WWI U-boat commanders

Otto Hersing

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/03)

Successes
36 ships sunk with a total of 79,005 GRT
4 warships sunk with a total of 34,575 tons
2 ships damaged with a total of 8,918 GRT

Born:30 Nov 1885 Mülhausen 
Died:5 Jul 1960 Oldenburg 

Otto Hersing

Ranks

1 Apr 1903 Seekadett
15 Apr 1904 Fähnrich zur See
28 Sep 1906 Leutnant zur See
13 Mar 1909 Oberleutnant zur See
16 Dec 1914 Kapitänleutnant
1 Feb 1922 Korvettenkapitän
31 Jul 1924 Out of naval service

Decorations

 Iron Cross 2nd class
 Iron Cross 1st class
 Iron Half Moon
 Hanseatic Cross
5 Jun 1915  Pour le Mérite
1918 or later  Albert Order (Saxony)

U-boat Commands

U 2122 Oct 1913 - 31 Aug 1918

Notes

Hersing was known amongst his collegues as the "Zerstörer der Schlachtschiffe" - destroyer of battleships. His first victim was HMS Pathfinder, a light cruiser of 2,940 tons which he torpedoed off St. Abb's Head on the east coast of Scotland on the 5th September 1914 with U21. In early 1915 he was ordered to the Mediterranean to give a hard time to British who had landed at Gallipoli.


The Battleship HMS Triumph, sunk by Otto Hershing on 25 May 1915

Hersing's first victim was the battleship HMS Triumph of 11,985 tons which he sank off Gaba Tepe on the 25th May, while the ship was bombarding the Turkish lines. Two days later he sank the HMS Majestic, another battleship conducting fire support off the Gallipoli peninsula.


The Battleship HMS Majestic, sunk by Otto Hershing on 27 May 1915

For these actions awaited him on his return to the fatherland the Pour le Mérite. On the 4th of July he sank the Carthage, a French auxiliary cruiser of 5,601 GRT near Cap Helles, Turkey. On the 8th February 1916, U21 sank the French cruiser Amiral Charner of 4,750 tons off the Syrian coast.

Hersing survived the war and seems to have started cultivating potato's in the countryside!

Ships hit by Otto Hersing

DateU-boat Name of shipType of shipTonsNat.
 
5 Sep 1914 U 21  Pathfinder (hms)Light cruiser2,940br
23 Nov 1914 U 21 MalachiteSteamer718br
26 Nov 1914 U 21 PrimoSteamer1,366br
 
30 Jan 1915 U 21 Ben CruachanSteamer3,092br
30 Jan 1915 U 21 KilcoanSteamer456br
30 Jan 1915 U 21 Linda BlancheSteamer369br
25 May 1915 U 21  Triumph (hms)Battleship11,985br
27 May 1915 U 21  MajesticBattleship14,900br
4 Jul 1915 U 21  CarthagePassenger steamer5,601fr
 
1 Feb 1916 U 21 Belle Of FranceSteamer3,876br
8 Feb 1916 U 21  Admiral CharnerArmored cruiser4,750fr
30 Apr 1916 U 21 City Of LucknowSteamer3,669br
26 Oct 1916 U 21 Marina G.Sailing vessel154it
28 Oct 1916 U 21 GILDA R.Sailing vessel37it
28 Oct 1916 U 21 Tre Fratelli D.Sailing vessel190it
31 Oct 1916 U 21  GlenloganSteamer5,838br
1 Nov 1916 U 21 Bernardo CanaleSteamer1,346it
1 Nov 1916 U 21 Torerosteamer767it
2 Nov 1916 U 21 SAN ANTONIO O.Sailing vessel113it
3 Nov 1916 U 21 San GiorgioSailing vessel258it
23 Dec 1916 U 21 Benalder (d.)Steamer3,044br
 
16 Feb 1917 U 21 MayolaSailing vessel146br
16 Feb 1917 U 21 Rose DorotheaSailing vessel147br
17 Feb 1917 U 21 Emilia I°Sailing vessel25pt
17 Feb 1917 U 21 LimaSailing vessel108pt
20 Feb 1917 U 21 CaciqueSteamer2,917fr
22 Feb 1917 U 21  BandoengSteamer5,851nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21 EemlandSteamer3,770nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21 GaasterlandSteamer3,917nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21 JacatraSteamer5,373nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21 NoorderdijkSteamer7,166nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21 NormannaSteamer2,900nw
22 Feb 1917 U 21  ZaandijkSteamer4,189nl
22 Feb 1917 U 21  Menado (d.)Steamer5,874nl
22 Apr 1917 U 21 Giskösteamer1,643nw
22 Apr 1917 U 21 Theodore WilliamSteamer3,057nw
29 Apr 1917 U 21 AskepotSailing vessel1,793nw
30 Apr 1917 U 21 BorrowdaleBark1,268ru
3 May 1917 U 21 LindisfarneSailing vessel1,703ru
6 May 1917 U 21 AdansiSteamer2,644br
8 May 1917 U 21 KillarneySailing vessel1,413br
27 Jun 1917 U 21 BalticBarge1,125sw
 122,498
40 ships sunk (113,580 tons) and 2 ships damaged (8,918 tons).


Legend
(d.) means the ship was damaged.
We have a picture of this vessel.

Media links


Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

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