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Wilhelm Franken

German World War II U-boat commander
The basics
About
Occupation Korvettenkapitän Submariner
Country Germany
Date of birth Bielefeld
Date of death Jan 13, 1945 Kiel
The details
Biography

Wilhelm Franken (11 September 1914 in Bielefeld-Schildesche – 13 January 1945 in Kiel) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Franken was killed in a fire on board the accommodation ship Daresalam.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As the commander of U-565 Franken is credited with the sinking of three ships with a total of 11,347 gross register tons (GRT), damaging two ships of 17,565 GRT and sinking one warship, the British destroyer HMS Partridge, of 1,540 long tons (1,560 tonnes).

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
23 April 1942 Kirkland  United Kingdom 1,361 Sunk
18 December 1942 HMS Partridge  Royal Navy 1,540 Sunk
24 February 1943 Nathanael Greene  United States 7,176 Damaged
27 February 1943 Seminole  United Kingdom 10,389 Damaged
20 April 1943 Michigan  United States 5,594 Sunk
20 April 1943 Sidi-Bel-Abbès  Free France 4,392 Sunk

Awards

  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (4 April 1939)
  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (14 April 1940)
    • 1st Class (28 January 1942)
  • Sudetenland Medal (31 May 1940)
  • U-boat War Badge (1939) (15 October 1941)
  • High Seas Fleet Badge (28 January 1942)
  • Croce di Guerra with Swords (30 March 1942)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 April 1943 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-565
  • Medaglia di bronzo al Valore Militare (29 May 1943)
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-565". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  • Busch & Röll 2003, p. 357.
  • ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 358.
  • Scherzer 2007, p. 316.
  • Fellgiebel 2000, p. 185.
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