would depart the camp on work details, they had to
pass an abandoned car and they would surreptitiously place food and water in the
car, which WATTENBERG would retrieve later on. He was a tough and
resourceful warrior, but he could not defeat the Arizona desert and after a
month of relative freedom, he turned himself in to the Army and was returned to
the P.O.W. camp at Papago Park.
After the war, JÜRGEN WATTENBERG returned to Germany and ultimately became CEO of St. Pauli Girl Brewery in Hamburg. He was with us at the 1988 Sharkhunters "North Germany Patrol".
Enjoy your morning coffee with
JÜRGEN WATTENBERG. Click on the
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