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Wolfgang Lüth and Albrecht Brandi

Discussion in 'Submarines and ASW Technology' started by Kai-Petri, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    http://uboat.net/men/luth.htm

    [​IMG]

    Born 15 Oct, 1913 Riga, Latvia
    Died 13 May, 1945 Flensburg-Mürwik, Germany

    Sank 47 ships for a total of 225.756 tons
    2 ships damaged for a total of 17.343 tons

    9 Aug, 1943 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

    During the night of 20/21 September, 1940, on his first patrol with the new boat, he sank four ships for a total of 34,633 tons - a great coup for such a small boat.

    In October 1940, after returning from his second patrol, where he sank one more ship and damaged another, he received the Knights Cross, being the only commander of a small U-boat to win that decoration.

    In March 1943 Kptlt. Lüth left Bordeaux for a further patrol in African waters and the Indian Ocean. This patrol, under difficult conditions, was also very successful with ten ships sunk for a total of 45,331 tons. During this patrol Lüth became the first U-boat officer to receive the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

    This patrol was also outstanding because it was the second longest patrol in the war (and likely in the entire history of the submersibles), lasting 205 days, second only to Kentrat's incredible 225 days on U-196.

    In September 1944 Lüth became the youngest commander of the German Marineschule in history.


    But only a few days after the war ended, he died in an unfortunate accident. Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth was shot on 13 May, 1945, by a German sentry when he failed to identify himself or give the password.

    Two days after his death, Lüth received the last state funeral of the Third Reich. Six U-boat officers decorated with the Knights Cross formed the honor guard, and Dönitz spoke the last words.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    http://uboat.net/men/brandi.htm

    [​IMG]

    Albrecht Brandi

    Born 20 Jun, 1914 Dortmund
    Died 6 Jan, 1966 Dortmund, Germany

    Sank 12 ships for a total of 31.689 tons


    24 Nov, 1944 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

    Brandi was on board M-1 as part of the 1.Minensuchflottille when it took part in the September 1939 attack on the Polish Westerplatte as cover ship for the German battleship Schleswig Holstein.

    During his fifth patrol with U-617, on 1 February, 1943 Brandi sank the minelayer HMS Welshman. That sinking was a great success for Brandi. Captain Roskill wrote in his book Royal Navy that HMS Welshman made a vital contribution in saving Malta.

    On 6 September, 1943 he sank the destroyer HMS Puckeridge 40 nautical miles east of Gibraltar. In the first days of the patrol the boat came across the two British aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious and HMS Formidable, but there was no opportunity to fire a torpedo.

    On 24 November, 1944 Brandi received the Diamonds to his Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (awarded for his accomplishments as U-boat commander). He was the second of only two Kriegsmarine officers to receive that award. Only 27 men from all services were awarded this decoration.

    On 6 January, 1966 Albrecht Brandi died of an illness in Dortmund. Officers from the Bundesmarine (German postwar Navy) stood as honor guard at his funeral. Some crewmates from U-617 were also present. The final words were spoken by his crewmate Frkpt. Reinhard Suhren (Crew 35 ). He described Brandi as a


    "Ritter ohne Furcht und Tadel"
    (Knight without fear or failings).
     
  3. Herr Kaleun

    Herr Kaleun Member

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    Brandi should have been named the "Knight of Overclaims" as well.

    At the time of his awarding of the Diamonds, Brandi had claimed 26 ships sunk for 100000 tons and 13 ships damaged for 100000 tons. He also to have claimed ten warships sunk those being 2 light cruisers and 8 destroyers.

    His confirmed sinkings only amounted to 12 ships for 32000 tons. And of those only 4 were warships (2 destroyer escorts--Puckeridge and Fechteler; a minelayer--Welshman; and an ocean tug--St. Issey.)

    Overclaims are common during wartime due to the nature of submarine combat. Otto Kretschmer had overclaimed by 22%, Lüth by 15%, Georg Lassen by 34%, and the poster boy, Joachim Schepke, overclaimed by 49%. But none of these men can compare to Brandi's whopping 68% error rate!!

    I do not demean Brandi's personal courage and skill as a U-boat captain. He was mildly successful in the Mediterranean and did bring his crew home alive each time when the odds of dying were becoming higher. But I am very dissappointed that Brandi received the Diamonds (and not to mention Swords!) apparently due to bluster when Otto Kretschmer, Erich Topp, and Günther Prien through actual achievement did not.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Herr Kaleun!

    I got the names from some book - persons getting the diamonds- and I was surprised actually when getting the info on Brandi that he was rather low with his true figures...

    But diamonds are diamonds...
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    More photos of Lüth and Brandi:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Kai, you definately got my attention with this topic.

    Darn shame he was shot by mistake as he was one hell of a great person. I have some nice material on Luth somewhere that several of the vets from U 181 gave to me. Their stories and memories of serving with Luth--I wish were put into book form. I don't know if I have their permission to share what I have on Luth, here--will have to ask Herrn Kaiser, Trenn and Hille.
     
  7. Herr Kaleun

    Herr Kaleun Member

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    ...and some diamonds have flaws. ;)
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Indeed Herr Kaleun.I promise to be back on U-boat fatst but here´s a nice story on Mr Galland´s Brilliants...

    From Galland´s " Die ersten und die letzten"

    " On 28 January 1942 I was awarded as the second soldier in Wehrmacht the Brilliants to my Knight´s cross. I was happily surprised. Mölders had his after his 100th air victory, and I was still missing six. Hitler thought that my new position should not give me the expression that it had stopped me from getting the highest possible honour in the German army. Besides my 94 victories were all from the Western front so they were thought as more valuable.

    My first brilliants I received in the usual ceremony by Hitler. A bit later I was travelling with Goering in his special train as he wanted to see my brilliants. " Are those the brilliants that Fuhrer gave you? Let me see!"
    "No" he said. "These are not brilliants! These are pieces of glass! Totally useless! The Fuhrer has been fooled by these. He knows on tanks and planes but nothing on brilliants. I have a little stock myself, you´ll be surprised, Galland! "
    Later on I was asked to Karinhall, where Goering was happy like a child. Goering took the Fuhrer´s brilliants to his other, then his brilliants to his other hand and asked me to comapre: "Look-notice the difference? Who is the one who understands on brilliants?" I must say the Goering´s brilliants were absolutely fabulous. They were big and shone beautifully. Compared to these the Fuhrer´s brilliants were nothing.So now I had two sets of brilliants.
    Goering also mentione dthat he´s going to talk with Fuhrer about this matter.
    I guess he did because soon I was asked to Wolfsschanze. In the presence of Milch, Keitel and Jeschonnek Fuhrer told me " Galland, you are about to receive the highest honours in the German military, but so far you only had the temporary brilliants with you..."
    I was truly schocked and frightened, because I had taken Goering´s brilliants to this occasion. Goering had not told Hitler about this. The situation became even worse as Hitler wanted to have the brilliants I had on.he must have noticed they were not the brilliants he had given, but he kept it in his hand and said:" Well, see the difference! These are pure glass while these are true brilliants!" Anyhow the Goering´s brilliants were much bigger and looked better-Fuhrer had no idea of what brilliants looked like?? But now I had the brilliants in three sets.
    As the war was coming towards its end, my office in Berlin was bombed and I lost my brilliants. As Hitler heard of this, he gave me a new set of brilliants-the fourth ones."

    :eek:
     

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