Jürgen Wattenberg

Kapitän zur See (Crew 21)

14 ships sunk, total tonnage 82,027 GRT

Born  28 Dec 1900 Lübeck
Died  27 Nov 1995(94)Hamburg, Germany

Jürgen Wattenberg


1 Apr 1923 Fähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1925 Leutnant zur See
1 Jul 1927 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1933 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jul 1937 Korvettenkapitän
1 Apr 1941 Fregattenkapitän
1 Apr 1943 Kapitän zur See


U-boat Commands

U-162 9 Sep 1941 3 Sep 1942   3 patrols (162 days) 

At the beginning of the war Jürgen Wattenberg was navigation officer of the famous pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, which was scuttled off Montevideo, Uruguay in December 1939. He escaped from internment and reached Germany in May 1940.

He joined the U-boat force in October 1940. He served as commander-in-training (Kommandantenschüler) on U-103 before commissioning the type IXC U-162 in September 1941. His boat was sunk on its third patrol in September 1942 by three British destroyers northeast of Trinidad.

One of the oldest Commanders
Jürgen Wattenberg was one of the oldest U-boat commanders of WWII to depart on patrol when he took U-162 out from Kiel, Germany on 7 Feb 1942. He was a little over 41 years old at the time. He enjoyed considerable success as captain of U-162 before being captured, sinking 14 ships with a total of over 82,000 GRT.

Eventful captivity
Wattenberg spent more than three years in Allied captivity. He arrived at Fort Hunt, Virgina in September 1942 and was then transferred to Crossville POW camp, Tennessee on 16 October. On 27 January 1944 he was moved again, to the camp at Papago Park, Scottsdale, Arizona. He organised and led the escape of 25 POWs from this camp during the night of 23-24 December 1944, and remained at large the longest, until 28 January.

Wattenberg was transferred to Camp Shanks, Orangeburg, NY in February 1946, and from there to a compound in the British zone of Germany near Münster before finally being released. He later became manager of the Lübeck branch of the Bavaria & St. Pauli Brewery.


Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.

Patrol info for Jürgen Wattenberg

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-162 7 Feb 1942  Kiel  18 Mar 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,40 days
2. U-162 7 Apr 1942  Lorient  8 Jun 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,63 days
3. U-162 7 Jul 1942  Lorient  3 Sep 1942  Sunk  Patrol 3,59 days
3 patrols, 162 days at sea

Ships hit by Jürgen Wattenberg

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
24 Feb 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg White Crest4,365brONS-67
30 Apr 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Athelempress8,941brOS-25
1 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Parnahyba6,692bz
4 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Florence M. Douglas119br
4 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Eastern Sword3,785am
7 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Frank Seamans4,271nw
9 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Mont Louis1,905ca
13 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Esso Houston7,699am
14 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg British Colony6,917br
18 May 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Beth6,852nw
19 Aug 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg West Celina5,722amTAW(S)
24 Aug 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Moena9,286nl
26 Aug 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Thelma8,297nw
30 Aug 1942U-162Jürgen Wattenberg Star of Oregon7,176am

14 ships sunk (82,027 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

Men who sank over 50,000 tons

Media links

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

The Faustball Tunnel

Moore, John Hammond

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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