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Gunther Prien German navy Kriegsmarine ww2

German navy Uboat captain Günther Prien ww2

Günther Prien started his naval career in 1923 by going to sea as a cabin boy with the Merchant Navy, and very quickly learnt the trade of seamanship via various sailing ships.

In 1933 he joined the Reichsmarine (the forerunner of the Kriegsmarine), quickly he impressed his superiors so that after his initial training and posting on a light cruiser; he embarked on his U-Boat career. After specific U-Boat training at Kiel he joined U-26 that went on two patrols during the Spanish Civil War. Rising through the ranks he became Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant) on 1 February 1939 of a brand new U-boat – U-47. Due to his rank he would have been able to procure a Naval Officers dagger.

He undertook a number of patrols, his second being the most well known as he was able to sink the HMS Royal Oak battleship while the vessel was moored in the main naval base of Scapa Flow. For his actions he was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, and was declared a hero upon his return.

Soon after promotion to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross, U-47 went missing with all crew on 7 March 1941, and there is no actual listed account of what happened to the submarine.

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