Kapitänleutnant (R) (Crew 33)
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,359 GRT
|Born||14 Oct 1910||Bonn|
|Died||8 Apr 1945||(34)||Hamburg|
|U-545||19 May 1943||10 Feb 1944||1 patrol (64 days)|
|U-2502||19 Jul 1944||8 Apr 1945 (+)||No war patrols|
Gert Mannesmann joined the Kriegsmarine in 1933. He was 1st Watch Officer (I WO) of the 11th Minesweeping Flotilla Sept 1939 - March 1940, then served with the 13th Minesweeping Flotilla until Aug 1940. From then until May 1941 Mannesmann commanded the 56th Minesweeping Flotilla (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He joined the U-boat force in June 1941 and went through U-boat training until Nov 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He served as a Watch Officer (WO) on U-563 (Bargsten) Nov 1941 - March 1942, and then on U-156 (Hartenstein) April - Nov 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999). Mannesmann was on U-156 during the Laconia incident in Sept 1942.
Mannesmann went through U-boat Commander training Dec 1942 - March 1943, after which he began U-boat construction familiarization (Baubelehrung) in preparation for his first command (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann commissioned the large type IXC/40 U-545 at Hamburg on 19 May 1943. He took the boat into the Baltic to train for the next few months, and on 9 Dec 1943 the boat left Kiel for the first war patrol, in the North Atlantic. It was to prove eventful: on 30 Dec they sank their only ship, the British Empire Houseman, lost the 1st Watch Officer (Oblt. Hans Wilkening) overboard on 26 Jan 1944 and were then crippled by an air attack on 10 Feb.
The damage caused by the two Wellingtons (one British, Sqdn 612/O, one Canadian, Sqdn 407) in this attack was so serious that the boat had to be scuttled. All but one of the crew survived (Niestlé, 1998). The Canadian Wellington was shot down. U-714 (Oblt. Hans-Joachim Schwebcke) picked them up shortly afterwards and took them to France, arriving on 25 Feb 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1997).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann then joined the 2nd Flotilla from Feb to April 1944 when he commenced Baubelehrung for a new type XXI Elektro U-boat Elektro boat. On 19 July 1944 he commissioned U-2502, then spent the next months preparing her for service (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Kptlt. Gert Mannesmann died in an air raid on the port of Hamburg on 8 April 1945. There was a direct hit on the shipyard where U-2502 was being prepared (Busch & Röll, 1999).
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 Gert Mannesmann
|1.||U-545||9 Dec 1943||Kiel||10 Feb 1944||Sunk||Patrol 1,||64 days|
Ships hit by Gert Mannesmann
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|30 Dec 1943||U-545||Empire Housman (d.)||7,359||br||ON-217|
1 ship damaged (7,359 tons).