As the topic states I am curious of how many offiers were on board a type VII-C U-boat during WW2. I know the crew size was typically 42 to 48, but what was the breakdown of the crew?

Bonus points for explanation of each officer's duty.

  • 9
    Google search of "crew of type VII-C U-boat" rapidly turns up a listing of key officers and petty officers on a U-Boat. – Pieter Geerkens Jul 23 '18 at 14:17
  • 5
    @PieterGeerkens - Perhaps, but that website isn't exactly a "standard reference source", and there's no sourcing info there that I can find. How reliable is it? – T.E.D. Jul 23 '18 at 15:36
  • 1
    Don't have an answer, but go watch the movie Das Boot if you haven't seen it yet. – Alen Jul 23 '18 at 19:52

According to Grey Wolf: U-Boat Crewman of World War II, the officers of a typical crew consisted of...

  • Commander - a Kapitänleutnant or Oberleutnant
  • First Officer - Oberleutnant zur See or Leutnant zur See
  • Second Officer - Leutnant zur See
  • Engineering Officer - Leutnant or Oberleutnant zur See
  • Third Watch Officer - Held by a warrant officer, typically the Obersteuermann (Navigator)
  • Fourth Watch Officer - Non-commissioned held by the Oberbootsmaat (Bosun)

And there were various warrant and petty officers which made up the crew. A complete breakdown is in the book and available via Google Books.

So four commissioned officers for a crew of about 50.

  • 2
    Awesome answer and thank you for the link to the book! I will definitely be checking it out. – Chad Jul 23 '18 at 17:18
  • Any indication what the bare minimum of crew would be to operate it (skeleton crew)? – Mast Jul 24 '18 at 6:45
  • @Mast Buy the book and let us know! $11 on Kindle. :) – Schwern Jul 24 '18 at 19:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.