Karl Fleige

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 24)

1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 400 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,745 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 56 tons

Born  5 Sep 1905 Hildesheim
Died  16 Dec 1975(70)Erzhausen, near Bad Gandersheim

Oberleutnant zur See Karl Fleige


1 Apr 1942 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1942 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1945 Kapitänleutnant


8 Oct 1943 German Cross in Gold
18 Jul 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-18 3 Dec 1942 25 Aug 1944   7 patrols (203 days) 

Oblt. z. S. Karl Fleige on board

Karl Fleige joined the Reichsmarine in October 1924 as seaman. He spent the next years on torpedo boats, several cruisers and on the sailing school ship (Segelschulschiff) Gorch Fock.

In October 1937 he transferred to the U-boat force and after some months of training joined U-20 under Oblt. Karl-Heinz Moehle in May 1938. When Kptlt. Moehle commissioned the Type IXB U-boat U-123 in June 1940 he asked for his former Obersteuermann and thus Karl Fleige spent more than a year on the successful U-123.

Karl Fleige left U-123 in August 1941 and became the Flotillensteuermann of the 5th Flotilla in Kiel commanded once more by his former commander Karl-Heinz Moehle.

Starting in April 1942 he received commander training and in December 1942 he took command of the small Type IIB U-boat U-18. Through August 1944 he made a total of seven successful patrols in the Black Sea.

Beginning in December 1944, he was an instructor in the 24 Flotilla and in the 1st ULD (U-Boot-Lehrdivision). After Germany's surrender he spent three months in Allied captivity.


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).

Patrol info for Karl Fleige

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-18 26 May 1943  Konstanza  9 Jun 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 1,15 days
2. U-18 16 Jun 1943  Konstanza  29 Jun 1943  Sevastopol  Patrol 2,14 days
3. U-18 3 Jul 1943  Sevastopol  22 Jul 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 2,20 days
4. U-18 21 Aug 1943  Konstanza  24 Sep 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 3,35 days
5. U-18 27 Oct 1943  Konstanza  24 Nov 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 4,29 days
6. U-18 29 Jan 1944  Konstanza  29 Feb 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 5,32 days
7. U-18 25 Mar 1944  Konstanza  27 Apr 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 6,34 days
8. U-18 24 Jul 1944  Konstanza  16 Aug 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 7,24 days
7 patrols, 203 days at sea

Ships hit by Karl Fleige

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
29 Aug 1943U-18Karl Fleige TSC-11 Dzhalita400sj
30 Aug 1943U-18Karl Fleige SKA-0132 (d.)56sj
18 Nov 1943U-18Karl Fleige Josif Stalin (d.)7,745sj

1 ship sunk (400 tons) and 2 ships damaged (7,801 tons).

(d.) means the ship was damaged.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders