Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)
1 ship sunk, total tonnage 5,408 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 16,923 GRT
|Born||22 Apr 1909||Stralsund|
|Died||25 Feb 1980||(70)||Bremen, Germany|
|U-6||27 Nov 1939||17 Jan 1940||No war patrols|
|U-56||22 Jan 1940||13 Oct 1940||7 patrols (149 days)|
|U-121||Oct, 1940||5 Nov 1940||No war patrols|
|U-464||30 Apr 1942||20 Aug 1942||1 patrol (7 days)|
Otto Harms joined the Reichsmarine in 1933. From April to Oct 1939 he served as a Watch Officer with Flotilla Hundius (later 6th Flotilla) and with the U-Boat School Flotilla. Harms went though U-boat training from Oct to Nov 1939 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
From Nov 1939 to Jan 1940 he commanded the small "duck" U-6. On 22 Jan 1940 Harms took command of another "duck", the type IIC boat U-56. With this boat he sailed on 7 patrols, spending 149 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997). The first 4 patrols were in the North Sea while the last 3 were on the western side of the British Isles.
With the U-56 he sank 2 ships, one of which was the British Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Transylvania (F 56) on 10 Aug 1940 (Rohwer, 1998).
Harms left the U-56 on 13 Oct 1940 and then served as acting commander of the small U-121 until Nov 1940. He was then an instructor with the 2nd ULD from Nov 1940 to March 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
From March to April 1942 Kptlt. Otto Harms was in an U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) to prepare for his next command, this time on a much larger type XIV Milch Cow boat. On 30 April 1942 he commissioned the U-464 at Kiel.
After training in the Baltic Kptlt. Otto Harms went out with the U-464 from Bergen, Norway on 14 Aug 1942 with the orders to support the attack U-boats in the North Atlantic (Busch & Röll, 1997). The Milch Cow itself was only armed with small AA guns, no torpedoes.
U-464 was sunk only 7 days into its patrol on 20 Aug 1942 south-east of Iceland in position 61.25N, 14.40W by a US Catalina aircraft (Niestlé, 1998). Otto Harms and 51 men of his crew survived while 2 died. They were picked up by an Icelandic trawler and became prisoners of war (POW's) in England.
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 Otto Harms
|1.||U-56||27 Jan 1940||Kiel||17 Feb 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 1,||22 days|
|2.||U-56||4 Mar 1940||Wilhelmshaven||5 Mar 1940||Wilhelmshaven||2 days|
|3.||U-56||14 Mar 1940||Wilhelmshaven||20 Mar 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 2,||7 days|
|4.||U-56||4 Apr 1940||Wilhelmshaven||26 Apr 1940||Kiel||Patrol 3,||23 days|
|5.||U-56||21 May 1940||Kiel||14 Jun 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 4,||25 days|
|6.||U-56||29 Jun 1940||Wilhelmshaven||21 Jul 1940||Lorient||Patrol 5,||23 days|
|7.||U-56||25 Jul 1940||Lorient||14 Aug 1940||Lorient||Patrol 6,||21 days|
|8.||U-56||19 Aug 1940||Lorient||15 Sep 1940||Kiel||Patrol 7,||28 days|
|9.||U-464||4 Aug 1942||Kiel||9 Aug 1942||Bergen||6 days|
|10.||U-464||14 Aug 1942||Bergen||20 Aug 1942||Sunk||Patrol 8,||7 days|
|8 patrols, 156 days at sea|
Ships hit by Otto Harms
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|5 Aug 1940||U-56||Boma||5,408||br||OB-193|
|10 Aug 1940||U-56||HMS Transylvania (F 56)||16,923||br|
2 ships sunk (22,331 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.
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