Georg-Wilhelm Schulz

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Georg-Wilhelm Schulz
Georg-Wilhelm Schulz.jpg
Born (1906-03-10)10 March 1906
Cologne
Died 5 July 1986(1986-07-05) (aged 80)
Hamburg
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit 3rd U-boat Flotilla
2nd U-boat Flotilla
6th U-boat Flotilla
FdU Ausbildungsflottillen
25th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-10, 5 January 1939–15 October 1939
U-64, 16 December 1939–13 April 1940
U-124, 11 June 1940–7 September 1941
Awards Spanish Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge 1939
Knight's Cross

Georg-Wilhelm Schulz (10 March 1906 – 5 July 1986) was a German U-boat commander of the Second World War. From September 1939 until retiring from front line service in September 1941, he sank 19 ships for a total of 89,885 gross register tons (GRT). For this he received the Knight's Cross, among other commendations.

Early life[edit]

Schulz was born on 10 March 1906 in Cologne. He initially entered the merchant marine, eventually spending ten years there, including time spent on sailing ships. He joined the navy in October 1933, initially as HSO, Handelschiffoffizier (merchant ship officer).[1] He moved to the U-boat arm on 27 September 1935 as an Oberfähnrich zur See, spending the next three and half years training on submarines. During this time he appears to have been amongst those sent to help the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War as he was awarded the Spanish Cross on 6 June 1939.[1] He received his first command on 5 January 1939 when he took over U-10. He was promoted to Kapitänleutnant on 1 April 1939 and on the outbreak of war he carried out two short patrols later that year, before leaving U-10 on 15 October.[1]

Wartime career[edit]

His next command was U-64, which he took over on 16 December 1939. He took her on her first patrol off the Norwegian coast in April 1940. The patrol was only eight days old when U-64 was detected by British naval air forces on 13 April, whilst in the Herjangsfjord near Narvik.[1] She was attacked by a Fairey Swordfish from the battleship HMS Warspite and hit by a 350-pound bomb and raked with machine gun fire.[2] U-64 was sunk, killing eight of the crew, but 38 survivors including Schulz managed to escape to be rescued from the water by German mountain troops.[1] Two months later Schulz took over command of U-124 and took her on a number of successful patrols.

His greatest success was on his fourth patrol, where he sank 11 ships for a total of 52,379 tons, whilst also having damaged two other merchants.[1] He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 25 September 1940, and the Knight's Cross on 4 April 1941. He stepped down as commander of U-124 on 7 September 1941, handing over to Johann Mohr. During this time several later successful U-boat captains had served under Schulz, including Mohr, Reinhard Hardegen and Werner Henke.[1]

Schulz then took over as commander of 6th U-boat Flotilla, initially based in Danzig, and later in Saint Nazaire. He was promoted to Korvettenkapitän on 1 April 1943, and in October 1943 he was attached to the Staff of the 'FdU Ausbildungsflottillen' (Commander Training flotillas) in Gotenhafen.[1] He spent time here as a staff officer, and also as the leader of the 'Erprobungsgruppe U-Boote' (U-boat testing group). He briefly moved on 22 April 1945 to become the last commander of 25th U-boat Flotilla.[1]

Postwar[edit]

Little is known about Schulz's postwar activities. He died in Hamburg on 5 July 1986 at the age of 80.[1]

In 1994 the Köhler Mittler Verlag in Hamburg published his autobiographical account "Über dem nassen Abgrund: Als Kommandant und Flottillenchef im U-Boot-Krieg" (engl. "Above the Abyss"), which has been reissued in several editions. An unauthorized and undated Czech translation has later surfaced, titled "Ponorkové eso".

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Schulz's career at Uboat.net
  2. ^ "U-64 at uboat.net". Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Busch & Röll 2003, p. 119.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 393.
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 692.

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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann
Commander of the 6th U-boat Flotilla
September 1941 – November 1943
Succeeded by
Kapitänleutnant Carl Emmermann
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Robert Gysae
Commander of the 25th U-boat Flotilla
April 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
disbanded