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Carl Emmermann

Carl Emmermann

German navy officer and world war ii u-boat commander
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Submariner Soldier
Countries Germany
Gender male
Birth March 6, 1915 (Hamburg, Germany)
Death March 25, 1990 (Celle, Celle, Lüneburg Government Region, Province of Hanover)
Education Naval Academy at Mürwik
Carl Emmermann
The details

Carl Emmermann (6 March 1915 – 25 March 1990) was a German U-boat commander during World War II. In his time as commander, he succeeded in sinking 27 ships for a total tonnage of 152,080 gross register tons (GRT).


Emmermann began his naval career in 1934. For some years he was training officer on the Naval Academy Mürwik, where future officers got their training.

In 1939 Emmermann joined the U-boat force and in November 1940 became the first Watch officer on UA under the command of Hans Eckermann. On her first patrol UA only damaged the British steamer SS Empire Attendant.

In November 1941 Emmermann took over his own boat, U-172. He completed five patrols with this boat, in the Caribbean Sea, with the wolf pack Eisbär in South African waters, and in the North and South Atlantic.

His greatest success was the sinking of the British liner-troopship SS Orcades. His fifth patrol with U-172 was dramatic, in that the boat brought back half the crew of U-604 which had been so heavily damaged during two air attacks that she had to be scuttled. After that patrol Emmermann became the commander of the 6th U-boat Flotilla in November 1943.

In August 1944 Emmermann became the chief of the Erprobungsgruppe Typ XXIII. There in late 1944 he wrote the battle instructions for the new Type XXIII U-boat.

In March 1945 he was commander of U-3037 for one month, and in the last month of the war he commanded the 31st U-boat Flotilla in Hamburg. Along with some other U-boat men he took part in infantry duty around Hamburg as commander of Marine-Battalion Emmermann.

Emmermann survived the war and later returned to Germany, studied engineering and prospered in business.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-172, Emmermann is credited with the sinking of 26 merchant ships totaling 152,080 gross register tons (GRT).

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
27 May 1942 Athelknight  United Kingdom 8,490 Sunk
3 June 1942 City of Alma  United States 5,446 Sunk
5 June 1942 Delfina  United States 3,480 Sunk
8 June 1942 Sicilien  United States 1,654 Sunk
14 June 1942 Lebore  United States 8,289 Sunk
15 June 1942 Bennestvet  Norway 2,438 Sunk
18 June 1942 Motorex  United Kingdom 1,958 Sunk
23 June 1942 Resolute *  Colombia 35 Sunk
9 July 1942 Santa Rita  United States 8,379 Sunk
7 October 1942 Chicksaw City  United States 6,196 Sunk
7 October 1942 Firethorn  Panama 4,700 Sunk
8 October 1942 Orcades  United Kingdom 23,456 Sunk
31 October 1942 Aldington Court  United Kingdom 4,891 Sunk
2 November 1942 Llandilo  United Kingdom 4,996 Sunk
23 November 1942 Benlomond  United Kingdom 6,630 Sunk
28 November 1942 Alaskan  United States 5,364 Sunk
4 March 1943 City of Pretoria  United Kingdom 6,049 Sunk
13 March 1943 Thorstrand  Norway 3,041 Sunk
13 March 1943 Keystone  United States 5,565 Sunk
16 March 1943 Benjamin Harrison  United States 7,191 Sunk
29 March 1943 Moanda  Belgium 4,621 Sunk
28 June 1943 Vernon City  United Kingdom 4,748 Sunk
12 July 1943 African Star  United States 6,507 Sunk
15 July 1943 Harmonic  United Kingdom 4,558 Sunk
24 July 1943 Fort Chilcotin  United Kingdom 7,133 Sunk
* Sailing ship


  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (5 April 1938)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (19 March 1941)
    • 1st Class (2 August 1941)
  • U-boat War Badge (1939) (2 August 1941)
    • with Diamonds (1 October 1943)
  • War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords (1 September 1944)
  • U-boat Front Clasp (1 October 1944)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knights Cross on 27 November 1942 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-172
    • 256th Oak Leaves on 4 July 1943 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-172


26 September 1934: Seekadett (Midshipman)
1 July 1935: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)
1 January 1937: Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)
1 April 1937: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)
1 April 1939: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)
1 October 1941: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)
16 July 1943: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant), new rank age dated 1 November 1940
1 December 1944 Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)
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