Dr. Ulrich Abel
Oberleutnant zur See (R) (entry, Jahrgang X/39)
|Born||3 Mar 1912||Leipzig|
|Died||23 Apr 1944||(32)|
|U-193||1 Apr 1944||23 Apr 1944 (+)||1 patrol (1 days)|
xxThe Oskar Kusch case
Abel was the First Watch Officer on the U-154 under command of Oskar Kusch. Kusch had given Abel a poor review after their first patrol and deemed him unfit for command. This deeply angered Abel who along with the boat's officers began to conspire against their commander (deeply respected by his crew otherwise).
On Christmas day 1943 just after returning to base after the second patrol Oskar Kusch actually gave his 1WO Ulrich Abel a "good review" (stating that he was "inflexible, rigid and one-sided officer" of "average talent" he was nonetheless suitable for U-boat commander training). This review shocked and infuriated Abel who on 12 Jan filed a formal complaint accusing Kusch of sedition and another on 25 Jan accusing him of cowardice. Kusch was arrested on 20 Jan and court martial began on 26 Jan. Ruling, a death sentence, was made on 29 Jan 1944 (Blair, 1998).
Being a Dr. in law Abel knew that this would at best result in a court martial and heavy punishment but more likely death sentence for his commander.
Oskar Kusch was executed by a firing squad on 12 May 1944 - having just turned 26 years old. Serving as judge on the Court deciding the sentence was another fellow U-boat commander, Otto Westphalen. The judges decided to sentence him to death even though the prosecutor had only asked for 10 years (Rust, 2001).
Oskar Kusch's record was wiped clean in 1996 and he deemed a victim in Nazi injustice. This case however continues to raise arguments with some believing the charges against Kusch to be true (Rust, 2001).
Ironically Dr. Ulrich Abel died 3 weeks before Kusch when his U-193 was sunk on its first patrol.
Patrol info for Dr. Ulrich Abel
|1.||U-193||23 Apr 1944||Lorient||23 Apr 1944||Sunk||Patrol 1,||1 days|
Ships hit by Dr. Ulrich Abel
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About ranks and decorations
Special thanks to Fernando Almeida for data on ranks and decorations.