Peter-Erich Cremer (25 March 1911 – 5 July 1992) was a German U-boat commander during the Second World War. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.
Peter-Erich Cremer was born in Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, on 25 March 1911. After high school, Cremer enlisted in the Reichsmarine in 1932. After serving on cruisers and destroyers, Cremer became captain in February 1940. He received the Iron Cross 2nd class. He was promoted to the rank of submarine commander in August 1940, and was given the U-152. He commanded the U-333 from 25 August 1941 to 6 October 1942 and again from 18 May 1943, to 19 July 1944. On 31 January 1942 he mistakenly attacked and sunk the SS Spreewald; he was court-martialed and found not guilty.
After several victorious trips, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 5 June 1942, and in that same year was severely wounded. He sailed again from 1943 until July 1944, before giving his boat to his lieutenant. On November 1944, Cremer, now Lieutenant Commander, aimed to convey the new submarine U-2519 Class XXI. Citing "several design flaws", Cremer scuttled the submarine at Kiel, on May 1945. As the War drew to a close, he was attached to the personal security unit of Karl Dönitz. In this role he was involved in the incident in which Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth was shot to death by a German sentry.
Peter-Erich Cremer appeared in the British television documentary, "The World at War" in the early 1970s. Later he recounted his life in his books U-333: The story of a u-boat ace and U-Boat Commander: a periscope view of the Battle of the Atlantic. He died in Hamburg on 5 July 1992.
Summary of career
Ships sunk and damaged
As commander of U-333 Cremer sank six merchant ships totalling 26,873 GRT, damaged another 8,327 GRT, and also engaged and damaged the 925 long tons (940 t) Flower-class corvette HMS Crocus.
|Date||Ship||Nationality||Tons||Convoy||Fate and location|
|22 January 1942||Vassilios A. Polemis||Greece||3,429||ON-53||Sunk at|
|24 January 1942||Ringstad||Norway||4,765||ON-55||Sunk at|
|31 January 1942||Spreewald||Nazi Germany||5,083||Sunk at|
|6 May 1942||Amazone||Netherlands||1,294||Sunk at|
|6 May 1942||Halsey||United States||7,088||Sunk at|
|6 May 1942||Java Arrow||United States||8,327||Damaged at|
|10 May 1942||Clan Skene||United Kingdom||5,214||Sunk at|
|6 October 1942||HMS Crocus||Royal Navy||925||Damaged at|
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd Class (11 February 1940) & 1st Class (10 February 1942)
- Destroyer War Badge ( 19 October 1940 )
- U-boat War Badge (1939) ( 26 May 1942 )
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 June 1942 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-333
- Wound Badge in Silver ( 11 November 1942 )
- U-boat Front Clasp ( 27 September 1944 )
|15 August 1932:||Offiziersanwärter (Officer Candidate)|
|1 January 1934:||Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)|
|1 September 1935:||Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)|
|1 January 1936:||Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)|
|1 October 1937:||Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)|
|2 February 1940:||Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)|
|11 July 1944:||Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)|