U-504 under Hans-Georg Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Poske Bermuda patrol May 1942

U-504          Poske 19-May-1942        6 days

KorvettenkapitänU-boat ace Hans-Georg Friedrich “Fritz” Poske returned to the area on for six days inbound, taking a course from east of Bermuda on the 19th of May 1942 to the southwest and exiting on the 24th. The patrol in the region basically looks like a straight line with a short jog to the west on the 21st.

Thereafter Poske took U-504 from a point midway between Bermuda and Anegada and steamed straight for the Windward Passage, passing south of the Turks & Caicos Islands and north of the Mouchior Bank on the 25th and 26th and out of the area and into the Caribbean on the 27th of May 1942.

Outside the Bahamas area he then sank six ships of 19,418 tons, all off the southwest coast of Cuba and in the Yucatan Channel: Allisteron 29 May, Rosenborg, the Dutch passenger ship Crijnssen, freighter American, and the Latvian Regentbetween the 8th and 14th of June. Thereafter he proceeded to the Anegada Passage, leaving the area via that route between the 20th and 21st of May after a highly effective patrol, which lasted from 2 May to 7 July, 1942. As mentioned earlier Poske was highly rewarded U-boat commander and was awarded the Knights Cross on 6th November 1942, less than four months following the conclusion of this patrol.

Fritz Poske, a Korvettenkapitän at the time, went on to become a Kapitän zur See (Sea Captain, higher than a Fregatten or Frigate Captain), and was awarded the U-boat War Badge 1939 and the Iron Cross First Class immediately after this patrol, and the Knights Cross in November 1942. Born in October 1904, he was 37 and thus one of the older skippers of those that patrolled the Bahamian waters. His career tally over 264 patrol days on four missions was fifteen ships sunk worth 78,123 GRT and a further 7,176 ton ship damaged.

Poske began his naval career in the class of 1923 before serving on cruisers and a torpedo boat, joining U-boats in 1940. At the time of his first command he (unusually) did not have command experience. He became Chief of Staff for Marine Infantry towards the end of the war, was imprisoned by the British for nearly a year, rejoined the German Navy in 1951, and lived until 1984, dying near Bonn at 79 years of age.


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