Werner Winter (26 March 1912 – 9 September 1972) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He reached the rank of Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II, and later that of Kapitän zur See with the Bundesmarine.
Winter joined the Reichsmarine in April 1930, serving aboard the battleship Schlesien and the light cruiser Emden then transferred to the U-boat force in July 1935.
He served for a few months aboard U-22, before taking command of the U-boat in October 1937. In September 1939 he made two short and unsuccessful combat patrols, before joining the staff of the BdU, but returned in July 1941 to take command of U-103 from Viktor Schütze, making three successful patrols, sinking fifteen merchant ships, for a total of 79,302 tons of Allied shipping, including the USS W. L. Steed.
Winter testified in the court martial which sentenced Oskar Kusch, the commander of U-154, to death on charges of "defeatism". Kusch had served on U-103 under the command of Winter. Although the prosecution had only requested a 10-year sentence, the court led by Marine-Kriegs-Gerichtsrat Karl-Heinrich Hagemann, assisted by Oberleutnant zur See Otto Westphalen, sentenced him to death. Both Winter and his successor as commander of U-103, Gustav-Adolf Janssen, had tried their best to save the life of Kusch, whom they considered a very able and brave officer.
In July 1942 he took command of 1st U-boat Flotilla in Brest, France, where he was captured after the city's surrender in August 1944, and was finally released in November 1947.
Winter joined the Bundesmarine in 1957, commanding the German destroyer Z-1 from July 1961 to September 1962, retiring in March 1970 with the rank of Kapitän zur See.
Summary of career
As commander of U-103 Winter is credited with the sinking of 15 ships for a total of 79,302 gross register tons (GRT).
|22 September 1941||Edward Blyden||United Kingdom||5,003||Sunk|
|22 September 1941||Niceto de Larringa||United Kingdom||5,591||Sunk|
|2 February 1942||W. L. Steed||United States||6,182||Sunk|
|4 February 1942||San Gil||United States||3,627||Sunk|
|5 February 1942||China Arrow||United States||8,403||Sunk|
|5 February 1942||India Arrow||United States||8,327||Sunk|
|5 February 1942||Stanbank||United States||5,966||Sunk|
|17 May 1942||Ruth Lykes||United States||2,612||Sunk|
|19 May 1942||Ogontz||United States||5,037||Sunk|
|21 May 1942||Clare||United States||3,372||Sunk|
|21 May 1942||Elizabeth||United States||4,727||Sunk|
|23 May 1942||Samuel Q. Brown||United States||6,625||Sunk|
|24 May 1942||Hector||Netherlands||1,828||Sunk|
|26 May 1942||Alcoa Carrier||United States||5,588||Sunk|
|28 May 1942||New Jersey||United States||6,414||Sunk|
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class
- Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Merit Medal (August 1938)
- Sudetenland Medal (20 December 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (18 September 1939)
- 1st Class (10 November 1941)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 June 1942 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-103
- War Merit Cross 2nd Class
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 1 June 1942