Karl Thurmann

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 28)


Successes
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


Korvkpt. Karl Thurmann

Ranks

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 Aug 1942 Korvettenkapitän

Decorations

21 Jul 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class
23 Oct 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
23 Oct 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
24 Aug 1942 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-boatFromTo
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.

After standard training, and one patrol as Kommandantenschüler (Commander-in-Training) on U-29, he commissioned U-553 on 23 Dec. 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).

Sources

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

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
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 Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
12 Jun 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Susan Mærsk2,355brOG-64
12 Jun 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Ranella5,590nwOG-64
15 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Silvercedar4,354brSC-48
15 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Ila1,583nwSC-48
17 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann HMS Gladiolus (K 34)925brSC-48
 
15 Jan 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Diala (d.)8,106brON-52
22 Jan 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Innerøy8,260nw
12 May 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Nicoya5,364br
12 May 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Leto4,712nl
2 Jun 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Mattawin6,919br
3 Aug 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Belgian Soldier (d.)7,167beON-115
18 Aug 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Empire Bede6,959brTAW-13
18 Aug 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Blankaholm2,845swTAW-13
18 Aug 1942U-553Karl Thurmann John Hancock7,176amTAW-13
9 Dec 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Charles L.D.5,273brHX-217
 77,588

13 ships sunk (62,315 tons) and 2 ships damaged (15,273 tons).

Legend
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


German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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