It was not just torpedoes that required regular attention and maintenance. With frequent submergence, there was a strong risk of corrosion and malfunction of the 8.8cm deck cannon. Thick coats of grease were applied whenever necessary. Here Bootsmaat Karl-Ernst Thiel and Reinhard Suhren, who began his U-boat career as an artillery officer, are working on the weapon’s starboard sighting mechanism. The delicate sight itself was detachable, and was usually removed prior to diving.
Photo & Caption featured in U-Boat War Patrol: The Hidden Photographic Diary of U564 by Lawrence Patterson
These two photos show U-37 in Wilhelmshaven on 8 Nov 1939 at the end of it’s first patrol. The officers seen being greeted are Werner Hartmann, LI Gerd Suhren and Gustav Poel (quite a group!). In the second photo, Doenitz is barely visible, about to address the crew. Note the eight pennants fliying from the periscope.
Reinhard “Teddy” Suhren, U-564, On 6 patrols he sank 18 ships for 95,544 tons and damaged 4 more for 28,907 tons. Of these was 1 warship sunk for a total of 900 tons He was one of 5 men in the entire Kriegsmarine to recieve the Knights Cross with Oakleaves and Swords. Before he became a Commander he was watch officer aboard U-48 (the most successful U-Boat of the war) where he played an important role in the sinking of over 200,000 tons of shipping in just 9 patrols.