U-571 under Helmut Möhlmann Bermuda patrol April 1942

U-571          Möhlmann 5-Apr-1942    7 days

U-571 under Kapitänleutnant (later Korvettenkapitän) Helmut Möhlmann entered the area north of Bermuda on the 5th of April 1942 for a three-day incursion in which it sank the Norwegian tanker Koll on the sixth north northwest of Bermuda. This was followed by a return voyage across the north of Bermuda from west to east, between the 19th and 22nd of April. The boat sailed for the 3rd U-boat Flotilla on the 10th of March from La Pallice and returned there on the 7th of May 1942.

Originally Möhlmann headed for the waters of Newfoundland before heading south to the area off Cape Hatteras, which she reached about the 26th of March. On the 29th the sub dispatched the British ship Hertford of 10,932 tons, then the Koll of 10,044 tons on the 6th of April, and the Margaret, 3,352 tons off Hatteras. Wynn says that U-571 rendezvoused with U-459 on the 21st of April, which would have placed it north of Bermuda at the time – it is more likely that the refueling took place about the 25th of April and closer to 500 miles northeast of Bermuda.

Born in Kiel in 1913, Helmut Möhlmann was a member of the Crew of 1933. Early in his career which began as a cadet, her served aboard the light cruiser Nurnberg and later torpedo boat Luchs, joining U-boats in 1940. In that capacity he served on U-143, a training boat, and U-52 before commissioning U-571. Möhlmann’s tally was 344 patrol days in 8 patrols, all of them on U-571. Between August 1941 and July 1942 he sank or damaged eight ships of 58,563 tons.

After his seagoing career he moved to the U-boat headquarters staff, and the Naval Academy in Berlin. This was followed by command of the 14th Flotilla in Narvik Norway from 1944 to war’s end, after which he was imprisoned for four months. He was awarded the Knights Cross in April 1943 and the U-boat Front Clasp in September 1944. He died in 1977 at the age of 63.


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