Dietrich von der Esch

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)


Successes
2 ships sunk, total tonnage 12,716 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 9,057 GRT

Born  31 Jan 1915 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Died  29 Sep 1944(29)South Atlantic


Ranks

8 Apr 1934 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jul 1935 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1937 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1942 Kapitänleutnant

Decorations

1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
1940 Luftwaffe Observer Badge
1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
13 Feb 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
15 Dec 1943 German Cross in Gold

U-boat Commands

U-boatFromTo
U-586 4 Sep 1941 30 Sep 1943   10 patrols (221 days) 
U-606 14 Sep 1942 26 Sep 1942   1 patrol (13 days) 
U-863 3 Nov 1943 29 Sep 1944  (+)  1 patrol (66 days) 

Dietrich von der Esch joined the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1934. He was seconded to the Luftwaffe (air force) from Oct 1936 to Sept 1940 when he started U-boat training. In April 1941 he finished general U-boat training and began his U-boat commander training, lasting until June 1941.

He served as a Watch Officer (WO) on the U-98 from June to Aug 1941 when he was sent to lead a construction crew (Baubelehrung). He took command of the U-586 on 4 Sept 1941 - commanding the boat for 2 years. He was also briefly acting commander of the U-606 from 14 to 26 Sept 1941.

In Oct 1943 Dietrich von der Esch was sent to oversee the construction of the much larger type IXD2 boat U-863, taking command on 3 Nov. The boat was lost with all hands on its first mission on 29 Sept 1944 when enroute to the Far East as a Monsun boat.

Sources

Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.

Patrol info for Dietrich von der Esch

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-586 12 Jan 1942  Kiel  12 Feb 1942  Bergen  Patrol 1,32 days
2. U-586 16 Feb 1942  Bergen  19 Feb 1942  Trondheim   4 days
3. U-586 14 Mar 1942  Trondheim  22 Mar 1942  Trondheim  Patrol 2,9 days
4. U-586 10 May 1942  Trondheim  1 Jun 1942  Skjomenfjord  Patrol 3,23 days
5. U-586 4 Jun 1942  Skjomenfjord  6 Jun 1942  Trondheim   3 days
6. U-586 25 Jul 1942  Trondheim  16 Aug 1942  Narvik  Patrol 4,23 days
7. U-586 27 Aug 1942  Narvik  31 Aug 1942  Bergen   5 days
8. U-606 14 Sep 1942  Bergen  26 Sep 1942  Bergen  Patrol 5,13 days
9. U-586 3 Oct 1942  Bergen  5 Oct 1942  Skjomenfjord   3 days
10. U-586 11 Oct 1942  Skjomenfjord  12 Oct 1942  Harstad  Patrol 6,2 days
11. U-586 13 Oct 1942  Harstad  5 Nov 1942  Skjomenfjord  Patrol 6,24 days
12. U-586 18 Nov 1942  Skjomenfjord  1 Dec 1942  Bergen  Patrol 7,14 days
13. U-586 6 Dec 1942  Bergen  10 Dec 1942  Kiel   5 days
14. U-586 11 Dec 1942  Kiel  11 Dec 1942  Hamburg   1 days
15. U-586 7 Feb 1943  Hamburg  8 Feb 1943  Kiel   2 days
16. U-586 25 Feb 1943  Kiel  1 Mar 1943  Bergen   5 days
17. U-586 2 Mar 1943  Bergen  13 Mar 1943  Narvik  Patrol 8,12 days
18. U-586 15 Mar 1943  Narvik  16 Mar 1943  Trondheim   2 days
19. U-586 29 Mar 1943  Trondheim  2 May 1943  Bergen  Patrol 9,35 days
20. U-586 27 May 1943  Bergen  31 May 1943  Hammerfest   5 days
21. U-586 5 Jun 1943  Hammerfest  10 Jul 1943  Narvik  Patrol 10,36 days
22. U-586 18 Jul 1943  Narvik  19 Jul 1943  Tromsö   2 days
23. U-586 21 Jul 1943  Tromsö  31 Jul 1943  Narvik  Patrol 11,11 days
24. U-586 3 Aug 1943  Narvik  4 Aug 1943  Trondheim   2 days
25. U-586 6 Aug 1943  Trondheim  7 Aug 1943  Bergen   2 days
26. U-863 3 Jul 1944  Kiel  5 Jul 1944  Horten   3 days
27. U-863 10 Jul 1944  Horten  13 Jul 1944  Bergen   4 days
28. U-863 20 Jul 1944  Bergen  21 Jul 1944  Trondheim   2 days
29. U-863 26 Jul 1944  Trondheim  29 Sep 1944  Sunk  Patrol 12,66 days
12 patrols, 300 days at sea

Ships hit by Dietrich von der Esch

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
9 Feb 1942U-586 Anna Knudsen (d.)9,057nw
2 Nov 1942U-586 Empire Gilbert6,640br
 
9 Mar 1943U-586 Puerto Rican6,076amRA-53
 21,773

2 ships sunk (12,716 tons) and 1 ship damaged (9,057 tons).

Legend
We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.


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.

Media links


German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim


Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.


amazon.com
($ 74.95)

Listing of all U-boat commanders