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eMedals-Germany, Kriegsmarine. Award Documents Signed by U-boat Captain & KC with Swords Recipient Reinhard Suhren

Item: G31368

Germany, Kriegsmarine. Award Documents Signed by U-boat Captain & KC with Swords Recipient Reinhard Suhren



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Germany, Kriegsmarine. Award Documents Signed by U-boat Captain & KC with Swords Recipient Reinhard Suhren

An award certificate for the U-Boat Front Clasp in Silver, measuring 148x210mm; and an award certificate for the Iron Cross 1st Class, measuring 140x200mm, both extremely fine with folding crease and light scuffing.
Both documents are issued to Lieutenant/Senior Lieutenant of the Kriegsmarine Leonhard Leißner. The Front Clasp certificate is dated to April 18, 1945, the Iron Cross certificate to January 30, 1945. Both documents carry a strong signature in blue ink by Frigate Captain and Leader of the U-boats Nordmeer (Norwegian Sea), Reinhard Suhren.

Footnote: Reinhard “Teddy” Suhren was born on April 16, 1916 in Langenschwalbach (near Wiesbaden). He joined the Reichsmarine, following his brother Gerd who had joined two years earlier; and was deployed to Stralsund on the Baltic Sea in April 1935. Suhren received the first part of his training on the cruiser “Emden”. He was then promoted to Fähnrich zur See (Officer Cadet) in July 1936. After several special training courses, Suhren received further ship based training in late 1937 on the destroyer “Max Schulz” where he was promoted to Oberfähnrich (Senior Ensign) in January 1938. With his promotion to Leutnant (Lieutenant) in April 1938, Suhren was redeployed to serve in the U-boat branch of the Kriegsmarine. He became Second Guard Officer in the U Flotilla “Wegener” in the Atlantic. Suhren was promoted to Oberleutnant (Senior Lieutenant) in October 1938. In April 1939, he was redeployed again to serve as First Guard Officer on U-48. This U-boat went on to become the most successful one of the Kriegsmarine in the war. Suhren went on nine patrols with it and distinguished himself as a most capable sailor. He received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on September 25, 1939, the U-boat War Badge on December 21, 1939, and the Iron Cross 1st Class on February 25, 1940. As a torpedo gunner, Suhren helped to sink over 200,000 GRT of merchant ships, for which he was awarded the Knight’s Cross on November 3, 1940. The award had been requested by Suhren’s commander, Heinrich Bleichrodt. Bleichrodt had been awarded a Knight’s Cross himself by Dönitz, but said he would refuse to wear it if Suhren wouldn’t be awarded one as well, saying that U-48’s success was more attributable to Suhren than him. Of the 119 torpedoes that were fired during Suhren’s service on board, 65 were aimed and fired by him, and 30 of these hit the target. He was the first U-boat Guard Officer to receive the award. His brother had also received the Knight’s Cross, just a few days earlier, as Leading Engineer on U-37. Following this honour, Suhren was awarded his own command post on U-564 in April 1941. After training the crew, they were on their way to the front in the Atlantic in June. With U-564, Suhren went on six successful patrols. He became an expert in convoy patrols. Partly due to his daring, partly because of his expertise Suhren lost no crew members and managed to have the ship sustain only minor damage. The crew, however, also had a part in this. Suhren had made them into one of the most well-trained U-boat crews in the Kriegsmarine. He was awarded the (56th) Oak Leaves on December 311941 and was promoted to Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant) on January 1, 1942, after returning from the third patrol with U-564. Suhren received a U-boat War Badge in Gold with Diamonds in March 1942, a custom-made decoration awarded personally by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. He was promoted to Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain) and received the (18th) Swords on September 1, 1942, after the sixth patrol with U-564. In March of 1943, after his 15th patrol, Suhren was released from front service to train new officer recruits. As such, he was promoted to Fregattenkapitän (Frigate Captain) in June 1944. Suhren became the Leader of the U-boats in Norway and coordinated the fight against Russian convoys. In September, he became Leader of the U-boats in the North Sea. At the end of the war, Suhren was captured by the British in Norway and spent a year as a POW. He died on August 25, 1984 in Halstenbek (south of Hamburg).

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