Thursday, April 28, 2016

U-Boat Ace Victor Oehrn During Prisoners Exchange

This picture was made by Hugo Jaeger and showing U-boat ace Victor Oehrn in 19 October 1943 during prisoners exchange. The Geneva Convention makes provision for the repatriation of all Prisoners of War, even during hostilities. During 1939-1945 it was only possible for the British and Germans to reach agreement over the seriously ill and disabled. For the majority of the 40,000 British servicemen who were taken prisoner in 1939 and 1940, the war was to be a very long and dispiriting experience. Negotiations, conducted through the Red Cross, over the repatriation of seriously wounded men, had begun in late 1940. They did not progress very far because there were far fewer German men in this category than British. It was only after substantial numbers of Germans were taken prisoner in the Desert campaign of 1942 that the talks resumed. The actual exchange of prisoners did not take place until October 1943.

Victor Otto Oehrn (21 October 1907 - 26 December 1997, last rank Fregattenkapitän) is a U-boat commander during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-14 and U-37, sinking twenty-four ships on four patrols (81 days at sea), for a total of 104,785 tons of Allied shipping, to stand 28th on the list of highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.

Oehrn joined the Reichsmarine in 1927. He spent his first years mostly on the light cruisers Königsberg and Karlsruhe, but then was one of the first officers to transfer to the newly commissioned U-boat force in July 1935. After a short program of U-boat training, he became commander of U-14 in January 1936, taking the boat into Spanish waters during the Civil War in July/September 1936. After a year in officer training units he finished as one of the few U-boat officers in the German Marine-Akademie in summer 1939. In August 1939 he became an Asto (Admiralstabsoffizier, Admiral staff officer) on the staff of Dönitz (BdU org).

Following the torpedo malfunctions crisis during and after the invasion of Norway, Kptlt. Oehrn was sent on patrol with U-37 to restore the U-boat men's trust in their torpedoes. This patrol became a great success when he sank ten ships with a total of 41,207 tons and torpedoed and damaged another of 9,494 tons. His second patrol (seven ships with a total of 28,439 tons) and third patrol (six ships with a total of 28,210 tons) were also successful, and he was awarded the Knights Cross in October 1940 during the third patrol.

For the next year Victor Oehrn served as 1st Asto on the staff of Dönitz (BdU org). In November 1941 he took over command of the Mediterranean U-boats, and in February 1942 became 1st Asto on the Mediterranean U-boat staff.

During a mission in North Africa in July 1942, Victor Oehrn was captured after being severely wounded, and ended up in the British General Hospital 19 at Alexandria, Egypt. Later he was sent to POW Camp 306 near the Bitter Lakes on the Suez Canal. He was released in an exchange of prisoners in October 1943 and returned to Germany via Port Said, Barcelona and Marseilles in November 1943.

For the remainder of the war he served in staff positions.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment