Kapitänleutnant (Crew 32)
4 ships sunk, total tonnage 24,176 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 13,037 GRT
|Born||27 Jan 1907||Oldenburg|
|Died||4 Oct 1941||(34)||south-west of Tenerife|
|U-111||19 Dec 1940||4 Oct 1941 (+)||2 patrols (116 days)|
Wilhelm Kleinschmidt joined the Reichsmarine in 1932. He was a torpedo officer on the light cruiser Nürnberg until April 1940. Kleinschmidt then went through U-boat training until Aug 1940 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In Aug he was sent to the new boat U-124 (Kptlt. Georg-Wilhelm Schulz) for his Commander sea training (Busch & Röll, 1999). He went out on one patrol with one of the best U-boat commanders from 19 Aug to 16 Sept 1940. They went out into the North Atlantic and sank 2 ships (10,563 GRT) and damaged one (3,900 GRT) before arriving at the boat's new base at Lorient, France.
Kleinschmidt went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th Flotilla from Sept to Oct 1940 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) to prepare for his own command (Busch & Röll, 1999).
On 19 Dec 1940 Kptlt. Wilhelm Kleinschmidt commissioned the new U-111 at Bremen (Busch & Röll, 1999). He then went into the Baltic for extensive training. After almost 5 months in training U-111 left Wilhelmshaven for its first war patrol on 5 May 1941. The patrol was into the North Atlantic and was successful, 2 ships sunk (9,983 GRT) and a large one damaged (13,037) (Rohwer, 1998). Kleinschmidt brought the U-111 to its new base at Lorient, France on 7 July 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1997).
For his second patrol the U-111 sailed to the South Atlantic and patrolled off Brazil and western Africa. The boat sank 2 ships (14,193 GRT) on the patrol (Rohwer, 1998). U-111 was sunk on the return leg south-west of Tenerife by depth charges from the British anti-submarine trawler HMS Lady Shirley. 8 dead and 44 survivors (Niestlé, 1998). Kptlt. Wilhelm Kleinschmidt was not among the survivors (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Wilhelm Kleinschmidt
|1.||U-111||5 May 1941||Wilhelmshaven||7 Jul 1941||Lorient||Patrol 1,||64 days|
|2.||U-111||14 Aug 1941||Lorient||4 Oct 1941||Sunk||Patrol 2,||52 days|
|2 patrols, 116 days at sea|
Ships hit by Wilhelm Kleinschmidt
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|13 May 1941||U-111||Somersby||5,170||br||SC-30|
|20 May 1941||U-111||San Felix (d.)||13,037||br||OB-322|
|22 May 1941||U-111||Barnby||4,813||br||HX-126|
|10 Sep 1941||U-111||Marken||5,719||nl|
|20 Sep 1941||U-111||Cingalese Prince||8,474||br|
4 ships sunk (24,176 tons) and 1 ship damaged (13,037 tons).