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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
HEINRICH LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK (120-1985)
Who doesn't know the 'Boat of
the Smiling Sawfish'? If you didn't see the movie 'Das Boot',
guess you were living on the dark side of the moon.
Seen at left, U-96
is being loaded prior to yet another Feindfahrt.
LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK talks with one of his junior officers. His
first two war patrols were very successful and so on 26 February 1941,
he was decorated with the Knights Cross.
On the left,
LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK watches over his boat as they are preparing to
depart on yet another patrol. On the right, the tonnage pennants
or 'bragging flags' tell of another successful patrol.
His last patrol, off the American east
coast, was very successful but he almost overstayed his time and U-96
was very low on fuel. They had to cut their speed to increase fuel
efficiency and when they reached their homeport of La Rochelle (the 3rd
U-Bootflottille), they were almost out of fuel. It was one of the great
feats of seamanship of the war.
LEHMANN-WILLENBROCK was then promoted and made Flotillenchef (Flotilla Commander) of the 9th U-Bootflottille based in Brest where he relieved JÜRGEN OESTEN (1681-1990). As the Allies swarmed ashore and were overrunning the bases on the Brittany coast, he took command of U-256 and led his boats to the 11th U-Bootflottille based at Bergen, Norway. He was there until the end of the war.
Enjoy your morning coffee with
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