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Engelbert Endrass

Engelbert Endrass German navy officer and world war II U-boat commander

German navy officer and world war II U-boat commander
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German navy officer and world war II U-boat commander
A.K.A. Engelbert Endraß, Endrass, Engelbert, Endraß, Engelbert
Was Soldier Sailor Submariner Military officer
From Germany
Type Military
Gender male
Birth 2 March 1911, Bamberg, Germany
Death 21 December 1941, Atlantic Ocean (aged 30 years)
Star sign PiscesPisces
The details
Biography

Engelbert Endrass (German: Engelbert Endraß) (2 March 1911 – 21 December 1941) was a German U-boat commander in World War II. He commanded the U-46 and the U-567, being credited with sinking 22 ships on ten patrols, for a total of 118,528 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping, to purportedly become the 23rd highest claiming U-boat commander of World War II.

He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany. It was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Endrass.

Early life and career

Endrass began his naval career in April 1935. After some months on the cruiser Deutschland and service on escort ships, he was assigned in October 1937 to the U-boat force. He joined U-47 in December 1938 as Leutnant zur See.

World War II

Engelbert Endrass was Watch Officer when his commanding officer, Günther Prien penetrated the defences at Scapa Flow attack and sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. The snorting bull emblem on U-47's conning tower was painted by Endrass before they returned. Endrass painted this symbol on all subsequent boats on which he served. The reason, given by Endrass for this, was the sight of Prien's demeanour as U-47 entered Scapa Flow, "his frowning face and hunched shoulders reminded him of a bull in a ring." Endrass remained on U-47 until May 1940, when he left and took over command of U-46 from the relatively unsuccessful Herbert Sohler, who had only sunk two ships in five patrols. Endrass had immediate success. He sank the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Carinthia on his first patrol. The patrol yielded over 4,000 tons.

Snorting bull emblem on the conning tower painted by Endrass

Endrass' success continued on his second patrol with U-46, sinking five more ships, including another British auxiliary cruiser, HMS Dunvegan Castle although the main periscope was damaged. The ship carried 23,225 steel drums and 2,700 wooden barrels and 440 tons of timber. Endrass was forced to use three torpedoes, for the drums fitted to British ships in this period was done so deliberately to provide extra ballast. It made sinking them more difficult and more expensive in munitions expenditure. Her loss prompted Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches, Martin Dunbar-Nasmith to order all Liverpool–bound ships to remain in convoy until past the Mull of Kintyre. 277 survivors were rescued by HMS Harvester and HMS Primrose.

Endrass and six other U-boats intercepted Convoy SC 7 and sank many ships. U-46 sank three during the three-day battle. The commander followed this up with an attack on Convoy HX 79, sinking two ships.

Five patrols later he received the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. The presentation was made on 30 June 1941 by Adolf Hitler at the Führer Headquarter Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) in Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn in Poland).

In September 1941 Endrass left U-46, which would become a training vessel, and a month later took over U-567. On his second patrol, he was killed on 21 December 1941 while operating against Convoy HG 76, when U-567 was sunk with all hands by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Deptford and corvette HMS Samphire, northeast of the Azores.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

Chronicle of ships attacked
Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate Death toll
6 June 1940 HMS Carinthia  United Kingdom 20,277 sunk at 53° 13'N, 10° 40'W 4
9 June 1940 Margareta  Finland 2,155 sunk at 45° 00'N, 14° 30'W 5
11 June 1940 Athelprince  United Kingdom 8,782 damaged at 43° 42'N, 13° 20'W 0
12 June 1940 Barbara Marie  United Kingdom 7,223 sunk at 44° 16'N, 13° 54' W 32
12 June 1940 Willowbank  United Kingdom 5,041 sunk at 44° 16'N, 13° 54'W 0
17 June 1940 Elpis  Greece 3,651 sunk 43° 46'N, 14° 06'W 0
16 August 1940 Alcinous  Netherlands 6,189 damaged 57° 16'N, 17° 02'W unknown
20 August 1940 Leonidas M. Valmas  Greece 2,080 total loss 55° 13'N, 10° 38'W 16
27 August 1940 HMS Dunvegan Castle  United Kingdom 15,007 sunk 55° 05'N, 11° 00'W 27
31 August 1940 Ville de Hasselt  Belgium 7,461 sunk at 56° 30'N, 13° 00'W 0
2 September 1940 Thornlea 4,261  United Kingdom 4,261 sunk at 55° 41'N, 14° 20'W 3
4 September 1940 Luimneach  Ireland 1,074 sunk at 47° 50'N, 9° 12'W 0
26 September 1940 Coast Wings  United Kingdom 862 sunk at 49° 27'N, 15° 05'W 16 – no survivors
26 September 1940 Siljan  Sweden 3,058 sunk at 50° 21'N, 18° 45'W 9
18 October 1940 Beatus  United Kingdom 4,885 sunk at 57° 31'N, 13° 10'W 0
18 October 1940 Convallaria  Sweden 1,996 sunk at 57° 22'N, 11° 11'W 0
18 October 1940 Gunborg  Sweden 1,572 sunk at 57° 14'N, 11° 00'W 0
19 October 1940 Ruperra  United Kingdom 4,548 sunk at 57° 16°W 31
20 October 1940 Janus  Sweden 9,965 sunk at 56° 36'N, 15° 03'W 4
29 March 1941 Liguria  Sweden 1,751 sunk at 59° 27'N, 24° 36'W 16
31 March 1941 Castor  Sweden 8,714 sunk at 57° 58'N, 30° 31'W 16
2 April 1941 British Reliance  United Kingdom 7,000 sunk 58° 21'N, 28° 30'W 0
3 April 1941 Alderpool  United Kingdom 4,313 damaged at 58° 21'N, 27° 59'W 0 — perhaps shared with U-73
8 June 1941 Ensis  United Kingdom 6,207 damaged at 48° 25'N, 26° 12'W unknown — conning tower damaged in collision with Ensis
9 June 1941 Phidias  United Kingdom 5,623 sunk at 48° 25'N, 26° 12'W 8
21 December 1941 Annavore  Norway 3,324 sunk at 43° 55'N, 19° 50'W 34

Awards

  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (5 April 1939)
  • Spanish Cross (6 June 1939)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (25 September 1939)
    • 1st Class (17 October 1939)
  • U-boat War Badge (1939) (19 December 1939); with Diamonds (18 July 1941)
  • Italian Croce di Guerra with Swords (1 November 1941)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 5 September 1940 as Oberleutnant zur See and commander of U-46
    • 14th Oak Leaves on 10 June 1941 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-46

Promotions

1 July 1935: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)
1 January 1937: Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)
1 April 1937: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)
20 April 1939: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)
2 July 1941: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant), effective as of 1 Mayy 1942 with a rank age dated on 1 May 1941
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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http://purl.org/pressemappe20/folder/pe/004713
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https://viaf.org/viaf/313405383
https://www.worldcat.org/identities/containsVIAFID/313405383
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