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Vet 1670

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

HEINRICH LIEBE (1670-1990)

Kriegsmarine,U-Bootwaffe, Commander U-2 and U-38

Born 19 January 1908, HEINRICH LIEBE was in the Naval Class 1927. Prior to the outbreak of World War Two, LIEBE was Commanding Officer of the Type II boat U-2 and was a Skipper Training Commander at the U-Boot Training School in Kiel;1936 and 1937.

This is his formal photo on receiving the Oak Leaf to his Knights Cross.

LIEBE commissioned the Type IX-A long-range submarine U-38 on 24 October 1938. They were at sea on 3 September 1939 when war was declared on Germany by England and France and he quickly sank two large British ships.

The Turmabzeichen (conning tower emblem) is clearly seen on the white circle on the conning tower in this photo.

During the short time that LIEBE commanded U-38 on several Feindfahrten(war patrols) he sank thirty-two ships totaling 168,506 tons.
He was promoted to a position on the OKM 2(Oberkommando der Marine or Naval High Command) in Skl.-Bf.U.op.

He held the rank of Kapitän zur See when the war ended. On his release from P.O.W. status after the war, he was repatriated to his hometown, which was in East Germany. The Soviet Navy knew that he had been one of the top submarine commanders of any side in the war and that he trained submarine commanders, so they told him that he would join the Soviet Navy and train their submarine commanders. He strongly and steadfastly refused.

As his punishment for refusing to join the Soviet Navy and train their submarine commanders, LIEBE was not allowed any kind of meaningful work. He was only allowed low-level jobs such as sweeping floors etc. Our good friend HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985) asked us to please put LIEBE aboard as an Honorary Member which we did, and LIEBE became the first Sharkhunters Member in Soviet East Germany.