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U-352 Sunk By U.S.C.G. Icarus 5-9-42

Post Mortems On Enemy Submarines - Serial No. 2

Image of 'Final Report of Interrogation of Survivors from U-352 Sunk by U.S.C.G. Icarus on May 9, 1942' cover.

SUNK BY U.S.C.G. Icarus



Confidential [Declassified]






Serial No. 02488116

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-352 2
  III. Early history of U-352 4
  IV. First war cruise 5
  V. Second and last war cruise 6
  VI. Sinking of U-352 7
  VII. Details of U-352 10
  VIII. Other U-boats 11
  IX. U-boat construction 14
  X. U-boat tactics 15
  XI. General remarks on U-352 16
  XII. Commando raid on St. Nazaire, March 27, 1942.   17
  XIII. Sailors' gathering places in ports 18
  XIV. Hitler and the Navy 19
  XV. Miscellaneous remarks 20
A. Log of punishments imposed on his men by Rathke during their temporary internment   21
B. List of crew of U-352 22

Thirty-three survivors of U-352 were taken aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Icarus which sank the U-boat off Cape Lookout at 1714 E. W. T. on May 9, 1942, in approximate position latitude 34°12'05" N. and longitude 76°35' W.

The crew was a particularly difficult problem to interrogators. Because of unavoidable circumstances the formal interrogation did not occur until 3 months after the sinking. Meantime, the security-minded prisoners were subjected to almost constant coaching by their commander, Kapitänleutnant1 Hellmut Rathke.

Even while in the water awaiting rescue, Rathke shouted to his men warnings about the necessity of refusing to divulge information. Unfortunately, aboard the Icarus he was twice able to lecture his men.

A brief preliminary interrogation was made shortly after the men were landed in the United States. Thereafter they were taken to a place of temporary internment where Rathke was permitted to maintain direct control over his men. A stern disciplinarian, Rathke kept a strict surveillance over his men during this temporary internment. Ample evidence of this can be found in the list of punishments meted out to his men for various delinquencies. (See Annex A.)

U-352 was the first U-boat sunk in American waters in the present war from which survivors were taken.


1 The following are the equivalents of German commissioned ranks which appear in this report:

    Kapitän zur See Captain.
    Fregattenkapitän Commander.
    Korvettenkapitän Lieutenant commander.
    Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant.
    Oberleutnant z. S Lieutenant (j. g.).
    Oberleutnant (Ing.)   Lieut. (j. g.), engineering duties only.
    Leutnant zur See Ensign.
Chapter II. CREW OF U-352

The complement of the U-352 consisted of 3 officers, 1 midshipman, 18 petty officers, and 24 men, bringing the total complement to 46.

The engineer officer, executive officer and 11 of the crew perished in the sinking; another enlisted man died later, aboard the Icarus.

The entire group of survivors possessed an unusually high degree of security consciousness. In view of the extreme youth of the crew, 13 members of which were less than 21 years old, such zeal may be attributed largely to the captain's influence upon his men, and to his exploitation of this influence both prior to the rescue and on subsequent occasions, when he was given ample opportunity to harangue them on the urgency of withholding all information from their interrogators.

The captain, Kapitänleutnant Hellmut Rathke, is 32 years old and of the naval class of 1930. He came on active duty in 1935 and has served in various types of surface vessels. He has twice been around the world - in line of duty - since 1936. Born in East Prussia, he now is a resident of Flensburg, where he has left his wife and small daughter. Though courteous to a fault and cultivated, Rathke has been conspicuously arrogant in complaining of his treatment as a prisoner and in assuming unwarranted control of his men following their internment. He professes unqualified admiration for Hitler and National Socialism. Whereas his brief record as a U-boat commander is bereft of successes, he was held in great respect by his men, on whom he apparently inflicted a martinet's discipline. He admits relationship with Oberleutnant Franz Cranitzky who commanded U-138 (sunk near Gibraltar in June 1941) and who is a British prisoner of war, but denies that they are brothers-in-law. Rathke stated that he has two brothers who are officers in the German army and who now are fighting on the Russian front. He holds the Iron Cross second class.

Rathke injured a knee in a skiing accident sometime before taking over U-352. He is believed to have been laid up for about 6 months. One prisoner stated that the injury still gives Rathke trouble. It seems that Rathke had to use a wheel chair at the yards during the final stages of U-352's construction.

Virtually nothing is known of the two officers who were lost with the boat. The engineer officer, Oberleutnant (Ing.) Heinz Toetz, was of the 1937 naval class. He was married at Kiel in December 1941.


The executive officer, Leutnant zur See Josef Ernst, was of the naval class of 1938.

Leutnant zur See (Sonderführer) Oskar Bernhard, age 25, served in U-352 as navigator. Pending his commissioning as an officer his actual rank is that of a Steuermann d. R. (quartermaster, first class, naval reserve). He is a native of Nuremberg and makes his home in Hamburg-Altona, where he taught navigation at the nautical school. He joined the navy in 1940 after serving in the engineer corps of the German army and participating in the Polish campaign. A Catholic, he does not hold uncompromisingly to National Socialist views, but is a loyal, conscientious German and extremely security minded. He has received the minesweeper Badge, the U-boat Badge and the Iron Cross, second class.

The midshipman, Ernst Kammerer, son of a Berlin engineer, is a characteristically truculent product of the Hitler Youth movement. He was born in Canton, China, and has been in the navy since 1940. After serving in a destroyer he volunteered for the U-boat arm.


The crew of U-352 was called to Flensburg in the summer of 1941 to observe the final phases of construction (Baubelehrung). One prisoner stated that he arrived for this course of instruction "in May or June," while another said he arrived in July. The men lived aboard the submarine itself.

Prisoners admitted that their boat was commissioned in mid-October, 1941, but they refused, to a man, to reveal when she was laid down and when she was launched. If construction followed a normal schedule, however, it would be fair to assume that U-352 was laid down in the summer of 1940, that is, about a year before she was commissioned, and was launched early in July 1941, 3 or 3 1/2 months before her commissioning in the middle of October. The crew's lifesaving gear bore the date August 15, 1941, apparently stamped in by the manufacturer.

In mid-October U-352 proceeded to Kiel where the U-Boat Acceptance Commission, the U. A. K. (U-Bootsabnahmekommission), took her in charge for 5 weeks of tests in the Baltic Sea. Prisoners stated that they put into Gotenhafen several times for a night, including October 31. They also spent a few days in Danzig where Coxswain Neitsch, according to his own statement, joined the boat. Returning to Kiel, U-352 made at least one more sortie for tactical exercises.

U-352 then returned to dock in Flensburg for "minor repairs and adjustments," arriving, one prisoner stated, on November 27 or 28, 1941.

While these adjustments were being made, the men were granted leave on a stagger basis, throughout December. Each man apparently received 14 to 16 days. The last to depart on leave seem to have returned to Flensburg on or about December 29, 1941. One man felt the sting of Rathke's strict discipline - he was punished by detention on board and loss of leave for getting drunk and being "adrift" on shore.

After the final overhaul in the Flensburg flocks, U-352 again proceeded to Kiel, probably around mid-January - for "a couple of days," one prisoner said - to take on torpedoes and provisions.

U-352 now was ready for her first war cruise.


U-352 was at sea approximately 5 weeks on her first war cruise, according to prisoners' statements, sinking nothing at all.

It appears probable that U-352 left Kiel the latter part of January, heading north through the Kattegat and the Skagerrak. One prisoner stated that none of the U-Boat Acceptance Commission experts was aboard, as is sometimes the case when a new U-boat sails for Norway the first time. Thus U-352 appears to have been pronounced fit and ready for duty.

Clearing the Skagerrak, U-352 turned north to put into Bergen for one night. No one was permitted to leave the boat. The following day she set course for her operational area off Iceland. One prisoner, a machinist's mate, stated they did not pass through any English mine fields.

As far as can be learned, U-352 cruised her operational area at least 3 weeks before her first action with surface craft occurred.

Sighting a steamer, Rathke prepared to attack. Before he could get his torpedoes off, prisoners stated, four corvettes appeared, forcing U-352 to submerge and abandon the attack. Depth charges apparently gave her several exciting minutes. There were some very respectable explosions ("es hat ganz anstä ndig geknallt") according to a prisoner, but no damage was inflicted. Several prisoners admitted they were frequently, although unsuccessfully, attacked by aircraft off Iceland.

Finally, U-352 turned southeast for St. Nazaire. According to one man, en route they sighted a destroyer at which they fired a fan of four torpedoes. All missed. The destroyer, apparently unaware of the attack, did not counterattack, and U-352 continued on her way.

U-352 arrived in St. Nazaire the first week of March. The men spent a day cleaning ship, then transferred to the "U-boat home" (U-Heim), their quarters ashore. Three Iron Crosses were awarded to crew members after the first cruise, according to one prisoner. At least part of the crew, probably most of them, were given leave. Two men returned to Germany to be married. A machinist's mate stated he was married March 10. He enjoyed a brief honeymoon before returning to St. Nazaire on March 19, 1942.

Coxswain Neitsch said he remained in St. Nazaire, without leave, to oversee the boat's overhaul. He checked the boat for needed repairs and adjustments, then saw to the oiling, cleaning, and so on.

Frequent air raids, and the commando raid of March 27 on St. Nazaire, occurred while U 352 was in port.


U-352 is believed to have left St. Nazaire on her final war cruise about the end of the first week in April 1941. There was no band to play her away. She carried 14 torpedoes and no mines, one prisoner said. A machinist's mate stated he "thought" they departed through the "little lock." (This presumably means the south entrance to the harbor, inasmuch as the lock on the east, and the "Normandie" lock were damaged in the British commando raid of March 27, 1941).

The trip to American waters seems to have required about 3 weeks. The boat cruised at slow speed (langsame Fahrt) presumably to conserve fuel. The men had sun baths on deck, three or four at a time, for short periods.

U-352 seems to have arrived in American waters about May 2, a week before her destruction. Misfortune plagued her. As far as can be learned from the crew, she sank nothing. When on the surface, look-outs had to be on the alert constantly for aircraft. They crash-dived several times to elude patrol planes.

One such occasion seems to have caused a genuine fright. Probably during the forenoon on May 2d or 3d, one of the lookouts sighted a twin-engined aircraft about 4 miles away, flying between 600 and 700 feet. The alarm was given and the boat crash-dived. Crew members later said they thought that this airplane had spotted them, and they expected to be attacked. They said they heard no bombs, however.

About 2 days before their sinking, an airplane spotted them, this time dropping two bombs, prisoners said. The boat escaped without damage.

None of the crew would admit, upon questioning, that he saw the United States coast at any time. They were allowed, however, to tune in on American radio programs in the boat. They liked jazz ("Weltanschauung" notwithstanding).

It appears probable that they made a few unsuccessful attacks. Several men admitted that ships were sighted. A coxswain said a total of seven or eight torpedoes were fired on different occasions, but that the captain never claimed to have sunk anything. This coxswain said they made several attacks one day, one of them on what he presumed to be a refrigerator ship. He said it had a Maier type bow.

The next attack U-352 made, that on the U. S. C. G. Icarus, was to be her last.

Chapter VI. SINKING OF U-352

The Icarus, cruising at 14 knots about 30 miles south of Cape Lookout, contacted U-352 with sound equipment at 1625 E. W. T., May 9, 1942.

Icarus was on a compass course of 235° at position 34°12'5" N, 70°35' W. The sea was calm. There was a slight swell. Visibility was about 9 miles.

The action which resulted in the sinking of U-352 occurred substantially as follows:

Icarus' sound equipment indicated on initial contact that a possible submarine was an estimated 100 yards ahead. Nothing was in sight. Four minutes later a torpedo was seen to explode approximately 200 yards off port quarter. The captain of the Icarus immediately reversed course. Reaching the eastern edge of the whirl caused by the torpedo explosion, he laid a diamond pattern of five depth charges. He then circled the spot and dropped three more depth charges in a "V" pattern.

Large air bubbles were observed on the surface. Icarus dropped another depth charge. A minute later, at 1709 E. D. T., the U-boat broke the surface at a 45° angle, down by the stern.

Icarus immediately opened fire with her 50-caliber machine gun on her starboard quarter and 30-caliber machine gun on the flying bridge. By that time she had moved to approximately 1,000 yards distance. Men were seen climbing from the U-boat's conning tower.

Icarus swung around as quickly as possible to bring her 3-inch gun to bear. Her first two shells straddled the U-boat, then the gunner found the target. Out of 14 shots 6 direct hits and 1 ricochet hit were scored on the hull and conning tower. Thirty-three men tumbled from the conning tower in clocklike precision, swimming rapidly away from the boat. U-352 remained on the surface 5 minutes. She sank at 1714 and Icarus, now 300 yards away, ceased firing.

Icarus, circled the spot. At about 300 yards from the survivors she picked up another contact. She proceeded to the indicated area and dropped another depth charge at 1734. A large amount of oil came to the surface, described as a light Diesel oil, practically colorless, with a strong odor like kerosene.


The commanding officer of Icarus dispatched a message requesting instructions how to proceed from this point. Upon receipt of orders, he picked up 33 survivors at 1750 and proceeded to Charleston, S.C.

Meanwhile, what was happening inside the U-boat? The full account remains concealed behind the crew's reticence. The following story, however, can be pieced together from available information:

One prisoner stated that U-352 had been in the area of her final battle for about 4 days.

When U-352 sighted Icarus she was dead ahead. "Action stations" was sounded. Rathke manoeuvered into position at periscope depth and fired one bow torpedo, believed to have been electric. There is reason to believe that Rathke mistook Icarus for a larger craft. The U-boat crew heard an explosion. Some, at least, thought momentarily that they had scored a hit. If Rathke thought so he could not have been long deceived. In reality, the torpedo broached, sank and exploded, churning mud to the surface.

Rathke believed he was operating in water 95 feet deep. (Actually it was nearer 120 feet). Apparently hoping to avoid Icarus' antisubmarine devices, he took his boat to the approximate position of the torpedo explosion and there grounded her. Ironically, this was precisely the spot Icarus chose for her first depth charge attack.

Prisoners stated that they heard a hail of depth charges, some of them extremely close. The first explosions destroyed the periscope and killed an officer in the conning tower. Gauges and glasses were smashed in the control room. The deck was littered with broken gear. Lockers burst open. Crockery and other loose objects were flung about the boat. The crew was shaken up. All lights except the emergency system failed. There is evidence that the electric motors failed - perhaps the greatest injury the boat suffered. There apparently was no water or chlorine gas in the boat.

Rathke seems to have concluded that his craft was damaged beyond hope of saving. He stated later he believed about 60 depth charges had been dropped. Rathke ordered his men to put on lungs and lifejackets. He blew the tanks and gave the command to abandon ship.

The quartermaster, who was in the Diesel room at the time, ran to the control room, then returned, shouting: "All men out." The petty officer in charge of the Diesels, according to one prisoner, remonstrated: "You crazy dogs, we can run on our Diesels."

The men apparently climbed out of the conning tower in good order. In all likelihood, scuttling charges were set and detonated. Several prisoners said they heard two muffled explosions while swimming in the water.

The U-boat's gunner stated they intended to man the 2 cm. antiaircraft gun on surfacing, but were dissuaded by fire from the Icarus.


Rathke, when asked why he did not try to use his deck gun, said that the angle of the boat was too great, and that the Icarus was firing at his men. Thirteen of the crew went down with U-352.

While the U-boat's survivors were swimming about awaiting rescue, the security-conscious Rathke shouted warnings to his men not to give any information to their rescuers.

Four members of his crew had been wounded. While still in the water, Rathke attempted to apply a tourniquet on machinist's mate Roussel, whose leg had been severed. Roussel died that night aboard the Icarus. Rathke called from the water asking Icarus to take his wounded aboard first.

All of the rescued men reported headaches, which they attributed to the sudden surfacing of the U-boat.

Men on the Icarus said that the discipline of the U-boat crew throughout the rescue operations was exemplary.

Chapter VII. DETAILS OF U-352

U-352 was similar to U-570, captured by the British and subsequently commissioned as H. M. S. Graph (a full description of which has been published by the Admiralty).

She was 500 tons, type VIIc. She was equipped with an 8.8-cm. cannon forward of the conning tower and a 2-cm. antiaircraft gun on the bridge. She carried 14 torpedoes on her last cruise. It is safe to assume that 12 of these were electric, and that the other two were air torpedoes, stowed in upper deck containers. Her color was dark. She was not camouflaged.

The flotilla to which she belonged could not be learned with any certainty. Several prisoners indicated that U-352 was attached to the 3d U-Boat Flotilla based on La Pallice, although it is certain that she never put into any French port other than St. Nazaire, where the 7th Flotilla is based. Prisoners said that La Pallice was "too crowded."

U-352 was adopted by the city of Flensburg, the city where she was built, and Rathke's home town. She displayed the Flensburg coat-of-arms on her conning tower.

No prisoner would admit the existence of a device similar to our Radar, and it may be that U-352 had none. It is known, however, from prisoners captured more recently that such a device was earned on their boat (U-94) which was sunk.

In port the crew was divided into three watches. Two were allowed to go ashore while one remained aboard.


A detailed account of a cruise off the United States by Kapitänleutnant Bigalk (believed to command U-751) was published in the "Pariser Zeitung" of March 27, 1942. The account, written by Propaganda Ministry reporter Herbert Strang, who made the cruise, said Bigalk remained in port only a few days after sinking the aircraft carrier H. M. S. Audacity before embarking for North America. This cruise would appear to have taken place in January 1942.

The account reveals that ships were silhouetted by the glow of lights along the United States coast. Bigalk sank one ship enroute to the United States. He sank a second, a 5,000-ton tanker, with two torpedoes near an American lighthouse. Later Bigalk sent his last torpedo into an 8,000 ton freighter. The report stated they were so near the coast that they did not dare to surface and use their deck guns.

The German High Command communique of June 17, 1942, credited Kapitänleutnant Keschke's U-boat (believed to be U-205) with sinking a British cruiser in the attack between June 13-15 on convoys in the Mediterranean.

The O. K. W. communique of June 12, 1942, stated that Kapitänleutnant Heidtmann's U-boat (believed to be U-559) "especially distinguished itself" off the Palestine coast in the Mediterranean in an attack on a convoy destined for Tobruk.

U-96 and U-552
Two prisoners from U-352 admitted that Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Lohmann-Willenbrock (believed to command U-96) and Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp (believed to command U-552) were in St. Nazaire while U-352 was there, in March or early April 1942.

S. S. Raphael Semmes, a U. S. cargo vessel, was torpedoed without warning at 0833 O. C. T. on June 28, 1942, at 29°30' N., 64°30' W. Ten of the survivors were taken aboard the U-boat, given medical attention and supplies and then released. The U-boat commander introduced himself as "Lieutenant" Liebe. "Heidelberg" was painted on the fore part of the conning tower with a coat of arms with a lion


insignia just below. A cupid mermaid was painted forward on the starboard side. The U-boat was painted dark gray and appeared to be undamaged. Liebe was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 155, blue eyes, blond, and heavily bearded. British sources indicate that Kapitänleutnant Johannes Liebe probably commands U-332.

It should be noted that the choice of a cupid as device by Liebe (love) is a typical example of devices selected for their relation to the captain's name. U-38, Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Liebe's former boat, bore as device a cupid astride a torpedo.

U-Boat Commanders
Following is a list of U-boat commanders, cited in German High Command communiques between May 22 and July 7, 1942, as having "particularly distinguished themselves" in attacks on shipping in American waters, together with the numbers of their U-boats which they are believed to command:

Kapitänleutnant Thurmann, U-553, H. C. C. May 22. 1942.
Oberleutnant Folkers, U-125, H. C. C. May 22. 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Mohr, V 124, H. C. C. June 18, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Hartenstein, U-1000, H. C. C. June 6, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Topp, U-552, H. C. C. June 18, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant von Robenstiel, U-502, H. C. C. June 18, 1942.
Oberleutnant Ites, U-94, H. C. C. June 18, 1942.
Korvettenkapitän Schacht,____________, H. C. C. May 18, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Wuerdemann,___________, H. C. C. May 22, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Witte,_____________, H. C. C. June 18, 1942.
Kapitänleutnant Rostin, _____________, H. C. C. June 25, 1942.

Knight's Insignia to the Iron Cross.
The "Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen" of Oslo, on April 11, 1942, published a picture of Kapitänleutnant Topp on the occasion of his receiving the Oak Leaves (Eichenlaub) to his Knight's Insignia (Ritterkreuz) of the Iron Cross. He was stated to be the eighty-seventh German to win this decoration. The German communique of April 11, 1942, claimed for Topp a total of 31 ships sunk, with a tonnage of 208,000 tons, including one destroyer and one escort vessel (Bewacher). Topp is believed to command U-552.

Award of the Knight's Insignia to the Iron Cross to Kapitänleutnant Johann Mohr was announced in a communique dated March 28, 1942, in the "Neues Wiener Tageblatt" of March 29, 1942. This apparently confirms that "Johann," not "Eberhard," is the Mohr believed to be commanding U-124.

Kapitänleutnant Bigalk received the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross for sinking the aircraft carrier H. M. S. Audacity, according to the Propaganda Ministry reporter Herbert Strang, writing in the "Pariser Zeitung" March 27, 1942. Strang made at least one cruise with Bigalk.


The Berlin radio of August 24, 1942, stated that Hitler had awarded the Knight's Cross to Kapitänleutnant Karl Thurmann (believed to command U-553) whose U-boat was credited with sinking 18 ships totaling 106,000 tons thus far in the war, while damaging 20 vessels.

The newspaper "Paris Soir" of March 26, 1942, published a photograph of a U-boat with an escort vessel, apparently a trawler. The device on the U-boat's high conning tower appeared to be a Question Mark.


One prisoner stated that "three or four" boats were building in Flensburg, at least one was fitting out, and at least one had been completed previously. He said only German workers were employed at the yards. There was no confirmation from other prisoners for these statements.


Rathke made the statement that he did not like operating in water as shallow as that off the United States coast. Speaking of the action in which he was sunk he said: "Thirty meters of water * * * what could I do?"

On the other hand, one of the petty officers said he preferred shallow water on the theory that it increased chance of survival in case the U-boat was sunk.


U-352's crew seemed to be content with the food on board. A standard dinner would comprise meat, potatoes, canned vegetables and fruit. The cook stated he baked and prepared roasts aboard. Two prisoners said the boat carried a supply of gin (Schnaps).


There is little doubt that U-352 was in St. Nazaire, between her first and second war cruises, when British commandos raided that port March 27, 1942. She appears not to have been damaged.

Those of the crew who were not on leave were living at the U-Heim some distance from the docks. Many of the crew admitted reading about or hearing of the raid, but all were cautious not to divulge specific information about damage done. They seemed eager to belittle the attack - daring, perhaps, but a failure.

One prisoner told interrogators that he undoubtedly would be stood against a wall and shot on returning to Germany should it become known that he had given any information on the raid; another stated, however, that the crew had sworn no special oath of silence regarding the St. Nazaire attack.

One prisoner said he thought U-352 passed through the "little lock" (presumably the south entrance, which was undamaged in the raid) when departing on her second war cruise early in April. Another admitted that a destroyer had been exploded in the harbor, but added "little damage was done."

Only one prisoner would admit that lock gates had been damaged, but he said they were repaired in a day or two.

Following are some of the statements of prisoners concerning the raid:

"Fires were put out the following morning. Little damage."
"Zwecklos" (pointless).
"No damage in the city; little to the harbor."
"Raid was quickly repulsed. A destroyer exploded, but did not block either lock."
"If the docks really were smashed, they could not be used as a base, for tides would be so great as to render them useless. However, I believe the base is being used to capacity."

One prisoner stated he was in a hospital in St. Nazaire during the raid. He said he was told a day or two after the attack that there still were British at large in the town. Some of the men seemed to believe that the commandos had intended to capture the port.


Enlisted men generally avoid cafes and restaurants frequented by officers in order to obviate, among other things, the necessity of saluting. There are, however, apparently no restrictions against them at such places.

Following are some of the haunts and gathering places mentioned by prisoners:

Lorient The "Sechs Titten" (presumed to be a bar named "Les Trois Soeurs").
St. Nazaire Astoria bar.
Gotenhafen A dive named "Libelle." Also the Berliner Cafe.
La Baule Die Giftbude (The Poison Shop).
  Maritza bar. Prisoners complained that champagne cost 6 marks here.
Brest Cecilia bar.
Kiel Metropol, Monopol, Sans Souci, and Bellevue.
Flensburg Cafe Delfe, frequented by midshipmen.
Sans Souci, forbidden to midshipmen.
Boccacio, where an orchestra named "Weiland" plays.
Stadt Cafe.
Cafe Haserl.
Cafe Meyer.
Deutscher Bahnhof Hotel.
Haus Deutscher Arbeit.
A cafe near the Marineschule where a singer named Lauria Brandes performs.
Stralsund Trocadero.

Rathke spoke of Hitler as a "genius" who has unified all the German peoples of Europe. He said Hitler likes the navy, and makes frequent trips in cruisers to the Norwegian fjords.

On such cruises Hitler dines in the wardroom. He listens attentively to the conversation and may call upon someone at the other end of the table to verify a statement which he has heard. Rathke said Hitler has an amazing knowledge of detail, not only of things naval, but in all fields. Rathke said Hitler was not only a military genius but "a genius in everything."


Rathke made the remarkably frank admission that he participated in an attempt to invade England "about 2 years ago." As the effort was overwhelmingly repulsed, Rathke said he now believes that England cannot be invaded, and, correspondingly, the Allied Nations will be unable to establish a Western front in Europe.

Rathke said he disliked the Japanese, but said Germany had to accept them as allies against Russia.

Rathke apparently believes that Russians commit atrocities on their prisoners, such as castration, but, typically, refuses to believe that Germans inflicted outrages upon Poland and Poles.

Rathke expressed the conviction that Germany would conquer Russia in the autumn of 1942.

A petty officer stated that the U-boat shelters in St. Nazaire were large structures subdivided into compartments equipped to house two U-boats each.

The German government is encouraging marriages between its occupation troops in Norway and Norwegian girls, according to one prisoner, by paying "dowries" to such matches.

According to the "Berliner Börsen Zeitung" of March 31, 1942, Kapitän zur See Max Valentiner, commanding officer of a "U-Kreuzer" in 1918, now is a member of the U-Boat Acceptance Commission. He possesses the lifesaving decoration (Rettungsmedaille), said to be very rare.

The "Münchner Neueste Nachrichten," on March 30, 1942, mentioned the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Schichauwerft in Danzig. The head of the concern was said to be Generaldirektor Noe.


Log of punishments imposed on his men by Rathke during their temporary internment

Rank Name Punishment Why punishment was given By whom Dates
App. Sea. Staron, Edmund C. Q., 7 days. On May 10 failed to carry out command of N. C. O. to police lavatory and assumed threatening attitude toward him. C. O. on May 20. May 20-27
Do do C. Q., 3 weeks. Failed to respond to my command given by me on June 9 in course of setting-up exercises. C. O. on June 9. June 10-24 July 1-4
Sea. 2 cl. Pickel, Erhard. C. Q., 3 days On June 23 while on duty as cook permitted bread leavings to be thrown into drain (:). C. O. on June 23. June 24-27
Do do (1) C. Q., 3 weeks' additional punishment; (2) infantry drill, 14 days. Reviling C. O.
On July 7 conversed with his guard.
C. O. on June 23.
C. O. on July 7.
July 1-22 July 8-22
F 3 cl. Twirdy, Heinrich. Additional punishment, 14 days, infantry drill; 5 weeks' guard duty of these C. Q. On July 7, despite express command of C. O., conversed with man C. Q. C. O. on July 7. July 8-22 July 7-10
Sea. 2 cl. Thiele, Rudolf C. 5 weeks. do C. O. on July 7. July 7-10
Do Heinze, Hans C. Q. 5 days; as additional - punishment, 14 days' infantry drill. On July 10 listened to a distant conversation at officers' table and repeated it in slanderous manner. C. O. on July 10. July 22-27 July 11-25
App. Sea. Starch, Edmund. Infantry drill, 3 weeks. On July 24 absent from ordered sport and subsequently gave false reason therefore to superior officer. C. O. on July 24. July 20-Aug. 16
Sea. 2 cl. Hering, Gerhard. C. Q., 3 weeks. On July 31 failed to observe proper respect to superior officer and subsequently refused to obey an express order. C. O. on July 31. Aug. 1-21
List of crew of U-352
Name Rank U. S. N. equivalent
Rathke, Hellmut Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant.
Bernard, Oskar Leutnant z. S. (Sonderführer). Ensign (acting).
Kammerer, Ernst Fähnrich z. S Midshipman.
Orandke, Walter Obermaschinist Machinist.
Bollmann, Heinrich do Do.
Richter, Helmut H. Bootamaat Coxswain.
Daern, Arthur do. Do.
Neitsch, Hans do. Do.
Krekeler, Siegfried do Do.
Wessoly, Lothar Maschinenmaat Fireman 1 cl.
Schwarzenberger, Heins do Do.
Brand, August Michael do Do.
Wesche, Martin William do Do.
Thohnissen, Kurt H. do Do.
Roussel, Gerd 1 do Do.
Sorg, Ludwig Funkmaat Radioman 3cl.
Krueger, Kurt do Do.
Stengel, Otto Maschinenobergefreiter Fireman 2cl.
Rusch, Gerhard do Do.
Kominek, Franz Matrosengefreiter Seaman 2cl.
Pickel, Erhard do. Do.
Herrschaft, Edgar do Do.
Henschke, Otto do Do.
Hering, Gerhard. do Do.
Heinze, Hans do Do.
Twirdy, Heinrich. Maschinengefreiter Fireman 3cl.
Minzker, Johann do Do.
Richter. Heins Earl do Do.
Mattiz, Hans Funkgefreiter Seaman 2cl.
Richter, Gerhard do Do.
Thiele. Rudolf Mechanikergefreiter Do.
Link, Wilhelm Matros Apprentice seaman.
Staron, Edmund do
Officers 1
Midshipmen 1
Petty officers 15
Other ranks 16


Total 33  
1 Died on May 9, 1942, subsequent to his rescue earlier that day. Buried with full military honors in Post Section, grave No. 18, National Cemetery. Beaufort, S. C.
List of crew of U-352 - Continued
Name Rank U. S. N. equivalent
Ernst, Joseph Leutnant z. S Ensign.
Tretz, Heinz Oberleutnant (Ing.) Lieutenant (j. g.), engineering duties only
Paineck Obersteuermann 2 Quartermaster of warrant rank.
Kuchler Mechanikermaat Torpedoman's Mate 3cl.
Kirschke Maschinenmaat Fireman 1cl.
Nicholait Maschinenobergefreiter Fireman 2cl.
Heinrich Matrosengefreiter Seaman 2d.
Burutta do Do.
Scholtze Mechanikergefreiter Do.
Martin Matrose Apprentice Seaman.
Kupisch   Do.
Sailer do Do.
Kleinholz do Do.
  Officers 2  
Petty officers 3
Other ranks 8
  Total .... 13  
Officers 3
Midshipmen 1
Petty officers 18
Other ranks 24
Total 46
2 There is no United States Navy rank of this equivalent.


Published: Tue Sep 05 09:32:45 EDT 2017