Albrecht Achilles (Korvettenkapitän)

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Albrecht Achilles
Albrect Achilles.jpg
Korvettenkapitän Albrecht Achilles after a patrol
Born (1914-01-25)25 January 1914
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
northeast of Bahia, Brazil
Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–43
Rank Korvettenkapitän (posthumous)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
Commands held U-161
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Albrecht Achilles (25 January 1914 – 27 September 1943) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and commander of U-161. He was also a 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.

Military career

Albrecht Achilles began his naval career with the Reichsmarine on 8 April 1934 as a member "Crew 34" (the incoming class of 1934).[Note 1]. He transferred to the U-boat service in April 1940. For one year, he served as a commander trainee as first and second watch officer on board various U-boats, including three patrols on U-66 under the command of Robert-Richard Zapp, before taking over command of U-161 from Kapitänleutnant Hans Witt.

Albrecht Achilles and his entire crew were killed in action when U-161 was sunk northeast of Bahia on 27 September 1943 by depth charges from a U.S. Navy Martin PBM Mariner (VP-74/P-2).

On 16 November 1940 he married Chirstel Busz. The marriage produced two children, daughter Christiane born 1941 and a posthumous son Konrad born 1944.[1]

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-161, Achilles is credited with the sinking of 12 merchant ships totalling 60,107 gross register tons (GRT), damaging another ship of 3,305 GRT that it had to be considered a total loss and damaging five further ships of 35,672 GRT. He also sank the United States Lighthouse Service ship Acacia of 1,130 metric tons (1,110 long tons; 1,250 short tons) and damaged the British light cruiser HMS Phoebe (43) 5,450 t (5,360 long tons; 6,010 short tons).

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
19 February 1942 British Consul  United Kingdom 6,940 Damaged
19 February 1942 Mokihana  United States 7,460 Damaged
21 February 1942 Circe Shell  United Kingdom 8,207 Sunk
23 February 1942 Lihue  United States 7,001 Sunk
7 March 1942 Uniwaleco  South Africa 9,755 Sunk
10 March 1942 HMCS Lady Nelson  Royal Canadian Navy 7,970 Damaged
10 March 1942 Umtata  United Kingdom 8,141 Damaged
14 March 1942 Sarniadoc  Canada 1,940 Sunk
15 March 1942 USCGC Acacia  United States Coast Guard 1,130 Sunk
16 June 1942 Nueva Altagracia  Dominican Republic 30 Sunk
22 June 1942 E.J. Sadler  United States 9,639 Sunk
3 July 1942 San Pablo  Panama 3,305 Total loss
16 July 1942 Fairport  United States 6,165 Sunk
23 October 1942 HMS Phoebe  Royal Navy 5,450 Damaged
8 November 1942 Bonalder  United Kingdom 5,161 Damaged
8 November 1942 West Humhaw  United States 5,527 Sunk
29 November 1942 Tjilboet  Netherlands 5,760 Sunk
12 December 1942 Ripley  United Kingdom 4,997 Sunk
19 May 1943 Angelus  Canada 255 Sunk
20 September 1943 St. Usk  United Kingdom 5,472 Sunk
26 September 1943 Itapagé 23x15px Brazil 4,998 Sunk


Wehrmachtbericht reference

The daily Wehrmachtbericht (Wehrmacht propaganda report) noted the following:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Thursday, 12 March 1942 Bei den Unternehmungen in Amerikanischen Gewässern zeichneten sie die Unterseeboote unter Führung der Kapitänleutnante Achilles und Nico Clausen besonders aus.[8]

Submarines under the commands of Kapitänleutnante Achilles and Nico Clausen distinguished themselves in operations in American waters.


26 September 1934: Seekadett (Midshipman)[3]
1 October 1934: Obermatrose (Seaman Apprentice)
1 January 1935: Oberstabsmatrose (Leading Seaman)
1 July 1935: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)[3]
1 January 1937: Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)[3]
1 April 1937: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)[3]
1 April 1939: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)[4]
1 September 1941: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)[4]
5 April 1945
Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)[4]


  1. The German Reichsmarine which was renamed the Kriegsmarine on 1 June 1935.



  1. "Albrecht Achilles". Kriegsmarine Crew 34 (in German). Retrieved 9 June 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 300.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 301.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 187.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 113.
  7. Kurowski 1995, p. 9.
  8. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Volume 2, p. 54.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Albrecht Achilles". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 27 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>