U-48: The Most Successful U-Boat of the Second World War

Franz Kurowsk

In August 1939, U-48, commanded by ‘Vaddi' Schultze, took up a waiting position around England. Schultze showed himself to be a notable humanitarian: he addressed signals to Churchill giving positions of ship sinkings so that crews could be saved. By 1 August 1941 this most successful boat of World War II, had sunk 56 merchant ships one corvette.
Date Published :
March 2012
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 pages plate section
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781848326064
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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Following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, Germany was not permitted to build or operate submarines. However clandestine training onboard Finnish and Spanish submarines took place and U-boats were still built to German designs in Dutch yards.

At the outset of the Second World War, Dönitz argued for a 300-strong U-boat fleet, since his force of 57 U-boats ‘could only inflict pin-pricks against British seaborne trade’. In August 1939, U-48 left Germany, commanded by ‘Vaddi’ Schultze, to take up a waiting position around England.

It scored its first success on 5 September, when it torpedoed the British freighter Royal Sceptre, then the Winkleigh on 8 September. On both occasions – the first of many – Schultze showed himself to be a notable humanitarian: he addressed signals to Churchill giving positions of the sinkings so that crews could be saved.

By 1 August 1941, U-48, the most successful boat of the Second World War, had sunk 56 merchant ships of 322,478 gross tons and one corvette. She was then transferred to the Baltic as a training boat. Schultze became commander of operation 3 U-Flotilla and later was appointed commander, II/Naval College Schleswig. He died in 1987 at the age of 78. U-48 was scuttled on 3 May 1945.

About The Author
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Franz Kurowski is an author and historian.

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