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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Herbert Schultze

Herbert Schultze

Career:

Branch: Reichsmarine / Kriegsmarine
Born: 24 July 1909 in Kiel, Germany.
Died: 3 June 1987 in London, England.

Ranks:
Korvettenkapitän 1 April 1943
Kapitänleutnant 1 June 1939
Oberleutnant zur See 1 June 1936
Leutnant zur See 1 October 1934
Fähnrich zur See 1 January 1932

Decorations:
Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class 2 October 1936
Olympic Games Decoration 20 April 1937
Iron Cross 1939
2nd Class 25 September 1939
1st Class 27 October 1939
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Knight's Cross 1 March 1940
Oak Leaves 12 June 1941
Croce di Guerra with Swords 14 October 1941
U-boat War Badge 25 October 1939
with Diamonds 15 July 1941

Commands:
U-2
Takes command on 31 January 1938
Ends command on 16 March 1939

U-48
Takes command on 22 April 1939
Ends command on 20 May 1940

U-48
Takes command on 17 December 1940
Ends command on try 7 July 1941

Personal Information:

Herbert Schultze was a German U-boat commander of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. Herbert Schultze commanded U-48 for eight patrols during the early part of the war, sinking 169,709 gross register tons (GRT) and earning him eighth place on the Aces of the Deep list. Due to several incidents of openly broadcasting his sinkings to alert the Allies of the plight of the crews, he became quite a celebrity even on the allied side. Herbert Schultze was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. It was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Herbert Schultze.

Herbert Schultze was born in Kiel and joined the Reichsmarine in April 1930. On 9 October 1930 Herbert Schultze became a Seekadett. Serving aboard the cruisers German cruiser Leipzig and Karlsruhe.

During May 1937, with a rank of Oberleutnant zur See, Herbert Schultze transferred to the U-boat force, taking command of the IIA Type U-boat U-2 on 31 January 1938. The U-2 was assigned to the U-Bootschulflottille, and Herbert Schultze spent the next year and a half training with the U-boat.

On 22 April 1939 Herbert Schultze commissioned U-48, a VIIB Type U-boat. U-48 was later to become the most successful submarine of the war. U-48 was assigned to 7th U-boat Flotilla, and spent the next four months in training. On 1 June 1939 Herbert Schultze was promoted to Kapitänleutnant.

Soon after the war started on 1 September 1939 Herbert Schultze took U-48 out on its first patrol. On 11 September 1939 Herbert Schultze sank the British freighter Firby. After the sinking Herbert Schultze sent the plain language radio message cq - cq- cq - transmit to Mr. Churchill. I have sunk the British steamer Firby. Posit 59.40 North and 13.50 West. Save the crew, if you please. German U-boat. This message, addressed to the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill directly, made Herbert Schultze famous, both in Germany and Great Britain. Herbert Schultze sank two more ships for 14,777 GRT during the first patrol.

After returning to base Herbert Schultze gave an interview to William L. Shirer, an American reporter, in 29 September 1939. During the interview it was established that Herbert Schultze had sunk another British ship, the Royal Sceptre and similarly as the Firby had arranged for the crew to be rescued by another allied ship. The interview was recorded and broadcast both in the United States and Great Britain.

Now something of a media celebrity, Schultze left for four more successful patrols. On 1 March 1940 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his successes. During 20 May 1940 Herbert Schultze handed command of the U-48 over to Hans Rudolf Rösing due to illness stemming from a stomach and kidney disorder. Herbert Schultze spent five months in hospital recuperating. During October 1940 Herbert Schultze took up duties as Second in Command of the 7th U-boat Flotilla, now based in St Nazaire, France.

In 17 December 1940 Herbert Schultze resumed command of the U-48, relieving Heinrich Bleichrodt. Herbert Schultze led U-48 on three more patrols, and continued sinking enemy shipping at a great rate. Thus Schultze was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross on 12 June 1941.

On 27 July 1941 Herbert Schultze left the U-48 to take command of 3rd U-boat Flotilla operating from La Rochelle. Herbert Schultze served in this capacity until March 1942, when he was assigned to the staff of Marinegruppe Nord as Admiral Staff Officer for U-boats. In December 1942 Herbert Schultze was assigned to Admiral Karl Dönitz staff. On 1 April 1943 Herbert Schultze was promoted to Korvettenkapitän. In March 1944 Herbert Schultze was assigned as commander of Department II, Marineschule Mürwik, where Herbert Schultze served to the end of the war.

During 1956 Herbert Schultze joined the Bundesmarine of West Germany and served in a string of staff positions, including another two years at Marineschule Mürwick. Herbert Schultze retired in September 1968. Schultze died in June 1987 in London, and amongst others, former U-boat ace Otto Kretschmer spoke at his funeral, saying Deeply respected by friend and foe, revered by his crew, Herbert Schultze was an exemplary naval officer in the best tradition.

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Sources:

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