Special Bulletin from Sharkhunters on Prien & U-47

This was sent to me yesterday by Harry Cooper of Sharkhunter’s International. He and Admiral Otto Kretschmer were friends for 20 years.



Sixty-nine years ago on this date, 7 March 1941, U-47, under command of Günther Prien, was sunk in the North Atlantic. It was thought at that time that HMS WOLVERINE sank U-47 and that is the way it was reported. History books and common thinking still indicate that HMS WOLVERINE sank U-47, but that is not correct.Some years ago, a special panel of Bundsmarine officers headed by Flotillenadmiral OTTO KRETSCHMER (Sharkhunters Member 122-+-1985) evaluated all the data from not only the German side, but also the data from the Royal Navy side that was not available during the war. It was proven absolutely that U-47 sank herself with a circular running torpedo. According to logbooks, position reports and individual memories of veterans who participated in that convoy action, U-47 was on the opposite side of the battlefield from HMS WOLVERINE, making it impossible for WOLVERINE to have sunk U-47.

This panel concluded that U-47 was sunk by a circular run of her own torpedo. So what was HMS WOLVERINE doing at this time? According to the findings of the group headed by KRETSCHMER, it was determined that HMS WOLVERINE was attacking U-A commanded by Eckermann, whose KTB (logbook) recorded the beating they received in that area at that time, making it obvious that it was U-A and not U-47 under attack from HMS WOLVERINE.

This all happened in the North Atlantic sixty-nine years ago today. You will find the Sharkhunters website here:

Sharkhunters International

Official Worldwide Publication of U-Boat History


Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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