Kapitänleutnant GUGGENBERGER was born 6 March 1915 in München and he was in the Naval Class 1934.  While he commended four different boats, his most famous and most successful was U-81.  In total, he sank some ten ships with a total of 68,424 tons and this is not counting the eight sailing vessels he sank with his deck gun in the Mediterranean.


While "Fritz" GUGGENBERGER had an imposing career, his most outstanding achievement was the sinking of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL, the carrier whose old Fairey SWORDFISH had earlier crippled the German battleship BISMARCK, allowing the British to overtake and destroy the battleship.

U-81 received a radio message that a Royal Navy task force was nearing Gibraltar, and got orders to attack.  GUGGENBERGER plotted an intercept course and right as planned, they found the task force which included at least two aircraft carriers and two battleships.  They closed in on the closest target, which was HMS ARK ROYAL, and they fired a four torpedo spread, a "Fan of Fate", at HMS ARK ROYAL and the battleship HMS MALAYA which were overlapping.  The carrier was fatally hit and sank some hours later.  The battleship HMS MALAYA was damaged so badly that she spent the next year in the repair yard.

There was some confusion at the time, that an Italian submarine had assisted U-81 in this attack, but later cross-check of records showed that U-81 was the only submarine in the area and that she and she alone, had made this attack and hit these ships.

GUGGENBERGER was decorated with the
Knights Cross on 10 December 1941 and later, with the Oak Leaf on 8 January 1943.

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