Dietrich Knorr

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 31)

5 ships sunk, total tonnage 26,296 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 4,724 GRT

Born  13 Feb 1912 Dessau
Died  20 Aug 1940(28)Bay of Biscay

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1 Apr 1931 Offiziersanwärter
14 Oct 1931 Seekadett
1 Jan 1933 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1935 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1935 Leutnant zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-53 24 Jun 1939 Aug, 1939   No war patrols 
U-51 15 Jan 1940 20 Aug 1940  (+)  4 patrols (108 days) 

Dietrich Knorr joined the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1931. He served as Watch Officer (WO) on the small "duck" type IIB boat U-10 during 1937, then as WO on the sister boat U-16 from 1938-1939.

On 24 June 1939 he commissioned the new type VIIB boat U-53. He left the boat in August 1939 to take command of the U-51 of the same type. With this boat he first went out on patrol on 17 Jan 1940. During this patrol he sank 2 small ships with a total of 3,100 tons.

This was to be his first of 4 war patrols, spending 108 days at sea. Kplt. Dietrich Knorr sank 6 ships for over 31,000 tons during these missions, the last ship was sunk just 5 days before the loss of U-51.

On 20 Aug 1940 the U-51 was inbound for France in the Bay of Biscay west of Nantes, France, in position 47.06N, 04.51W, when she was sunk by a torpedo from the British submarine HMS Cachalot, 43 dead, all hands lost (Niestlé, 1998).


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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Dietrich Knorr

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-51 17 Jan 1940  Kiel  8 Feb 1940  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 1,23 days
2. U-51 11 Mar 1940  Wilhelmshaven  22 Apr 1940  Kiel  Patrol 2,43 days
3. U-51 6 Jun 1940  Kiel  5 Jul 1940  Kiel  Patrol 3,30 days
4. U-51 9 Aug 1940  Kiel  20 Aug 1940  Sunk  Patrol 4,12 days
4 patrols, 108 days at sea

Ships hit by Dietrich Knorr

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
22 Jan 1940U-51 Gothia1,640sw
29 Jan 1940U-51 Eika1,503nw
25 Jun 1940U-51 Windsorwood5,395brOA-172
25 Jun 1940U-51 Saranac12,049brOA-172
29 Jun 1940U-51 HMS Willamette Valley (X 39)4,724br
15 Aug 1940U-51 Sylvafield5,709brHX-62

6 ships sunk (31,020 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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


Dickens, Peter and Grove, Eric J.

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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