U 181 - Wolfgang Lüth

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Trommelfeuer
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U 181 - Wolfgang Lüth

Post by Trommelfeuer » 28 Aug 2005 13:25

Lüth was awarded the Diamonds, and here is the text of the radiogram of 24 October 1943

“Order of the day. Men of the U-boat arm: the Führer today presented to Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth the Oak Leaf Cluster with Swords and Diamonds to the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross which had been awarded to him previously. This was after his return from his 15th trip against the enemy. Thereby one of the senior warriors from your ranks received the highest German order for bravery as the first officer of the Navy to do so. Uninterrupted in the U-boat attack, from the first day of the war on, he proved himself most excellent in all phases of the U-boat war, in the hard battle close to the English coast, in the embittered struggle of the convoy battles and in the hunt in the expanses of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. His unyielding tenacity and his lightning-fast, determined attack embody the typical deportment and efficiency of the German U-boat man.”
( source: http://www.sharkhunters.com/historya.htm )

...some questions:

Was it standard procedure that successful U-Boat commanders showed all their "victory flags" when returning to base ?
In the stills below ( taken from: Der U-Boot Krieg, part III), U-181 is flying over 40 victory flags after her 202 days patrol, Lüth sank 45,331 BRT during this Feindfahrt, but for sure not over 40 ships...(?)
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philipp0408
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Re: U 181 - Wolfgang Lüth

Post by philipp0408 » 28 Aug 2005 17:03

Trommelfeuer wrote:
Lüth was awarded the Diamonds, and here is the text of the radiogram of 24 October 1943

“Order of the day. Men of the U-boat arm: the Führer today presented to Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth the Oak Leaf Cluster with Swords and Diamonds to the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross which had been awarded to him previously. This was after his return from his 15th trip against the enemy. Thereby one of the senior warriors from your ranks received the highest German order for bravery as the first officer of the Navy to do so. Uninterrupted in the U-boat attack, from the first day of the war on, he proved himself most excellent in all phases of the U-boat war, in the hard battle close to the English coast, in the embittered struggle of the convoy battles and in the hunt in the expanses of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. His unyielding tenacity and his lightning-fast, determined attack embody the typical deportment and efficiency of the German U-boat man.”
( source: http://www.sharkhunters.com/historya.htm )

...some questions:

Was it standard procedure that successful U-Boat commanders showed all their "victory flags" when returning to base ?
In the stills below ( taken from: Der U-Boot Krieg, part III), U-181 is flying over 40 victory flags after her 202 days patrol, Lüth sank 45,331 BRT during this Feindfahrt, but for sure not over 40 ships...(?)
Yes it was common to show his successes. This refers to WWI U-boatcommander Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, He was most successfull commander and he showed first time his successes with the flags. Ironically, he sank all his ships with the deck gun, not with the torpedo.

In WWII the commanders had their own style of the flaggs. Some painted the tonnage of the ships on them, some only the shilouttes of the ships and some both. Others painted the ships name on it. A Warship was a red flag, a merchantman a white. Otto Kretschmer, painted only a horse shoe on each victory pennant, because he didt want to boast himself with the tonnage in front of his comrades.

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Trommelfeuer
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Post by Trommelfeuer » 29 Aug 2005 20:30

Thank you very much for your answer!
But my real question was why did Lüth show all his victory flags when returning from this patrol, and not just the victory flags he earned during this patrol ? :idea:

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philipp0408
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Post by philipp0408 » 29 Aug 2005 20:41

Trommelfeuer wrote:Thank you very much for your answer!
But my real question was why did Lüth show all his victory flags when returning from this patrol, and not just the victory flags he earned during this patrol ? :idea:
When I remember right, it was his patrol, where he was awardes the brilliants. This news was sent to him via wireless communication, so he knew, that there would be a big crowd awaiting him. So he raised all his flags. This was common among all commanders, when a decoration was made.

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Trommelfeuer
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Post by Trommelfeuer » 31 Aug 2005 22:52

Ahh, right, now I get the point, vielen Dank! :D

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