Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 38)
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 2,385 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 7,058 GRT
1 warship a total loss, total tonnage 925 tons
|Born||15 Dec 1919||Landsberg, Warthe|
|Died||29 Jun 1944||(24)||English Channel|
|U-988||15 Jul 1943||29 Jun 1944 (+)||1 patrol (39 days)|
Erich Dobberstein joined the Kriegsmarine in 1938. He finished his U-boat training in July 1941. He was sent to an U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) programme at Bremen where the type IXC U-155 was being built. On 23 Aug 1941 Kptlt. Adolf Cornelius Piening commissioned the boat and Dobberstein became its Second Watch Officer (2WO) (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Dobberstein sailed on the successful U-155 for 6 patrols, spending 313 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997). This gave him invaluable experience under one of the finest U-boat Commanders in the fleet, Piening. During these patrols they sank 25 ships (135,056 tons) and damaged another one (Rohwer, 1998).
In June 1943 Dobberstein left the U-155 and began his U-boat Commander training with the 24th Flotilla. He finished the courses and on 15 July 1943 he took command of his first U-boat, the type VIIC U-988 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Accident in the Baltic
During training in the Baltic on 8 Sept 1943 Dobberstein's U-988 rammed its sister boat, the U-983 (Oblt. Hans Reimers) which sank with loss of 5 men, 38 survived including Commander Reimers (Niestlé, 1998). Dobberstein and his boat survived the incident.
On 22 May 1944 Dobberstein took his U-988 out from Marviken, Norway for its first patrol. He sailed around the British Isles and then into the English Channel. From 27 to 29 June 1944 he sank or destroyed 3 ships for over 10,000 tons in total (Rohwer, 1998). This was much better results than most Commanders did at the time.
His boat was however lost with all hands of 50 men on the 29 June 1944 in the English Channel west of Guernsey by depth charges from the British frigates HMS Essington, HMS Duckworth, HMS Domett and HMS Cooke, and a Liberator aircraft (Sqdn 244/L). 50 dead (Niestlé, 1998).
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Erich Dobberstein
|1.||U-988||11 May 1944||Kiel||13 May 1944||Marviken||3 days|
|2.||U-988||22 May 1944||Marviken||29 Jun 1944||Sunk||Patrol 1,||39 days|
Ships hit by Erich Dobberstein
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|27 Jun 1944||U-988||HMS Pink (K 137) (t.)||925||br|
|28 Jun 1944||U-988||HMS Maid of Orleans||2,385||br||FXP-18|
|29 Jun 1944||U-988||Empire Portia (t.)||7,058||br||FTM-22|
3 ships sunk (10,368 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.