The Commander Interviews

Otto Kretschmer

Prepared by Stephen Ames

Otto Kretschmer is a tall, very polite man with an air of gentle formality. The first time I met him and asked for an interview, he granted me a half hour following a luncheon celebrating his wife's birthday.

These excerpts are from that first interview and you can hear some of the hubbub in the background as we sit at his table and discuss his life and wartime experiences. Pull up a chair and let's chat with the Admiral!

The Interviews

#1 (2:03) Wav His early naval and submarine experience.
#2 (2:10) Wav Training excercises and discussions with Admiral Raeder shortly before the war started.
#3 (4:23) Wav Where he was and what happened when the war broke out. The difficulties of operating under the Rules of the 1936 Submarine Agreement.
#4 (2:39) Wav Difficulties of the early period of the war, and trying to avoid encounters with the US Navy.
#5 (4:05) Wav The efforts to maintain a sense of "chivalry" in the midst of the deadly war at sea.
#6 (1:28) Wav Amusing thoughts while in a POW camp.

Video Interviews

#1 (0:43) Kretschmer speaks of the beginning of the war
#2 (1:43) Kretschmer speaks of the myth about the "Happy Time"

Check out our Otto Kretschmer career page!

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