Kapitänleutnant (R) (Crew 33)
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,359 GRT
|Born||14 Oct 1910||Bonn|
|Died||8 Apr 1945||(34)||Hamburg|
|U-545||19 May 1943||10 Feb 1944||1 patrol (64 days)|
|U-2502||19 Jul 1944||8 Apr 1945 (+)||No war patrols|
Gert Mannesmann joined the Kriegsmarine in 1933. He was the First Watch Officer (1WO) of the 11th Minesweeping Flotilla from Sept 1939 to March 1940, then served with the 13th Minesweeping flotilla until Aug 1940. From then on until May 1941 Mannesmann commanded the 56th Minesweeping Flotilla (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He then joined the U-boat force in June 1941 and went through U-boat training until Nov 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He served as a Watch officer (WO) on the U-563 (Kptlt. Klaus Bargsten) from Nov 1941 to March 1942 and then on the U-156 (KrvKpt. Werner Hartenstein) from April to Nov 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999). Mannesmann was on the U-156 during the Laconia incident in Sept 1942.
Mannesmann went through U-boat Commander training from Dec 1942 to March 1943 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) to prepare for his first command (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann commissioned the new boat U-545 at Hamburg on 19 May 1943. He then took the boat into the Baltic to train for the next few months. On 9 Dec 1943 Mannesmann took the boat out from Kiel, Germany on its first war patrol, heading into the North Atlantic. The patrol was to prove eventful, on 30 Dec they sank their only ship, the British Empire Houseman, lost their First Watch Officer (Oblt. Hans Wilkening) overboard on 26 Jan 1944 and then were crippled by aircraft attack on 10 Feb.
The boat was so badly damaged by the attack by two Wellington aircraft, a British one (Sqdn 612/O) and Canadian (Sqdn 407) on that the boat was scuttled with all but one of the crew surviving (Niestlé, 1998). The Canadian aircraft was shot down in the battle. Fellow boat U-714 (Oblt. Hans-Joachim Schwebcke) picked them up shortly afterwards and took them to France, arriving on 25 Feb 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1997).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann then jopined the 2nd Flotilla from Feb to April 1944 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) for the new Type XXI submarines. On 19 July 1944 he commissioned the new type XXI boat U-2502 and spent the next months preparing the new type of boat for battle (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann died during an air raid on the port of Hamburg on 8 April 1945. There was a direct bomb hit in the yard where U-2502 was being prepared (Busch & Röll, 1999).
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 Gert Mannesmann
|1.||U-545||9 Dec 1943||Kiel||10 Feb 1944||Sunk||Patrol 1,||64 days|
Ships hit by Gert Mannesmann
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|30 Dec 1943||U-545||Empire Housman (d.)||7,359||br||ON-217|
1 ship damaged (7,359 tons).