Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)
|Born||29 Mar 1910||Dresden|
|Died||14 Apr 1992||(82)|
|U-231||14 Nov 1942||13 Jan 1944||3 patrols (125 days)|
Wolfgang Wenzel served on the pocket battleship Graf Spee before the war, and from the start of the war until the end of 1941 as navigation officer on the commerce raider Atlantis.
After commander training and Baubelehrung (U-boat construction familiarization) while U-231 was being built at Kiel, he commissioned her at the end of 1942, commanding her until she was sunk in 1944.
When the damaged-beyond-repair U-231 was abandoned, Wenzel, "apparently in a state of despondence attempted suicide by firing a revolver bullet to the mouth". Incredibly, the bullet lodged in the back of his throat without causing serious damage. All 50 men from the boat escaped from the wreck, but seven died of exposure before the rest were rescued by Allied destroyers. The bullet was removed from Wenzel's throat by a doctor on the American escort carrier USS Block Island (Blair, 1998).
After his lucky reprieve, Kptlt. Wenzel spent time in POW camp in Arizona, and was released on May 17 1946.
Wolfgang Wenzel was formerly a merchant navy officer, and resumed that career after the war. (Rust, 2009).
Blair, C. (1998). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunted, 1942-1945.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Rust, E. (2009) E-mail correspondence. Author of Naval Officers under Hitler.
Patrol info for Wolfgang Wenzel
|1.||U-231||13 Apr 1943||Kiel||31 May 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 1,||49 days|
|2.||U-231||27 Jul 1943||La Pallice||29 Jul 1943||La Pallice||3 days|
|3.||U-231||23 Sep 1943||La Pallice||24 Sep 1943||Bordeaux||2 days|
|4.||U-231||27 Sep 1943||Bordeaux||22 Nov 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 2,||57 days|
|5.||U-231||26 Dec 1943||La Pallice||13 Jan 1944||Sunk||Patrol 3,||19 days|
|3 patrols, 125 days at sea|
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.