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Victor Oehrn

German World War II U-boat commander
The basics
Occupation Korvettenkapitän Submariner
Country Germany
Date of birth Gədəbəy
Date of death Dec 26, 1997 Bonn, Cologne Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The details

Victor Otto Oehrn (21 October 1907 – 26 December 1997) was a Fregattenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-14 and U-37, sinking twenty-four ships on four patrols, for a total of 104,846 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, serving aboard the light cruisers Königsberg and Karlsruhe, before being one of the first officers to transfer to the newly formed U-boat arm in July 1935. He was appointed to command of U-14 in January 1936, and patrolled in Spanish waters during the Civil War in July–September 1936. In August 1939 he joined the staff of BdU as an Admiralstabsoffizier.

In May 1940 Oehrn took command of U-37, in order to restore trust in the G7e/T2 torpedo, which had performed abysmally, often detonating prematurely or not at all. In four patrols he sank 23 merchant ships for a total of 103,821 GRT, damaged another of 9,494 GRT, and sank the British sloop HMS Penzance, before returning to the staff in August.

From November 1941 Oehrn served on the Mediterranean U-boat staff, but during a mission to North Africa in July 1942, he was severely wounded and captured. After recovering at a British Military Hospital in Alexandria, Oehrn was sent to POW Camp 306 on the Suez Canal. He returned to Germany in October 1943 after being released in a prisoner exchange. Oehrn spent the remainder of the war serving on the staff in a number of posts.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-37 Victor is credited with the sinking of 23 ships for a total of 103,821 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging a ship of 9,494 GRT and sinking one warship, HMS Penzance, of 1,025 long tons (1,041 tonnes).

Date Name of ship Flag Tonnage Fate
19 May 1940 Erik Frisell Sweden 5,006 Sunk
22 May 1940 Dunster Grange United Kingdom 9,494 Damaged
24 May 1940 Kyma Greece 3,994 Sunk
27 May 1940 Sheaf Mead United Kingdom 5,008 Sunk
27 May 1940 Uruguay Argentina 3,425 Sunk
28 May 1940 Brazza France 10,387 Sunk
28 May 1940 Julien France 177 Sunk
28 May 1940 Maria Rosé France 2,477 Sunk
29 May 1940 Telena United Kingdom 7,406 Sunk
1 June 1940 Ioanna Greece 950 Sunk
3 June 1940 Snabb Finland 2,317 Sunk
8 August 1940 Upwey Grange United Kingdom 9,130 Sunk
23 August 1940 Keret Norway 1,718 Sunk
23 August 1940 Severn Leigh United Kingdom 5,242 Sunk
24 August 1940 Brookwood United Kingdom 5,100 Sunk
24 August 1940 HMS Penzance United Kingdom 1,025 Sunk
25 August 1940 Blairmore United Kingdom 4,141 Sunk
25 August 1940 Yewcrest United Kingdom 3,409 Sunk
27 August 1940 Theodoros T Greece 3,409 Sunk
27 September 1940 Georges Mabro Egypt 2,555 Sunk
28 September 1940 Corrientes United Kingdom 6,863 Sunk
30 September 1940 Heminge United Kingdom 2,499 Sunk
30 September 1940 Samala United Kingdom 5,390 Sunk
6 October 1940 British General United Kingdom 6,989 Sunk
13 October 1940 Stangrant United Kingdom 5,804 Sunk


  • Sudetenland Medal (20 December 1939)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (27 January 1940)
    • 1st Class (10 June 1940)
  • Italian Croce al Merito di Guerra with Swords (2 November 1941)
  • Italian Croce di guerra al valore militare (28 January 1942)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 October 1940 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-37
  • Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 10 June 1940
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