Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)
17 ships sunk, total tonnage 93,186 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 913 GRT
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 15,070 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 6,672 GRT
|Born||21 Sep 1914||Wilhelmshaven|
|Died||3 Jun 2000||(85)||Wuppertal, Germany|
|U-558||20 Feb 1941||20 Jul 1943||10 patrols (437 days)|
Günther Krech began his naval career in April 1933. Later, like Reinhard Hardegen and several other officers who would go on to become successful U-boat commanders, he was seconded to the Luftwaffe. His secondment lasted for three years, spent mostly in staff positions, at one point with Luftwaffe High Command (Führers der Luftwaffe). In November 1939 Krech returned to the Kriegsmarine and began U-boat training. He received his first combat experience as 1st Watch Officer (IWO) on U-100 under Kptlt. Schepke. He left the boat in November 1940 and after Commander training with the 24th Flotilla he commissioned U-558 in 1941.
Over ten patrols, mostly in the Atlantic and Caribbean, he sank or destroyed 19 ships. U-558 was sunk by US aircraft on 20 July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay (Niestlé, 1998). Only Kptlt. Krech, the LI and three men from the gun crew survived. Günther Krech then spent some years 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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Günther Krech
|1.||U-558||1 Jun 1941||Kiel||9 Jul 1941||Brest||Patrol 1,||39 days|
|2.||U-558||28 Jul 1941||Brest||7 Aug 1941||Brest||Patrol 2,||11 days|
|3.||U-558||25 Aug 1941||Brest||16 Sep 1941||Brest||Patrol 3,||23 days|
|4.||U-558||11 Oct 1941||Brest||25 Oct 1941||Brest||Patrol 4,||15 days|
|5.||U-558||24 Nov 1941||Brest||7 Dec 1941||Brest||Patrol 5,||14 days|
|6.||U-558||10 Feb 1942||Brest||11 Mar 1942||Brest||Patrol 6,||30 days|
|7.||U-558||12 Apr 1942||Brest||21 Jun 1942||Brest||Patrol 7,||71 days|
|8.||U-558||29 Jul 1942||Brest||16 Oct 1942||Brest||Patrol 8,||80 days|
|9.||U-558||9 Jan 1943||Brest||29 Mar 1943||Brest||Patrol 9,||80 days|
|10.||U-558||8 May 1943||Brest||20 Jul 1943||Sunk||Patrol 10,||74 days|
|10 patrols, 437 days at sea|
Ships hit by Günther Krech
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|28 Aug 1941||U-558||Otaio||10,298||br||OS-4|
|15 Oct 1941||U-558||Vancouver Island||9,472||ca|
|17 Oct 1941||U-558||W.C. Teagle||9,552||br||SC-48|
|17 Oct 1941||U-558||Erviken||6,595||nw||SC-48|
|17 Oct 1941||U-558||Rym||1,369||nw||SC-48|
|24 Feb 1942||U-558||Anadara (d.)||8,009||br||ONS-67|
|24 Feb 1942||U-558||Inverarder||5,578||br||ONS-67|
|24 Feb 1942||U-558||Eidanger||9,432||nw||ONS-67|
|12 May 1942||U-558||HMS Bedfordshire (FY 141)||913||br|
|18 May 1942||U-558||Fauna||1,254||nl|
|21 May 1942||U-558||Troisdoc||1,925||ca|
|23 May 1942||U-558||William Boyce Thompson (d.)||7,061||am|
|25 May 1942||U-558||Beatrice||3,451||am|
|27 May 1942||U-558||Jack||2,622||am|
|2 Jun 1942||U-558||Triton||2,078||nl|
|25 Aug 1942||U-558||Amakura||1,987||br||WAT-15|
|13 Sep 1942||U-558||Suriname||7,915||nl||TAG-5|
|13 Sep 1942||U-558||Empire Lugard||7,241||br||TAG-5|
|13 Sep 1942||U-558||Vilja (t.)||6,672||nw||TAG-5|
|16 Sep 1942||U-558||Commercial Trader||2,606||am|
|23 Feb 1943||U-558||Empire Norseman||9,811||br||UC-1|
19 ships sunk (100,771 tons) and 2 ships damaged (15,070 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.