21 September 1914|
|Died||3 June 2000
|Years of service||1933–45|
|Unit||SSS Gorch Fock
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Günther Krech (21 September 1914 in Wilhelmshaven – 3 June 2000 in Wuppertal) was a German U-boat commander in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II and 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 recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. As commander of U-558 he sank nineteen ships, totalling 100,771 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged two ships (15,070 GRT). He is thirty-third in the list of U-Boat aces of World War II.
Krech joined the Reichsmarine in April 1933, initially training as an observer and pilot in the Marineflieger before transferring to the U-boat arm in November 1939. Krech conducted ten combat patrols in the Atlantic and Caribbean. He sank 18 merchant ships and the naval trawler HMT Bedfordshire, which was assisting the US Navy with anti-submarine patrols along the East Coast, for a total of 100,771 gross register tons (GRT). He also damaged two merchant ships for a total of 15,070 GRT.
U-558 was sunk by depth charges from a Halifax from No. 58 Squadron RAF, and a B-24 Liberator from 19th Antisubmarine Squadron USAAF on 20 July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain. Only Krech, the LI (chief engineer), and three men of the gun crew survived. Krech remained in Allied captivity until after the war. He died in 2000.
Summary of career
|28 August 1941||Otaio||United Kingdom||10,298||OS 4||Sunk|
|15 October 1941||Vancouver Island||Canada||9,472||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||Erviken||Norway||6,595||SC 48||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||Rym||Norway||1,369||SC 48||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||W.C. Teagle||United Kingdom||9,552||SC 48||Sunk|
|24 February 1942||Anadara||United Kingdom||8,009||ONS 67||Damaged|
|24 February 1942||Eidanger||Norway||9,432||ONS 67||Sunk|
|24 February 1942||Inverarder||United Kingdom||5,578||ONS 67||Sunk|
|12 May 1942||HMT Bedfordshire||United Kingdom||913||Sunk|
|18 May 1942||Fauna||Netherlands||1,254||Sunk|
|21 May 1942||Troisdoc||Canada||1,925||Sunk|
|23 May 1942||William Boyce Thompson||United States||7,061||Damaged|
|25 May 1942||Beatrice||United States||3,451||Sunk|
|27 May 1942||USAT Jack||United States Army||2,622||Sunk|
|2 June 1942||Triton||Netherlands||2,078||Sunk|
|25 August 1942||Amakura||United Kingdom||1,987||WAT 15||Sunk|
|13 September 1942||Empire Lugard||United Kingdom||7,241||TAG 5||Sunk|
|13 September 1942||Suriname||Netherlands||7,915||TAG 5||Sunk|
|13 September 1942||Vilja||Norway||6,672||TAG 5||Damaged, arrived safely Trinidad then later declared total loss|
|16 September 1942||Commercial Trader||United States||2,606||Total loss|
|23 February 1943||Empire Norseman||United Kingdom||9,811||UC 1||Sunk|
- Luftwaffe Observation Badge (2 November 1936)
- Memel Medal (9 May 1940)
- Sudetenland Medal (3 September 1940)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (26 September 1940)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 September 1942 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-558
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 26 February 1942
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Kapitänleutnant Günther Krech". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-558". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- "Convoy TAG.5". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- Busch & Röll 2003, p. 260.
- Busch & Röll 2003, p. 261.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 473.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 273.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.