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Jürgen Oesten

German World War II U-boat commander
The basics
About
Occupation Submariner Military personnel
Country Germany
Date of birth Grunewald, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin, Germany
Date of death Aug 05, 2010 Hamburg, Germany
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, Spanish Cross
The details
Biography

Jürgen Oesten (24 October 1913 – 5 August 2010) was a Korvettenkapitän in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-61 and U-106, and then served as a staff officer before returning to command U-861. He sank nineteen ships for a total of 101,744 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged four others for 51,668 GRT to become number 29 on the list of the highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.

Career

Born in Grunewald, Berlin, Oesten joined the Reichsmarine in April 1933. After serving aboard the cruisers Admiral Graf Spee and Karlsruhe he transferred to the U-boat arm in May 1937, and was appointed watch officer of U-20.

World War II

U-61

In August 1939 Oesten commissioned U-61, sailing on nine patrols, and sinking five ships.

U-106

Taking command of U-106 in September 1940, he sailed on three patrols sinking another ten ships. On 20 March 1941 during an attack on convoy SL-68 he damaged the British battleship HMS Malaya.

9th Flotilla

In October 1941 Oesten became the first commander of the 9th U-boat Flotilla based in Brest, France. In March 1942 he joined the staff of FdU Nordmeer directing the U-boat war in the Norwegian Sea.

U-861

In September 1943 Oesten returned to active duty in U-861, sailing first to Brazilian waters where he sank another two ships and then around the Cape of Good Hope to join the Monsun Gruppe of U-boats operating in the Indian Ocean. He sank another two ships, bringing his career total to 19 ships sunk, totalling 101,744 GRT, and four ships damaged (51,668 GRT), before reaching Penang on 23 September 1944. U-861 left Soerabaya, Dutch East Indies, in January 1945 carrying a cargo of vital materials, but only two torpedoes, and reached Trondheim, Norway, in April, just before the German surrender.

Post War

Oesten was a technical advisor for the 2005 submarine simulator Silent Hunter III.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-61, U-106 and U-861 Oesten is credited with the sinking of 18 ships for a total of 100,007 gross register tons (GRT) and one auxiliary warship 1,737 GRT. He further damaged three ships of 20,568 GRT and one warship, the HMS Malaya, of 31,100 long tons (31,600 tonnes).

Date U-boat Ship Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
22 December 1939 U-60 Gryfevale United Kingdom 4,434 Damaged (Mine)
22 January 1940 U-60 Sydfold Norway 2,434 Sunk at 58°40′N 0°30′W / 58.667°N 0.500°W / 58.667; -0.500
18 February 1940 U-60 El Sonador Panama 1,406 Sunk
18 February 1940 U-60 Sangstad Norway 4,297 Sunk at 59°0′N 0°25′E / 59.000°N 0.417°E / 59.000; 0.417
10 July 1940 U-60 Alwaki Netherlands 4,533 Sunk at 58°46′N 4°46′W / 58.767°N 4.767°W / 58.767; -4.767
16 July 1940 U-60 Scottish Minstrel United Kingdom 6,998 Sunk at 56°10′N 10°20′W / 56.167°N 10.333°W / 56.167; -10.333
17 January 1941 U-106 Zealandic United Kingdom 10,578 Sunk at 58°28′N 20°43′W / 58.467°N 20.717°W / 58.467; -20.717
29 January 1941 U-106 Sesostris Egypt 2,962 Sunk at 56°00′N 15°23′W / 56.000°N 15.383°W / 56.000; -15.383
11 March 1941 U-106 Memnon United Kingdom 7,506 Sunk at 20°41′N 21°00′W / 20.683°N 21.000°W / 20.683; -21.000
16 March 1941 U-106 Almkerk Netherlands 6,810 Sunk at 13°21′N 20°25′W / 13.350°N 20.417°W / 13.350; -20.417
17 March 1941 U-106 Andalusian United Kingdom 3,082 Sunk at 14°33′N 21°06′W / 14.550°N 21.100°W / 14.550; -21.100
17 March 1941 U-106 Tapanoeli Netherlands 7,034 Sunk at 15°56′N 20°49′W / 15.933°N 20.817°W / 15.933; -20.817
20 March 1941 U-106 HMS Malaya Royal Navy 31,100 Damaged at 20°02′N 25°50′W / 20.033°N 25.833°W / 20.033; -25.833
20 March 1941 U-106 Meekerk Netherlands 7,995 Damaged at 20°00′N 26°00′W / 20.000°N 26.000°W / 20.000; -26.000
24 March 1941 U-106 Eastlea United Kingdom 4,267 Sunk at 16°18′N 22°05′W / 16.300°N 22.083°W / 16.300; -22.083
30 May 1941 U-106 Silveryew United Kingdom 6,373 Sunk at 16°42′N 25°29′W / 16.700°N 25.483°W / 16.700; -25.483
31 May 1941 U-106 Clan Macdougall United Kingdom 6,843 Sunk at 16°50′N 25°10′W / 16.833°N 25.167°W / 16.833; -25.167
6 June 1941 U-106 Sacramento Valley United Kingdom 4,573 Sunk at 17°10′N 30°10′W / 17.167°N 30.167°W / 17.167; -30.167
20 July 1944 U-861 Vital de Oliveira Brazil 1,737 Sunk at 22°29′S 41°09′W / 22.483°S 41.150°W / -22.483; -41.150
24 July 1944 U-861 William Gaston United States 7,177 Sunk at 26°42′S 46°12′W / 26.700°S 46.200°W / -26.700; -46.200
20 August 1944 U-861 Berwickshire United Kingdom 7,464 Sunk at 30°58′S 38°50′E / 30.967°S 38.833°E / -30.967; 38.833
20 August 1944 U-861 Daronia United Kingdom 8,139 Damaged at 31°10′S 38°00′E / 31.167°S 38.000°E / -31.167; 38.000
5 September 1944 U-861 Ioannis Fafalios Greece 5,670 Sunk at 4°20′S 43°57′E / 4.333°S 43.950°E / -4.333; 43.950

Awards

  • Spanish Cross in bronze without swords (6 June 1939)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (3 December 1939)
    • 1st Class (27 February 1940)
  • Sudetenland Medal (20 December 1939)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 26 March 1941 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-106
  • Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 22 March 1941
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