Johannes Lohs

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Johannes Lohs
Born 24 June 1889
Bad Einsiedel, Saxony
Died 14 August 1918 (1918-08-15) (aged 29)
North Sea
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1909–18
Rank Oberleutnant zur See
Commands held SM UC-75, 17 March 1917 – 30 January 1918
SM UB-57, 2 January 1918 – 14 August 1918
Battles/wars U-boat Campaign (World War I)
Awards Iron Cross 1st class
Pour le Mérite

Lieutenant junior grade Johannes Lohs (24 June 1889 – 14 August 1918) was a successful and highly decorated German U-boat commander in the Kaiserliche Marine during World War I.

In his time as commander of SM UC-75 and SM UB-57 he succeeded in sinking several ships for a total tonnage of approximately 165.000 gross register tons (GRT).

Early life[edit]

Johannes Lohs was born on 24 June 1889 at Bad Einsiedel, Saxony. He was the son of plant owner Oswald Lohs. He first went to school in his home village and later to a grammar school in Chemnitz. Loh entered on 1 April 1909 as midshipman the Imperial Navy, completed his basic training at the Großer Kreutzer SMS Victoria Louise and then came for further training to the naval Academy, where he was appointed on April 12, 1910 to Fähnrich zur See. On November 3, 1911 he was transferred to the light cruiser SMS Berlin and promoted on 19 September 1912 to Leutnant zur See. From 23 December 1912 Lohs acted as a signal officer on the light cruiser SMS Strassburg.

World War I[edit]

On 2 May 1915 Lohs was promoted to Oberleutnant zur See. For one month Lohs was second radio officer on the Battlecruiser Seydlitz, then he moved to U-Bootschule for two months. Afterwards he became a monitoring officher at the torpedo boat division. On 6 December he became commander of SM UC 75, on which he did 9 patrols along the British coast. On 2 January 1918 he became Commanding officer of the UB-57, taking over the command of this boat from another legendary U-boat commander, Otto Steinbrinck. Lohs had also some very good ideas on U-boat warfare and new tactics and on 24 April 1918 he received postum the Pour le Mérite.

On 14 April 1918 he sailed from Zeebrugge for the last time. The last contact he made with the base was on the evening of 14 April as UB-57 was homeward bound roughly in the area of the Sandiette Bank, east of the Strait of Dover. Nothing more was heard. Lohs and 33 men lost their lives.UB-57 is believed to have run onto a mine. Lohs' body washed up on shore a week later and he is buried in the military cemetery at Vlissingen. Lohs succeeded on 13 patrols to sink an enemy tonnage of over 151,000 BRT. In the later Kriegsmarine the 3rd U-boat Flotilla in Kiel was named after him.


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