Wilhelm Rollmann

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Wilhelm Rollmann
Born (1907-08-05)5 August 1907
Wilhelmshaven
Died 5 November 1943(1943-11-05) (aged 36)
South Atlantic
10°09′S 18°00′W / 10.150°S 18.000°W / -10.150; -18.000
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1926–43
Rank Fregattenkapitän
Commands held U-34
U-848
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Rollmann (5 August 1907 – 5 November 1943) was a German U-boat commander during World War II, in which he commanded the U-34 and U-848. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. He was killed in action in 1943, when his U-boat was sunk by Allied aircraft.

Career[edit]

Rollmann joined the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic on 1 April 1926 as a member of "Crew 26" (the incoming class of 1926).[1] He served on several ships, which included the light cruiser Karlsruhe. He transferred to the U-boat arm in May 1937, taking command of the Type VIIA U-boat U-34 in October 1938. In seven successful combat patrols, he sank 19 merchant ships (including the neutral, clearly marked and fully lit, Greek merchantman Eleni Stathatou and the neutral Petsamo of Finland, with a cargo of maize, sailing from neutral Rosario to neutral Cork), as well as the British destroyer HMS Whirlwind, the submarine HMS Spearfish,[2] and the Norwegian minelayer HNoMS Frøya. Rollmann rescued one sole survivor from Spearfish.[3] On all seven patrols Leutnant zur See Hans-Hartwig Trojer served as second watch officer on U-34.[4] Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Bleichrodt was a commander in training on U-34's sixth patrol under the command of Rollmann.[5] Rollmann left the U-boat in September 1940, and became an instructor in 2. Unterseeboots-Lehr-Division ("2nd U-boat Training Division"). In February 1943 he commissioned the Type IXD U-boat U-848, sinking one merchant ship on his first and only patrol, bringing his career total to 20 merchant ships sunk for a total of 96,562 GRT, three warships sunk (2,365 GRT) and two ships captured for a total of 4,957 GRT.[6]

Death[edit]

U-848 under attack

Wilhelm Rollmann and his entire crew were killed in action on 5 November 1943 when U-848 was sunk by depth charges from three Liberator and two Mitchell aircraft from the United States Navy Squadron VB-107 and the US Army 1st Composite Squadron south-west of Ascension Island.[7]

Summary of career[edit]

Ships attacked[edit]

As commander of U-34 and U-848 Rollmann is credited with the sinking of 20 merchant ships for a total of 96,562 gross register tons (GRT), further capturing two ships of 4,957 GRT and sinking two warships of 1,770 long tons (1,800 tonnes) and damaging one further warship beyond repair of 595 long tons (605 t).

Date U-boat Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[8][9]
7 September 1939 U-34 Pukkastan  United Kingdom 5,809 Sunk
8 September 1939 U-34 Kennebec  United Kingdom 5,548 Sunk
24 September 1939 U-34 Hanonia  Estonia 1,781 Captured
20 October 1939 U-34 Gustav Adolf  Sweden 926 Sunk
20 October 1939 U-34 Sea Venture  United Kingdom 2,327 Sunk
27 October 1939 U-34 Bronte  United Kingdom 5,137 Sunk
29 October 1939 U-34 Malabar  United Kingdom 7,976 Sunk
9 November 1939 U-34 Snar  Norway 3,176 Captured
20 January 1940 U-34 Caroni River  United Kingdom 7,807 Sunk (mine)
28 January 1940 U-34 Eleni Stathatou  Greece 5,625 Sunk
13 April 1940 U-34 HNoMS Frøya  Royal Norwegian Navy 595 Total loss
5 July 1940 U-34 HMS Whirlwind  Royal Navy 1,100 Sunk
6 July 1940 U-34 Vapper  Estonia 4,543 Sunk
7 July 1940 U-34 Lucrecia  Netherlands 2,584 Sunk
9 July 1940 U-34 Tiiu  Estonia 1,865 Sunk
10 July 1940 U-34 Petsamo  Finland 4,596 Sunk
11 July 1940 U-34 Janna  Norway 2,197 Sunk
15 July 1940 U-34 Evdoxia  Greece 2,018 Sunk
17 July 1940 U-34 Naftilos  Greece 3,531 Sunk
26 July 1940 U-34 Accra  United Kingdom 9,337 Sunk
26 July 1940 U-34 Vinemoor  United Kingdom 9,337 Sunk
27 July 1940 U-34 Sambre  United Kingdom 5,260 Sunk
27 July 1940 U-34 Thiara  United Kingdom 5,267 Sunk
1 August 1940 U-34 HMS Spearfish  Royal Navy 670 Sunk
2 November 1943 U-848 Baron Semple  United Kingdom 4,573 Sunk

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 37.
  2. ^ Morgan & Taylor 2011, p. 53.
  3. ^ Evans 2010, p. 245.
  4. ^ Busch & Röll 2003, pp. 39–40.
  5. ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 40.
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Fregattenkapitän Wilhelm Rollmann". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD2 U-boat U-848". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-34". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. 
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-848". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. 
  10. ^ a b c d Busch & Röll 2003, p. 38.
  11. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 637.
  12. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 363.

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. 
  • Evans, A.S. (2010). Beneath the Waves: A History of HM Submarine Losses 1904–1971. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-84884-292-2. 
  • 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. 
  • Morgan, Daniel; Taylor, Bruce (2011). U-Boat Attack Logs: A Complete Record of Warship Sinkings from Original Sources 1939–1945. Barnsley: 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.