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Hans Jenisch

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Subject: German submarine U-32 (1937), RMS Empress of Britain (1931), Zheleznodorozhny, Kaliningrad Oblast, List of successful U-boat commanders
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Hans Jenisch

Hans Jenisch
File:Hans Jenisch.jpg
Born (1913-10-19)19 October 1913
Gerdauen, East Prussia
Died 29 April 1982(1982-04-29) (aged 68)
Kronshagen near Kiel
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1933–1945, 1956–1972
Rank Kapitänleutnant (Kriegsmarine)
Kapitän zur See (Bundesmarine)
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Karlsruhe
cruiser Deutschland
Commands held U-32

World War II

  • Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945)
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans Jenisch (19 October 1913 – 29 April 1982) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the Type VIIA U-boat U-32, sinking seventeen ships on seven patrols, for a total of 110,139 tons of Allied shipping, to become the 26th highest scoring U-Boat ace of World War II.


Jenisch joined the Reichsmarine in 1933, and after serving in the cruiser Deutschland transferred to the U-boat arm in 1937. He served as 1.WO (second-in-command) of U-32 under Werner Lott, before taking command of the U-boat in February 1940. During 7 patrols he sank 17 ships, including the 42,348 ton RMS Empress of Britain, for a career total of 110,139 GRT, as well as damaging 3 ships for 22,749 tons, including the cruiser HMS Fiji.[1]

Empress of Britain

On 26 October 1940 the Empress of Britain was spotted by a German Focke-Wulf C 200 Condor long-range bomber, commanded by Oberleutnant Bernhard Jope. Jope's bomber strafed the Empress three times and hit her twice with 250 kg bombs causing severe damage to the ship. Jenisch had been informed of the location of the damaged vessel and intercepted her on the evening of 27 October. Jenisch fired three torpedoes, hitting her twice. The Empress of Britain sank at 02:05 AM on 28 October 1940. At 42,348 gross tons, she was the largest ship sunk by a German U-boat.[2]


Jenisch was captured on 30 October 1940 after U-32 was sunk north-west of Ireland by the British destroyers Harvester and Highlander. Nine of her crew died, but 33 survived to be taken prisoner, including Jenisch. He spent the next 6.5 years in British captivity before his return to Germany in June 1947.[1]


In 1956 Jenisch joined the Bundesmarine. He held staff positions and commanded the frigate Hipper for a time. Jenisch was Divisional Training Commander at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr in the Department of Navy in Hamburg from 1 October 1966 to 31 March 1970. He retired in 1972 with the rank of Kapitän zur See, and died in 1982.[1]


Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Thursday, 12 September 1940 Ein Unterseeboot unter Führung vom Oberleutnant zur See Jenisch, von dem bereits ein Teilergebnis von 21 000 BRT gemeldet worden ist, hat auf einer Unternehmung insgesamt 40 000 BRT feindlichen Handelsschiffraum aus stark gesicherten Geleitzügen heraus versenkt.[5] A submarine under the command of First Lieutenant at Sea Jenisch, of which already a partial result of 21 000 GRT had been reported, has sunk on an undertaking 40 000 GRT of enemy merchant shipping from a heavily protected convoy.
Tuesday, 1 October 1940 Ein Unterseeboot unter Führung von Oberleutnant zur See Jenisch versenkte sechs bewaffnete feindliche Handelsschiffe mit 34 760 BRT.[6] A submarine under the command of First Lieutenant at Sea Jenisch sank six armed enemy merchant ships with 34 760 GRT.
Thursday, 3 October 1940 Ein Unterseeboot unter Führung des Oberleutnants zur Sea Jenisch hat auf einer Unternehmung insgesamt acht bewaffnete feindliche Handelsschiffe mit 42 644 BRT versenkt. Damit hat Oberleutnant zur See Jenisch allein auf zwei Feindfahrten 82 644 BRT feindlichen Handelsschiffsraums vernichtet.[7] A submarine under the command of Lieutenant at sea Jenisch has sunk on an undertaking eight armed enemy merchant ships of 42 644 GRT. Thus Lieutenant at Sea Jenisch destroyed on only two patrols against the enemy 82 644 GRT of enemy merchant shipping.
Monday, 28 October 1940 Das von Luftstreitkräften bombardierte und in Brand gesetzte 42 000 BRT große britische Transportschiff "Empress of Britain", das die Engländer unter starker Sicherung durch Zerstörer und Bewacher einbringen versuchten, ist von dem unter Führung des Oberleutnants zur See Jenisch stehenden Unterseeboot torpediert und versenkt worden.[8] The by the air force bombed and set on fire 42 000 GRT British transport ship "Empress of Britain", which the British attempted to bring to safety by heavy security forces composed of destroyers und guards, was torpedoed and sunk by an submarine under the leadership of Lieutenant at Sea Jenisch.


  • Busch, Rainer and 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.
  • 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.

External links

  • : Hans Jenisch

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