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Erich Zürn

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Title: Erich Zürn  
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Subject: German submarine U-48 (1939)
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Erich Zürn

Erich Zürn
Born (1906-07-23)23 July 1906
Died 9 August 1965(1965-08-09) (aged 59)
Großholzleute near Isny
Years of service 1925–1945
Rank Kapitänleutnant (Ing.)
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Erich Zürn (23 July 1906 – 9 August 1965) was a German U-boat engineer (Ing.) in World War II and one of the first engineers to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career

Oberleutnant (Ing.) and later Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) Zürn contributed to the success of U-48 under the command of Herbert Schultze, Hans-Rudolf Rösing and Heinrich Bleichrodt. He served as chief engineer (Leitender Ingenieur abbreviated LI) on nine patrols on one of the most successful U-boats of World War II. As flotilla engineer in the 29th U-boat Flotilla (1 June 1942 – 31 January 1944) in La Spezia and Toulon and later in the 5th U-boat Flotilla, Zürn introduced a number of improvements which helped the flotilla operate at peak efficiency.



  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 - Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

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