Westphalen, Otto

Date of birth:
March 12th, 1920 (Hamburg, Germany)
Date of death:
January 8th, 2008 (Hamburg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Otto Westphalen began his naval career in October 1938. A year later he took part in the Poland campaign on the school ship Schlesien. Later he served six months on the torpedo boat Kondor before joining the U-boat force in October 1940. In 1941 he made five patrols as watch officer on U-566, mostly in the Arctic Sea. In May 1941 he took command of the school boat U-121. In March 1943 he commissioned the Type VIIC U-boat U-968, which was then detached to the 13th (Arctic Sea) flotilla, where Westphalen became one of the most successful commanders. He sank two British warships: the sloops HMS Lark and Lapwing. He surrendered in May 1945 in Narvik.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 8th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant zur See (Lieutenant)
Unit:
U-566 der 1. Unterseebootsflottille
Awarded on:
October 8th, 1941
U-boot Kriegsabzeichen (ohne Brillianten)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See
Unit:
Kommandant U-968 der 13. Unterseebootsflottille
Awarded on:
April 3rd, 1944
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See
Unit:
Kommandant U 968 / 13.Unterseebootsflottille
Awarded on:
February 18th, 1945
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See
Unit:
U 968, 13.Unterseebootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
March 23rd, 1945
Action:
Awarded for the sinking of two ships and a corvette (16,655 GRT) in early 1945.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
March 24th, 1945
Details:
In the 23 March Wehrmacht communique reported successful attack on an replenishment convoy to Murmansk, the submarine crew under the command of First Lieutenant at Sea Westphalen particularly distinguished themselves.
Wehrmachtbericht

Sources

  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer
  • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
    - Deutsche Marinesoldaten
    - Das Ritterkreuz.de
    - Das U-boat.net
    - Die Ritterkreuztrager der Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS

Photo