Wilhelm Cranz

Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve (entry, Jahrgang X/39)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  19 Apr 1915 Kiel
Died  17 Apr 1945(29)British Isles

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1 Oct 1939 Rekrut
18 Apr 1940 Sonderführer (Leutnant zur See)
1 May 1940 Steuermannsmaat d.R.
1 Sep 1941 Obersteuermann d.R.
1 Jun 1942 Leutnant zur See (R)
1 Feb 1944 Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve


4 Aug 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class
4 Apr 1943 U-boat War Badge 1939
18 Jan 1944 Iron Cross 1st Class
15 Dec 1944 U-boat Front Clasp

U-boat Commands

U-398 9 Nov 1944 17 Apr 1945  (+)  1 patrol (4 days) 

Wilhelm Cranz sailed on his first patrol as commander when he took his type VIIC boat U-398 out from Horten, Norway on 14 April 1945 (Busch & Röll, 1997). His boat went missing on or after 17 April in the North Sea (Niestlé, 1998). He would have been 30 years old few days later.


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). 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 Wilhelm Cranz

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-398 8 Mar 1945  Kiel  16 Mar 1945  Horten   9 days
2. U-398 14 Apr 1945  Horten  17 Apr 1945  Sunk  Patrol 1,4 days

About ranks and decorations
Special thanks to Fernando Almeida for data on ranks and decorations.

Media links

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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