Ernst Kals

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Ernst Kals
Ernst Kals.jpg
Ernst Kals
Born(1905-08-02)2 August 1905
Glauchau, Saxony, German Empire
Died 2 November 1979(1979-11-02) (aged 74)
Emden
Allegiance
Service/branch
Years of service 1924–45
Rank Kapitän zur See
Unit
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ernst Kals (2 August 1905 – 2 November 1979) was a Kapitän zur See with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the Type IXC U-boat U-130 on five patrols, and sank twenty ships, for a total of 145,656 tons of Allied shipping. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

<i>Kriegsmarine</i> 1935-1945 naval warfare branch of Germanys armed forces

The Kriegsmarine was the navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire (1871–1918) and the inter-war Reichsmarine (1919–1935) of the Weimar Republic. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches, along with the Heer (Army) and the Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces from 1933 to 1945.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

German submarine <i>U-130</i> (1941)

German submarine U-130 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard, Bremen as yard number 993 on 20 August 1940, launched on 14 March 1941 and commissioned on 11 June.

Contents

Career

Kals joined the Reichsmarine in 1924. In October 1940, after a period of service on torpedo boats and light cruisers, he transferred to the Ubootwaffe ("U-boat force"). After one patrol on U-37 under the command of Nicolai Clausen as commander in training, he took command of U-130 in June 1941. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in September 1941. [1]

A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck. Prior to this smaller cruisers had been of the protected cruiser model, possessing armored decks only. While lighter and smaller than other contemporary ships they were still true cruisers, retaining the extended radius of action and self-sufficiency to act independently across the world. Through their history they served in a variety of roles, primarily as convoy escorts and destroyer command ships, but also as scouts and fleet support vessels for battle fleets.

German submarine <i>U-37</i> (1938) German world war II submarine

German submarine U-37 was a Type IXA U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 15 March 1937 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard in Bremen, launched on 14 May 1938, and commissioned on 4 August 1938 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Schuch as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla.

Knights Cross of the Iron Cross military award of Nazi Germany

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, or simply the Knight's Cross, and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.

In April 1942, Kals, in U-130, bombarded the Allied petroleum tank farm on Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles. He went on to sink a total of 20 ships on five patrols, for a total of 145,656 tons of Allied shipping. In five minutes he sank three United States troopships, the Edward Rutledge, Hugh L. Scott and Tasker H. Bliss. [1]

Bombardment of Curaçao

The Bombardment of Curaçao refers to a 1942 German naval bombardment of a Bullen Baai Company petroleum storage facility on the small South American island of Curaçao during World War II. The raid to destroy or ignite the petroleum failed and the German U-boat responsible was unsuccessfully engaged by a Dutch shore battery before escaping.

Curaçao island country in the Caribbean, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Curaçao is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km (40 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Netherlands Antilles Former Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Netherlands Antilles was a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country consisted of several island territories located in the Caribbean Sea. The islands were also informally known as the Dutch Antilles. The country came into being in 1954 as the autonomous successor of the Dutch colony of Curaçao and Dependencies, and was dissolved in 2010. The former Dutch colony of Surinam, although it was relatively close by on the continent of South America, did not become part of Netherlands Antilles but became a separate autonomous country in 1954. All the island territories that belonged to the Netherlands Antilles remain part of the kingdom today, although the legal status of each differs. As a group they are still commonly called the Dutch Caribbean, regardless of their legal status.

In January 1943 Kals became commander of the 2nd U-boat Flotilla, based in Lorient, France. Promoted to Kapitän zur See in September 1944, he remained in this position until the end of the war. [1]

2nd U-boat Flotilla flotilla

The 2nd U-boat Flotilla, also known as the Saltzwedel Flotilla, was the second operational U-boat unit in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Founded on 1 September 1936 under the command of Fregattenkapitän Werner Scheer, it was named in honour of Oberleutnant zur See Reinhold Saltzwedel. Saltzwedel, a U-boat commander during World War I, died on 2 December 1917, when his submarine UB-81 was sunk by a mine in the English Channel.

Lorient Subprefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Lorient is a town and seaport in the Morbihan "department" of Brittany in North-Western France.

Later life

Kals was held in French captivity from May 1945 to January 1948. He died at Emden in 1979 at the age of 74. [1]

Emden Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Emden is an independent city and seaport in Lower Saxony in the northwest of Germany, on the river Ems. It is the main city of the region of East Frisia and, in 2011, had a total population of 51,528.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As commander of U-130 Ernst Kals reportedly sank 17 merchant ships for a total of 111,249  gross register tons (GRT), three auxiliary warships for a total of 34,407  GRT and damaged one further ship of 6,986  GRT.

Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel.

DateName of shipFlagTonnageFate
10 December 1941 Kirnwood Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 3,829Sunk
10 December 1941 Kurdistan Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 5,844Sunk
10 December 1941 Star of Luxor Flag of Egypt (1922-1958).svg  Egypt 5,298Sunk
13 January 1942 Friar Rock Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 5,427Sunk
13 January 1942 Frisco Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 1,582Sunk
21 January 1942 Alexander Høegh Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 8,248Sunk
25 January 1942 Varanger Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 9,305Sunk
27 January 1942 Francis E. Powell Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States 7,096Sunk
27 January 1942 Halo Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States 6,986Damaged
11 April 1942 Grenanger Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 5,393Sunk
11 April 1942 Esso Boston Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States 7,699Sunk
25 July 1942 Tankexpress Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 10,095Sunk
27 July 1942 Elmwood Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 7,167Sunk
30 July 1942 Danmark Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 8,391Sunk
9 August 1942 Malmanger Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 7,078Sunk
11 August 1942 Mirlo Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 7,455Sunk
25 August 1942 Viking Star Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 6,445Sunk
26 August 1942 Beechwood Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 4,897Sunk
12 November 1942 USS Edward Rutledge Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States Navy 9,360Sunk
12 November 1942 USS Hugh L. Scott Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States Navy 12,479Sunk
12 November 1942 USS Tasker H. Bliss Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States Navy 12,568Sunk

Awards

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Kapitän zur See Ernst Kals". uboat.net. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 255.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 250.

Bibliography

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). 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] (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN   978-3-8132-0515-2.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile[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] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN   978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945[The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN   978-3-938845-17-2.


Military offices
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze
Commander of 2nd U-boat Flotilla
January, 1943 – October, 1944
Succeeded by
disbanded