WWI U-boat commanders

Walter Forstmann

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/00)

Successes
148 ships sunk with a total of 390,797 GRT
1 warship sunk with a total of 810 tons
7 ships damaged with a total of 30,552 GRT
1 ship taken as prize with a total of 798 GRT

Born:9 Mar 1883 Essen-Werden 
Died:2 Nov 1973 Essen 

Walter Forstmann

Ranks

7 Apr 1900 Seekadett
19 Apr 1901 Fähnrich zur See
27 Sep 1903 Leutnant zur See
30 Mar 1906 Oberleutnant zur See
10 Apr 1911 Kapitänleutnant
16 Mar 1919 Out of naval service
30 Aug 1919 Korvettenkapitän (Charakter)
15 Apr 1940 Korvettenkapitän
7 Apr 1941 Fregattenkapitän
1 Jul 1942 Kapitän zur See

Decorations

25 Aug 1908  Lifesaving Medal
1913  Order of the Red Eagle
prewar  Order of St. Stanislaus (Russia)
 Iron Cross 2nd class
 Iron Cross 1st class
 Hanseatic Cross
14 May 1916  Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
12 Aug 1916  Pour le Mérite
8 Nov 1917  Order of Leopold

U-boat Commands

U 121 Aug 1914 - 9 Feb 1915
U 3911 Feb 1915 - 14 Oct 1917

Notes

Walter Forstmann became a Seekadett in 1900 when entering the Kaiserliche Marine. The same year he received the Rettungsmedaille.

Forstmann became commanding officer of the U 11 and was promoted to Kapitänleutnant in 1911. He received the Roter Adler Orden the following year.

In 1914 he took over command of the U 12 and led her on several early-war missions in the North Sea. Forstmann, however, is best known for his string of successes in the Mediterranean in the U 39.

Forstman received the Pour le Mérite on the 12th August 1916 as CO of this U-boat 'for outstanding naval planning and operations, which resulted in the sinking of 261.070 BRT of Allied warships and merchant ships'.

He was also the man that sank the HMS Niger, a British gunboat on the 11th November 1914.

He would finish the war having sunk nearly 400,000 tons of shipping and ranks as the second highest scoring submarine commander of all time. In 1917 he became Chef der III U Flottille.

In 1919 he left service with the rank of Korvettenkapitän. He went into business after the war and became the director of an industrial firm.

Ships hit by Walter Forstmann

DateU-boat Name of shipType of shipTonsNat.
 
11 Nov 1914 U 12  Niger (hms)Minesweeper810br
 
1 May 1915 U 39 BalduinSteamer1,059nw
1 May 1915 U 39 ElsaSailing vessel120sw
2 May 1915 U 39 St. Louis No. 1Trawler211br
2 May 1915 U 39 SunrayTrawler165br
3 May 1915 U 39 Scottish QueenTrawler125br
4 May 1915 U 39 ElsaSailing vessel329sw
5 May 1915 U 39 SceptreFishing vessel166br
6 May 1915 U 39 TruroSteamer836br
7 May 1915 U 39 BeningtonTrawler131br
10 May 1915 U 39  Olga (p.)Steamer798da
26 Jun 1915 U 39 CampaniaTrawler167br
29 Jun 1915 U 39  CambuskennethSailing vessel1,924nw
29 Jun 1915 U 39 Kotka (d.)Sailing vessel952nw
30 Jun 1915 U 39 LomasSteamer3,048br
1 Jul 1915 U 39 CaucasianTanker4,656br
1 Jul 1915 U 39 CraigardSteamer3,286br
1 Jul 1915 U 39 GadsbySteamer3,497br
1 Jul 1915 U 39 InglemoorSteamer4,331br
1 Jul 1915 U 39  RichmondSteamer3,214br
2 Jul 1915 U 39 HirondelleSailing vessel183fr
2 Jul 1915 U 39 BoduognatSteamer1,411be
2 Jul 1915 U 39  City Of Edinburgh (d.)Steamer6,255br
3 Jul 1915 U 39 Fiery CrossSailing vessel1,448nw
3 Jul 1915 U 39 LarchmoreSteamer4,355br
3 Jul 1915 U 39 RenfrewSteamer3,488br
4 Jul 1915 U 39 Anglo-californian (d.)Steamer7,333br
2 Sep 1915 U 39  William T. Lewis (d.)Sailing vessel2,166br
9 Sep 1915 U 39 CornubiaSteamer1,736br
9 Sep 1915 U 39 L’AudeSteamer2,232fr
9 Sep 1915 U 39 Ville De Mostaganemsteamer2,648fr
28 Sep 1915 U 39 H. C. HenryTanker4,219ca
29 Sep 1915 U 39 HaydnSteamer3,923br
30 Sep 1915 U 39 CireneSteamer3,236it
2 Oct 1915 U 39  Sailor PrinceSteamer3,144br
7 Oct 1915 U 39  HalizonesSteamer5,093br
8 Oct 1915 U 39 ThorpwoodSteamer3,184br
9 Oct 1915 U 39 ApolloSteamer3,774br
12 Oct 1915 U 39 RestoreNavy Drifter93br
30 Nov 1915 U 39 MiddletonSteamer2,506br
3 Dec 1915 U 39 DanteSteamer889it
3 Dec 1915 U 39 HelmsmuirSteamer4,111br
5 Dec 1915 U 39  Petrolite (d.)Tanker3,710am
5 Dec 1915 U 39 Pietro LofaroSailing vessel517it
6 Dec 1915 U 39 L. G. GoulandrisSteamer2,123gr
7 Dec 1915 U 39  VeriaSteamer3,229br
9 Dec 1915 U 39  BusirisSteamer2,705br
9 Dec 1915 U 39 OrtericSteamer6,535br
10 Dec 1915 U 39  Porto SaidSteamer5,301it
18 Dec 1915 U 39 Lottie LeaskNavy Drifter94br
 
22 Jan 1916 U 39  NorsemanPassenger steamer9,542br
31 Mar 1916 U 39 Egeosteamer1,787it
31 Mar 1916 U 39 Ripostosteamer1,003it
2 Apr 1916 U 39  SimlaSteamer5,884br
3 Apr 1916 U 39  Clan CampbellSteamer5,897br
4 Apr 1916 U 39 Giuseppe PadreSailing vessel184it
4 Apr 1916 U 39 MARIA CARMELLA FINDARISailing vessel42it
6 Apr 1916 U 39  StjerneborgSteamer1,592da
6 Apr 1916 U 39 Colbert (d.)Troopship5,394fr
9 Apr 1916 U 39  CaledoniaSteamer1,815da
13 Apr 1916 U 39 LipariSteamer1,539it
20 May 1916 U 39 RedentoreSailing vessel228it
20 May 1916 U 39 ValsesiaSailing vessel248it
21 May 1916 U 39 BirmaniaSteamer2,384it
21 May 1916 U 39 ROSALIA MADRESailing vessel251it
23 May 1916 U 39 HerculesSteamer2,704it
23 May 1916 U 39 MARIA PORTO DI SALVEZZASailing vessel39it
23 May 1916 U 39 Teresa Accame (d.)Steamer4,742it
23 May 1916 U 39 WashingtonSteamer2,819it
24 May 1916 U 39 Aurrerasteamer2,845sp
25 May 1916 U 39 Fratelli BandieraSteamer3,506it
25 May 1916 U 39 RitaSailing vessel200it
27 May 1916 U 39 Mar TersoSteamer3,778it
27 May 1916 U 39 TrunkbySteamer2,635br
28 May 1916 U 39 Lady NinianSteamer4,297br
29 May 1916 U 39 Baron VernonSteamer1,779br
29 May 1916 U 39 ElmgroveSteamer3,018br
29 May 1916 U 39 SouthgarthSteamer2,414br
30 May 1916 U 39 Baron TweedmouthSteamer5,007br
30 May 1916 U 39 DalegarthSteamer2,265br
30 May 1916 U 39 HermesbergSteamer2,884it
30 May 1916 U 39 RaumaSteamer3,047nw
1 Jun 1916 U 39 DewslandSteamer1,993br
1 Jun 1916 U 39 SalmonpoolSteamer4,905br
13 Jul 1916 U 39 SilvertonSteamer2,682br
14 Jul 1916 U 39 AntiguaSteamer2,876br
14 Jul 1916 U 39 EcclesiaSteamer3,714br
15 Jul 1916 U 39 SylvieSteamer1,354br
16 Jul 1916 U 39 EuphorbiaSteamer3,837br
16 Jul 1916 U 39 SirraSteamer3,203it
16 Jul 1916 U 39 WiltonhallSteamer3,387br
17 Jul 1916 U 39 AngeloSteamer3,609it
17 Jul 1916 U 39 RosemoorSteamer4,303br
18 Jul 1916 U 39 LlongwenSteamer4,683br
20 Jul 1916 U 39 CettoisSteamer974fr
20 Jul 1916 U 39 GrangemoorSteamer3,198br
20 Jul 1916 U 39 KarmaSteamer3,710br
20 Jul 1916 U 39 YzerSteamer3,538br
21 Jul 1916 U 39 WolfSteamer2,443br
22 Jul 1916 U 39 KnutsfordSteamer3,842br
22 Jul 1916 U 39 OliveSteamer3,678br
23 Jul 1916 U 39 BadmintonSteamer3,847br
24 Jul 1916 U 39 MariaSailing vessel198it
29 Jul 1916 U 39 LetimbroSteamer2,210it
29 Jul 1916 U 39 ROSARINA G.V.Sailing vessel131it
19 Oct 1916 U 39 PenylanSteamer3,875br
20 Oct 1916 U 39 MombassaSteamer4,689br
22 Oct 1916 U 39 CludenSteamer3,166br
22 Oct 1916 U 39 NinaSteamer3,383it
22 Oct 1916 U 39 RavnSteamer998nw
22 Oct 1916 U 39 W. HarkessSteamer1,185br
27 Nov 1916 U 39 MargaritaSteamer1,112gr
27 Nov 1916 U 39 ReapwellSteamer3,417br
28 Nov 1916 U 39 King MalcomSteamer4,351br
28 Nov 1916 U 39 Moresbysteamer1,763br
2 Dec 1916 U 39 IstrarSteamer4,582br
3 Dec 1916 U 39 Plata1,861it
 
9 Jan 1917 U 39 BayneskSteamer3,286br
15 Jan 1917 U 39 GarfieldSteamer3,838br
28 Jan 1917 U 39  Amiral MagonPassenger steamer5,566fr
14 Feb 1917 U 39 TorinoPassenger steamer4,159it
15 Feb 1917 U 39  MinasTroopship2,854it
17 Feb 1917 U 39 ALASailing vessel359it
20 Feb 1917 U 39 RosalieSteamer4,237br
21 Feb 1917 U 39 WathfieldSteamer3,012br
22 Feb 1917 U 39 Ville De Bougiesteamer508fr
23 Feb 1917 U 39  Trojan PrinceSteamer3,196br
26 Feb 1917 U 39 BurnbySteamer3,665br
3 Mar 1917 U 39 ANNA E.Sailing vessel41it
3 Jun 1917 U 39 PETRONILLA MADRESailing vessel43it
6 Jun 1917 U 39 Dianesteamer590fr
8 Jun 1917 U 39 HuntstrickSteamer8,151br
8 Jun 1917 U 39 Isle Of JuraSteamer3,809br
8 Jun 1917 U 39 Ml 540Motor launch37br
8 Jun 1917 U 39 Ml 541Motor launch37br
8 Jun 1917 U 39 ValdieriSteamer4,637it
10 Jun 1917 U 39  PetroliteTanker3,710am
11 Jun 1917 U 39 WeraSailing vessel476ru
12 Jun 1917 U 39 GaitaSailing vessel396ru
15 Jun 1917 U 39 EspinhoSteamer740pt
19 Jun 1917 U 39 KymaSteamer3,420gr
20 Jun 1917 U 39 Eli LindoeSteamer1,116nw
22 Jun 1917 U 39 ToroSteamer1,141ur
23 Jun 1917 U 39 IsereSteamer2,159fr
29 Jul 1917 U 39 Manchester CommerceSteamer4,144br
30 Jul 1917 U 39 CarloSteamer5,572it
30 Jul 1917 U 39 GangesSteamer4,177br
31 Jul 1917 U 39  CarolvoreSteamer1,659nw
31 Jul 1917 U 39 YpresSteamer305br
3 Aug 1917 U 39 HalldorSteamer2,919nw
5 Aug 1917 U 39 RytonSteamer3,991br
27 Sep 1917 U 39 Swan RiverSteamer4,724br
1 Oct 1917 U 39 MersarioSteamer3,847br
1 Oct 1917 U 39 NormantonSteamer3,862br
2 Oct 1917 U 39 AlmoraSteamer4,385br
2 Oct 1917 U 39 Hikosan MaruSteamer3,555jp
2 Oct 1917 U 39 NuceriaSteamer4,702br
 422,957
150 ships sunk (392,405 tons) and 7 ships damaged (30,552 tons).


Legend
(d.) means the ship was damaged.
(p.) means the ship was taken as prize (included in ships & tonnage lost).
We have a picture of this vessel.

Media links


Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

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