The Navy Department Library
U-162 Sunk By HM Ships Pathfinder, Vimy, and Quentin 9-3-42
Post Mortems on Enemy Submarines - Serial No. 6
SERIAL NO. 6
SUNK BY H.M. SHIPS PATHFINDER,
VIMY, AND QUENTIN
DIVISION OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
SERIAL No. 6
REPORT ON THE
INTERROGATION OF SURVIVORS
FROM U-162 SUNK ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1942
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1942
Serial No. 0248116
O. N. I. 250 SERIES
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations,
Washington, October 25, 1942.
1. The O. N. I. 250 Series - Post-Mortems on Enemy Submarines - consist of intelligence obtained from the sinking or capture of enemy submarines. The suffix G, I, or J indicates whether the submarine is German, Italian, or Japanese.
2. In preparing this series of pamphlets, of which it is hoped there will be many, all information considered to be of value or interest to the naval service is included. While all the material does not relate directly to enemy submarine operations and personnel, it is in effect the intelligence which has been gathered in the course of antisubmarine operations.
3. This publication, like those which are to follow, is Confidential. Many of the data were formerly classified as Secret. But, the classification has been lowered in order that the service at large may benefit from the information collected and presented herein. While no accountability is required, attention in invited to the fact that the intelligence contained in this series must be safeguarded in accordance with the strict and literal interpretation of its classification. The information compiled in this series can be of too great assistance in our operations at sea to hazard the loss of a source at once so important and so irreplaceable.
H. C. Train,
Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy,
Director of Naval Intelligence.
|Chapter I. Introductory remarks||1|
|II. Crew of U-162||2|
|III. Early history of U-162||4|
|IV. First war cruise of U-162||6|
|V. Second war cruise of U-162||7|
|VI. Third and last war cruise of U-162||9|
|VII. Sinking of U-162||11|
|VIII. Details of U-162||14|
|IX. Other U-boats||15|
|X. U-boat bases||17|
|XI. General remarks on U-boats||18|
|XII. Building yards||19|
|XIII. Escape of interned Admiral Graf Spee officers from South America||20|
|XIV. Miscellaneous remarks||21|
|Annex. Crew list of U-162:||22|
|(c) Summary of crew||23|
Chapter I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
U-162 was sunk on the night of September 3, 1942, by H. M. Ships Pathfinder, Vimy, and Quentin in position 12.21 N., 59.29 W.
Forty-nine survivors from the crew of 51, including 3 officers, were picked up, 13 by Pathfinder, 32 by Vimy, and 4 by Quentin. The 3 destroyers arrived at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, with their prisoners the following afternoon, and a preliminary interrogation was conducted during the days following by qualified interrogating officers of the Royal Navy and the United States Navy.
In the course of the interrogations conducted both at Trinidad and in the United States, the crew of U-162 were found to be extremely security-conscious. Whereas most of the prisoners expressed appreciation of the treatment accorded them aboard the three British destroyers, their gratitude did not weaken their resolution in security matters.
The crew of U-162 consisted of 4 officers and 47 men. Except for the engineer officer, Oberleutnant (Ing.) 1 Edgar Stierwaldt, and Ernst Dettmer, a fireman, 3 cl., the entire complement survived.
U-162 was commanded by Fregattenkapitän Jürgen Wattenberg who, at 42, is believed to have been one of the oldest active U-boat commanders. Wattenberg, a native of Lübeck, was of the 1921 naval term. A qualified radio and blockade (Sperr) officer, he served in various branches prior to 1937, when he was promoted to the rank of Korvettenkapitän (lieutenant commander) and served on the staff of Vice Admiral Boehm, commandant of the North Sea Naval Station at Wilhelmshaven. In 1938 Wattenberg went to the pocket-battleship Admiral Graf Spee as navigating officer. He served in Admiral Graf Spee until she was scuttled off Montevideo on December 17, 1939, and was then interned in the Argentine. He escaped from Buenos Aires in April 1940. making his way back to Germany via the Orient. (See chapter XIII.) Coming on active duty once again, he was transferred to the U-boat arm and is known to have made his "Konfirmandenfahrt" (war cruise as prospective commander) with Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze.
Sometime prior to Wattenberg's embarkation on his last war cruise, he was promoted to Fregattenkapitän. Had he not been a man of remarkable energy, it is unlikely that he would have been entrusted with the command of a U-boat on combat duty, as such commands are reserved usually for officers considerably junior to him.
There is every indication, moreover, that he was popular with his men. His interrogators found Wattenberg dignified, but strongly pro-Nazi and adamantly security-minded.
Wattenberg's watchkeeping officers shared his political beliefs and followed bis example scrupulously in all relations with their captors. Oberleutnant zur See Wilhelm Behrens, the executive officer, was 27 years old and of the 1937 naval term. He served in destroyers before joining the U-boat arm and saw action in the Norwegian campaign aboard Hans Lady. He bad also made training cruises in the school-ships Schleswig-Holstein and Gorch Fock. Behrens is married and a resident of Wilhelmshaven. He was not well liked on board U-162.
Leutnant zur See Berndt von Walther und Croneck, the youngest officer, was a particularly arrogant Junker, whose aristocratic back-
1 For translation of ranks and ratings in Annex.
ground in no way tempered his ardent Nazi leanings. He had belonged to the Hitler Youth, was of the 1938 naval term, and was commissioned Leutnant early in 1941, after undergoing training as a midshipman (Fähnrich zur See).
Virtually nothing is known of Oberleutnant (Ing.) Stierwaldt, who went down with the boat. According to the German Navy List of 1940, he was of the 1936 naval term and was commissioned Leutnant (Ing.) in 1938. He was a native of Bremen, and seems to have been well regarded by the crew.
Wattenberg, because he was an experienced officer and a strict disciplinarian, had instructed his crew most effectively in security matters. His interrogators believed that his South American experiences inspired him to lay great emphasis on security indoctrination aboard U-162. In this light, it is not remarkable that, with one or two exceptions, the crew of U-162 revealed little of intelligence value.
It is not known when U-162 was laid down. According to prisoners, she was launched in the late spring of 1941. The interval between her launching and her commissioning on September 7, 1941, was inordinately long, apparently because the small Deschimag-Seebeck yard at Wesermünde, where the boat was built, was new at submarine construction, U-162 being one of the first boats to come off the ways. Prisoners implied that, whereas there were no delays in the actual construction of the boat, her fitting out after launching was complicated by inexperience and the schedule was retarded accordingly. (O. N. I. Note: It is also likely that U-162 was launched at an earlier stage of completion than usual to make room for a new hull on the ways, building space at this yard being limited.)
A majority of the crew came to Wesermünde in June 1941 to stand by U-162 in the final phases of construction, and were quartered in barracks adjoining the Deschimag-Seebeck yard. It is of interest that the large group drafted to the boat in June came to her after the launching, in contradistinction to the accepted practice of bringing engine-room personnel and other key crew members to a U-boat still on the ways.
On or about September 10, 1941, U-162 left Wesermünde and proceeded to Kiel for trials under the supervision of the U-boat Acceptance Command (U. A. K.). After a few days in Kiel, the boat sailed for the eastern Baltic, arriving in Gotenhafen (Gdynia) about September 20. She appears to have been based principally on Gotenhafen for 4 weeks, with side trips to Hela and Danzig. During this period U -162 underwent the customary submergence and torpedo-firing trials in the Bay of Danzig, as well as the "Agru-Front" (See O. N. I. 250-G/Serial No. 4, p. 43.), conducted by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, of the staff of the U-boat training school at Gotenhafen, and Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) (Lieutenant - engineering duties only) Gerd Suhren.
Toward the end of October U-162 put into Danzig and remained at the Danziger Werft for 4 or 5 days, during which time minor repairs were effected, including correction of faulty wiring of her running lights. Trials off Gotenhafen were then resumed.
In November 1941, U-162 participated in Taktische Ãbungen (tactical trials, comprising dummy convoy attacks) in the Baltic in
a group of 10 new 500-and 750-ton U-boats. From other U-boat prisoners it was learned that the boats accompanying U-162 at this time were commanded by Berger, (U-87), Borcherdt (U-587), Cremer (U-333), Degen (U-701), Giessler (U-455), Kölle (U-154), Kröning (U-656), Strelow (U-435), and Vogel (U-588). (For full details see O. N. I. 250 G/ Serial No. 3, Chapter IX.) This was an eventful period in that several boats engaging in the exercises were rammed, but nothing untoward occurred aboard U-162. Leaving the eastern Baltic early in December, she went to Rönne, on the Island of Bornholm, for silent running tests lasting 2 or 3 days. By mid-December she was again in Wesermünde for general overhaul at the Deschimag-Seebeck yard, preparatory to her first war cruise. The crew were given staggered leave so that some could celebrate Christmas at home and others the New Year. U-162 remained in Wesermünde until the end of January 1942. She then proceeded to Kiel, where she spent a few days and took on fuel, provisions, torpedoes, and ammunition before putting to sen.
U-162 sailed from Kiel for her first war cruise on or about February 7, 1942. It is believed that she proceeded through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal into the North Sea. (See chapter XI.) Ice conditions prevailed, and a trawler preceded her as an ice-breaker, U-162 was accompanied by two other 750-ton U-boats, one of which was commanded by Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant) Kölle. Both of these boats soon parted company with U-162.
U-162 did not call at any Norwegian port, but proceeded directly into the Atlantic, probably between Iceland and the Faeroes. The boat intended to cross the Atlantic to the American coast, according to one prisoner, but was prevented from doing so by heavy weather. She therefore cruised in mid-Atlantic, going as far south as the Azores. According to prisoners, only one ship was sighted, a British freighter of 8,400 tons, which was sunk by torpedo early on the cruise. There were no aircraft attacks on U-162 during this cruise.
U-162 stayed out 45 days and returned to her base at Lorient about March 24, 1942. However, one prisoner stated emphatically that they returned on March 18, which was his birthday. She brought back most of her torpedoes, and remained in port only about 2 weeks. No leave was granted to the crew, who lived in the Kaserne and went to the "U-Heim" in the forest for their recreation.
U-162 left Lorient for her second war cruise on Tuesday, April 7, 1942, alone and without escort. She proceeded by way of the Azores, which were sighted, to an operational area northeast of Trinidad, which appears to have been 12°-14° N. 56°-59° W. Here she operated until about Whitsunday (May 24), when the homeward journey was begun. She arrived in Lorient on June 9, 1942, having been out just 63 days. On the return trip one aircraft attack occurred at night; bombs were dropped and caught the boat 10 to 20 meters below the surface. No damage was sustained, but the concussion was distinctly felt and produced fright among the crew, as this was their first experience with air attack. A "Sperrbrecher" escort met the boat outside Lorient; the escort did not include planes.
U-162 fired all her torpedoes on this cruise while she was in her operational area, having taken those from the upper deck into the boat one day at dusk, and apparently sank nine ships totalling 49,000 tons. The ships sunk were all traveling alone; four were tankers totaling 30,000 tons and one was a sailing vessel. Prisoners admitted sinking the following seven ships on this cruise:
1. Athelempress (O. N. I. Note: British tanker, 8,941 G.T., sunk on April 29, 1942, at 2354 GCT at 13.21 N., 56.15 W.; 2 torpedoes, 20-25 shells.)
2. Parnahybna (O. N. I. Note: Brazilian freighter, 6,692 G.T., sunk on May 1, 1942, at 1510 EWT at 12 N., 58.20 W; 2 torpedoes, 30 rounds shellfire.)
3. Florence M. Douglas (O. N. I. Note: Schooner. 200 G. T., sunk by shellfire on May 4, 1942, at 1300 EWT, about 65 miles 000' true of Georgetown Beacon.)
4. Mont Louis (O. N. I. Note: Canadian ore boat, 1,905 G. T., sunk on May 8, 1942, at 2020 EWT, at 8.23 N., 58.44 W.; one torpedo.)
5. Esso Houston (O. N. I. Note: American tanker, 7,900 G. T., sunk on May 12, 1942, at 2035 EWT., at approx. 150 miles east of Barbados; 2 torpedoes.)
6. British Colony (O. N. I. Note: British tanker, 6,917 G. T., sunk on May 13, 1942, at 1940 LMT, at 13.12 N., 58.10 W.; 4 torpedoes.)
7. Beth (O. N. I. Note: Norwegian tanker, 6,852 G. T., sunk on May 18, 1942, at 0030 GCT at 13 N., 57 W.; 2 torpedoes.)
In addition, a number of prisoners insisted that they had sunk a ship named Runciman, which cannot be identified. It seems likely that crew members were told that they had sunk a Runciman Line ship. The ninth ship sunk also remains unidentified.
(O. N. I. Note: It is of interest that the third and fourth sinkings listed above took place about 250 miles south of U-162's apparent operational area.)
U-162 lay in Lorient for 28 days between her second and third war cruises. Crew members were given staggered leaves of from 10 to 16 days, and almost all went to their homes in Germany.
U-162 sailed from Lorient on her third and last war cruise on Tuesday, July 7, 1942. Before she sailed Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze, Chief of the Second Flotilla, came aboard and made a speech; Wattenberg also spoke. The boat was played away from the dock by a band. She left alone and without escort.
U-162 proceeded to the same operational area northeast of Trinidad that she had patrolled on her second cruise, several prisoners stating that they sighted Trinidad and Barbados. The Azores were again passed and sighted on the way over. On about the fourth day of her outward journey, in the Bay of Biscay, U-162 was attacked by a single aircraft. Bombs were heard - prisoners' estimates vary from 3 to 6 - but apparently no damage was done. One prisoner stated that about 10 days after this attack it was discovered that the torpedoes carried in the deck containers had been damaged and rendered useless, presumably by the attack, and that they were therefore thrown overboard. All other prisoners denied this incident. (O. N. I. Note: This attack was probably the one delivered by British Aircraft A/10 at 0612Z/11/7 in 44.45 N., 13.06 W. on a U-boat on course 235° with six 250-pound Mark 8 Amatol depth charges.) One other aircraft attack was experienced in the Caribbean on this cruise, some 14 days before the sinking, i. e., about August 20. Prisoners related that the attacking craft was large and that some of the crew were on deck beating the companionway mats when the plane was sighted. U-162 crash dived; about three bombs were heard and the boat was shaken up. but no damage was done. (O. N. I. Note: This attack was possibly the one delivered on a U-boat by a U. S. aircraft of the Ninth Bomber Group of the First Bomber Squadron at 1305 Zed on August 19, 1942. at 12.13 N., 63.04 W., with four Mark XVII M1 depth charges with fuses set for 25 feet.)
U-162's successes on her last cruise were limited to four ships totaling about 30,000 tons, but few exact details have been obtained. Prisoners were agreed that the names were not known to the crew, and possibly not to the captain. One prisoner stated that there were three tankers and one freighter, and gave the respective tonnages as 10,000, 9,000, 8,000, and 6,000. Confirmation of the sinking of the 10,000-ton tanker was obtained from other prisoners. One prisoner stated that three ships were sunk by night and one, the second, by
day, and that the first ship was sunk 5 weeks after leaving Lorient (i.e., about August 11), the second about August 17, the third about August 20, outside the usual operational area, probably to the south, and the last about August 27. Other evidence, apparently confirming the above statement about the third sinking, indicates that toward the end of her last cruise U-162 went into the Caribbean where she participated in an attack on a convoy and sank one cargo vessel. The convoy was said to have consisted of from six to eight ships, and to have been entirely or almost entirely destroyed, the other attacking U-boats having announced their successes by wireless to U-162. U-162 was prevented from attacking further by the approach of an escorting destroyer, but she was not attacked. (O. N. I. Note: This convoy was probably TAW/S, 12 ships, attacked on August 19 in position 11.40 N., 62.30 W. Three ships, the West Celina, the British Consul, and the Empire Cloud were sunk; several others were hit.)
A noteworthy incident occurred about 4 days before U-162 was sunk. She was met by another U-boat, took over oil from her, and received a visit on board from her captain. The boat was a 500-tonner commanded by Kapitänleutnant Reinhard "Teddy" Suhren. (O. N. I. Note: Suhren is believed to command U-564.) Suhren was on his way home, having fired all of his torpedoes. The meeting was by rendezvous in U-162's operational area, and Suhren arrived promptly. He gave U-162 about 2 cubic meters of oil. The encounter took place in broad daylight, during the afternoon. The hose was passed by means of a heaving line, and the two U-boats were not otherwise made fast to each other. The transfer of oil took only about a half hour, but the boats were together somewhat longer, perhaps about 3 hours. Suhren came over to U-162 in an inflatable rubber boat, came on board and into the boat, and greeted the men with "Heil Kameraden." He was described as being of medium size with a small black beard and mustache.
It was also related that Suhren's engineer officer, Kreuse(?), who was stated formerly to have been attached to the U-Boat Acceptance Command where he took part in the trials of new U-boats, also came over in a rubber boat, together with some of his crew. These latter took motion pictures of the oil transfer. Most of Suhren's crew were on the deck of their boat, but a part of U-162's crew remained below and did not witness the encounter. Some of the prisoners, however spoke to the men from the other boat.
No event of importance seems to have occurred between this incident and the sinking of U-162. She still had some torpedoes left (probably five or six) and had not yet brought down those carried on deck, according to several prisoners. She had already been out over eight weeks at the time of her sinking.
At about 1805 on September 3, 1942, in position 12.21 N., 59.29 W., H. M. S. Pathfinder, proceeding to Port of Spain, Trinidad, in company H. M. Ships Quentin and Vimy, obtained a sound contact to port at about 1,800 yards range. The commanding officer of Pathfinder hoisted an investigating signal and stopped his ship in order to make a considered attack if the situation warranted. At this moment hydrophone effect from a torpedo was heard ahead and a torpedo, breaking surface, circled Pathfinder wide to port and narrowly missed Quentin. Submarine contact was now firm at a range of 600 yards and Pathfinder attacked initially at 1815 with 10 Mark VII depth charges at medium settings (light charges 150 feet and heavy charges 300 feet). Sound contact was lost during the attack but regained after passing over the target. Pathfinder was preparing a second attack when Quentin hoisted the attacking signal and proceeded to fire a 6-charge pattern at 1829. Contact was then lost entirely and all 3 destroyers moved to westward of the attacks, commencing a search to the eastward at 1910. Vimy again gained contact at 1930 and fired a 14-charge pattern at 1938, when contact was again lost. The destroyers then separated, Vimy being ordered to remain in the vicinity of the attacks to intercept the U-boat if it surfaced in a damaged condition, while Pathfinder and Quentin planned to carry out an extensive search to frustrate a possible attempt to escape on the surface. These maneuvers had been plotted and were to be commenced at 2330, 4 hours after the last attack.
At 2327 the commanding officer of Pathfinder observed a red pyrotechnic signal to the westward, then gunflashes, another flare, a searchlight beam, and a snowflake rocket. Realizing at once that Vimy had again engaged the submarine, this time on the surface, he closed with Quentin, arriving too late to see the U-boat go under but in good time to assist in the rescue of survivors.
Wattenberg had made a fatal blunder. It has been established that he was wholly unaware of the presence of more than one destroyer in the vicinity. While it is true that he had delivered his torpedo attack before his own exact position had been revealed by sound to his intended victim, the odds were against him even in conflict with a single destroyer. That the single torpedo broke surface and betrayed his position actually sealed the fate of his boat. Heavy seas
had caused the torpedo to broach, as Behrens, the executive officer, later observed bitterly.
The explosion of depth charges dropped by Pathfinder in the first attack caused a leak aft in U-162, said by one prisoner to have been in the propeller-shaft stuffing box (Fettbüchse) and, in any case, through a gland in the pressure hull. The Diesel lubricating oil supply line was damaged, the oil emptying into the bilges. The listening gear was said also to have been put out of commission. Water entered the boat and she went down by the stern, remaining, for a time, at a terrifyingly steep angle. At this time, according to prisoners, oil and water coursed through the compartments, instrument glass flew all over, and the men could not stand upright. Trim was finally restored.
The second attack, delivered by Quentin, forced open certain vents which the crew managed to close. Vimy's attack, the third, opened the same vents and they were closed again with difficulty. Meanwhile, however, water had risen in the stern bilges and it had become increasingly difficult to maintain trim. The Diesels and the electric motors had apparently not been damaged, though several prisoners maintained that the port Diesel-electric clutch was disengaged in the second or third attack. According to another prisoner, hydroplanes and rudder had also been thrown out of line. No further sound contact with the attacking vessels could be established, U-162's listening devices having been rendered ineffective.
After more than 3 hours, Wattenberg gave the order to surface. With water rising steadily in the boat and maneuverability submerged reduced to a minimum, his only chance for escape lay on the surface.
Wattenberg contended that he surfaced to surrender. Actually, the Diesels were run at full speed (A. K.), according to several prisoners, and making a terrible noise through lack of lubricating oil. The boat still had way on when the crew went over the side.
It is believed, therefore, that Wattenberg made a final desperate attempt to elude the destroyers upon surfacing, but saw the futility of his position at once as he was caught in Vimy's searchlight, and ordered the crew to abandon ship. The men came on deck through the conning tower hatch in orderly fashion. As the first group appeared, Vimy opened machine-gun fire, and the men on the U-boat took cover behind the conning tower. As his crew went overboard, Wattenberg fired a red star Very light to indicate their position in the water. All abandoned successfully but the engineer officer, Stierwaldt, who had gone below to scuttle the ship and was last seen trying to escape from the conning tower as the seas broke over the hatch and swept him back below. Dettmer, an enlisted man, had recently been operated on for an infected leg. His resistance was low and he probably drowned. As U-162 settled, the commanding officer of
not certain that the U-boat had been completely abandoned and taking no chances with its capacity to operate further, rammed aft. U-162 then sank instantly.
Prisoners were agreed that when the order came to abandon ship the desperate condition of U-162 was not apparent to most of the crew. The large amount of water which entered aft was confined to the bilges and did not rise above the door plates. The lighting system had not failed. In fact, the only visual evidence of disaster was some broken glass on instrument panels. A number of prisoners stated, however, that chlorine gas had begun to develop at the end.
U-162 was a 750-ton boat, built by Deschimag-Seebeck, Wesermünde. (See chapter XII.) She belonged to the Second Flotilla based on Lorient, under the command of Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze.
The Diesels were built by M. A. N. (Maschinenfabrik-Augsburg-Nürnberg). They were stated to be of 2,200 H. P. each. One prisoner insisted that the utmost speed (A. K.) of the Diesels was 400 revolutions, but little credence is given this estimate.
The electric motors were manufactured by Sieniens-Schuckert.
U-162 carried a 105 cm. gun forward, a 37 cm. antiaircraft gun aft, and a 20 cm. antiaircraft gun on the bridge. This is the customary armament for 750-ton U-boats.
Fourteen electric torpedoes were carried by U-162 in the boat and two air torpedoes in the upper-deck containers. A prisoner stated that the torpedoes were not painted with any distinguishing stripes.
The conning tower device was a grey shield with a perpendicular black sword, point up. The design was taken from the title page of Hitler's "Mein Kampf," but was merely the trade-mark of the publisher.
Prisoners stated that U-162 was not equipped with Radar nor with Submarine Bubble Target (S. B. T.); that she carried no mines; that she was painted the grey color usually given to U-boats operating on Atlantic patrols.
1. U-Boats Identified by Number
U-61. - Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten commanded U-61 during the Norwegian campaign, when two freighters totaling 12,000 tons were sunk, according to a prisoner's statement. (O. N. I. Note: Oesten is believed to have commanded U-106 after U-61, and now to have a shore appointment.)
U-105. - A prisoner stated that U-105, believed to he commanded by Kapitänleutnant Schewe, had been damaged by air attack so severely that she was no longer fit for combat service and was being used as a schoolboat.
U-123. - A prisoner stated that U-123, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Reinhardt Hardegen, came into Lorient on July 1 or 2, 1942.
U-124. - Several prisoners reported that U-124, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Johann Mohr, was also in Lorient at the time of U-162's departure on July 7, 1942.
U-137. - A prisoner stated that U-137 was in reality a 400-ton boat, not a 300-tonner. Oberleutnant Massmann served in this boat as executive officer under Kapitänleutnant Wohlfahrt (now a prisoner of war) and later took command, half of the crew being transferred at the time.
U-163. - U-163 was reported seen by prisoners on the ways at Wesermünde and undergoing trials in the Baltic.
2. U-Boats Identified by Commanding Officer
Hartenstein. - Korvettenkapitän Hartenstein was said to have arrived in Lorient the day before U-162 left on July 7, 1942. He is believed to command U-156.
Kölle. - It was reported that the U-boat under the command of Kapitänleutnant Kölle left Kiel on February 7, 1942, with U-162. The device on Kölle's boat was said to be a red cow on a grey field, painted on both sides of the conning tower. Kölle was said to he in Lorient when U-162 left on July 7, 1942. He is believed to command U-154.
Piening. - From various sources it was learned that the U-boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant Piening was in Lorient at the same time as U-162 in July 1942. Piening's boat belongs to the Second
Flotilla. A 750-ton U-boat is known to have left Lorient 1 day in advance of U-162, and there is evidence that Piening operated together with Wattenberg in one of U-162's attacks on her last war cruise.
Zapp. - Two prisoners stated that Kapitänleutnant Richard Zapp was also in Lorient on July 7, 1942, and that his boat (a 750-tonner) belonged to their flotilla. (O. N. I. Note: Zapp is believed to command U-66.)
3. U-Boats Identified by Device
Three Stars. - A 750-ton U-boat with three stars for a device was reported seen in Lorient early in July 1942.
4. U-Boat Losses
A prisoner from U-162 stated that he had heard that a 500-ton U-boat had been sunk lately in the Baltic off Pillau with the loss of her commanding officer and about half her crew. The name of the commanding officer was stated to be Müller, and his rank Oberleutnant. It was implied that the boat was lost because of poor workmanship or sabotage. The survivors were said to have been hospitalized at Krummhübel for 3 weeks and then given 4 weeks' leave. (O. N. I. Note: The Oberleutnant Müller in question cannot be identified.)
The training of recruits (Rekrutenausbildung) at Breda (Holland) is said to last 12 weeks. According to one prisoner the Fourteenth Schiffsstammabteilung (Ships' Manning Division) is located there. (O. N. I. Note: The Fourteenth Schiffsstammabteilung was formerly at Glückstadt and had been reported moved to Holland.) Lorient.
It was stated that only 750-ton U-boats were in port at Lorient, confirming an earlier report that no 500-ton U-boats were based there. The personnel reserve at Lorient was said to vary in number and to be used to replace crews of returned U-boats on leave, standing watches and doing the work of the absent crews. The men are housed in old French naval barracks on the edge of town. The "U-Heim" is reported to he located in a wood, not on the seashore, and to be reached by bus. A prisoner described this as a recreation center where German beer is served and German girls from offices in Lorient are brought to dance with the men.
A prisoner confirmed the location of the Sixteenth Schiffsstammabteilung at Roosendaal (Holland). The barracks are located 1 or 2 kilometers outside the town.
A prisoner from U-162 stated that tactical exercises (Taktische Übungen) are held in the Baltic during an allotted period once every month, and that 10 new U-boats participate in the trials each time. (See chapter III.) All participating boats were said to take on 12 to 14 torpedoes (the full inboard complement) and provisions for 10 days at sea.
Use of Kiel Canal.
Heretofore it has been considered the general practice of U-boats setting out on their first cruise to proceed from Kiel through the Great Belt, the Kattegat, and the Skagerrak into Norwegian waters of the North Sea and thence into the Atlantic. From prisoners' statements and other sources, however, it appears that U-162 and a number of other U-boats sailing from Kiel in the winter of 1941-42 returned through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal to Brunsbüttel, making an overnight stop there and entering the North Sea the following day. These boats then proceeded across the North Sea into the Atlantic without stopping at a Norwegian port.
Prisoners stated that a so-called "Grundwache" (ground watch) was instituted on board U-162 as the boat lay motionless on the bottom off the Island of Tobago. Only a skeleton watch was maintained, the remainder of the crew taking this opportunity to get extra sleep. With all available berths occupied by one-third of the crew, the remaining members not on watch slept wherever they could.
U-162 was built at Wesermünde by Deschimag, in the small yard of G. Seebeck. This yard, located next to the Fischereihafen (fishing port), had been used formerly for building fishing boats and had then been converted by Deschimag for U-boat construction. The yard comprised five or six building slips, and a prisoner stated that other 750-ton U-boats were in process of construction on all the ways when he came to U-162 after the launching. (O. N. I. Note: It is believed that, due to serious damage from air attacks to five U-boats building at this yard, U-boat construction came to a halt before the summer of 1942. The Seebeck yard is now engaged in rapid repairs on damaged naval vessels.) While U-162 was building the crew lived in barracks adjoining the yards. There are said to be no other yards at Wesermünde.
After the scuttling of the Admiral Graf Spee, Wattenberg was brought to Buenos Aires on December 18, 1939, for internment with 1,054 officers and men. The officers were required to give their word of honor not to leave the city without written permission from the police authorities, but refused to do so. The German Embassy attempted to have the Graf Spee survivor's declared "shipwrecked" to avoid internment, but the fact that the Germans had made arrangements for vessels to pick up survivors before the Admiral Graf Spee sailed for the last time caused the Argentine Government to insist on internment.
By March 16, 1940, 31 officers and men had escaped; it is believed that Wattenberg escaped on April 16. At the end of July 1942 the number had risen to 120. The German Embassy provided forged passports, and other false documents were procured by a German resident of Buenos Aires named Alfonso Haun, who later confessed his participation to Argentine police. The exact route taken to Peru by Wattenberg is not known, but planes, busses, and horses for crossing the Andes were used by various other prisoners. At Callao, Peru, he embarked on the S. S. Rakuyo Maru, a Japanese steamer, which stopped at Los Angeles on June 12, 1940. Spanish and Japanese vessels, as well as German blockade runners, were used by escaping prisoners. Wattenberg reached Germany without further incident, and before long it was reported that he had joined the U-boat arm.
Wattenberg spoke on the German radio from the Zeesen station on June 20, 1942, enumerating the successes of his second war cruise. He claimed the sinking of 9 ships, totaling 49,000 tons, and mentioned by name Athelempress, Parnahyba and Florence M. Douglas (see chapter V). In describing the sinking of the Brazilian merchantman, Parnahyba, he said that the ship broke in two after his second torpedo hit, "presenting a spectacle of singular beauty."
Prisoners told willingly the amusing story of a small black pig which survived the sinking by U-162 of the schooner Florence M. Douglas. The pig was brought aboard the U-boat, adopted as a mascot, and named "Douglas." It was kept in the engine room for the duration of the second war cruise and presented formally to Flotilla Chief Schütze in Lorient when the boat returned to its base. One prisoner asserted that three pigs were taken on board and that two were eaten, "Douglas" being retained as mascot.
A prisoner remarked on the frequent recurrence of the number "7" in the history of U-162. The boat appears to have been commissioned on the 7th day of the month, and to have sailed on each of its war cruises on the 7th. The prisoner could not say whether this had occurred coincidentally or through a possible superstition of its captain.
|Name||Rank||U. S. N. equivalent||R. N. equivalent|
|Behrens. Wilhelm||Oberleutnant z. S||Lieutenant (j. g.)||Lieutenant.|
|von Walther und Croneck, Berndt||Leutnant z. S||Ensign||Sub-lieutenant|
|Hox, Kranz||Obersteuermann||Warrant quartermaster||Chief petty officer.|
|Böhm, Lothar||Obermaschinist||Warrant machinist||Chief E. R. A.|
|Schütte, Heinz||Obermaschinist||Warrant machinist||Chief E. R. A.|
|Greise, Heinrich||Oberbootsmaat||Boatswain's mate, 2cl||Chief petty officer.|
|Mizgalski, Wolf||Oberbootsmaat||Boatswain's mate. 2cl||Chief petty officer.|
|Decker, Erich||Oberfunkmaat||Radioman, 2cl||P. O. telegr.|
|Holtz, Walter||Obermechanikermaat||Torpedoman's mate, 2cl||T. G. M.|
|Oldhaber, Peter||Obermaschinenmaat||Machinist's mate, 2cl||Chief stoker.|
|Ilg, August.||Obermaschinenmaat||Machinist's mate, 2cl||Chief stoker.|
|Smyczek, Rudolf||Bootsmaat||Coxswain||Petty officer.|
|Schmidt, Hans||Funkmaat||Radioman, 3cl||P. O. telegr.|
|Schwerendt, Alfred||Maschinenmaat||Fireman, 1cl||Stoker P. O.|
|Schöbel, Hans||Maschinenmaat||Fireman, 1cl||Stoker P. O.|
|Schneider. Rudolf||Maschinenmaat||Fireman, 1cl||Stoker P. O.|
|Dziuba, Rudolf||Maschinenmaat||Fireman, 1cl||Stoker P. O.|
|Bosse, Günter||Maschinenmaat||Fireman, 1cl||Stoker P. O.|
|Weber, Rudolf||Matrosenobergefreiter||Seaman, 1cl||Able seaman.|
|Peipmann, Horst||Matrosenobergefreiter||Seaman, 1cl||Able seaman.|
|Helzelt, Paul||Matrosenobergefreiter||Seaman, 1cl||Able seaman.|
|Döring, Christoph||Matrosenobergefreiter||Seaman, 1cl||Able seaman.|
|Löblich, Horst||Funkobergefreiter||Seaman, 1cl||Telegraphist.|
|Eisebraun. Paul||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl.||Ord. seaman.|
|Gerstner, Sepp||Matrosengefreiter.||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Mögel, Friedlich||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Rebbe, Helmut||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Simon, Heinz||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Waldau, Ernst||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Westphal, Günther||Matrosengefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. seaman.|
|Pawlowski, Ringfried||Funkgefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Ord. telegr.|
|Hartmann, Walter||Mechanikergefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Seaman torpedoman.|
|Bischoff, Bruno||Mechanikergefreiter||Seaman, 2cl||Seaman torpedoman.|
|Chmilewski, Heinz.||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Dietrich, Alfred||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Gidszun, Erwin||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Heinecke, Wolf||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Hiller, Alfred||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Jäger. Walter||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Kittel, Georg||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Klingler, Helmut||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Kozur, Walter||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3d||Stoker, II|
|Kremer, Johann||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Kretschmann, Siegfried||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Krosse, Helmut||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Petzold. Günther||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman. 3cl||Stoker, II|
|Binias, Georg||Matrose||Apprentice seaman||Ord. seaman.|
|Fröhlich, Kurt||Matrose||Apprentice seaman||Ord. seaman.|
|Name||Rank||U. S. N. equivalent||R. N. equivalent|
|Stierwaldt, Edgar||Oberleutnant (Ing)||Lieutenant (j. g.) engineering duties only.||Engineering Lieutenant|
|Dettmer, Ernst||Maschinengefreiter||Fireman, 3cl||Stoker, II.|