Otto Westphalen

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Otto Westphalen
Otto Westphalen.jpg
Born (1920-03-12)12 March 1920
Hamburg
Died 9 January 2008(2008-01-09) (aged 87)
Hamburg
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1938–45
Rank Oberleutnant zur See
Unit 21st U-boat Flotilla
13th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-121
(16 May 1942 – 8 February 1943)
U-968
(18 March 1943 – 8 May 1945)
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Otto Westphalen (12 March 1920 in Hamburg – 9 January 2008) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded by Nazi Germany to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit]

Westphalen joined the Kriegsmarine in October 1938, and took part in the invasion of Poland aboard the battleship Schlesien a year later. He then served on the torpedo boat Kondor for six months before joining the U-boat force in October 1940.[1]

He sailed on four patrols as watch officer of U-566 in 1941, and in May 1942 took command of the school boat U-121. In March 1943 he commissioned the Type VIIC U-boat U-968, and was attached to 13th U-boat Flotilla, based at Trondheim, Norway, for operations against convoys in the Arctic Sea.[1]

Westphalen sailed on seven combat patrols between March 1944 and May 1945, though all his victories were made in February and March 1945;[2] he sank three merchant ships, damaged another, and sank the British sloops HMS Lark and HMS Lapwing.[3] On 29 April 1945 he attacked but missed HMS Goodall which was sunk an hour later by U-286.

In January 1944 Westphalen served on the military court which sentenced Oskar Kusch, the commander of U-154, to death on charges of "defeatism".[4]

Westphalen surrendered in May 1945 in Narvik.[1]

Summary of career[edit]

Ships attacked[edit]

Ships attacked[1]
Date Ship Tons Nationality Convoy Fate
14 February 1945 Horace Gray 7,200  United States BK-3 Total loss
14 February 1945 Norfjell 8,129  Norway BK-3 Damaged
17 February 1945 HMS Lark 1,350  Royal Navy RA-64 Total loss
17 February 1945 Thomas Scott 7,176  United States RA-64 Sunk
20 March 1945 HMS Lapwing 1,350  Royal Navy JW-65 Sunk
20 March 1945 Thomas Donaldson 7,210  United States JW-65 Sunk

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "Oberleutnant zur See Otto Westphalen". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by U-boat U-968". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-968". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "The Case of Oskar Kusch and the Limits of U-boat Camaraderie in World War II: Reflections on a German Tragedy". ijnhonline.org. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Busch & Röll 2003, p. 507.
  6. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 509.
  7. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 782.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Otto Westphalen". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 September 2013.