Korvettenkapitän (Crew 28)
12 ships sunk, total tonnage 61,390 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 925 tons
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 15,273 GRT
|Born||4 Sep 1909||Mühlheim, Ruhr|
|Died||20 Jan 1943||(33)||North Atlantic|
|U-553||23 Dec 1940||20 Jan 1943 (+)||10 patrols (344 days)|
Korvkpt. Karl Thurmann after patrol
on 17 September, 1942 in St. Nazaire
Karl Thurmann began his naval career in April 1928. He served for some years on the light cruisers Emden and Köln and spent 18 months with a coastal artillery unit before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1940.
For nine patrols U-553 operated successfully, mostly in the North Atlantic, where Kptlt. Thurmann was promoted to Korvettenkapitän and awarded the Knights Cross while at sea operating as part of Wolfpack Pirat in August 1942. Later patrols visited the US east coast and the Caribbean. U-553 left on her last patrol from La Pallice on 16 January 1943 - on 20 January Korvkpt. Thurmann sent his last radio message: "Serohr unklar" (Periscope not clear). The boat was never heard from again and was lost with all hands (Niestlé, 1998).
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 Karl Thurmann
|1.||U-553||13 Apr 1941||Kiel||17 Apr 1941||Bergen||5 days|
|2.||U-553||19 Apr 1941||Bergen||2 May 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||14 days|
|3.||U-553||7 Jun 1941||St. Nazaire||19 Jul 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 2,||43 days|
|4.||U-553||7 Aug 1941||St. Nazaire||16 Sep 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 3,||41 days|
|5.||U-553||7 Oct 1941||St. Nazaire||22 Oct 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 4,||16 days|
|6.||U-553||1 Jan 1942||St. Nazaire||3 Feb 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 5,||34 days|
|7.||U-553||24 Feb 1942||St. Nazaire||1 Apr 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 6,||37 days|
|8.||U-553||19 Apr 1942||St. Nazaire||24 Jun 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 7,||67 days|
|9.||U-553||19 Jul 1942||St. Nazaire||17 Sep 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 8,||61 days|
|10.||U-553||23 Nov 1942||St. Nazaire||18 Dec 1942||La Pallice||Patrol 9,||26 days|
|11.||U-553||16 Jan 1943||La Pallice||20 Jan 1943||Sunk||Patrol 10,||5 days|
|10 patrols, 344 days at sea|
Ships hit by Karl Thurmann
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|12 Jun 1941||U-553||Susan Mærsk||2,355||br||OG-64|
|12 Jun 1941||U-553||Ranella||5,590||nw||OG-64|
|15 Oct 1941||U-553||Silvercedar||4,354||br||SC-48|
|15 Oct 1941||U-553||Ila||1,583||nw||SC-48|
|17 Oct 1941||U-553||HMS Gladiolus (K 34)||925||br||SC-48|
|15 Jan 1942||U-553||Diala (d.)||8,106||br||ON-52|
|22 Jan 1942||U-553||Innerøy||8,260||nw|
|12 May 1942||U-553||Nicoya||5,364||br|
|12 May 1942||U-553||Leto||4,712||nl|
|2 Jun 1942||U-553||Mattawin||6,919||br|
|3 Aug 1942||U-553||Belgian Soldier (d.)||7,167||be||ON-115|
|18 Aug 1942||U-553||Empire Bede||6,959||br||TAW-13|
|18 Aug 1942||U-553||Blankaholm||2,845||sw||TAW-13|
|18 Aug 1942||U-553||John Hancock||7,176||am||TAW-13|
|9 Dec 1942||U-553||Charles L.D.||5,273||br||HX-217|
13 ships sunk (62,315 tons) and 2 ships damaged (15,273 tons).
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