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OTTO DIETZ had a soft job in the early days if his hitch in the U-Bootwaffe - he was a Sanistaatsmaat (Pharmacist Mate) aboard U-180, a very rare Type IX-D1 submarine. This boat was used for spook work rather than combat duty, and when they went into the Indian Ocean to meet with a Japanese submarine, they had a lot of war materiel aboard - AND Subhas Chandras Bose. Bose was the leader of the "Indian National Army", a group he planned to recruit from the POW camps of the Japanese - Indian prisoners who had fought on the side of the British but now found themselves in Japanese captivity. Bose promised them that if they fought on the side of the Axis against their former British allies, they would have a new homeland at the end of the war. Because the duties of the Sanistaatsmaat were not too heavy or complex, Otto had a lot of time to speak with Bose.
We all know that sailors drink - a lot, but OTTO made his drinking almost an art form and he was drunk a lot. One night when returning to U-180, there was a loud crash as some of the liquor bottles he was trying to smuggle aboard slipped out of his grasp and shattered on the deck of the submarine. That was the end of his assignments aboard U-180, his assignments in the U-Bootwaffe................and almost the end of his life.
Because of his "love of liquor", OTTO was transferred to a punishment Battalion and sent to the Russian front, which usually meant no return. Fortunately for OTTO, a sniper shot him - but not fatally, only severely enough to send him back to Germany and into the hospital. They were short-handed everywhere in Germany by then and the hospital needed his services there, so when he was recovered, rather than being returned to the Russian Front, he was assigned duties in the hospital in his career field as a Sanistaatsmaat.
OTTO was at work one fateful day when his former I.W.O. from U-180 came to the hospital because he was dating one of the nurses. His name was Harald Lange and he was on his way to take command of U-505.............and he wanted OTTO for his crew. So once again, OTTO DIETZ was going to see service with the U-Bootwaffe. As we know, 4 June 1944 was the day that U-505 was captured off the African coast and OTTO along with the rest of the crew, was captured and sent into POW camp until some time after the war.
OTTO was a fun guy and was usually with our Sharkhunters group when we were in Germany for our "Patrols" and always added a lot of color to our time in Germany. If you met OTTO, you immediately liked him. He was fun, outgoing and just a really nice guy.
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