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 tons Length:                  211′ 9″ Beam:                    19′ 3″ Draft:                   14′ 6″
Power (diesel):    2,100 hp Power (electric):    750 hp Speed (diesel):     16 knots  * Speed (electric):  8 knots
Bunkers:   67 tons diesel fuel Range (diesel):  4,300 miles @ 12 knots Range (electric):   90 miles @ 4 knots Crew:   44 men **
Deck gun:   single 3.5 inch AA guns:    single 20mm Tubes (fwd):  four Tubes (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
TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 24 Jun 1936
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
12 Aug 1936 M08129 20 Sep 1939
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
HMS FORESTER and
HMS FORTUNE
60 miles W of the Hebrides 58º 35’N x 09º 02’W
HMS FORESTER HMS FORTUNE U-27 sinking

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-27 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Ibbeken Hans 12 Aug 1936
Looff Hans Günther U-1, U-9 and U-122 KIA aboard U-122
Franz Johannes U-32 POW 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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRT
13 Sep 1939 DAVARA  * England Trawler    291 tons
16 Oct 1939 RUDYARD KIPLING  ** England Trawler    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

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 14 Jul 1936
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
12 Sep 1936 M27436 17 Mar 1944
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
Accident off Neustadt was raised

One Man lost. (see below)

 

Commanders of U-28 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Ambrosius Wilhelm Apr 1939 U-43
Kuhnke Günther Apr 1939 Nov 1940 U-125
Marbach Heinz Nov 1940 U-29, U-953 and U-3015
Heinrich Ratsch U-583 KIA aboard U-583
GUGGENBERGER FRIEDERICH U-81, U-847 and U-513 POW from U-513
RÖSING HANS-RUDOLF U-11 and U-48
Krempl Erich U-71, U-1162 and U-548 KIA aboard U-548
Eckhardt Hermann U-432 KIA aboard U-432
Christiansen Uwe U-71, U-2508 and U-2365
Sache Dietrich U-423
Wilhelm Ambrosius Günther Kuhnke Heinz Marbach
Erich Krempl Uwe 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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRT
14 Sep 1939 VANCOUVER CITY England Motorship 4,955 tons
17 Nov 1939 SLIEDERECHT Netherlands Tanker 5,133 tons
25 Nov 1939 ROYSTON GRANGE England Freighter 5,144 Tons
21 Jan 1940 PROTESILAUS   * England Freighter 9,533 Tons
  9 Mar 1940 P. MARGARONIS Greece Freighter 4,979 Tons
11 Mar 1940 EULOTA Netherlands Tanker 6,236 Tons
18 Jun 1940 SARMATIA Finland Freighter 2,417 Tons
19 Jun 1940 ADAMANDIOS
GEORGANDIS
Greece Freighter 3,443 Tons
21 Jun 1940 PRUNELLA England Freighter 4,443 Tons
27 Aug 1940 EVA Norway Freighter 1,599 Tons
28 Aug 1940 KYNO England Freighter 3,946 Tons
  9 Sep 1940 MARDINIAN England Freighter 2,434 Tons
11 Sep 1940 MAAS Netherlands Freighter 1,966 Tons
26 Oct 1940 MATINA  ** England Freighter 5,389 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.

EULOTA SARMATIA
ADAMANDIOS GEORGANDIS MARDINIAN

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

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 22 Aug 1936
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
16 Nov 1936 M10220   5 May 1945
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
her crew Flensburg bay unknown

U-29 outboard of U-28

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-29 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Fischer Hans-Georg U-109
Marbach Karl-Heinz U-101, U-28, U-953 and U-3014
Aust Eduard U-34, U-922 and U-679 KIA aboard U-679
SCHUHART OTTO Apr 1939 Jan 1940 KIA aboard U-583
Zorn Rudolf U-416, U-382 and U-650 KIA aboard U-650
LASSEN GEORG Jan 1940 Sep 1941 U-160
Thurmann Karl U-553 KIA aboard U-553
Hasenschar Heinrich Sep 1941 May 1942 U-628 KIA aboard U-628
von Graf und zu
Arco-Zinneberg
Ulrich Philip U-992
Hans-Georg Fischer Karl-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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRT
  8 Sep 1939 REGENT TIGER England Tanker 10,176 tons
13 Sep 1939 NEPTUNIA England Tanker       798 tons
14 Sep 1939 BRITISH INFLUENCE England Tanker   8,431 Tons
17 Sep 1939 HMS COURAGEOUS England Aircraft carrier 22,500 Tons
  3 Mar 1940 CATO   * England Freighter      710 Tons
  4 Mar 1940 THURSTON England Motorship   3,072 Tons
  4 Mar 1940 PACIFIC RELIANCE  ** England Motorship   6,717 Tons
26 Mar 1940 DIMITRIS Greece Freighter   5,254 Tons
  1 Jul 1940 ADAMASTOS Greece Freighter   5,889 Tons
  2 Jul 1940 SANTA MARGARITA Panama Freighter   4,919 Tons
  2 Jul 1940 ATHELLAIRD England Tanker   8,999 Tons
25 Sep 1040 EURYMEDON England Freighter   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 COURAGEOUS HMS COURAGEOUS
PACIFIC RELIANCE DIMITRIS
ATHELLAIRD EURYMEDON

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.

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen)   4 Aug 1936
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
  8 Oct 1936 M05559   5 May 1945
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
her crew Flensburg bay unknown

U-30 pre-war

U-30 inboard of U-28 pre-war

No Men lost.

 

Commanders of U-30 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Cohausz Hans U-657 and U-A
Löser Paul-Karl U-373
Pauckstadt Hans U-18, U-12, U-20, U-34 (twice) and U-193
Lemp Fritz-Julius Nov 1938 Sep 1940 U-110 KIA aboard U-583
BABERG KURT Training U-618 and U-827
Prützmann Training
Fabricius Ludwig Training U-821 and U-721
Fischer Ernst Training U-821, U-749 and U-3006
Saar Training U-42, U-555 and U-957
Schimmel Training U-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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRT
  3 Sep 1939 ATHENIA  * England Liner 13,581 tons
11 Sep 1939 BLAIRLOGIE England Freighter   4,869 tons
14 Sep 1939 FANAD HEAD  ** England Freighter   5,200 Tons
28 Dec 1939 BARBARA ROBERTSON
     (sunk by gunfire)
England Patrol Craft      325 Tons
11 Jan 1940 EL OSO  *** England Tanker   7,267 Tons
17 Jan 1940 CAIRNROSE  *** England Freighter   5,494 Tons
  7 Feb 1940 MUNSTER  *** England Motorship   4,305 Tons
  9 Feb 1940 CHARGES  *** England Freighter   5,406 Tons
20 Jun 1940 OTTERPOOL England Freighter   4,876 Tons
22 Jan 1940 RANDSFJORD Norway Motorship   3,999 Tons
28 Jun 1940 LLANARTH England Freighter   5,053 Tons
  1 Jul 1940 BEIGNON England Freighter   5,218 Tons
  1 Jul 1940 CLEARTON England Freighter   5,219 Tons
  6 Jul 1940 SEA GLORY  **** England Freighter   1,964 Tons
21 Jul 1940 ELLAROY England Freighter      712 Tons
  9 Aug 1940 CANTON Sweden Motorship   5,779 Tons
16 Aug 1940 CLAN MacPHEE England Freighter   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 HEAD OTTERPOOL
RANDSFJORD CLEARTON CLAN 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

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 25 Sep 1936
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
28 Dec 1936
30 Jul 1936
M28961 11 Mar 1940
3 Nov 1940
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION 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 aboard The Watch Officer prevents the cameraman from
falling overboard as he gets another shot

 

Commanders of U-31 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Dau Rolf U-5 and U-42
Rigele Hermann U-10, U-17, UD-1 and UD-3
Habekost Johannes   9 Sep 1939 12 Mar 1940 KIA aboard U-31
   (1st sinking)
Prellberg Wilfried 21 Aug 1939   9 Sep 1939 U-19
Prellberg Wilfried 30 Jul 1940   3 Nov 1940 KIA 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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
16 Sep 1930 AVIEMORE  * England Steamer 4,060
24 Sep 1930 HAZELSIDE England Freighter 4,646
  1 Dec 1939 ARCTURUS Norway Freighter 1,277
  1 Dec 1939 MERCATOR Finland Freighter 4,260
  3 Dec 1939 OVE TOFT Denmark Freighter 2,135
  4 Dec 1939 GIMLE Norway Freighter 1,271
  4 Dec 1939 PRIMULA Norway Freighter 1,024
  6 Dec 1939 FOINA Norway Freighter 1,674
  6 Dec 1939 VINGA Sweden Freighter 1,974
23 Dec 1939 GLEN ALBYN  ** England Mine Sweeper       82
23 Dec 1939 PROMOTIVE  ** England Mine 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.

AVIEMORE HAZELSIDE
ARCTURUS HMS 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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
22 Sep 1940 UNION JACK Faroe Island Steam/sail      81
27 Sep 1939 VESTVARD Norway Freighter 4,319
29 Oct 1940 MARTINA  *** England Freighter 5,389

***  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 NAME FIRST NAME RANK LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK
Gerdes Adolf Masch Ob Gfr Grunert Bruno Oblt Ing
Gundel Otto Masch Ob Gfr Güther Erich Ober Gfr
History of the German Submarine U-32

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 25 Feb 1937
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
5 Apr 1937 M00450 30 Oct 1940
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
HMS HARVESTER (H-19) &
HMS HIGHLANDER (H-44)
NW of Ireland 55º 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 NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Lott Werner U-25 and U-35
Büchel Paul Feb 1939 Feb 1940 U-860
Franz Johannes U-27
Jenisch Hans 1 Jul 1940 30 Oct 1940

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

 

Werner Lott Hans 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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
18 Sep 1939 KENSINGTON COURT England Freighter 4,863
28 Sep 1939 JERN Norway Freighter    875
31 Dec 1939 LUNA Norway Freighter    959
KENSINGTON COURT LUNA
MARWARRI LOCHGOIL

 

SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-32 (Büchel commanding):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
5 Oct 1939 MARWARRI England Freighter 8,063
6 Oct 1939 LOCHGOIL England Freighter 9,462

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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
3 Mar 1940 LAGAHOLM Sweden Freighter 2,818
8 Mar 1940 COUNSELLOR  (1) England Freighter 5,068
18 Jun 1940 ALTAIR Norway Freighter 1,522
18 Jun 1940 SALVORA (2) Spain Freighter    108
18 Jul 1940 FARO-ONS (2) Spain Freighter    108
19 Jun 1940 LABUD Yugoslavia Freighter 5,334
22 Jun 1940 ELI KNUDSEN Norway Tanker 9,026
30 Aug 1940 MILL HILL England Freighter 4,318
30 Aug 1940 CHELSEA England Freighter 4,804
LAGAHOLM ELI KNUDSEN CHELSEA

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.

TANCRED HAULERWIJK
DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
30 Aug 1940 NORNE Norway Motorship   3,971
25 Sep 1940 MABRITON England Freighter   6,694
26 Sep 1940 TANCRED Norway Motorship   6,094
26 Sep 1940 DARCOILA England Freighter   4,084
28 Sep 1940 EMPIRE OCELOT England Freighter   5,759
29 Sep 1940 BASSA England Freighter   5,267
  1 Oct 1940 HAULERWIJK Netherlands Freighter   3,278
  2 Oct 1940 KAYESON England Freighter   4,606
28 Oct 1940 EMPRESS OF BRITAIN England Liner 42,348

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):

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
  2 Mar 1940 BELPAMELA Norway Freighter 4,000
  1 Sep 1940 HMS FIJI   (3) England Cruiser 8,000
22 Sep 1940 COLLEGIAN England Freighter 7,886
26 Sep 1940 CORRIENTES   (4) England Freighter 6,863

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 SCYTHIA HMS 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.

COLLEGIAN CORRIENTES

Men lost on U-32

LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK
Cantow Ulrich Matr Ob Gfr Damm Günter Oblt zur See
Johann Wolfgang Bootsmannsmaat Kress Albert Masch Hpt Gfr
Müller Otto Ober Masch Nazarek Heinz Masch Ob Gfr
Paschen Hermann Bootsmannsmaat Zimmer Wilhelm Bootsmannsmaat
Zimmermann Erich Masch 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