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Reinhard Suhren
File:Reinhard Suhren.jpg
Reinhard Suhren
Nickname Teddy
Born (1916-04-16)16 April 1916
Died 25 August 1984(1984-08-25) (aged 68)
Place of birth Langenschwalbach, Taunus
Place of death Halstenbek, Hamburg
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1935 – 1945
Rank Fregattenkapitän
Unit destroyer Z3 Max Schultz
1st U-boat Flotilla
27th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-564, 3 April 1942 – 1 October 1942
F.d.U. Nordmeer
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Relations Gerd Suhren
Other work Petroleum industry

Commander Reinhard Johann Heinz Paul Anton Suhren (16 April 1916 – 25 August 1984) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and younger brother of Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) and Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) recipient Gerd Suhren. Suhren began his U-boat career in March 1938. He spent a year as 1st watch officer on U-48 where he received the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross. In April 1941 he took command of U-564. He is credited with the sinking of 18 merchant vessels of 95,544 gross register tons (GRT), 1 war ship of 900 tons and damaged 4 merchant vessels of 28,907 GRT for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub mit Schwertern).

Suhren left the boat and became an instructor in October 1942. He then served in the 27th U-boat flotilla along with Korvettenkapitän Erich Topp. During the last year of the war Fregattenkapitän Suhren was the Führer der U-Boote Norwegen (Leader of U-boats in Norwegian waters) and from September 1944 the Commander-in-Chief of U-boats of the North Sea.

BiographyEdit

Suhren was born on 16 April 1916 in Langenschwalbach in the Taunus and joined the Reichsmarine[a] on 5 April 1935 after he had received his Abitur from the Landständischen Oberschule in Bautzen. He received his military basic training in the 2nd company (2. Kompanie) in the 2nd department (II. Abteilung) of the standing ship division (Schiffsstammdivision) of the Baltic Sea in Stralsund (5 April 1934–17 June 1935). He was then transferred to the school ship Gorch Fock (18 June 1935–26 September 1935) attaining the rank of Seekadett on 25 September 1935.

World War IIEdit

He spent a year as first Watch Officer on U-48, where he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for assisting in the sinking of 200,000 GRT of allied shipping. In April 1941 he took command of U-564, and in August 1941 he sank the British corvette HMS Zinnia. In May 1942 he sunk the Mexican oil tanker Potrero del Llano. The sinking of this ship, compounded with U-106's attack on another tank, the Faja de Oro, would bring Mexico to declare war on the Axis powers.

In October 1942 he left the boat and became an instructor. Later he served in the 27th U-boat Flotilla along with Korvettenkapitän Erich Topp. During the last year of the war the newly appointed Fregattenkapitän Suhren was Führer der U-Boote in Norwegian waters and from September 1944 for the North Sea.

His parents and sister committed suicide in 1945, after failing to escape from the Sudetenland.[1]

Summary of CareerEdit

Reinhard Suhren is credited with the destruction of 18 merchant ships for a total of 95,544 GRT, 1 warship sunk for a total of 900 GRT and damaged 4 ships for a total of 28,907 GRT.

Date U-boat Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
27 June 1941 U-564 Kongsgaard Flag of Norway.svg Norway 9,467 Damaged at 60°00′N 30°42′W / 60°N 30.7°W / 60; -30.7 (Kongsgaard (ship))
27 June 1941 U-564 Maasdam Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 8,812 Sunk at 60°00′N 30°35′W / 60°N 30.583°W / 60; -30.583 (Maasdam (ship))
27 June 1941 U-564 Malaya II Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 8,651 Sunk at 59°56′N 30°35′W / 59.933°N 30.583°W / 59.933; -30.583 (Malaya II (ship))
29 June 1941 U-564 Hekla Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland 1,215 Sunk at 58°20′N 43°00′W / 58.333°N 43°W / 58.333; -43 (Hekla (ship))
22 August 1941 U-564 Clonlara Flag of Ireland.svg Republic of Ireland 1,203 Sunk at 40°43′N 11°39′W / 40.717°N 11.65°W / 40.717; -11.65 (Clonlara (ship))
22 August 1941 U-564 Empire Oak Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 484 Sunk at 40°43′N 11°39′W / 40.717°N 11.65°W / 40.717; -11.65 (Empire Oak (ship))
23 August 1941 U-564 HMS Zinnia (K98) Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy 900 Sunk at 40°25′N 10°40′W / 40.417°N 10.667°W / 40.417; -10.667 (HMS Zinnia (ship))
24 October 1941 U-564 Alhama Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 1,352 Sunk at 35°42′N 10°58′W / 35.7°N 10.967°W / 35.7; -10.967 (Alhama (ship))
24 October 1941 U-564 Ariosto Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 2,176 Sunk at 36°20′N 10°50′W / 36.333°N 10.833°W / 36.333; -10.833 (Ariosto (ship))
24 October 1941 U-564 Carsbreck Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 3,670 Sunk at 36°20′N 10°50′W / 36.333°N 10.833°W / 36.333; -10.833 (Carsbreck (ship))
11 February 1942 U-564 Victolite Flag of Canada (1921–1957).svg Canada 11,410 Sunk at 36°12′N 67°14′W / 36.2°N 67.233°W / 36.2; -67.233 (Carsbreck (ship))
16 February 1942 U-564 Opalia Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 6,195 Damaged at 37°38′N 66°07′W / 37.633°N 66.117°W / 37.633; -66.117 (Opalia (ship))
3 May 1942 U-564 Ocean Venus Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 7,174 Sunk at 28°21′N 80°23′W / 28.35°N 80.383°W / 28.35; -80.383 (Ocean Venus (ship))
4 May 1942 U-564 Eclipse Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 9,767 Damaged at 26°30′N 80°00′W / 26.5°N 80°W / 26.5; -80 (Eclipse (ship))
5 May 1942 U-564 Delisle US flag 48 stars.svg United States 3,478 Damaged at 27°06′N 80°03′W / 27.1°N 80.05°W / 27.1; -80.05 (Delisle (ship))
8 May 1942 U-564 Ohioan US flag 48 stars.svg United States 6,078 Sunk at 26°31′N 79°59′W / 26.517°N 79.983°W / 26.517; -79.983 (Ohioan (ship))
9 May 1942 U-564 Lubrafol Flag of Panama.svg Panama 7,138 Sunk at 26°26′N 80°00′W / 26.433°N 80°W / 26.433; -80 (Lubrafol (ship))
14 May 1942 U-564 Potrero del Llano Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico 4,000 Sunk at 25°35′N 80°06′W / 25.583°N 80.1°W / 25.583; -80.1 (Potrero del Llano (ship))
19 July 1942 U-564 Empire Hawksbill Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 5,724 Sunk at 42°29′N 25°56′W / 42.483°N 25.933°W / 42.483; -25.933 (Empire Hawksbill (ship))
19 July 1942 U-564 Lavington Court Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 5,372 Sunk at 42°38′N 25°28′W / 42.633°N 25.467°W / 42.633; -25.467 (Lavington Court (ship))
19 August 1942 U-564 SS British Consul Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 6,940 Sunk at 11°58′N 62°38′W / 11.967°N 62.633°W / 11.967; -62.633 (British Consul (ship))
19 August 1942 U-564 SS Empire Cloud Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 5,969 Sunk at 11°58′N 62°38′W / 11.967°N 62.633°W / 11.967; -62.633 (Empire Cloud (ship))
30 August 1942 U-564 Vardaas Flag of Norway.svg Norway 8,176 Sunk at 11°35′N 60°40′W / 11.583°N 60.667°W / 11.583; -60.667 (Vardaas (ship))

AwardsEdit

Wehrmachtbericht referenceEdit

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
17 February 1945 Seit Tagen verfolgen unsere Unterseeboote den im Wehrmachtbericht vom 11. February erwähnten stark gesicherten Nachschubgeleitzug nach Murmansk. Nachdem Torpedoflugzeuge bereits 4 Schiffe und 5 Zerstörer versenkt haben, gelang es unseren unter der Führung von Fregattenkapitän Reinhard Suhren nachstoßenden U-Booten, den Geleitzug kurz vor Erreichen seines Zieles unmittelbar unter der Küste zu fassen und 7 vollbeladene Schiffe mit 47 000 BRT., 1 Geleitzerstörer und 1 Bewacher zu versenken, sowie 2 weitere Dampfer mit zusammen 14 000 BRT. und 1 Bewacher so zu torpedieren, daß mit ihrem Sinken ebenfalls gerechnet werden kann.[6] For days now our submarines pursue the already in the Army report of 11 February mentioned heavily secured convoy to Murmansk. After torpedo planes have already sunk 4 ships and 5 destroyers, pursuing submarines under the leadership of our Frigate Captain Reinhard Suhren were able to intercept the convoy shortly before reaching his goal, near the coast, and to sink 7 ships fully loaded with 47 000 GRT, a destroyer and a guard escort, as well as torpedo 2 other steamers with a total of 14 000 GRT and a guard escort, that one can count on their sinking as well.

NotesEdit

FootnotesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. Brustal-Naval & Suhren 1999, p. 15-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Busch & Röhn 2003, p. 93.
  3. Brustal-Naval & Suhren 1999, p. 97.
  4. Busch & Röhn 2003, p. 94.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Scherzer 2007, p. 735.
  6. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 450.

ReferencesEdit

  • Berger, Florian (1999) (in German). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Brustal-Naval, Fritz and Teddy Suhren, Teddy (1999). Nasses Eichenlaub: als Kommandant und F.d.U. im U-Boot-Krieg (in German). Frankfurt/Main, Berlin Germany: Ullstein. ISBN 3-548-23537-9.
  • 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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-88740-748-X.
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
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