|Born||31 December 1913|
|Died||4 November 1982(aged 68)|
|Place of birth||Berlin|
|Place of death||Hamburg|
|Years of service||1934-1945|
Iron Cross 1st Class|
Iron Cross 2nd Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Lieutenant Commander Adalbert Schnee (31 December 1913 – 4 November 1982) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-6, U-60, U-121, U-201 and U-2511, sinking twenty-one merchant ships on twelve patrols, for a total of 90,847 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping, and received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. He is thirty-seventh in the list of U-Boat aces of World War II.
Career[edit | edit source]
Schnee joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1934. After serving aboard the light cruiser Leipzig, he transferred to the U-boat arm in May 1937. He spent two years on board the Type IIB U-boat U-23, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Otto Kretschmer, completing five combat patrols as 1.WO (second-in-command), between October 1939 and January 1940.
Schnee's first command, from January to July 1940, was the Type IIA U-boat U-6, in which he sailed on only a single short patrol in April supporting "Operation Weserübung" (the invasion of Norway).
His next command, between July and October 1940, was the Type IIC U-boat U-60. In her he sailed on three more patrols around the coasts of the British Isles sinking two ships for a total of 3,188 tons, and damaging one of 15,434 tons.
Schnee commanded the Type IIB training boat U-121 during November 1940, but as this class of U-boat were withdrawn from front-line service, in January 1941 Schnee was given command of the newer, larger Type VIIC U-boat U-201.
Schnee sailed on seven combat patrols in U-201 between April 1941 and August 1942, sinking 19 merchant ships (totalling 87,001 tons) and damaged two others (13,386 tons). He also sank two British Royal Navy auxiliary warships, the fighter catapult ship HMS Springbank and the anti-submarine naval trawler HMS Laertes. In August 1941 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, and in July 1942 with the Oak Leaves.
In September 1944 Schnee took command of the new Elektroboot U-2511, one of only two Type XXI U-boats to go on patrol (U-3008 being the other). U-2511's first and only patrol began on 3 May 1945 at Bergen. The next day Schnee received the cease-fire order, prior to the German surrender, and a few hours later spotted a group of British warships. Simulating an attack, he evaded the destroyer screen, closed to within 500 metres (1,600 ft) of the British cruiser Norfolk, and then left the area without being detected. U-2511 returned to Bergen on 5 May to surrender as ordered. Schnee spoke to officers from Norfolk a few days later, who could not believe that U-2511 was able to get so close without any sonar contact. Schnee is said to have requested a comparison of the respective ships' logs, which confirmed his account. His Leitender Ingenieur ("Engineer Officer") on this patrol was Gerd Suhren.
Post-war[edit | edit source]
After the war Schnee served for six months in a German minesweeper unit. In October 1945 he was called to testify at the trial of Heinz-Wilhelm Eck and the officers of U-852, for their actions after the sinking of SS Peleus. Although appearing for the defence, Schnee was forced to admit he would not have acted as Eck did. He then worked for some years as a commercial representative before becoming the director of a sailing school on Elba. He was also for many years the chairman of the Verband der U-Boots-Fahrer ("Association of U-boat Crews") in Germany. He died in 1982.
War record[edit | edit source]
|13 August 1940||Nils Gorthon||1,787||Sweden||HX-62||Sunk|
|31 August 1940||Volendam||15,434||Netherlands||OB-205||Damaged|
|3 September 1940||Ulva||1,401||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|2 May 1941||Capulet||8,190||United Kingdom||HX-121||Sunk|
|9 May 1941||Empire Cloud||5,969||United Kingdom||OB-318||Damaged|
|19 August 1941||Aguila||3,255||United Kingdom||OG-71||Sunk|
|23 August 1941||Aldergrove||1,974||United Kingdom||OG-71||Sunk|
|21 September 1941||Lissa||1,511||United Kingdom||OG-74||Sunk|
|27 September 1941||Cervantes||1,810||United Kingdom||HG-73||Sunk|
|HMS Springbank||5,155||United Kingdom||HG-73||Sunk|
|18 April 1942||Victoria||7,417||Argentina||Damaged|
|21 April 1942||Bris||2,027||Norway||Sunk|
|22 April 1942||Derryheen||7,217||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|San Jacinto||6,069||United States||Sunk|
|6 July 1942||Avila Star||14,443||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|12 July 1942||Cortona||7,093||United Kingdom||OS-33||Sunk|
|13 July 1942||Sithonia||6,723||United Kingdom||OS-33||Sunk|
|15 July 1942||British Yeoman||6,990||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|25 July 1942||HMS Laertes||545||United Kingdom||Sunk|
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award (8 April 1938)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Sudetenland Medal (20 December 1939)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (27 November 1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
References[edit | edit source]
- "Korvettenkapitän Adalbert Schnee". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/men/schnee.htm. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "Patrol of U-6 from 4 Apr 1940 to 19 Apr 1940". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_17.html. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "War Patrols by U-60". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/u60.html. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 151.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 152.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 384.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
- Bekker, Cajus (1953). Kampf und Untergang der Kriegsmarine. Düsseldorf.
- Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
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