Fritz-Julius Lemp

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 31)

19 ships sunk, total tonnage 96,314 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 325 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 14,317 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 31,100 tons

Born  19 Feb 1913 Tsingtau, China
Died  9 May 1941(28)Northern Atlantic

Kapitänleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp after receiving his Knights Cross.


1 Apr 1931 Offiziersanwärter
14 Oct 1931 Seekadett
1 Jan 1933 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1935 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1935 Leutnant zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Kapitänleutnant


6 Jun 1939 Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords
27 Sep 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
18 Jan 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
14 Aug 1940 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-28 28 Oct 1938 Nov, 1938   No war patrols 
U-30 Nov, 1938 Sep, 1940   8 patrols (189 days) 
U-110 21 Nov 1940 9 May 1941  (+)  2 patrols (46 days) 

Kptlt. Fritz-Julius Lemp was the central figure of one of the most controversial incidents of the Battle of the Atlantic when, as commander of U-30, he spotted a large blacked-out ship zig-zagging at high speed on 3 September 1939. Lemp took an educated guess that this vessel was an armed merchant cruiser (an AMC, a converted liner fitted with deck guns to protect merchant ships), as passenger liners were not supposed to be zig-zagging like this one was, and he managed to hit it with two torpedoes, sinking the ship. The vessel turned out to be the passenger liner Athenia; 112 of her passengers died in the sinking.

Lemp achieved great success in U-30, sinking 17 ships and damaging two, including the British battleship HMS Barham (04). She was the first U-boat to make use of the French bases in July 1940, and on 14 August 1940 Lemp, aged 26, became the seventh U-boat commander to be awarded the Knights Cross.

Lemp's first patrol in the newly-commisioned U-110 was a disappointment after his previous success, and the second proved disastrous. The boat was captured east of Cape Farewell, Greenland in position 60N, 33W by the British destroyers HMS Bulldog, HMS Broadway and the British corvette HMS Aubretia. (Niestlé, 1998). The boat's Enigma machine and current code books were captured, with grave consequences for the Germans. Kptlt. Lemp died in action.


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.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Fritz-Julius Lemp

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-30 22 Aug 1939  Wilhelmshaven  27 Sep 1939  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 1,37 days
2. U-30 9 Dec 1939  Wilhelmshaven  14 Dec 1939  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 2,6 days
3. U-30 23 Dec 1939  Wilhelmshaven  17 Jan 1940  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 3,26 days
4. U-30 11 Mar 1940  Wilhelmshaven  30 Mar 1940  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 4,20 days
5. U-30 3 Apr 1940  Wilhelmshaven  4 May 1940  Wilhelmshaven  Patrol 5,32 days
6. U-30 8 Jun 1940  Wilhelmshaven  7 Jul 1940  Lorient  Patrol 6,30 days
7. U-30 13 Jul 1940  Lorient  24 Jul 1940  Lorient  Patrol 7,12 days
8. U-30 5 Aug 1940  Lorient  30 Aug 1940  Kiel  Patrol 8,26 days
9. U-110 9 Mar 1941  Kiel  29 Mar 1941  Lorient  Patrol 9,21 days
10. U-110 15 Apr 1941  Lorient  9 May 1941  Sunk  Patrol 10,25 days
10 patrols, 235 days at sea

Ships hit by Fritz-Julius Lemp

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
3 Sep 1939U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Athenia13,581br
11 Sep 1939U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Blairlogie4,425br
14 Sep 1939U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Fanad Head5,200br
28 Dec 1939U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp HMS Barbara Robertson325br
28 Dec 1939U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp HMS Barham (04) (d.)31,100br
11 Jan 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp El Oso [Mine]7,267brHX-14B
16 Jan 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Gracia (d.) [Mine]5,642brOB-72
17 Jan 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Cairnross [Mine]5,494brOB-74
7 Feb 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Munster [Mine]4,305br
9 Feb 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Chagres [Mine]5,406br
8 Mar 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Counsellor [Mine]5,068brHX-22
20 Jun 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Otterpool4,876brHG-34F
22 Jun 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Randsfjord3,999nwHX-49
28 Jun 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Llanarth5,053br
1 Jul 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Beignon5,218brSL-36
6 Jul 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Angele Mabro3,154ag
21 Jul 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Ellaroy712br
9 Aug 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Canton5,779sw
16 Aug 1940U-30Fritz-Julius Lemp Clan Macphee6,628brOB-197
16 Mar 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Erodona (d.)6,207brHX-112
23 Mar 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Siremalm (d.)2,468nw
27 Apr 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Henri Mory2,564br
9 May 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Bengore Head2,609brOB-318
9 May 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Esmond4,976brOB-318

20 ships sunk (96,639 tons) and 4 ships damaged (45,417 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.
[Mine] indicates the vessel was hit by a mine laid by said U-boat.

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.

Men who sank over 50,000 tons

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.