WWI U-boat commanders

Wilhelm Werner

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/05)

63 ships sunk with a total of 130,499 GRT
7 ships damaged with a total of 26,161 GRT
2 ships taken as prize with a total of 3,466 GRT

Born:6 Jun 1888 Apola 
Died:14 May 1945 Falkenau, Saxe 

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1 Apr 1905 Seekadett
7 Apr 1906 Fähnrich zur See
28 Sep 1908 Leutnant zur See
5 Sep 1911 Oberleutnant zur See
24 Apr 1916 Kapitänleutnant
1 Mar 1920 Out of naval service


prewar  Order of the Crown
 Iron Cross 2nd class
 Iron Cross 1st class
   U-Boat War Badge
15 Feb 1918  Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
18 Aug 1918  Pour le Mérite
   Prussian Medal Fifteen year of Service

U-boat Commands

UB 918 Feb 1915 - 28 Feb 1915
UB 76 May 1915 - 11 Apr 1916
U 559 Jun 1916 - 9 Aug 1918


Took command of U55 on 9.6.1916, contrary to previous indication 1.1.17.

Received the Pour le Mérite on the same day as Kaplt. Paul Hundius. Awarded for outstanding leadership and distinguished naval planning and successful submarine operations and also given in recognition of the sinking of a total of 206.000 BRT of enemy shipping.

After the war he stood accused of a number of war crimes; Sinking without warning the Clearfield, Artist,Trevone, Torrington, Toro and attacking the hospital ships Rewa and Guildford Castle.

In the course of time this was reduced to a single charge of sinking the SS Torrington and murdering the whole crew save the captain who was taken prisoner.

He never appeared at the Leipzig trials, he fled Germany to work on a coffee plantation in Brazil. After some years he returned to Germany and even became a National Socialist member of the Reichstag.

He was placed on the retired list 1st March 1920.

Media links

Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

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