Robert-Richard Zapp

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Robert-Richard Zapp
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Richard Zapp
Born (1904-04-03)3 April 1904
Germersheim
Died 17 July 1964(1964-07-17) (aged 60)
Kiel
Allegiance
Service/branch
Years of service 1923–45
Rank Fregattenkapitän
Commands held
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Robert-Richard Zapp (3 April 1904 – 17 July 1964) was a German U-boat commander in World War II. As commander of the Type IXC U-boat U-66, he sank sixteen ships on five patrols, for a total of 106,200 tons of Allied shipping, to become the 27th highest scoring U-Boat ace of 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.

Career

Robert-Richard Zapp joined the Reichsmarine in May 1923.[Note 1] Before joining the U-boat service in 1939, he served aboard a minesweeper and later on took command of 251 Marineflak (Naval anti-aircraft artillery). After initial training, he served on board U-46 for a short while under Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, with whom he participated in the battle against Convoy HX 79 in October 1940.[1]

Zapp was appointed commander of U-66 in January 1941. U-66 was one of the boats that participated in the first wave of attacks in "Operation Drumbeat". On the first patrol of this operation, he sank five vessels, totalling 33,456 tons. On his second patrol off the eastern seaboard of the USA he sank six vessels totaling 43,946 tons. They included the 7,988 GRT Canadian passenger liner RMS Lady Hawkins on 19 January, whose final death toll was 251.[2] Zapp was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 23 April 1942.[1]

In June 1942 he was posted ashore to become commander of 3rd U-boat Flotilla, based at La Rochelle, France. On 1 January 1945 he was promoted to Fregattenkapitän. In the last three months of the war, he became commander of Marine-Regiment Zapp and defended the U-boat base at La Rochelle until the very end of the war in May 1945. He spent over two years in a French captivity and was released on 7 July 1947.[1]

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As a U-boat commander of U-66 Zapp is credited with the sinking of 16 ships for a total of 106,200 gross register tons (GRT), and damaging one further ship, the Geo. W. McNight, of 12,502 GRT.

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
29 June 1941 George J. Goulandris  Greece 4,345 Sunk
29 June 1941 Kalypso Vergotti  Greece 5,686 Sunk
30 June 1941 Saint Aslem  United Kingdom 5,614 Sunk
19 July 1941 Holmside  United Kingdom 3,433 Sunk
26 July 1941 I. C. White  Panama 7,052 Sunk
18 January 1942 Allan Jackson  United States 6,635 Sunk
19 January 1942 RMS Lady Hawkins  Royal Canadian Navy 7,988 Sunk
22 January 1942 Olympic  Panama 5,335 Sunk
24 January 1942 Empire Gem  United Kingdom 8,139 Sunk
24 January 1942 Venore  United States 8,017 Sunk
14 April 1942 Korthion  Greece 2,116 Sunk
16 April 1942 Amsterdam  Netherlands 7,329 Sunk
17 April 1942 Heinrich von Riedemann  Panama 11,020 Sunk
26 April 1942 Alcoa Partner  United States 5,513 Sunk
29 April 1942 Harry G. Siedel  Panama 10,354 Sunk
2 May 1942 Sandar  Norway 7,624 Sunk
3 May 1942 Geo. W. McNight  United Kingdom 12,502 Damaged

Awards

Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Tuesday, 27 January 1942 Wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, versenkten deutsche Unterseeboote an der nordamerikanischen und kanadischen Küste in Fortsetzung ihrer Angriffe auf die feindliche Schiffahrt in diesen Gewässern weitere zwölf Handelsschiffe mit zusammen 103 000 BRT, darunter sechs große Tanker. Bei diesen Angriffen war das Unterseeboot des Korvettenkapitäns Zapp besonders erfolgreich.[7] As announced by special bulletin, German submarines at the North American and Canadian coast in continuation of their attacks against enemy shipping in these waters, sank further twelve merchant ships totaling 103,000 GRT, including six large tankers. In these attacks the submarine of Lieutenant Commander Zapp was particularly successful.
Thursday, 7 May 1942 Bei den Erfolgen deutscher Unterseeboote zeichnete sich das Unterseeboot unter Führung des Korvettenkapitäns Zapp besonders aus.[8] In the success of German submarines, the submarine under the command of Lieutenant Commander Zapp distinguished itself from the rest.

Notes

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

References

Notes
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Helgason, Guðmundur. "Fregattenkapitän Richard Zapp". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 27 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2014). "Lady Hawkins - Ships hit by U-boats". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 210.
  4. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 211.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 802.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 455.
  7. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 20.
  8. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 106.
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: 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). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg: 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: 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: 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>
  • 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. "Robert-Richard Zapp". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 21 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Military offices
Preceded by
Kapitänleutnant Heinz von Reiche
Commander of 3rd U-boat Flotilla
June, 1942 – October, 1944
Succeeded by
disbanded