Albrecht Achilles (Korvettenkapitän)

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Albrecht Achilles
Albrect Achilles.jpg
Korvettenkapitän Albrecht Achilles after a patrol
Born (1914-01-25)25 January 1914
Karlsruhe
Died 27 September 1943(1943-09-27) (aged 29)
northeast of Bahia, Brazil
12°30′S 35°35′W / 12.500°S 35.583°W / -12.500; -35.583 (place of death of Albrecht Achilles)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–43
Rank Korvettenkapitän (posthumous)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
Schleswig-Holstein
Gneisenau
U-66
Commands held U-161
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Albrecht Achilles (25 January 1914 – 27 September 1943) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and commander of U-161. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career[edit]

Albrecht Achilles began his naval career with the Reichsmarine on 8 April 1934 as a member "Crew 34" (the incoming class of 1934).[Note 1]. He transferred to the U-boat service in April 1940. For one year, he served as a commander trainee as first and second watch officer on board various U-boats, including three patrols on U-66 under the command of Robert-Richard Zapp, before taking over command of U-161 from Kapitänleutnant Hans Witt.

On his third war patrol (28 April – 7 August 1942),[1] Achilles sank three ships in the Caribbean Sea totaling 14,201 GRT and further torpedoed one ship of 3,305 GRT in the port of Santa Lucia.[2]

Albrecht Achilles and his entire crew were killed in action when U-161 was sunk northeast of Bahia on 27 September 1943 by depth charges from a U.S. Navy Martin PBM Mariner (VP-74/P-2).

Personal life[edit]

On 16 November 1940 he married Chirstel Busz. The marriage produced two children, daughter Christiane born 1941 and a posthumous son Konrad born 1944.[3]

Summary of career[edit]

Ships attacked[edit]

As commander of U-161, Achilles is credited with the sinking of 12 merchant ships totalling 60,107 gross register tons (GRT), damaging another ship of 3,305 GRT that it had to be considered a total loss and damaging five further ships of 35,672 GRT. He also sank the United States Lighthouse Service ship Acacia of 1,130 long tons (1,150 tonnes) and damaged the British light cruiser HMS Phoebe (43) 5,450 long tons (5,540 t).

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
19 February 1942 British Consul  United Kingdom 6,940 Damaged
19 February 1942 Mokihana  United States 7,460 Damaged
21 February 1942 Circe Shell  United Kingdom 8,207 Sunk
23 February 1942 Lihue  United States 7,001 Sunk
7 March 1942 Uniwaleco  South Africa 9,755 Sunk
10 March 1942 HMCS Lady Nelson  Royal Canadian Navy 7,970 Damaged
10 March 1942 Umtata  United Kingdom 8,141 Damaged
14 March 1942 Sarniadoc  Canada 1,940 Sunk
15 March 1942 USCGC Acacia  United States Coast Guard 1,130 Sunk
16 June 1942 Nueva Altagracia  Dominican Republic 30 Sunk
22 June 1942 E.J. Sadler  United States 9,639 Sunk
3 July 1942 San Pablo  Panama 3,305 Total loss
16 July 1942 Fairport  United States 6,165 Sunk
23 October 1942 HMS Phoebe  Royal Navy 5,450 Damaged
8 November 1942 Bonalder  United Kingdom 5,161 Damaged
8 November 1942 West Humhaw  United States 5,527 Sunk
29 November 1942 Tjilboet  Netherlands 5,760 Sunk
12 December 1942 Ripley  United Kingdom 4,997 Sunk
19 May 1943 Angelus  Canada 255 Sunk
20 September 1943 St. Usk  United Kingdom 5,472 Sunk
26 September 1943 Itapagé  Brazil 4,998 Sunk

Awards[edit]

Promotions[edit]

26 September 1934: Seekadett (Midshipman)[5]
1 October 1934: Obermatrose (Seaman Apprentice)
1 January 1935: Oberstabsmatrose (Leading Seaman)
1 July 1935: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)[5]
1 January 1937: Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)[5]
1 April 1937: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)[5]
1 April 1939: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)[6]
1 September 1941: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)[6]
5 April 1945
(posthumously):
Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The German Reichsmarine which was renamed the Kriegsmarine on 1 June 1935.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 302.
  2. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 1968, p. 248.
  3. ^ "Albrecht Achilles". Kriegsmarine Crew 34 (in German). Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-161". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Busch & Röll 2003, p. 300.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Busch & Röll 2003, p. 301.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen; Hümmelchen, Gerhard (1968). Chronik des Seekrieges 1939–45 [Chronicle of Naval Warfare 1939–45] (in German). Herrsching, Germany: Pawlak. ISBN 978-3-88199-009-7. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.