Engelbert Endrass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Engelbert Endrass
Born(1911-03-02)2 March 1911
Died21 December 1941(1941-12-21) (aged 30)
U-567, Atlantic Ocean, off Azores
44°02′N 20°10′W / 44.033°N 20.167°W / 44.033; -20.167 (Engelbert Endrass (death))
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch Kriegsmarine
Years of service1935–41
Unit7th U-boat Flotilla
Commands heldU-46
AwardsKnight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Engelbert Endrass (German: Engelbert Endraß) (2 March 1911 – 21 December 1941) was a German U-boat commander in World War II. He commanded the U-46 and the U-567, being credited with sinking 22 ships on ten patrols, for a total of 118,528 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping, to purportedly become the 23rd highest claiming U-boat commander of World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany. It was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Endrass.

Early life and career[edit]

Endrass began his naval career in April 1935. After some months on the cruiser Deutschland and service on escort ships, he was assigned in October 1937 to the U-boat force. He joined U-47 in December 1938 as Leutnant zur See.

World War II[edit]

Engelbert Endrass was Watch Officer when his commanding officer, Günther Prien penetrated the defences at Scapa Flow attack and sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. The snorting bull emblem on U-47's conning tower was painted by Endrass before they returned. Endrass painted this symbol on all subsequent boats on which he served.[1] The reason, given by Endrass for this, was the sight of Prien's demeanour as U-47 entered Scapa Flow, "his frowning face and hunched shoulders reminded him of a bull in a ring."[2] Endrass remained on U-47 until May 1940, when he left and took over command of U-46 from the relatively unsuccessful Herbert Sohler, who had only sunk two ships in five patrols.[1] Endrass had immediate success. He sank the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Carinthia on his first patrol.[1] The patrol yielded over 4,000 tons.[1]

Snorting bull emblem on the conning tower painted by Endrass

Endrass' success continued on his second patrol with U-46, sinking five more ships, including another British auxiliary cruiser, HMS Dunvegan Castle although the main periscope was damaged. The ship carried 23,225 steel drums and 2,700 wooden barrels and 440 tons of timber. Endrass was forced to use three torpedoes, for the drums fitted to British ships in this period was done so deliberately to provide extra ballast. It made sinking them more difficult and more expensive in munitions expenditure.[3] Her loss prompted Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches, Martin Dunbar-Nasmith to order all Liverpool–bound ships to remain in convoy until past the Mull of Kintyre. 277 survivors were rescued by HMS Harvester and HMS Primrose.[4]

Endrass and six other U-boats intercepted Convoy SC 7 and sank many ships. U-46 sank three during the three-day battle.[5] The commander followed this up with an attack on Convoy HX 79, sinking two ships.[6]

Five patrols later he received the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. The presentation was made on 30 June 1941 by Adolf Hitler at the Führer Headquarters Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) in Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn in Poland).

In September 1941 Endrass left U-46, which would become a training vessel, and a month later took over U-567. On his second patrol, he was killed on 21 December 1941 while operating against Convoy HG 76, when U-567 was sunk with all hands by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Deptford and corvette HMS Samphire, northeast of the Azores.




  1. ^ a b c d Morgan & Taylor 2011, p. 33.
  2. ^ Vause 1997, p. 52.
  3. ^ Morgan & Taylor 2011, p. 63.
  4. ^ Morgan & Taylor 2011, p. 64.
  5. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 2005, p. 44.
  6. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 2005, pp. 42–45.
  7. ^ a b c d Busch & Röll 2003, p. 62.
  8. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 155.
  9. ^ a b Busch & Röll 2003, p. 63.
  10. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 294.
  11. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 172.
  12. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 54.


  • 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) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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.
  • Niestlé, Axel (1998). German U-boat Losses During World War II: Details of Destruction. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-5575-0641-2.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (1999). Axis submarine successes of World War Two: German, Italian, and Japanese submarine successes, 1939-1945. Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1557500298.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen; Hümmelchen, Gerhard (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
  • Morgan, Daniel; Taylor, Bruce (2011). U-Boat Attack Logs: A Complete Record of Warship Sinkings from Original Sources, 1939–1945. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-118-2.
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Terraine, John (1989). Business in Great Waters: The U-Boat Wars, 1916–1945. London: Leo Cooper. ISBN 978-0-85052-760-5.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
  • Vause, Jordan (1997). Wolf: U-boat Commanders in World War II. Washington: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1557508744.

External links[edit]