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Günther Krech
File:File:Günther Krech.jpg
Born (1914-09-21)21 September 1914
Died 3 June 2000(2000-06-03) (aged 85)
Place of birth Wilhelmshaven
Place of death Wuppertal
Allegiance Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–1945
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Karlsruhe
Küstenfliegerstaffel 1./106
U-5, U-100
Commands held U-558

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Günther Krech (21 September 1914 in Wilhelmshaven – 3 June 2000 in Wuppertal) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. As commander of U-558 he sank nineteen ships, totalling 100,771 tons, and damaged two ships (15,070 tons). He is thirty-third in the list of U-Boat aces of World War II.


Krech joined the German Navy in April 1933, initially training as an observer and pilot in the Marineflieger before transferring to the U-boat arm in November 1939. Krech conducted ten combat patrols in the Atlantic and Caribbean. He sank 18 merchant ships and the naval trawler HMT Bedfordshire, which was assisting the US Navy with anti-submarine patrols along the East Coast, for a total of 100,771 tons. He also damaged two merchant ships for a total of 15,070 GRT.[1]

U-558 was sunk by depth charges from a Halifax from No. 58 Squadron RAF, and a B-24 Liberator from 19th Antisubmarine Squadron USAAF on 20 July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain.[2] Only Krech, the Leitender Ingenieur ("Leading Engineer"), and three men of the gun crew survived. Krech remained in Allied captivity until after the war. He died in 2000.[1]

Summary of careerEdit

Ships attackedEdit

Date Name Nationality Tonnage Convoy Fate
28 August 1941OtaioCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom10,298OS 4Sunk
15 October 1941Vancouver IslandFlag of Canada (1921–1957).svg Canada9,472Sunk
17 October 1941ErvikenFlag of Norway.svg Norway6,595SC 48Sunk
17 October 1941RymFlag of Norway.svg Norway1,369SC 48Sunk
17 October 1941W.C. TeagleCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom9,552SC 48Sunk
24 February 1942AnadaraCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom8,009ONS 67Damaged
24 February 1942EidangerFlag of Norway.svg Norway9,432ONS 67Sunk
24 February 1942InverarderCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom5,578ONS 67Sunk
12 May 1942HMT BedfordshireNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom913Sunk
18 May 1942FaunaFlag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands1,254Sunk
21 May 1942TroisdocFlag of Canada (1921–1957).svg Canada1,925Sunk
23 May 1942William Boyce ThompsonUS flag 48 stars.svg United States7,061Damaged
25 May 1942BeatriceFlag of the United States.svg United States3,451Sunk
27 May 1942USAT JackFlag of the United States Army (1775).gif United States Army2,622Sunk
2 June 1942TritonFlag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands2,078Sunk
25 August 1942AmakuraCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom1,987WAT 15Sunk
13 September 1942Empire LugardCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom7,241TAG 5Sunk
13 September 1942SurinameFlag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands7,915TAG 5Sunk
13 September 1942ViljaFlag of Norway.svg Norway6,672TAG 5Damaged, arrived safely Trinidad then later declared total loss[3]
16 September 1942Commercial TraderFlag of the United States.svg United States2,606Total loss
23 February 1943Empire NorsemanCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom9,811UC 1Sunk


Wehrmachtbericht referencesEdit

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Thursday, 26 February 1942 Wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, versenkten deutsche Unterseeboote im Mittelatlantik in tagelangen hartnäckigen Kämpfen aus einem stark gesicherten Geleitzug sieben Schiffe, darunter zwei große Tanker, mit zusammen 52 000 BRT. Weitere sechs große Schiffe, darunter ein Tanker, wurden so schwer beschädigt, daß auch mit ihrem Verlust zu rechnen ist.
Bei diesen Angriffen zeichnete sich das Unterseeboot unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Krech besonders aus.
As announced by special bulletin, German submarines sunk in the mid-Atlantic in days of tenacious fighting from a heavily protected convoy seven ships, including two large tankers, with a total of 52 000 GRT. Another six large ships, including a tanker were so badly damaged that their loss can be assumed.
In these attacks, the submarine under the command of Lieutenant Captain Krech particularly distinguished itself.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kapitänleutnant Günther Krech". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  2. "The Type VIIC boat U-558". Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  3. "Convoy TAG.5". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 260.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 261.
  6. Scherzer 2007, p. 473.
  7. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 43.
  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3. 

External linksEdit

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