U-202 under Hans-Heinz Linder Bermuda patrol July 1942

U-202  Linder 5-Jul-1942   3

Kapitänleutnant (later Korvettenkapitän) Hans-Heinz Linder brought U-202 in a straight line north of Bermuda from west to east on between the 5th and 7th of July, 1942. He was en route back to base in Brest, which the sub reached on the 25th of July, 1942, having set off on the 27th of May. It had nevertheless been a highly eventful patrol for U-202: on the 1stof July, four days before entering the Bermuda region, Linder cut the island off from an essential supply mission when it sank the US passenger and cargo ship City of Birmingham, 5,861 tons, between Norfolk Virginia and Hamilton Bermuda.

Ultimately 372 passengers were landed in Bermuda, but not of course the cargo. Interestingly, the City of Birmingham had earlier rescued survivors of the ship Empire Dryden, which had also been sunk in the area, by U-572 under Hirsaker on 20 April 1942. On the 22ndof June, off New York Linder also sank the Argentinian steamer Rio Tercero of 4,864 tons. The neutral ship’s captain was taken aboard the submarine but released to the lifeboats when US aircraft and a blimp attacked.

The most notorious act of this patrol was the landing of four saboteurs at Amagansett, Long Island, which Linder and his crew successfully effectuated on the 13th of June. This was no small task considering the submarine touched bottom on a sand bank and its engine maneuvers were so loud that they were heard from shore, imperiling the ultra-secret mission. Much has been written about his landing and another off Punta Vedra beach near Jacksonville by U-584 as part of Operation Pastorius.

Much has been written about this operation which is not relevant here. Suffice to say that one of the leaders, George Dasch, betrayed all of his colleagues although they initially managed to slip past the Americans and infiltrate the country as far west as Chicago. They were all rounded up and executed with the exception of two of them, who survived the war and were deported back to Germany following in 1948.

Linder was born in 1913 and turned 29 during this patrol. Part of the Crew of 1933, he served on U-18 and U-96 under Lehmann-Willenbrock. In March 1941 he took command of U-202, on which he served for six patrols and 236 patrol days up to September 1942. His total tally was seven ships sunk, for 33,693 tons in aggregate, including the City of Birmingham near Bermuda. In late fall 1942 he moved ashore to naval staff duties, and he died on the 10thof September 1944 at age 31.

 SOURCES: Gudmundur Helgason, Rainer Kolbicz, www.uboat.net, 2013, Kenneth Wynn, U-boat Operations of the Second World War, Volume 1 and Volume 2, 1997, R. Busch, and H.-J. Röll, German U-boat Commanders of World War II, 1988, Franz Kurowski, Knights Cross Holders of the U-boat Service