Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat

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Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat
Korvettenkapitän Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat.jpg
Born (1906-09-11)11 September 1906
Stahlheim, Metz
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Bad Schwartau
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
Years of service 1928–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer
Commands held U-8, U-74, U-196
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat (11 September 1906, Amnéville – 9 January 1974) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. 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.


Kentrat sailed with the U-8, U-74 and U-196, sinking twenty-one ships on seven patrols, for a total of 42,433 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping including HMCS Levis. He is noted for completing World War II's longest combat patrol. U-196 had left Kiel on 13 March 1943 and reached Bordeaux on 23 October 1943, 225 days later.

Kentrat was a witness to battleship Bismarck's last battle on 27 May 1941. Naval command had ordered U-556 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Herbert Wohlfarth to retrieve Bismarck's war diary. The order was then passed on the U-74. Both U-boats failed to reach Bismarck on time. U-74 picked up three sailors, Georg Herzog, Otto Höntzsch, and Herbert Manthey, from a rubber raft.

Kentrat was severely criticised by the Befehlshaber der U-Boote (BdU) for his lack of support for U-197. Commander Robert Bartels of U-197 had radioed a distress signal on 20 August 1943. The correct response by any boat in the vicinity, according to orders, would have been to come to aid at top speed. The BdU twice ordered U-196 to come to aid before Kentrat responded accordingly by that time U-197 and the entire crew were lost at sea.[1]




  1. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 181.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 178.
  3. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 179.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 253.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 437.


  • 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: 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: 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.<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: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>