Flotilla Command notifies a U-Boat Crewman's Family

I received the following from a contact in Hannover, Germany whose uncle, Karl Kunz was on the U-182.

The letters were authored by the Commander of the 12th U-boat combat flotilla, Klaus Scholtz.

KLAUS SCHOLTZ - 12th Combat Flotilla Commander

As the nephew indicated, "The highly polite letters do not provide any substantial information either concerning the boat's and the flotilla's identity (it was probably secret) nor concerning the reasons for the boat's vanishing, which have been completely unknown to the U-Boat-Command in 1943 and 1944 for sure. 

Even the date of my uncle's death is set wrong (15th instead of 16th of May). May 15th was probably the date on which the boat had its last radio contact with the German Kriegsmarine stations. 

Hence, the wrong date is still written on the tombstone of my family's grave."

These are the letters any parent is horrified to receive...

The Original 


of Service Forces' postal code                                                                                                                       O. U., 3 June 1943

M  47 587



Dear Mr. Kunz,


              The reason for my today's letter is a rather painful one. Since a while there was serious concern about the fate of the boat on which your son has been commanded. At the end of an appropriate time period it has now become evident that the boat will not return. Due to this reason the U-Boat-Command has proclaimed the boat and the crew as missing becoming effective by 15 May.  As like often in the submarine war, where all the boats are fighting on its own, we do not know any details; furthermore I am not in a position not to tell all details known due to obligation to maintain secrecy.  However I am entitled to tell you, that the boat has successfully operated in the Atlantic Ocean and has destroyed 4 ships with a capacity of 22500 BRT.  Due to some circumstances the U-boat-Command is assuming that the boat has got lost during its way back home by an air-raid on sea.  The fate of the brave crew is recently completely unknown to us.


               Dear Mr. Kunz, I know, that for you a painful time of hope and fear will started now. Be sure that from our side the outmost will be done to get knowledge about the fate of our fellow soldiers.


               We stay in contact with the Red Cross and all military sections, which could assist us in clarifying the situation and will inform you at the earliest notice about upcoming news.  So, please trust us, and do not feel to much pain in the chest do to permanent thinking about the situation.  What we know and what we are allowed to tell you will be forwarded to you.  However, as it might happen, that a personal message of a POW will reach his family earlier than we receive the official statement of the enemy, we ask you kindly to inform us in this case.  If good news will reach us, it will be immediately transmitted to you.


                The private belongings of your son, being stored on the U-boat base, will be registered properly under the surveillance of an officer and sent back to you. As this is a rather extensive work for a whole crew we ask for some patience.


                 For any questions please contact our section having the forces' postal code M 47 587.  Other relatives besides you have not been informed by us.


                  Hoping whole-heartedly for good news, I express my greetings


                                                                                         "H e i l  H i t l e r"



                                                                            Commander and Head of Flotilla


The Translation

Note the incorrect tonnage total as one additional ship had been reported sunk by the U-182. 

Also note that the loss was originally attributed to an air strike on the boat.

The Original 




of Service Forces' postal code                                                                                                        O. U., 11 February 1944

M 47 587                                                                                                                                   




Dear Mr. Kunz,

                Long months of waiting on and worrying about your son Karl have passed.  Unfortunately it is my duty to abandon your hope for his return.  All investigations did not show any useful result and following a statement of the Commander in Chief of the Submarines there is no more any chance, that members of the crew of the affected U-boat could have been rescued.

                 The boat with the brave men aboard has been lost fighting against the enemy.  In the name of the "Führer", the people and the nation your son died a hero's death.  Please accept my and my fellow soldiers' deep sympathy and be assured that we will cherish the memory of him. Knowing about your pains and sorrows I honestly wish that it will comfort you to know that your son has died in the biggest war since ever dedicated to the future of his home country and his people, who will never forget his heroic death.

                  The information service of the "Wehrmacht" has been informed by us about this matter and will tell you quite soon, at which registry office you will receive the death certificate of your son.

My heartfelt sympathy shall be with you,

                                                                                       Respectfully yours


Commander and Head of Flotilla


The Translation

Return to the U-182 Page

Return to the USS MacKenzie Page

Return to Collecting History