Waldemar Mehl

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Waldemar Mehl
Born (1914-09-07)7 September 1914
Grävenwiesbach, Hesse
Died 29 March 1996(1996-03-29) (aged 81)
Wiesbaden
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit 21st U-boat Flotilla
23rd U-boat Flotilla
29th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-62
(5–19 November 1941)
U-72
(2 December 1941–6 May 1942)
U-371
(25 May 1942–4 April 1944)
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Waldemar Mehl (7 September 1914 in Grävenwiesbach, Hesse—29 March 1996 in Wiesbaden) was a German U-boat commander during World War II, and recipient of the (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.[1]

Career[edit]

Mehl joined the Kriegsmarine on 28 March 1933, and served a tour on SSS Gorch Fock, the light cruisers Karlsruhe, Köln and Nürnberg, and the battleship Schleswig-Holstein. From December 1939 he served as a naval intelligence officer[2] in several positions on shore before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1941.[1]

After the usual training, Mehl sailed on two patrols aboard U-371 between July and October 1941 as Kommandantenschüler ("Commander-in-training"), before taking command of U-62 and then U-72 as part of training unit 21st U-boat Flotilla.[1]

In May 1942 he took command of U-371 and served in the Mediterranean, sailing on 12 successful patrols over the next two years, and sank nine ships (totalling 42,451 tons) and damaged four (28,072 tons). Among the ships sunk were the British minesweepers Jura and Hythe, and the American destroyer Bristol.[1]

Mehl left U-371 in April 1944 and joined the staff of FdU Mittelmeer, joining the staff of the commander of U-boats in the Aegean in August. In October 1944 he was appointed to the Operationsabteilung ("Operations Section") for U-boats.[2] After the war he served for three months in a minesweeper unit.[1]

Summary of career[edit]

Ships attacked[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
7 January 1943 HMS Jura  Royal Navy 545 Sunk
7 January 1943 Ville de Strasbourg  United Kingdom 7,159 Damaged
23 February 1943 Fintra  United Kingdom 2,089 Sunk
28 February 1943 Daniel Carroll  United States 7,176 Damaged
27 April 1943 Merope  Netherlands 1,162 Sunk
10 July 1943 Gulfprince  United States 6,561 Damaged
10 July 1943 Matthew Maury  United States 7,176 Damaged
7 August 1943 Contractor  United Kingdom 6,004 Sunk
11 October 1943 HMS Hythe  Royal Navy 656 Sunk
13 October 1943 USS Bristol  United States Navy 1,630 Sunk
15 October 1943 James Russell Lowel  United States 7,176 Total loss
17 March 1944 Dempo  Netherlands 17,024 Sunk
17 March 1944 Maiden Creek  United States 6,165 Total loss

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e "Korvettenkapitän Waldemar Mehl". uboat.net. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Mehl, Waldemar". lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de (in German). Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Busch and Röll 2003, p. 432.
  4. ^ a b c d e Busch and Röll 2003, p. 433.
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 533.
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (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. 

External links[edit]