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Adalbert Schnee
File:Adalbert Schnee.jpg
Nickname Adi
Born (1913-12-31)31 December 1913
Died 4 November 1982(1982-11-04) (aged 68)
Place of birth Berlin
Place of death Hamburg
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934-1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Commands held U-6

World War II

Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Lieutenant Commander Adalbert Schnee (31 December 1913 – 4 November 1982) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-6, U-60, U-121, U-201 and U-2511, sinking twenty-one merchant ships on twelve patrols, for a total of 90,847 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping, and received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. He is thirty-seventh in the list of U-Boat aces of World War II.


Schnee joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1934. After serving aboard the light cruiser Leipzig, he transferred to the U-boat arm in May 1937. He spent two years on board the Type IIB U-boat U-23, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Otto Kretschmer, completing five combat patrols as 1.WO (second-in-command), between October 1939 and January 1940.[1]

Schnee's first command, from January to July 1940, was the Type IIA U-boat U-6,[1] in which he sailed on only a single short patrol in April supporting "Operation Weserübung" (the invasion of Norway).[2]

His next command, between July and October 1940, was the Type IIC U-boat U-60.[1] In her he sailed on three more patrols around the coasts of the British Isles sinking two ships for a total of 3,188 tons, and damaging one of 15,434 tons.[3]

Schnee commanded the Type IIB training boat U-121 during November 1940, but as this class of U-boat were withdrawn from front-line service, in January 1941 Schnee was given command of the newer, larger Type VIIC U-boat U-201.[1]

Adalbert Schnee (white cap) on the conning tower of U-201 as it leaves Lorient on 8 June 1941 for its 2nd war patrol.

Schnee sailed on seven combat patrols in U-201 between April 1941 and August 1942, sinking 19 merchant ships (totalling 87,001 tons) and damaged two others (13,386 tons). He also sank two British Royal Navy auxiliary warships, the fighter catapult ship HMS Springbank and the anti-submarine naval trawler HMS Laertes. In August 1941 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, and in July 1942 with the Oak Leaves.[1]

In October 1942 Schnee joined the BdU staff. In his position as the Geleitzugs-Admiralstabsoffizier, he planned and organized operations against Allied convoys.[1]

In September 1944 Schnee took command of the new Elektroboot U-2511, one of only two Type XXI U-boats to go on patrol (U-3008 being the other). U-2511's first and only patrol began on 3 May 1945 at Bergen. The next day Schnee received the cease-fire order, prior to the German surrender, and a few hours later spotted a group of British warships. Simulating an attack, he evaded the destroyer screen, closed to within 500 metres (1,600 ft) of the British cruiser Norfolk, and then left the area without being detected. U-2511 returned to Bergen on 5 May to surrender as ordered. Schnee spoke to officers from Norfolk a few days later, who could not believe that U-2511 was able to get so close without any sonar contact. Schnee is said to have requested a comparison of the respective ships' logs, which confirmed his account. His Leitender Ingenieur ("Engineer Officer") on this patrol was Gerd Suhren.[1]


After the war Schnee served for six months in a German minesweeper unit. In October 1945 he was called to testify at the trial of Heinz-Wilhelm Eck and the officers of U-852, for their actions after the sinking of SS Peleus. Although appearing for the defence, Schnee was forced to admit he would not have acted as Eck did. He then worked for some years as a commercial representative before becoming the director of a sailing school on Elba. He was also for many years the chairman of the Verband der U-Boots-Fahrer ("Association of U-boat Crews") in Germany. He died in 1982.[1]

War record

Ships attacked[1]
Date Ship Tonnage Nationality Convoy Fate
In U-60
13 August 1940 Nils Gorthon 1,787  Sweden HX-62 Sunk
31 August 1940 Volendam 15,434  Netherlands OB-205 Damaged
3 September 1940 Ulva 1,401  United Kingdom Sunk
In U-201
2 May 1941 Capulet 8,190  United Kingdom HX-121 Sunk
9 May 1941 Empire Cloud 5,969  United Kingdom OB-318 Damaged
Gregalia 5,802  United Kingdom OB-318 Sunk
19 August 1941 Aguila 3,255  United Kingdom OG-71 Sunk
Ciscar 1,809  United Kingdom OG-71 Sunk
23 August 1941 Aldergrove 1,974  United Kingdom OG-71 Sunk
Stork 787  United Kingdom OG-71 Sunk
21 September 1941 Lissa 1,511  United Kingdom OG-74 Sunk
Rhineland 1,381  United Kingdom OG-74 Sunk
Runa 1,575  United Kingdom OG-74 Sunk
27 September 1941 Cervantes 1,810  United Kingdom HG-73 Sunk
HMS Springbank 5,155  United Kingdom HG-73 Sunk
Margareta 3,103  United Kingdom HG-73 Sunk
18 April 1942 Victoria 7,417  Argentina Damaged
21 April 1942 Bris 2,027  Norway Sunk
22 April 1942 Derryheen 7,217  United Kingdom Sunk
San Jacinto 6,069 United States Sunk
6 July 1942 Avila Star 14,443  United Kingdom Sunk
12 July 1942 Cortona 7,093  United Kingdom OS-33 Sunk
Siris 5,242  United Kingdom OS-33 Sunk
13 July 1942 Sithonia 6,723  United Kingdom OS-33 Sunk
15 July 1942 British Yeoman 6,990  United Kingdom Sunk
25 July 1942 HMS Laertes 545  United Kingdom Sunk



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Korvettenkapitän Adalbert Schnee". Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. "Patrol of U-6 from 4 Apr 1940 to 19 Apr 1940". Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  3. "War Patrols by U-60". Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  4. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 151.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 152.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 384.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
  • Bekker, Cajus (1953). Kampf und Untergang der Kriegsmarine. Düsseldorf. 
  • Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 

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