Type VII-A German U-Boat

The first of the Type VII boats were called VII-A.  These were sea-going boats based on the Finnish VETEHINEN and built to get the greatest number of U-Boats built for the total overall tonnage limitations allowed by the London Naval Treaty.  The Kriegsmarine listed the Type VII boats as displacing 500 tons although they were much more than that.  The Type VII boats with all its variants were the most produced submarines ever in the history of naval warfare.

Only ten Type VII-A boats were built; U-27 through U-36.  Six of them were sunk before the war was a year old.  The Type VII-A carried eleven torpedoes, some stowed externally.

Displacement:    626/745 tonsLength:                  211′ 9″Beam:                    19′ 3″Draft:                   14′ 6″
Power (diesel):    2,100 hpPower (electric):    750 hpSpeed (diesel):     16 knots  *Speed (electric):  8 knots
Bunkers:   67 tons diesel fuelRange (diesel):  4,300 miles @ 12 knotsRange (electric):   90 miles @ 4 knotsCrew:   44 men **
Deck gun:   single 3.5 inchAA guns:    single 20mmTubes (fwd):  fourTubes (aft):   one  ***

   *  With saddle tanks empty, speed increased to 17 knots.
**  Crew complement varied up to perhaps 60 depending on the mission.
***  What set the “A” variant apart from all other Type VII variants was the stern tube.  On the “A” variant, the stern tube was above the waterline.  All others had the stern tube below the waterline.

History of the German Submarine U-27
TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)24 Jun 1936
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
12 Aug 1936M0812920 Sep 1939
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
HMS FORESTER and
HMS FORTUNE
60 miles W of the Hebrides58º 35’N x 09º 02’W
HMS FORESTERHMS FORTUNEU-27 sinking

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-27 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
IbbekenHans12 Aug 1936
LooffHans GüntherU-1, U-9 and U-122 KIA aboard U-122
FranzJohannesU-32POW aboard U-27

U-27 made only one Feindfahrt (war patrol) during which she was sunk by the two Royal Navy destroyers shown above.  The entire crew was rescued and taken prisoner of war.

SHIPS SUNK BY U-27 (Franz commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRT
13 Sep 1939DAVARA  * EnglandTrawler   291 tons
16 Oct 1939RUDYARD KIPLING  ** EnglandTrawler   333 tons

  *  DAVARA was sunk by gunfire.
** RUDYARD KIPLING was sunk with scuttling charges.

NOTE – The 2 October 1939 issue of LIFE Magazine carried a photo of U-27 taken from the freighter WACOSTA when she was stopped and searched. The freighter did not carry any wartime cargo and was allowed to proceed but U-27 was sunk before the photograph was published in the magazine.

History of the German Submarine U-28


Conning tower emblem U-28

TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)14 Jul 1936
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
12 Sep 1936M2743617 Mar 1944
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
Accidentoff Neustadtwas raised

One Man lost. (see below)

 

Commanders of U-28 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
AmbrosiusWilhelmApr 1939U-43
KuhnkeGüntherApr 1939Nov 1940U-125
MarbachHeinzNov 1940U-29, U-953 and U-3015
HeinrichRatschU-583KIA aboard U-583
GUGGENBERGERFRIEDERICHU-81, U-847 and U-513POW from U-513
RÖSINGHANS-RUDOLFU-11 and U-48
KremplErichU-71, U-1162 and U-548KIA aboard U-548
EckhardtHermannU-432KIA aboard U-432
ChristiansenUweU-71, U-2508 and U-2365
SacheDietrichU-423
Wilhelm AmbrosiusGünther KuhnkeHeinz Marbach
Erich KremplUwe Christiansen
FRIEDERICH GUGGENBERGER (269-1987)HANS-RUDOLF RÖSING (313-1987)

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

On her commissioning, U-28 was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel and later to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille until January 1941. She was then transferred to the 24th U-Bootflottille as a Schulboot (school boat) for training activities. While operating as a Frontboot (combat boat) she operated south of Ireland in September 1939; in the western English Channel in November 1939 and again in March 1940 and also in June 1940; operated off the North Channel in September 1940 and again in November 1940. She had a minelaying mission in the Bristol Channel on 5 December 1939 then to the southeast of the Isle of Wight on 7 March 1940.

U-28 was sunk by accident, probably a training diving accident, off Neustadt on 17 March 1944.  She was raised later in the same month but never repaired.  She was paid off (decommissioned) on 4 July 1944.

 

SHIPS SUNK BY U-28 (Kuhnke commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRT
14 Sep 1939VANCOUVER CITYEnglandMotorship4,955 tons
17 Nov 1939SLIEDERECHTNetherlandsTanker5,133 tons
25 Nov 1939ROYSTON GRANGEEnglandFreighter5,144 Tons
21 Jan 1940PROTESILAUS   *EnglandFreighter9,533 Tons
  9 Mar 1940P. MARGARONISGreeceFreighter4,979 Tons
11 Mar 1940EULOTANetherlandsTanker6,236 Tons
18 Jun 1940SARMATIAFinlandFreighter2,417 Tons
19 Jun 1940ADAMANDIOS
GEORGANDIS
GreeceFreighter3,443 Tons
21 Jun 1940PRUNELLAEnglandFreighter4,443 Tons
27 Aug 1940EVANorwayFreighter1,599 Tons
28 Aug 1940KYNOEnglandFreighter3,946 Tons
  9 Sep 1940MARDINIANEnglandFreighter2,434 Tons
11 Sep 1940MAASNetherlandsFreighter1,966 Tons
26 Oct 1940MATINA  **EnglandFreighter5,389 Tons

  *  PROTESILAUS struck a mine laid on 13 November 1939.
** Kuhnke was not able to watch MATINA sink so she probably remained afloat but abandoned until U-31 came upon her on 29 October and sank her with a coup d’grace torpedo.

NOTE – On 11 September 1940, U-28 attacked several ships in Convoy OA.210.  The first torpedo supposedly struck an unidentified tanker and Kuhnke assumed a hit but there was no confirmation. However the 4,678 ton British steamer HARPEDON was hit and damaged. The last torpedo hit MAAS and sank her.

EULOTASARMATIA
ADAMANDIOS GEORGANDISMARDINIAN

NOTE – The only man lost from U-28 was Obergefreiter Bernhard Gabriel; killed on 13 October 1943.

History of the German Submarine U-29


Conning tower emblem U-29

TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)22 Aug 1936
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
16 Nov 1936M10220  5 May 1945
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
her crewFlensburg bayunknown

U-29 outboard of U-28

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-29 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
FischerHans-GeorgU-109
MarbachKarl-HeinzU-101, U-28, U-953 and U-3014
AustEduardU-34, U-922 and U-679KIA aboard U-679
SCHUHARTOTTOApr 1939Jan 1940KIA aboard U-583
ZornRudolfU-416, U-382 and U-650KIA aboard U-650
LASSENGEORGJan 1940Sep 1941U-160
ThurmannKarlU-553KIA aboard U-553
HasenscharHeinrichSep 1941May 1942U-628KIA aboard U-628
von Graf und zu
Arco-Zinneberg
Ulrich PhilipU-992
Hans-Georg FischerKarl-Heinz Marbach
OTTO SCHUHART (1366-1990)GEORG LASSEN (184-1986)

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

On her commissioning U-29 was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel and later to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille until January 1941.  She was then transferred to the 24th U-Bootflottille based in Memel as a Schulboot (school boat) for training activities.

U-29 had several Feindfahrt (war patrols) in the North Atlantic. On her first Feindfahrt she sank the 22,500 ton Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS COURAGEOUS west in the English Channel with the loss of 518 men.  This was the first major success for the U-Boats in the war. U-29 laid mines in the Bristol Channel off Milford Haven (England) on 1 December 1939 and again over the night of 2-3 March 1940. She operated off Trondheim in April 1940; in the western English Channel in June 1940; she refueled from the supply tanker BESSEL in Vigo, Spain on 21 June 1940; and she provided escort for the German raider SCHIFF 21 (WIDDER) to Brest, France over 29 through 31 October 1940.

German Raider WIDDER

SHIPS SUNK BY U-29 (SCHUHART commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRT
  8 Sep 1939REGENT TIGEREnglandTanker10,176 tons
13 Sep 1939NEPTUNIAEnglandTanker      798 tons
14 Sep 1939BRITISH INFLUENCEEnglandTanker  8,431 Tons
17 Sep 1939HMS COURAGEOUSEnglandAircraft carrier22,500 Tons
  3 Mar 1940CATO   *EnglandFreighter     710 Tons
  4 Mar 1940THURSTONEnglandMotorship  3,072 Tons
  4 Mar 1940PACIFIC RELIANCE  **EnglandMotorship  6,717 Tons
26 Mar 1940DIMITRISGreeceFreighter  5,254 Tons
  1 Jul 1940ADAMASTOSGreeceFreighter  5,889 Tons
  2 Jul 1940SANTA MARGARITAPanamaFreighter  4,919 Tons
  2 Jul 1940ATHELLAIRDEnglandTanker  8,999 Tons
25 Sep 1040EURYMEDONEnglandFreighter  6,223 Tons

*   CATO struck a mine laid hours before by U-29.
** During this attack, U-29 fired at both PACIFIC RELIANCE and the 6,000 British tanker SAN FLORENTINO.  They heard only light detonations for hits on the tanker but B-Dienst (the German radio listening group) assumed that SAN FLORENTINO was sunk but there was no damage to her at all.

HMS COURAGEOUSHMS COURAGEOUS
PACIFIC RELIANCEDIMITRIS
ATHELLAIRDEURYMEDON

U-29 was scuttled by her own crew off Flensburg Bay while under command of Arco-Zinneberg in the unofficial Operation Regenbogen (Rainbow) against orders from Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.  Sometime between 1947 and 1953 she was raised by the Allies and broken up.

History of the German Submarine U-30

     

     
Various conning tower emblems used by U-30.  Above left was the first that Lemp used but it was replaced by the floppy-eared puppy after a little dog on the dock grabbed a piece of line, ran off but was jerked to a halt when the line went tight. The crew adopted the dog.

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. In the case of U-30, several survivors tell their stories as well.

TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)  4 Aug 1936
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
  8 Oct 1936M05559  5 May 1945
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
her crewFlensburg bayunknown

U-30 pre-war

U-30 inboard of U-28 pre-war

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-30 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
CohauszHansU-657 and U-A
LöserPaul-KarlU-373
PauckstadtHansU-18, U-12, U-20, U-34 (twice) and U-193
LempFritz-JuliusNov 1938Sep 1940U-110KIA aboard U-583
BABERGKURTTrainingU-618 and U-827
PrützmannTraining
FabriciusLudwigTrainingU-821 and U-721
FischerErnstTrainingU-821, U-749 and U-3006
SaarTrainingU-42, U-555 and U-957
SchimmelTrainingU-137 and U-382

Wearing his makeshift Knights Cross made by his crew while at sea after he received radio message that he was to be awarded the medal on his return.

Formal photo of Lemp on receipt of his Knights Cross

Lemp in white cap with Admiral Karl Dönitz

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

Kplt KURT BABERG (270-1987) Oberfunkmaat GEORG HÖGEL (240-1987)

Both BABERG and HÖGEL were at our 1987 Sharkhunters 1st Annual Convention held in Key Largo, Florida.  The history we got in the speech by GEORG HÖGEL is funny, and it puts a human face on the war.  It is first-person history found nowhere else.  GEORG attends our Sharkhunters ‘Patrols‘ in Germany, and all the conning tower emblems used by Sharkhunters on our web pages as well as in our monthly KTB Magazine are all from the pen of GEORG HÖGEL, a highly talented artist.

U-30 was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel then to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille based at Lorient, France.  She had a minelaying mission in Liverpool Bay on 6 January 1940 then a patrol west of the Bay f Biscay over June and July 1940.

U-30 had a unique and interesting combat career during which she;
*  torpedoed the battleship HMS BARHAM on 28 December 1939 (no appreciable damage);
*  had an engagement with a Royal Navy submarine on 13 March 1940;
*  recovered the crew of a downed German aircraft on 29 March 1940;
*  rescued thirteen survivors from the Swedish SS HAGAR on 3 May 1940 after the ship struck a British mine;
*  refueled from supply ship MAX ALBRECHT in El Ferrol Harbor, Spain on 25 June 1940;
*  was the first U-Boat into combat in World War II;
*  fired the first torpedo in World War II when she attacked a rock they mistook for a cruiser;
*  sank the first ship in World War II, the liner ATHENIA;


liner ATHENIA

*  was the first U-Boat into Reykjavik Harbor in WW II when they disembarked two wounded men – a crewmember and an RAF pilot;
*  rescued a turkey and named his Alfons (great story further on);
*  was the first U-Boat into a captured French port (Lorient).

 

SHIPS SUNK BY U-30 (Lemp commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRT
  3 Sep 1939ATHENIA  * EnglandLiner13,581 tons
11 Sep 1939BLAIRLOGIE EnglandFreighter  4,869 tons
14 Sep 1939FANAD HEAD  ** EnglandFreighter  5,200 Tons
28 Dec 1939BARBARA ROBERTSON
     (sunk by gunfire)
EnglandPatrol Craft     325 Tons
11 Jan 1940EL OSO  *** EnglandTanker  7,267 Tons
17 Jan 1940CAIRNROSE  *** EnglandFreighter  5,494 Tons
  7 Feb 1940MUNSTER  *** EnglandMotorship  4,305 Tons
  9 Feb 1940CHARGES  *** EnglandFreighter  5,406 Tons
20 Jun 1940OTTERPOOL EnglandFreighter  4,876 Tons
22 Jan 1940RANDSFJORD NorwayMotorship  3,999 Tons
28 Jun 1940LLANARTH EnglandFreighter  5,053 Tons
  1 Jul 1940BEIGNON EnglandFreighter  5,218 Tons
  1 Jul 1940CLEARTON EnglandFreighter  5,219 Tons
  6 Jul 1940SEA GLORY  **** EnglandFreighter  1,964 Tons
21 Jul 1940ELLAROY EnglandFreighter     712 Tons
  9 Aug 1940CANTON SwedenMotorship  5,779 Tons
16 Aug 1940CLAN MacPHEE EnglandFreighter  6,628 Tons

*  The sinking of ATHENIA, the first ship sunk in World War II, caused a storm of propaganda back and forth with England denouncing the action and the German Propaganda Ministry trying to convince the world that ‘agents of Churchill‘ placed a time bomb aboard the ship to make Germany look bad.  Karl Dönitz ordered Lemp to expunge all mention of this action from the logbook of U-30 and it was GEORG HÖGEL who had to tear the pages out of his radio log.

**  FANAD HEAD was stopped in accordance with the ‘Prize Rules‘ and the ship’s crew was told by Lemp to get on the other side of U-30 so they would not be harmed when he torpedoed their ship, which they did.  They had no bread aboard U-30, so they remembered the days of World War I when they would board enemy ships and take what they needed before sinking them, so Lemp sent four men aboard to look for bread and he had one other man in a rubber boat to bring back whatever the men found.  Every case they found marked ‘bread‘ contained milk!  Suddenly two planes appeared, SKUA dive bombers, so Lemp had to dive but he had U-30 pointed directly at the side of FANAD HEAD but there was not enough room for the boat to dive before hitting the freighter.  Lemp ordered full reverse while still flooding.  U-30 was able to dive safely, but to the men he left aboard FANAD HEAD and the one in the dinghy, it appeared that the submarine had sunk.  They were running at 30 meters when a bomb hit directly above them, so Lemp took the boat deeper – down to sixty meters but again a bomb hit directly above them.  What was going on, GEORG thought – then Lemp was heard to ask, “Bootsmann, how many meters line you have to the dinghy boat?” The reply from the bootsmannsmaat solved the riddle – “Eighty meters line.”  Every twist and turn made by U-30 underwater was mirrored by the rubber boat on the surface, showing the two dive bombers where the boat was.  Lemp gave orders – the boat shot to the surface and the bootsmannsmaat, with a knife clenched in his teeth in true pirate fashion, leapt out of the hatch, cut the line, dropped back in the boat and slammed the hatch behind him.  The boat dived again. Soon it was clear and Lemp surfaced the boat.  To his surprise he found that he now had six men on the ship when he put only four U-Bootfahrer on FANAD HEAD. One SKUA had been too low when he released his bomb and the concussion of his own bomb blew him out of the air.  Both of the aircrew were injured, but one was very badly injured.  Lemp got all his men and the two British airmen aboard and with U-30 a few hundred meters off the beam of FANAD HEAD, fired at her.  GEORG was tracking the torpedo on the sound gear and he reported that the torpedo was running straight for the target.  It hit, detonated and blew FANAD HEAD in half, both halves sinking immediately.  With that, GEORG heard Lemp shout a curse; unusual for the very calm and proper Lemp and at that moment is sound gear picked up two sets of high-speed screws coming in fast.  When FANAD HEAD sank, Lemp saw two Royal Navy destroyers coming in fast.  He had not been able to see them before FANAD HEAD sank because they were coming from the other side.  When the ship sank, they were clearly visible and Lemp realized that these destroyers must have been part of a Royal Navy task force which also included the aircraft carrier that launched the two short-range dive bombers.  He took U-30 deep and they rode out the counter-attack.  They later landed the wounded British airmen and one wounded U-Bootfahrer at Iceland.

***  Ran onto mines laid by U-30 in January 1940.

****  Not absolutely certain this was SEA GLORY.

BLAIRLOGIE FANAD HEADOTTERPOOL
RANDSFJORDCLEARTONCLAN MacPHEE

On 28 December 1939, U-30 was on her way to lay mines in Liverpool Bay and so had only one torpedo aboard – and the 31,100 ton Royal Navy battleship HMS BARHAM (right) sailed in her path.  Not wanting to miss this golden opportunity, Lemp fired his only torpedo. The torpedo hit and detonated properly but probably did no more than scratch the pain on the battleship.

  

On 15 January 1940, the 5,642-ton British steamer GRACIA was damaged when she ran onto a mine planted by U-30.

There are many stories from combatants and survivors alike.  Some of them are below.


There is an incredible and lengthy history attached to U-30, much of it told to us by GEORG HÖGEL. Click on his photo to read his memories of the war – some sad, some very funny. Click his photo here.


Eleven-year-old Russel Park was a passenger aboard ATHENIA that fateful September night in 1939.  Here he recounts what took place.  Click the photo of ATHENIA here to read this first-person story.


Art students Thomas Fielder and John Bernard were passengers aboard ATHENIA that fateful 3rd of September 1939.  Click on the photograph here and read his story of survival on the high seas as only one of the pair survived.


Cathleen Schurr had worked in England since graduating from an American college and she was reluctant to leave her adopted country, but war clouds were gathering very fast so she decided to leave England.  She only got a ticket aboard ATHENIA because someone had canceled thereby leaving a vacant berth.  She felt fortunate to have gotten this one last ticket…


Cathleen Schurr tells her survival story aboard the rescue ship CITY OF FLINT after ATHENIA went down.

U-30 was scuttled by her own crew off Flensburg Bay while under command of Schimmel in the unofficial Operation Regenbogen (Rainbow) against orders from Großadmiral Karl Dönitz. Sometime between 1947 and 1953 she was raised by the Allies and broken up.

History of the German Submarine U-31

TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)25 Sep 1936
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
28 Dec 1936
30 Jul 1936
M2896111 Mar 1940
3 Nov 1940
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
RAF Aircraft (1st time)
HMS ANTELOPE (2nd time)
Schillig Roads (1st time)
NW of Ireland (2nd time)
56º 26’N x 10º 18’W
(2nd time)


HMS ANTELOPE (H-36)

1st sinking – All Hands Lost, the ship’s crew plus 13 others

2nd sinking – Four Men Lost

There was a multi-page article in the 2 July 1937 issue of Die Wehrmacht entitled
 “24 Hours On Board U-31”
Here are some of the photos:

Photo above – Clemens Laar, the author of this article, peers over the bridge while underway.

Photo left are the officers. From left are: Leutnant zur See Klaus Korth, Kapitänleutnant (Ing) Bahn, Kapitänleutnant Rolf Dau

In the Kiel Kanal at Brunsbüttle. The U-Boat
support ship WEICHSEL is astern of U-31.
Navigation training on the compass
Two other reporters aboardThe Watch Officer prevents the cameraman from
falling overboard as he gets another shot

 

Commanders of U-31 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
DauRolfU-5 and U-42
RigeleHermannU-10, U-17, UD-1 and UD-3
HabekostJohannes  9 Sep 193912 Mar 1940KIA aboard U-31
   (1st sinking)
PrellbergWilfried21 Aug 1939  9 Sep 1939U-19
PrellbergWilfried30 Jul 1940  3 Nov 1940KIA aboard U-31
   (2nd sinking)

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

U-31 was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel then to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille.  She patrolled the North Atlantic and the North Sea in September and December 1939, had a minelaying mission off Loch Ewe in the North Minch on 27 October 1939 and again on 21 January 1940.  She was sunk on 11 March 1940 by RAF aircraft with all hands plus 13 other naval personnel lost.

U-31 was raised and recommissioned on 30 July 1940 when she began her second life, again attached to the 2nd U-Bootflottille.  On her first Feindfahrt (war patrol) she had an engagement with a British submarine on 8 October 1940 with no outcome.  She was sunk the second time on 3 November 1940 by HMS ANTELOPE (H-36) with four men lost and all others captured.

U-31 was the first submarine to attack a convoy in World War Two and she was the first submarine in that war to be sunk twice.

SHIPS SUNK BY U-31 (Habekost commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
16 Sep 1930AVIEMORE  *EnglandSteamer4,060
24 Sep 1930HAZELSIDEEnglandFreighter4,646
  1 Dec 1939ARCTURUSNorwayFreighter1,277
  1 Dec 1939MERCATORFinlandFreighter4,260
  3 Dec 1939OVE TOFTDenmarkFreighter2,135
  4 Dec 1939GIMLENorwayFreighter1,271
  4 Dec 1939PRIMULANorwayFreighter1,024
  6 Dec 1939FOINANorwayFreighter1,674
  6 Dec 1939VINGASwedenFreighter1,974
23 Dec 1939GLEN ALBYN  **EnglandMine Sweeper      82
23 Dec 1939PROMOTIVE  **EnglandMine Sweeper      78

  *  Habekost heard multiple detonations and assumed that he hit another ship in Convoy OB.4 but all hits were against AVIEMORE.
** Both minesweepers struck mines laid by U-31 on 27 October 1939 in Loch Ewe.

AVIEMOREHAZELSIDE
ARCTURUSHMS NELSON  ***

***  The battleship HMS NELSON was damaged on 4 December 1939 when she ran onto a mine laid by U-31 on 27 October.

 

SHIPS SUNK BY U-31 (Prellberg commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
22 Sep 1940UNION JACKFaroe IslandSteam/sail     81
27 Sep 1939VESTVARDNorwayFreighter4,319
29 Oct 1940MARTINA  ***EnglandFreighter5,389

***  MARTINA was hit and incapacitated by U-28 (Kuhnke) on 26 October but she did not sink.  U-31 found her three days later and sank her with a coup d’grace torpedo.UNION JACK

Men lost on U-31 (2nd sinking).

Maschinengefreiter Konstantin Aker was lost 2 November 1940 in an accident

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMERANKLAST NAMEFIRST NAMERANK
GerdesAdolfMasch Ob GfrGrunertBrunoOblt Ing
GundelOttoMasch Ob GfrGütherErichOber Gfr
History of the German Submarine U-32

TYPEBUILDERLAUNCHED
VII-AAG Weser (Bremen)25 Feb 1937
COMMISSIONEDFELDPOST Nr.SUNK
5 Apr 1937M0045030 Oct 1940
SUNK BYLOCATION SUNKPOSITION SUNK
HMS HARVESTER (H-19) &
HMS HIGHLANDER (H-44)
NW of Ireland55º 37’N x 12º 20’W
HMS HARVESTER (above) was ordered by the Brazilian Navy in 1938 from the Vickers-Armstrong yard and was laid down on 3 June 1938  She was going to be named JURURA but when war broke out, she was requisitioned by the British Admiralty on 5 September 1939, launched 29 September under the name HMS HANDY.  Since there was already another HMS HANDY in the Royal Navy, her name was changed to HMS HARVESTER on 27 February 1940.HMS HIGHLANDER (above) was ordered by the Brazilian Navy and was laid down on 28 September 1938 and was going to be named JAGUARIBE.  The Admiralty requisitioned this ship on 5 September 1939 due to the opening of the war.

Men Lost – see below.

 

Commanders of U-32 include:

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMEFROMTOOTHER BOATSCOMMENTS
LottWernerU-25 and U-35
BüchelPaulFeb 1939Feb 1940U-860
FranzJohannesU-27
JenischHans1 Jul 194030 Oct 1940

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

 

Werner LottHans Jenisch

U-32 was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel then to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille.  She completed two Feindfahrten (war patrols) in the North Atlantic, laid mines in the Bristol Channel on 17 September 1939; laid mines in the Firth of Clyde in January 1940; laid mines north of Liverpool Bay.  There were more operations in the North Channel in January 1940 and in the Irish Sea in March 1940.

 

SHIPS SUNK BY U-32 (Büchel commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
18 Sep 1939KENSINGTON COURTEnglandFreighter4,863
28 Sep 1939JERNNorwayFreighter   875
31 Dec 1939LUNANorwayFreighter   959
KENSINGTON COURTLUNA
MARWARRILOCHGOIL

 

SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-32 (Büchel commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
5 Oct 1939MARWARRIEnglandFreighter8,063
6 Oct 1939LOCHGOILEnglandFreighter9,462

Both MARWARRI and LOCHGOIL were damaged when they ran onto mines laid by U-32 in 17 September 1939.

 

SHIPS SUNK BY U-32 (Jenisch commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
3 Mar 1940LAGAHOLMSwedenFreighter2,818
8 Mar 1940COUNSELLOR  (1)EnglandFreighter5,068
18 Jun 1940ALTAIRNorwayFreighter1,522
18 Jun 1940SALVORA (2)SpainFreighter   108
18 Jul 1940FARO-ONS (2)SpainFreighter   108
19 Jun 1940LABUDYugoslaviaFreighter5,334
22 Jun 1940ELI KNUDSENNorwayTanker9,026
30 Aug 1940MILL HILLEnglandFreighter4,318
30 Aug 1940CHELSEAEnglandFreighter4,804
LAGAHOLMELI KNUDSENCHELSEA

1.   COUNSELLOR sank when she ran onto a mine in the field laid by U-32 on 7 March.
2.   SALVORA and FARO-ONS were sunk by gunfire.

TANCREDHAULERWIJK
DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
30 Aug 1940NORNENorwayMotorship  3,971
25 Sep 1940MABRITONEnglandFreighter  6,694
26 Sep 1940TANCREDNorwayMotorship  6,094
26 Sep 1940DARCOILAEnglandFreighter  4,084
28 Sep 1940EMPIRE OCELOTEnglandFreighter  5,759
29 Sep 1940BASSAEnglandFreighter  5,267
  1 Oct 1940HAULERWIJKNetherlandsFreighter  3,278
  2 Oct 1940KAYESONEnglandFreighter  4,606
28 Oct 1940EMPRESS OF BRITAINEnglandLiner42,348

Hulk under tow
Above are four photographs of EMPRESS OF BRITAIN; the lower right shows the hulk under tow.  She had initially been attacked by aircraft of the Luftwaffe, damaged and set on fire.  She was under tow from several ships including the Polish destroyer ORP BURZA (photo right) when she found and sunk by U-32.

 

SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-32 (Jenisch commanding):

DATENAMENATIONTYPEGRTons
  2 Mar 1940BELPAMELANorwayFreighter4,000
  1 Sep 1940HMS FIJI   (3)EnglandCruiser8,000
22 Sep 1940COLLEGIANEnglandFreighter7,886
26 Sep 1940CORRIENTES   (4)EnglandFreighter6,863

3.  Jenisch attacked ships in the Dakar Task Force and thought he had hit and damaged the Armed Merchant
Cruiser SCYTHIA (below left) but he actually hit and slightly damaged the light cruiser HMS FIJI (below right).

RMS SCYTHIAHMS FIJI

4.  CORRIENTES was hit by U-32 on 26 September 1940 and abandoned by her crew but the ship remained afloat.  U-37 came upon her on 28 September 1940 and sank her with a coup d’grace torpedo.

COLLEGIANCORRIENTES

Men lost on U-32

LAST NAMEFIRST NAMERANKLAST NAMEFIRST NAMERANK
CantowUlrichMatr Ob GfrDammGünterOblt zur See
JohannWolfgangBootsmannsmaatKressAlbertMasch Hpt Gfr
MüllerOttoOber MaschNazarekHeinzMasch Ob Gfr
PaschenHermannBootsmannsmaatZimmerWilhelmBootsmannsmaat
ZimmermannErichMasch Ob Gfr

Acknowledgements

Deepest thanks to our friends at the U-Bootskameradschaft Kiel for allowing us to bring their sacred book containing the names of all 28,863 U-Bootfahrer who were lost in action during World War II here to the USA where we carefully copied all the names of the fallen and list them here on our site.  Ours is the only website in the world that lists all these names.

Many thanks to our good friend and Sharkhunters Member since 1987 GEORG HÖGEL (240-LIFE-1987)for all the conning tower emblems used in our monthly KTB Magazine and also here on the pages of our website. GEORG was Funkmaat (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.

GEORG HÖGEL