|Born||1 April 1909|
|Died||10 March 1990(aged 80)|
|Place of birth||Hamburg, German Empire|
|Place of death||Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)|
Nazi Germany (to 1945)
|Years of service||1929–1945, 1955–1967|
Kapitän zur See (Bundeswehr)
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Cross of Merit 1st class
Otto Schuhart (1 April 1909 – 10 March 1990) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Schuhart commanded the U-29, sinking twelve ships on nine patrols, for a total of 67,277 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied merchant shipping. Schuhart is credited for the sinking of the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous on 17 September 1939, the first British warship to be lost in the war.
Schuhart began his naval career with the Reichsmarine on 1 April 1929 as a member "Crew 1929" (the incoming class of 1929).[Note 1]. After training on the sailing ship Niobe he entered the Naval Academy at Mürwik. He served on the light cruiser Emden, which served as a school ship and in the light cruiser Karlsruhe. In 1932 Schuhart was assigned to the old pre-dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein. After service as a company commander in the II. Marine-Artillerieabteilung, Schuhart joined Unterseebootsflottille Weddingen as officer of the watch on board of U-25, based in Wilhelmshaven. In 1938 he became commander of U-8 in the U-Bootschule. In December 1938 he was given command of U-25.
In 1939 Schuhart was transferred to U-29. Oberleutnant zur See Georg Lassen was U-29's I. Wachoffizier (first watch officer) on all seven patrols under the command of Schuhart. Right after the outbreak World War II, on 17 September 1939, Schuhart encountered the British carrier HMS Courageous. After stalking her for two hours, Schuhart saw his opportunity when Courageous turned into the wind to launch her aircraft. This manoeuvre put the ship right across the bow of the U-29, which then fired three torpedoes. Two of the torpedoes struck the ship on her port side, and she capsized and sank in 15 minutes with the loss of 518 of her crew, including her captain. During the war Schuhart sank twelve ships on nine patrols, for a total of 67,277 tons of Allied merchant shipping. After transferring back to land, Schuhart became commander of 1. U-Lehr Division ("1st U-boat Training Division") and later of 21st U-boat Flotilla in Pillau. From 1944-1945 he was commander of I./Marineschule Flensburg-Mürwik. After the German capitulation he commanded a marine battalion until August 1945. Until December 1945 he served in the German mine clearing service.
In 1955 Schuhart entered the Bundeswehr where he served in various land based capacities. Upon his retirement on 30 September 1967, he received the Bundesverdienstkreuz I class.
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (2 October 1936)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- War Merit Cross
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (16 December 1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 16 May 1940 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-29
- Cross of Merit 1st class (30 September 1967)
- Mentioned three times in the Wehrmachtbericht (19 September 1939, 14 March 1940 and 3 July 1940)
References in the Wehrmachtbericht
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Tuesday, 19 September 1939||Die von der britischen Admiralität bekanntgegebene Versenkung des Flugzeugträgers "Courageous" ist durch die Meldung des angreifenden deutschen Unterseebootes bestätigt worden.||The by the British Admiralty announced sinking of the aircraft carrier "Courageous" has been confirmed by the message of the attacking German submarine .|
|Thursday, 14 March 1940||Kapitänleutnant Schuhart konnte nach Rückkehr seines Unterseebootes von der letzten Fahrt gegen den Feind die Versenkung von 24 000 BRT melden. Damit hat Kapitänleutnant Schuhart, der im September des vergangenen Jahres auch den britischen Flugzeugträger "Courageous" vernichtet, im Verlauf zweier Feinfahrten insgesamt 66 566 BRT versenkt.||Captain Lieutenant Schuhart, after the return of his submarine from the last patrol against the enemy, reported the sinking of 24 000 tons. Thus, Captain Lieutenant Schuhart, who had destroyed the British aircraft carrier "Courageous" in September of last year, sunk in the course of two patrols against the enemy in total 66 566 tons of shipping.|
|Wednesday, 3 July 1940||Kapitänleutnant Schuhart hat mit seinem Unterseeboot 24 000 BRT feindlichen Handelsschiffsraums, darunter den britischen Dampfer "Athellaird" (8900 BRT) versenkt.||Captain Lieutenant Schuhart has sunk with his submarine 24 000 tons of enemy merchant shipping, including the British steamer "Athellaird" (8900 GRT).|
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 33.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 34.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 391.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 688.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 27.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 90.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 250.
- 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.
- (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
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