U-582 under Werner Schulte Bermuda patrol April 1942

U-582          Schulte        13-Apr-1942         20 days

The Type VIIC boat U-582 was only brought into the region for a near-record 20 days by its commander, KapitänleutnantWerner Schulte. The sub patrolled to the northeast of Bermuda from the 13thof April until the 26th, then went southeast of the island, southwest, and finally wast on the 2nd of May. There were several sharp changes of course which look like zig-zags which are better potrayed on a chart than described in print.

U-582 headed west-northwest from the 13th to the 19th, passing close north of Bermda on the 17th. Then it turned east from the 20th to the 23rd, then soiuthewest to a point east of Bermuda on the 27th. For two days it motored southeast, then west to the 30th, then northeast to pass again close to the east of the island. Thereafter it turned west and exited the region heading towards Hatteras on the 2nd of May 1942.

            Having begun its patrol on the 19th of March intending to escort the German blockade-runner Rio Grandefrom Japan into Europe, the boat instead patrolled to the west. Towards the end of April U-582 was refueled by U-459 roughly 500 miles northeast of Bermuda, which would explain its proximity to that island. There were no ships struck by Schulte on this patrol, which ended in Brest on the 24th of May 1942 (Wynn, Vol. 2, p.54).

            U-582 sailed from and two Brest, where it was based with the First Flotilla. Its only commander was KorvettenkapitänSchulte, whose career total was six ships sunk for 38,826 GRT and one 46-ton warship lost aboard a transport ship sunk. Schulte was not able to engage any Allied ships during this 67-day patrol, which ranged from off Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras south to Bermuda.

           Werner Schulte was born in Kiel on 7 November 1912 and joined the Kriegsmaine in 1937 as the A Crew of that year. After serving on the Köningsberg he moved ashore to a staff position in Norway. He joined U-boats in October 1940. As part of his training he served under Robert Gysae on U-98. He took the sub on four patrols and sank six ships with her. His promotion from Kapitänleutnantto Korvettenkapitänwas posthumous, as Schulte was killed with 46 others when U-582 was found and sunk by Catalina aircraft on the 5th of October 1942 off the southwest of Iceland (Niestle, 1988).

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