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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

U-398 Submarine




Ordered20 Jan 1941
Laid down26 Aug 1942Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel (werk 30)
Launched6 Nov 1943
Commissioned18 Dec 1943Korvkpt. Johann Reckhoff
18 Dec 19438 Nov 1944  KrvKpt.  Johann Reckhoff
9 Nov 194417 Apr 1945  Oblt. (R) Wilhelm Cranz
2 patrols
18 Dec 1943-31 Jul 1944  5. Flottille (training)
1 Aug 1944-31 Oct 1944  3. Flottille (active service)
1 Nov 1944-17 Apr 1945  33. Flottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged
Missing since 17 April 1945 in the North Sea
or North Atlantic. No explanation exists
for its loss.
43 dead (all hands lost).

U-398 was ordered to operate west of the English Channel and was not seen or
 heard of after sailing from Kristiansand in the evening of 17 April 1945. It
was posted as missing after failing to return to port or signal its position
after the cessation of hostilities.

Wilhelm Cranz

Oberleutnant zur See (R) (entry, Jahrgang X/39)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  19 Apr 1915Kiel
Died  17 Apr 1945(29)British Isles

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1 Oct 1939Rekrut
18 Apr 1940Sonderführer
(Leutnant zur See)
1 May 1940Steuermannsmaat d.R.
1 Sep 1941Obersteuermann d.R.
1 Jun 1942Leutnant zur See (R)
1 Feb 1944Oberleutnant zur See (R)


4 Aug 1941Iron Cross 2nd Class
4 Apr 1943U-boat War Badge 1939
18 Jan 1944Iron Cross 1st Class
15 Dec 1944U-boat Front Clasp

U-boat Commands

U-398 9 Nov 1944 17 Apr 1945  (+)  1 patrol (4 days) 

Wilhelm Cranz sailed on his first patrol as commander when he took his Type VIIC boat
 U-398 out from Horten, Norway on 14 April 1945 (Busch & Röll, 1997). His boat
 went missing on or after 17 April in the North Sea (Niestlé, 1998). He would
have been 30 years old few days later.


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Wilhelm Cranz

U-boat DepartureArrival
1.U-3988 Mar 1945  Kiel 16 Mar 1945  Horten 9 days
2.U-39814 Apr 1945  Horten 17 Apr 1945  Sunk Patrol 1,4 days

Ships hit by Wilhelm Cranz

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