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Jürgen Oesten
Born (1913-10-24)October 24, 1913
Died August 5, 2010(2010-08-05) (aged 96)
Place of birth Grunewald, Berlin, Germany
Place of death Hamburg, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–1945
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Commands held U-61

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Jürgen Oesten (24 October 1913 – 5 August 2010) was a Korvettenkapitän in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-61 and U-106, and then served as a staff officer before returning to command U-861. He sank nineteen ships for a total of 101,744 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged four others for 51,668 GRT to become number 29 on the list of the highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.


Born in Grunewald, Berlin, Oesten joined the Reichsmarine in April 1933. After serving aboard the cruisers Admiral Graf Spee and Karlsruhe he transferred to the U-boat arm in May 1937, and was appointed watch officer of U-20. In August 1939 Oesten commissioned U-61, sailing on nine patrols, and sinking five ships. Taking command of U-106 in September 1940, he sailed on three patrols sinking another ten ships. On 20 March 1941 during an attack on convoy SL-68 he damaged the British battleship HMS Malaya. In October 1941 Oesten became the first commander of the 9th U-boat Flotilla based in Brest, France. In March 1942 he joined the staff of FdU Nordmeer directing the U-boat war in the Norwegian Sea. In September 1943 Oesten returned to active duty in U-861, sailing first to Brazilian waters where he sank another two ships and then around the Cape of Good Hope to join the Monsun Gruppe of U-boats operating in the Indian Ocean. He sank another two ships, bringing his career total to 19 ships sunk, totalling 101,744 GRT, and four ships damaged (51,668 GRT), before reaching Penang on 23 September 1944. U-861 left Soerabaya, Dutch East Indies, in January 1945 carrying a cargo of vital materials, but only two torpedoes, and reached Trondheim, Norway, in April, just before the German surrender.[1] Oesten was a technical advisor for the 2005 submarine simulator Silent Hunter III.[2]



  • 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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2. 
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. 
  • 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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