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Peter-Erich Cremer

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Peter-Erich Cremer

Peter-Erich Cremer
File:Peter-Erich Cremer.jpg
Nickname "Ali"
Born (1911-03-25)25 March 1911
Metz, Alsace-Lorraine
Died 5 July 1992(1992-07-05) (aged 81)
Hamburg, Germany
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
Years of service 1932–1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit cruiser Köln
Panzerschiff Deutschland
destroyer Theodor Riedel
Commands held U-152, 1941-1-29 – 1941-7-21
U-333, 1941-8-25 – 1942-10-6
U-333, 1943-5-18 – 1944-7-19
U-2519, 1944-11-15 – 1945
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Peter-Erich Cremer (25 March 1911 – 5 July 1992) was a German U-boat commander during the Second World War. He was half-English on his mother's side. He was also a recipient of 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.


Peter-Erich Cremer, also known by the nickname "Ali Cremer", was born in Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, on 25 March 1911. After high school, Cremer enlisted in the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1932. After serving on cruisers and destroyers, Cremer became captain in February 1940. He received the Iron Cross 2nd class. On August 1940, Cremer was promoted to the rank of commander of submarine. After a perilous sea trip, his crew gave him the nickname "Ali". After this epic trip, "Ali" Cremer commanded the U-152. Then, Cremer commanded the U-333 from 25 August 1941 to 6 October 1942 and again from 18 May 1943, to 19 July 1944. On 31 January 1942 he mistakenly attacked and sunk the SS Spreewald. Subsequently he was court-martialed and found not guilty.

After several victorious trips, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 5 June 1942. The same year, Cremer was severely wounded. He sailed again from 1943 until July 1944, before giving his boat to his lieutenant. On November 1944, Cremer, now Lieutenant Commander, aimed to convey the new submarine U-2519 Class XXI. Citing "several design flaws", Cremer scuttled the submarine at Kiel, on May 1945. As the War drew to a close, he was attached to the personal security unit of Karl Dönitz. In this role he was involved in the incident in which Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth was shot to death by a German guard.

Peter-Erich Cremer recounted his life in his books "U-333: The story of a u-boat ace" and "U-Boat Commander: a periscope view of the Battle of the Atlantic.". He died at Hamburg on 5 July 1992.

Summary of career

Ships sunk and damaged

Template:GeoGroupTemplate Peter-Erich Cremer as commander of U-333 sank six merchant ships totalling 26,873 GRT, damaged another of 8,327 GRT, and also engaged and damaged the 925 GRT Flower class corvette HMS Crocus.

Date Ship Tons Nationality Convoy Fate and location
22 January 1942 Vassilios A. Polemis 3,429  Greece ON-53 32|N|52|38|W|type:event name=Vassilios A. Polemis (ship)


24 January 1942 Ringstad 4,765  Norway ON-55 50|N|51|04|W|type:event name=Ringstad (ship)


31 January 1942 Spreewald 5,083  Nazi Germany 12|N|24|50|W|type:event name=Spreewald (ship)


6 May 1942 Amazone 1,294  Netherlands 21|N|80|04|W|type:event name=Amazone (ship)


6 May 1942 Halsey 7,088  United States 14|N|80|03|W|type:event name=Halsey (ship)


6 May 1942 Java Arrow 8,327  United States 35|N|80|08|W|type:event name=Java Arrow (ship)


10 May 1942 Clan Skene 5,214  United Kingdom 43|N|70|43|W|type:event name=Clan Skene (ship)


6 October 1942 HMS Crocus 925  United Kingdom 52|N|14|57|W|type:event name=HMS Crocus (ship)



Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
11 May 1942 Unterseeboote versenkten, wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, in amerikanischen Gewässern, in der Karibischen See und im Golf von Mexiko 21 feindliche Handelsschiffe mit zusammen 118 000 BRT. Bei diesen Erfolgen hat sich das Unterseeboot des Kapitänleutnants Cremer, das trotz schwerer Beschädigungen vier große Schiffe mit 35 000 BRT versenkte, besonders ausgezeichnet.[4] Submarines sunk, as announced by special bulletin, in U.S. waters, in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico 21 enemy merchant ships for a total of 118 000 GRT. In these achievements, the submarine of Captain Lieutenant Cremer, despite heavy damage sank four large ships of 35 000 GRT, has especially distinguished itself.
25 April 1945 (Addendum) Ein von Korvettenkapitän Cremer geführter Panzervernichtungstrupp der Kriegsmarine, zusammengestellt aus Freiwilligen eines U-Boot-Stützpunktes, vernichtete innerhalb weniger Tage 24 Panzer.[5] A tank destruction unit of the navy under the command of Lieutenant Commander Cremer, composed of volunteers from a U-boat base, destroyed 24 tanks within a few days.

Dates of rank

  • Offiziersanwärter : 15 August 1932
  • Fähnrich zur See : 1 January 1934
  • Oberfähnrich zur See : 1 September 1935
  • Leutnant zur See : 1 January 1936
  • Oberleutnant zur See : 1 October 1937
  • Kapitänleutnant : 2 February 1940
  • Korvettenkapitän : 11 July 1944[6]


  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

External links

  • Template:DNB portal

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