21 October 1907|
|Died||26 December 1997
|Buried at||Cemetery Rüngsdorf. Section II–Grave 226|
|Allegiance|| Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1927–1945|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Victor Oehrn (21 October 1907—26 December 1997) was a Fregattenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-14 and U-37, sinking twenty-four ships on four patrols, for a total of 104,846 tons of Allied shipping, to stand 28th on the list of highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.
Oehrn joined the Reichsmarine in 1927, serving aboard the light cruisers Königsberg and Karlsruhe, before being one of the first officers to transfer to the newly formed U-boat arm in July 1935. He was appointed to command of U-14 in January 1936, and patrolled in Spanish waters during the Civil War in July–September 1936. In August 1939 he joined the staff of BdU as an Admiralstabsoffizier.
In May 1940 Oehrn took command of U-37, in order to restore trust in the G7e/T2 torpedo, which had performed abysmally, often detonating prematurely or not at all. In four patrols he sank 23 merchant ships for a total of 103,821 GRT, damaged another of 9,494 GRT, and sank the British sloop HMS Penzance, before returning to the staff in August.
From November 1941 Oehrn served on the Mediterranean U-boat staff, but during a mission to North Africa in July 1942, he was severely wounded and captured. After recovering at a British Military Hospital in Alexandria, Oehrn was sent to POW Camp 306 on the Suez Canal. He returned to Germany in October 1943 after being released in a prisoner exchange. Oehrn spent the remainder of the war serving on the staff in a number of posts.
Summary of career
As a U-boat commander of U-37 Victor is credited with the sinking of 23 ships for a total of 103,821 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging a ship of 9,494 GRT and sinking one warship, the HMS Penzance, of 1,025 metric tons (1,009 long tons; 1,130 short tons).
|Date||Name of ship||Flag||Tonnage||Fate|
|19 May 1940||Erik Frisell||Sweden||5,006||Sunk|
|22 May 1940||Dunster Grange||United Kingdom||9,494||Damaged|
|24 May 1940||Kyma||Greece||3,994||Sunk|
|27 May 1940||Sheaf Mead||United Kingdom||5,008||Sunk|
|27 May 1940||Uruguay||Argentina||3,425||Sunk|
|28 May 1940||Brazza||France||10,387||Sunk|
|28 May 1940||Julien||France||177||Sunk|
|28 May 1940||Maria Rosé||France||2,477||Sunk|
|29 May 1940||Telena||United Kingdom||7,406||Sunk|
|1 June 1940||Ioanna||Greece||950||Sunk|
|3 June 1940||Snabb||Finland||2,317||Sunk|
|8 June 1940||Upwey Grange||United Kingdom||9,130||Sunk|
|23 August 1940||Keret||Norway||1,718||Sunk|
|23 August 1940||Keret||United Kingdom||5,242||Sunk|
|24 August 1940||Brookwood||United Kingdom||5,100||Sunk|
|24 August 1940||HMS Penzance||United Kingdom||1,025||Sunk|
|25 August 1940||Blairmore||United Kingdom||4,141||Sunk|
|25 August 1940||Yewcrest||United Kingdom||3,409||Sunk|
|27 August 1940||Theodoros T||Greece||3,409||Sunk|
|27 September 1940||Georges Mabro||Egypt||2,555||Sunk|
|28 September 1940||Corrientes||United Kingdom||6,863||Sunk|
|30 September 1940||Heminge||United Kingdom||2,499||Sunk|
|30 September 1940||Samala||United Kingdom||5,390||Sunk|
|6 October 1940||British General||United Kingdom||6,989||Sunk|
|13 October 1940||Stangrant||United Kingdom||5,804||Sunk|
- Sudetenland Medal (20 December 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Italian Croce al Merito di Guerra with Swords (2 November 1941)
- Italian Croce di guerra al valore militare (28 January 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 October 1940 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-37
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 10 June 1940
Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Monday, 10 June 1940||Ein von der Fernfahrt zurückgekehrtes Unterseeboot unter dem Kommando von Kapitänleutnant Oehrn meldet die Versenkung von 43000 BRT feindlichen Schiffraums.||
A submarine returning from a long-distance patrol under the command of Kapitänleutnant Oehrn reports the sinking of 43,000 GRT enemy shipping.
- "Fregattenkapitän Victor Oehrn". uboat.net. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 78.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 79.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 328.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 195.
- Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945] (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.
- Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.