Werner Hartenstein

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 28)

19 ships sunk, total tonnage 97,489 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 18,811 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 1,190 tons

Born  27 Feb 1908 Plauen, Vogtland
Died  8 Mar 1943(35)Atlantic, east of Barbados

Werner Hartenstein


10 Oct 1928 Seekadett
1 Jan 1930 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1932 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1932 Leutnant zur See
1 Sep 1934 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1937 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jun 1942 Korvettenkapitän


6 Jun 1939 Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords
16 Nov 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
27 Apr 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
2 Feb 1942 German Cross in Gold
17 Mar 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
17 Sep 1942 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-156 4 Sep 1941 8 Mar 1943  (+)  5 patrols (294 days) 

Werner Hartenstein began his naval career in April 1928. He served a few years on the light cruiser Karlsruhe and then on a number of torpedo boats, in which he completed 65 patrols in the first years of the war. In March 1941 he transferred to the U-boat force.

On 4 September 1941 he commissioned the type IXC U-boat U-156. On her second patrol the boat shelled the oil refinery on Aruba island, off Venezuela, and between February and Sep. 1942 sank 21 ships, including one destroyer, mostly in Caribbean waters (92,050 GRT). On her fourth patrol he sank the British troopship Laconia, resulting in the Laconia Incident. On her fifth patrol U-156 was sunk with all hands on 8 March 1943 by a US Navy aircraft east of Barbados (Niestlé, 1998).

Werner Hartenstein briefs the crew of U-156 on a new operational area


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.

Patrol info for Werner Hartenstein

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-156 24 Dec 1941  Kiel  10 Jan 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,18 days
2. U-156 19 Jan 1942  Lorient  17 Mar 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,58 days
3. U-156 22 Apr 1942  Lorient  7 Jul 1942  Lorient  Patrol 3,77 days
4. U-156 20 Aug 1942  Lorient  16 Nov 1942  Lorient  Patrol 4,89 days
5. U-156 16 Jan 1943  Lorient  8 Mar 1943  Sunk  Patrol 5,52 days
5 patrols, 294 days at sea

Ships hit by Werner Hartenstein

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
16 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Pedernales (d.)4,317br
16 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Oranjestad2,396br
16 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Arkansas (d.)6,452am
20 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Delplata5,127am
25 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein La Carriere5,685br
27 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Macgregor2,498br
28 Feb 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Oregon7,017am
13 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Koenjit4,551nl
13 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein City of Melbourne6,630br
15 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Siljestad4,301nw
15 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Kupa4,382yu
17 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Barrdale5,072br
18 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Quaker City4,961am
18 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein San Eliseo (d.)8,042br
21 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Presidente Trujillo1,668do
25 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein USS Blakeley (DD 150) (d.)1,190am
29 May 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Norman Prince1,913br
1 Jun 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Alegrete5,970bz
3 Jun 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Lillian80br
24 Jun 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Willimantic4,857br
27 Aug 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Clan Macwhirter5,941brSL-119
12 Sep 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Laconia19,695br
19 Sep 1942U-156Werner Hartenstein Quebec City4,745br

19 ships sunk (97,489 tons) and 4 ships damaged (20,001 tons).

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

Men who sank over 50,000 tons

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

(£ 38.25)

The sinking of the laconia and the u-boat war

Duffy, James P.

One Common Enemy

McLoughlin, Jim

German U-Boat 156 Brought War to Aruba February 16, 1942

Hochstuhl, William C.

The Enemy We Killed, My Friend

Jones, David C.

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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