German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

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Edward L. Hsiao
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German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 17 Jan 2016 00:55

Gentlemen,

Otto Pollmann had claimed to have sunk 14 Allied submarines during WWII. Is there any German surface subchaser commander that was named to have claimed four or more enemy submarines sunk on the high seas? Confirming a submarine sunk by depth charges from a surface ship can be rather difficult.

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao

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hucks216
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by hucks216 » 18 Jan 2016 10:40

Claiming is one thing but actually confirming it is another as you allude to. Of Pollmann's 14 claims only one can be confirmed (HMS Tigris).

Darius333
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Darius333 » 18 Jan 2016 21:46

Hello friends,

on the HMA we had a discussion about Pollmann´s actions:
http://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/in ... 923.0.html

Regards

Darius

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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by INXS » 04 Feb 2016 03:14

Nevertheless, confirmation of kills in the German military was the most stringent of any nation. Therefore, 14 subs sunk should be interpreted as a solid number.

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hucks216
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by hucks216 » 04 Feb 2016 09:48

INXS wrote:Nevertheless, confirmation of kills in the German military was the most stringent of any nation. Therefore, 14 subs sunk should be interpreted as a solid number.
Not without solid proof; a bit of oil on the surface doesn't mean the submarine has actually sunk. Just like German (and Allied) airmen, over claiming was very common and some of those claims were passed for propaganda purposes.

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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by INXS » 05 Feb 2016 03:04

I have no idea where you obtain your information, but it is dead wrong. I am a collector of WW II militaria. The group I am most proud of is the awards and documents for Günther Rall. Rall finished the war with 275 confirmed aerial victories. Every victory is carefully cataloged in his Victory Book, and required independent verification for recording official credit. Propaganda purposes played no role.

So I ask you to show the evidence to support your statement, otherwise just your personal opinion.

igorr
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by igorr » 05 Feb 2016 03:57

In novadays any aerial victory must be confirmed by opposite site (soviet in case of Rall). And equal to Pollmann, all his victory must be verificated by allied side. In reality (thanks to Darius's link) only one confirmed.

John T
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by John T » 05 Feb 2016 07:25

INXS wrote:I have no idea where you obtain your information, but it is dead wrong. I am a collector of WW II militaria. The group I am most proud of is the awards and documents for Günther Rall. Rall finished the war with 275 confirmed aerial victories. Every victory is carefully cataloged in his Victory Book, and required independent verification for recording official credit. Propaganda purposes played no role.

So I ask you to show the evidence to support your statement, otherwise just your personal opinion.
You might not understand German and thus do not comprehend the link Darius provided?
Darius333 wrote:Hello friends,

on the HMA we had a discussion about Pollmann´s actions:
http://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/in ... 923.0.html

Regards

Darius

Could you please explain why you claim the above link as "but it is dead wrong" when you claim you don't understands it and
do not provide any facts supporting your statement?

/John T.

Knouterer
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Knouterer » 05 Feb 2016 11:36

INXS wrote:I have no idea where you obtain your information, but it is dead wrong. I am a collector of WW II militaria. The group I am most proud of is the awards and documents for Günther Rall. Rall finished the war with 275 confirmed aerial victories. Every victory is carefully cataloged in his Victory Book, and required independent verification for recording official credit. Propaganda purposes played no role.

So I ask you to show the evidence to support your statement, otherwise just your personal opinion.
The Luftwaffe system for crediting victories may have been stringent in theory, but in practice there was as much overclaiming as in other air forces, and the number of "confirmed kills" was much too high, especially in the early part of the war, by a factor of two roughly. That is not disputed by any serious historian.

A well-known example is the attack on Wilhelmshaven by 22 Wellingtons on 18 Dec. 1939. 22 bombers took part, 10 were shot down by German fighters. These claimed no less than 34 victories, which was pruned down by the OKL to 26, still more aircraft than actually were in the air (some sources quote slightly different numbers).

And of course propaganda always played an important role, certainly in Germany where "Experten" were national celebrities. And there is certainly reason to suspect that the kill numbers of some of them were purposely "built up" by a fairly lenient verification process.

Some examples here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmat ... rld_War_II
Last edited by Knouterer on 05 Feb 2016 17:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Knouterer » 05 Feb 2016 13:44

That being said, the whole business of claims and victories awarded is even more fraught with uncertainty when it comes to submarines.
If an aircraft was shot down and crashed on land, in most cases it was eventually possible to work out what happened to it and who shot it down by comparing the records of both sides.
Even if an aircraft was lost at sea and the crew killed with no witnesses, it would at least be certain on what day it was lost and roughly where. And if it had been shot down, a look at enemy records after the war would show if any corresponding claims had been made for that day and that general area, and if so, that would settle the matter.

By contrast, if for example a British sub failed to return from a patrol, it would be reported "overdue" and then "missing", but unless it had sent any radio messages shortly before, the Admiralty had absolutely no way of knowing what had happened to it, or when, or where within a hundred miles or so.
It might be - for example - that after the war careful scrutiny of German records would reveal that some U-bootjäger had dropped depth charges on a suspected sub in an area where the missing vessel MIGHT have been at that time, but even then a large element of doubt would remain. The fate of many subs remains unknown to this day.
Last edited by Knouterer on 05 Feb 2016 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Knouterer » 05 Feb 2016 14:52

The fate of Thunderbolt is in fact a good example. Some want to credit the loss of this sub to Pollmann, but the prevailing opinion among the experts seems to be that she was sunk by the Italian corvette Cicogna off Sicily on 14 March 1943.

But the wreck has never been found, so no one knows for certain.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Knouterer » 05 Feb 2016 17:25

Apologies for getting away from the Kriegsmarine, but while we're on the subject of overclaiming: it is amazing how Japanese pilots, who supposedly had such a high conception of honour, had no problem with lying through their teeth when it came to claiming aerial victories. The 50th Sentai in Burma became especially notorious in this respect: whenever they failed to save a bomber formation or a ship they were escorting from destruction by the enemy, they "compensated" by submitting wildly inflated kill claims, which were generally accepted.
On 25th February 1942, after an engagement near Rangoon, Japanese pilots claimed 16 certain kills plus a few probables, American pilots were credited with five victories. The actual total brought down on both sides was zero (0).

The prize however goes to Master Sgt Satoshi Anabuki of the 50th Sentai who on 8 October 1943 claimed to have shot down two B-24s and two P-38s, after which he rammed a third B-24 which also went down, while he crash-landed on a beach.
Considering that the B-24 was a tough aircraft to shoot down, and that Anabuki's Ki 43 was armed with just two 12.7 mm machine guns with a limited amount of ammunition, this was absolutely phenomenal shooting.
Sadly, no other Japanese pilots witnessed this feat, so Anabuki's superiors had to take him at his word, which they did, and he received an individual citation, a high honour.

Problem: no B-24s were reported missing anywhere within 1,000 miles of the supposed scene of the action that day, nor any P-38s - in fact the only P-38 squadron in the India/Burma theatre at this time flew its first sorties on 21 November, some six weeks later.
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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by INXS » 06 Feb 2016 03:18

I speak German, Spanish, and English fluently so no need to condescend. My uncle was a Tiger tank commander named Haupsturmführer Heinz Kling. He completed the war having destroyed 67 Russian tanks and many other vehicles. He was awarded Knight's Cross and German Cross in Gold. If you accused him of faking information, he would either laugh at your face or belt you, then walk away not wanting to waste time with armchair general who was never there. The side that wins writes its own version of history to fit the countrys understanding of history.

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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by INXS » 06 Feb 2016 03:27

And, yes, I read the entries made by Pollmann's grandson. Pollmann the junior presented strong evidence supporting his grandfather's war record. The fact that you "think' or "believe" or "wish to believe" otherwise is your personal OPINION and nothing more.

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Re: German Subchaser Commanders Who Excelled In Sinking Enemy Subs

Post by Knouterer » 06 Feb 2016 08:57

INXS wrote: Pollmann the junior presented strong evidence supporting his grandfather's war record.
Is that supposed to be a joke? He presented no evidence whatsoever. He wrote that his grandmother told him about it. Presumably she wasn't part of her husband's crew.

He was invited to name the subs his grandfather supposedly sank but was unable to do so. He also claimed that on occasion his grandfather saved crewmen from those subs. Now that would be solid evidence - if he could give any specifics, such as dates and names, but he didn't.

If Pollmann's claims can't be matched, by any stretch of the imagination, with any known sub losses, then those claims are erroneous/false. There's no way around that. From the discussion it seems that so far only one probable (Tigris) can be attributed to him.
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