U-564 under Reinhard ‘Teddy’ Suhren Bermuda patrol February 1942

U-564          Suhren         8-Feb-1942 8 days

Kapitänleutnant Reinhard “Teddy” Suhren (later Fregattenkapitän and holder of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords), entered the Bermuda area on the eighth of February 1942 and sank two ships during eight days in the region. Heading west to Hatteras U-564 sank the 11,401-ton Canadian freighter Victolitenorthwest of Bermuda on the 11th of February, and left the region the following day.

Returning on the 15th, Suhren managed to damage the tanker Opalia(British, 6,195 tons) with gunfire north of Bermuda on the 16th. The same day U-564 received fuel from U-107 north of Bermuda. Then the following day the sub left the area heading east to Brest, where it was part of the 1stU-boat Flotilla. The patrol began in La Pallice on the 18th of January and ended in Brest on the 6th of March.

Suhren is the author of an autobiography named Ace of Aces, and his exploits are well documented during his other patrols to Bermuda and the Bahamas. Suffice to say that in an extraordinarily successful career he attacked 23 ships and sank or damaged 125,351 tons of Allied shipping. He served aboard U-564 from June 1941 to July 1942, for 284 patrol days. Later in the war he served as commander of U-boats in Norway and then the North Sea.

Born in Taunus in 1916, he lived until 1984 and the age of 68, dying in Hamburg where he had become a businessman. Ace of Aces makes for enlightening and entertaining reading, and Suhren’s leadership style and personality could be justifiably described as “maverick.”


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