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Günter Kuhnke

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Title: Günter Kuhnke  
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Subject: Elbląg, German submarine U-853, German submarine U-28 (1936), USS Ringgold (DD-500), German submarine U-125 (1940), Georg Schewe, Otto Ites
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Günter Kuhnke

Günter Kuhnke
Born (1912-09-07)7 September 1912
Elbing, West Prussia
Died 11 October 1990(1990-10-11) (aged 78)
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1931–1945, 1955–1972
Rank Korvettenkapitän (Kriegsmarine)
Konteradmiral (Bundesmarine)
Unit SSS Niobe
cruiser Karlsruhe
Commands held U-28
10th U-boat Flotilla
33rd U-boat Flotilla
destroyer Z-2 (D171)

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Stern zum Großen Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Günter Kuhnke (7 September 1912 – 11 October 1990) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later a Konteradmiral with the Bundesmarine. 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.

He commanded the U-28, U-125 and U-853, sinking eleven ships on nine patrols, for a total of 42,252 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping plus the special service vessel HMS Prunella. He commanded 10th U-boat Flotilla from January 1942 until October 1944, then 33rd U-boat Flotilla until May 1945.

Fregattenkapitän Günter Kuhnke commanded the destroyer Z-2 (D171) (formerly USS Ringgold (DD-500)) from 14 July 1959 until November 1960.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

Date Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[1]
14 September 1939 Vancouver City  United Kingdom 4,955 Sunk
17 November 1939 Sliedrecht  Netherlands 5,133 Sunk
25 November 1939 Royston Grange  United Kingdom 5,144 Sunk
21 January 1940 Protesilaus  United Kingdom 9,577 Total loss (mine)
9 March 1940 P. Margoronis  Greece 4,979 Sunk
11 March 1940 Eulota  Netherlands 6,236 Sunk
18 June 1940 Samartia  Finland 2,417 Sunk
19 June 1940 Adamandios Georgandis  Greece 3,443 Sunk
21 June 1940 HMS Prunella  United Kingdom 4,443 Sunk
27 August 1940 Eva  Norway 1,599 Sunk
28 August 1940 Kyno  United Kingdom 3,946 Sunk
9 September 1940 Mardinian  United Kingdom 2,431 Sunk
11 September 1940 Harpenden  United Kingdom 4,678 Damaged
9 September 1940 Maas  Netherlands 1,966 Sunk
26 October 1940 Matina  United Kingdom 5,389 Damaged


Reichsmarine (1931-1935)

  • Offiziersanwärter (officer candidate) - 1 April 1931
  • Seekadett (officer cadet) - 1 April 1932
  • Fähnrich zur See (midshipman) - 1 April 1933
  • Oberfähnrich zur See (senior midshipman) - 1 January 1935
  • Leutnant zur See (acting sub-lieutenant) - 1 April 1935

Kriegsmarine (1935-1945)

  • Oberleutnant zur See (sub-lieutenant) - 1 January 1937
  • Kapitänleutnant (lieutenant) - 1 October 1939
  • Korvettenkapitän (corvette captain/lieutenant-commander) - 1 March 1943

Bundesmarine (1955-1972)

  • Joined 16 November 1955[2]
  • Fregattenkapitän (frigate captain/commander) - 16 June 1956
  • Kapitän zur See (captain) - 16 October 1962
  • Flottillenadmiral (flotilla admiral/commodore) - 28 January 1965
  • Konteradmiral (rear-admiral) - 1 April 1966
  • Retired 30 September 1972[3]



  • 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. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 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.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Georg Schewe
Commander of the 33rd U-boat Flotilla
September – October 1944
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Commander of German destroyer Z-2 (formerly USS Ringgold)
July 1959 – November 1960
Succeeded by
Fregattenkapitän Otto Ites

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