Karl Fleige


1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 400 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,745 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 56 tons

Born  5 Sep 1905 Hildesheim
Died  16 Dec 1975(70)Erzhausen, near Bad Gandersheim, Germany

Oberleutnant zur See Karl Fleige


1 Apr 1942 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1942 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1945 Kapitänleutnant


  U-boat War Badge 1939
  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class
8 Oct 1943 German Cross in Gold
18 Jul 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-18 6 May 1943 1 May 1944   6 patrols (179 days) 
U-18 8 Jun 1944 25 Aug 1944   1 patrol (24 days) 

Oblt. z. S. Karl Fleige on board

Karl Fleige joined the Reichsmarine in October 1924 as a seaman. He spent the next few years on torpedo boats and cruisers and the sailing school ship (Segelschulschiff) Gorch Fock.

In October 1937 he transferred to the U-boat force, and after some months of training joined U-20 under the command of Oblt. Karl-Heinz Moehle in May 1938. When Kptlt. Moehle commissioned the type IXB U-123 in June 1940 he asked for his former Obersteuermann to join him, and thus Karl Fleige served for over a year on the successful U-123.

Karl Fleige left U-123 in August 1941 to join the 5th (Training) Flotilla in Kiel as Flotillensteuermann, once again under the command of Karl-Heinz Moehle.

In April 1942 he commenced commander training, and in December 1942 took command of the type IIB U-boat 'duck' U-18. During August 1944 U-18 made a total of seven successful patrols in the Black Sea.

From December 1944 he was an instructor with 24th (Training) Flotilla and the 1st ULD (U-Boot-Lehrdivision). Following Germany's surrender he spent three months as a POW.


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).

Patrol info for Karl Fleige

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-18 26 May 1943  Konstanza  9 Jun 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 1,15 days
2. U-18 16 Jun 1943  Konstanza  29 Jun 1943  Sevastopol  Patrol 2,14 days
3. U-18 3 Jul 1943  Sevastopol  22 Jul 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 2,20 days
4. U-18 21 Aug 1943  Konstanza  24 Sep 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 3,35 days
5. U-18 27 Oct 1943  Konstanza  24 Nov 1943  Konstanza  Patrol 4,29 days
6. U-18 29 Jan 1944  Konstanza  29 Feb 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 5,32 days
7. U-18 25 Mar 1944  Konstanza  27 Apr 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 6,34 days
8. U-18 24 Jul 1944  Konstanza  16 Aug 1944  Konstanza  Patrol 7,24 days
7 patrols, 203 days at sea

Ships hit by Karl Fleige

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
29 Aug 1943U-18Karl Fleige TSC-11 Dzhalita400sj
30 Aug 1943U-18Karl Fleige SKA-0132 (d.)56sj
18 Nov 1943U-18Karl Fleige Josif Stalin (d.)7,745sj

1 ship sunk (400 tons) and 2 ships damaged (7,801 tons).

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

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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