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Ulrich Folkers
File:File:Ulrich Folkers.jpg
Born (1915-03-06)6 March 1915
Died 6 May 1943(1943-05-06) (aged 28)
Place of birth Kiel
Place of death North Atlantic
52°30′N 45°20′W / 52.5°N 45.333°W / 52.5; -45.333
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–1943
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Emden
destroyer Bruno Heinemann
Commands held U-125

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ulrich Folkers (6 March 1915 in Kiel – killed in action 6 May 1943 in the North Atlantic) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and 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. U-125 was fatally damaged at 52°30′N 45°20′W / 52.5°N 45.333°W / 52.5; -45.333 by the British destroyer HMS Oribi and gunfire from the British corvette HMS Snowflake.

The crew of U-125 scuttled their boat with 5 explosive charges while almost alongside the HMS Snowflake and waited in the water to be rescued. Another corvette HMS Sunflower did reach the scene about this time. The commander of the corvette radioed the escort commander, Robert Sherwood, RN, in HMS Tay but was given the reply:

"Not approved to pick up survivors"

The corvettes HMS Sunflower and HMS Snowflake then turned back to protect the convoy leaving the men in the water. Kptlt. Folkers and his crew of 54 men died during that night.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-125, Folkers is credited with the sinking of 17 merchant ships totalling 82,873 gross register tons (GRT).

Date[1] Name Nationality Tonnage
26 January 1942 West Ivis  USA 5,666 Sunk
23 April 1942 Lammot Du Pont  USA 5,102 Sunk
3 May 1942 San Rafael  Dominica 1,973 Sunk
4 May 1942 Tuscaloosa City  USA 5,687 Sunk
6 May 1942 Empire Buffalo  United Kingdom 6,404 Sunk
6 May 1942 Green Island  USA 1,946 Sunk
9 May 1942 Calgarolite  Canada 11,941 Sunk
14 May 1942 Comayagua  Honduras 2,493 Sunk
18 May 1942 Mercury Sun  USA 8,893 Sunk
18 May 1942 William J. Salman  USA 2,616 Sunk
1 September 1942 Ilorin  United Kingdom 815 Sunk
23 September 1942 Bruyère  United Kingdom 5,335 Sunk
29 September 1942 Baron Ogilvy  United Kingdom 3,391 Sunk
30 September 1942 Empire Avocet  United Kingdom 6,015 Sunk
30 September 1942 Kumsang  United Kingdom 5,447 Sunk
8 October 1942 Glendene  United Kingdom 4,412 Sunk
4 May 1943 Lorient  United Kingdom 4,737 Sunk


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 22 May 1942 Bei den Erfolgen in amerikanischen Gewässern haben sich Boote unter Führung der Kapitänleutnante Thurmann, Würdemann und Folkers besonders ausgezeichnet.[5] Boats under the commands of the Kapitänleutnants Thurmann, Würdemann und Folkers distinguished themselves in the success in the American Waters.


  1. "Ships hit by U-125 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats -". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 338.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 339.
  4. Scherzer 2007, p. 314.
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 138.
  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939-1945 - Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.

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