Peter-Erich Cremer

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Peter-Erich Cremer
File:Peter-Erich Cremer.jpg
Nickname(s) "Ali"
Born (1911-03-25)25 March 1911
Metz, Alsace-Lorraine
Died 5 July 1992(1992-07-05) (aged 81)
Hamburg, Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1932–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit cruiser Köln
Panzerschiff Deutschland
destroyer Theodor Riedel
Commands held U-152, 1941-1-29 – 1941-7-21
U-333, 1941-8-25 – 1942-10-6
U-333, 1943-5-18 – 1944-7-19
U-2519, 1944-11-15 – 1945
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Peter-Erich Cremer (25 March 1911 – 5 July 1992) was a German U-boat commander during the Second World War. He was half-English on his mother's side. 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.

Biography

Peter-Erich Cremer, also known by the nickname "Ali Cremer", was born in Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, on 25 March 1911. After high school, Cremer enlisted in the Reichsmarine in 1932. After serving on cruisers and destroyers, Cremer became captain in February 1940. He received the Iron Cross 2nd class. On August 1940, Cremer was promoted to the rank of commander of submarine. After a perilous sea trip, his crew gave him the nickname "Ali". After this epic trip, "Ali" Cremer commanded the U-152. Then, Cremer commanded the U-333 from 25 August 1941 to 6 October 1942 and again from 18 May 1943, to 19 July 1944. On 31 January 1942 he mistakenly attacked and sunk the SS Spreewald. Subsequently he was court-martialed and found not guilty.

After several victorious trips, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 5 June 1942. The same year, Cremer was severely wounded. He sailed again from 1943 until July 1944, before giving his boat to his lieutenant. On November 1944, Cremer, now Lieutenant Commander, aimed to convey the new submarine U-2519 Class XXI. Citing "several design flaws", Cremer scuttled the submarine at Kiel, on May 1945. As the War drew to a close, he was attached to the personal security unit of Karl Dönitz. In this role he was involved in the incident in which Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth was shot to death by a German sentry.

Peter-Erich Cremer appeared in the British television documentary, "The World at War" in the early 1970s. Later he recounted his life in his books "U-333: The story of a u-boat ace" and "U-Boat Commander: a periscope view of the Battle of the Atlantic.". He died at Hamburg on 5 July 1992.

Summary of career

Ships sunk and damaged

Peter-Erich Cremer as commander of U-333 sank six merchant ships totalling 26,873 GRT, damaged another of 8,327 GRT, and also engaged and damaged the 925 GRT Flower class corvette HMS Crocus.

Date Ship Nationality Tons Convoy Fate and location
22 January 1942 Vassilios A. Polemis  Greece 3,429 ON-53 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
24 January 1942 Ringstad  Norway 4,765 ON-55 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
31 January 1942 Spreewald  Nazi Germany 5,083 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
6 May 1942 Amazone  Netherlands 1,294 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
6 May 1942 Halsey  United States 7,088 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
6 May 1942 Java Arrow  United States 8,327 Damaged at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
10 May 1942 Clan Skene  United Kingdom 5,214 Sunk at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
6 October 1942 HMS Crocus  Royal Navy 925 Damaged at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.

Awards

Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
11 May 1942 Unterseeboote versenkten, wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, in amerikanischen Gewässern, in der Karibischen See und im Golf von Mexiko 21 feindliche Handelsschiffe mit zusammen 118 000 BRT. Bei diesen Erfolgen hat sich das Unterseeboot des Kapitänleutnants Cremer, das trotz schwerer Beschädigungen vier große Schiffe mit 35 000 BRT versenkte, besonders ausgezeichnet.[4] Submarines sunk, as announced by special bulletin, in U.S. waters, in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico 21 enemy merchant ships for a total of 118,000 GRT. In these achievements, the submarine of Captain Lieutenant Cremer, despite heavy damage sank four large ships of 35,000 GRT, has especially distinguished itself.
25 April 1945 (Addendum) Ein von Korvettenkapitän Cremer geführter Panzervernichtungstrupp der Kriegsmarine, zusammengestellt aus Freiwilligen eines U-Boot-Stützpunktes, vernichtete innerhalb weniger Tage 24 Panzer.[5] A tank destruction unit of the navy under the command of Lieutenant Commander Cremer, composed of volunteers from a U-boat base, destroyed 24 tanks within a few days.

Promotions

15 August 1932: Offiziersanwärter (Officer Canidate)
1 January 1934: Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet)
1 September 1935: Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Ensign)
1 January 1936: Leutnant zur See (Second Lieutenant)
1 October 1937: Oberleutnant zur See (First Lieutenant)
2 February 1940: Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant)
11 July 1944: Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain)

References

Citations

Bibliography

  • 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.<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>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (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