|Born||10 March 1906|
|Died||5 July 1986(aged 80)|
|Place of birth||Cologne|
|Place of death||Hamburg|
|Years of service||1933 – 1945|
3rd U-boat Flotilla|
2nd U-boat Flotilla
6th U-boat Flotilla
25th U-boat Flotilla
U-10, 5 January 1939–15 October 1939|
U-64, 16 December 1939–13 April 1940
U-124, 11 June 1940–7 September 1941
Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge 1939
Georg-Wilhelm Schulz (10 March 1906 – 5 July 1986) was a German U-boat commander of the Second World War. From September 1939 until retiring from front line service in September 1941, he sank 19 ships for a total of 89,885 GRT. For this he received the Knight's Cross, among other commendations.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Schulz was born on 10 March 1906 in Cologne. He initially entered the merchant marine, eventually spending ten years there, including time spent on sailing ships. He joined the navy in October 1933, initially as HSO, Handelschiffoffizier (merchant ship officer). He moved to the U-boat arm on 27 September 1935 as an Oberfähnrich zur See, spending the next three and half years training on submarines. During this time he appears to have been amongst those sent to help the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War as he was awarded the Spanish Cross on 6 June 1939. He received his first command on 5 January 1939 when he took over U-10. He was promoted to Kapitänleutnant on 1 April 1939 and on the outbreak of war he carried out two short patrols later that year, before leaving U-10 on 15 October.
Wartime career[edit | edit source]
His next command was U-64, which he took over on 16 December 1939. He took her on her first patrol off the Norwegian coast in April 1940. The patrol was only eight days old when U-64 was detected by British naval air forces on 13 April, whilst in the Herjangsfjord near Narvik. She was attacked by a Fairey Swordfish from the battleship HMS Warspite and hit by a 350-pound bomb and raked with machine gun fire. U-64 was sunk, killing eight of the crew, but 38 survivors including Schulz managed to escape to be rescued from the water by German mountain troops. Two months later Schulz took over command of U-124 and took her on a number of successful patrols.
His greatest success was on his fourth patrol, where he sank 11 ships for a total of 52,379 tons, whilst also having damaged two other merchants. He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 25 September 1940, and the Knight's Cross on 4 April 1941. He stepped down as commander of U-124 on 7 September 1941, handing over to Johann Mohr. During this time several later successful U-boat captains had served under Schulz, including Mohr, Reinhard Hardegen and Werner Henke.
Schulz then took over as commander of 6th U-boat Flotilla, initially based in Danzig, and later in Saint Nazaire. He was promoted to Korvettenkapitän on 1 April 1943, and in October 1943 he was attached to the Staff of the 'FdU Ausbildungsflottillen' (Commander Training flotillas) in Gotenhafen. He spent time here as a staff officer, and also as the leader of the 'Erprobungsgruppe U-Boote' (U-boat testing group). He briefly moved on 22 April 1945 to become the last commander of 25th U-boat Flotilla.
Postwar[edit | edit source]
Little is known about Schulz's postwar activities. He died in Hamburg on 5 July 1986 at the age of 80.
In 1994 the Köhler Mittler Verlag in Hamburg published his autobiographical account "Über dem nassen Abgrund: Als Kommandant und Flottillenchef im U-Boot-Krieg" (engl. "Above the Abyss"), which has been reissued in several editions. An unauthorized and undated Czech translation has later surfaced, titled "Ponorkové eso".
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (15 October 1937)
- Spanish Cross in Bronze (6 June 1939)
- The Return of Sudetenland Commemorative Medal of 1 October 1938 (1 October 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (23 December 1939)
- War Merit Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class with Swords (30 January 1945)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (4 April 1941)
References[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.
- Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1.
- 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.
[edit | edit source]
- Georg-Wilhelm Schulz in the German National Library catalogue
- Georg-Wilhelm Schulz at Uboat.net
- Sharkhunter's page on Schulz
- U-124's career including time with Schulz
Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann
|Commander of the 6th U-boat Flotilla
September 1941 – November 1943
Kapitänleutnant Carl Emmermann
Korvettenkapitän Robert Gysae
|Commander of the 25th U-boat Flotilla
April 1945 – 8 May 1945
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