Otto Kretschmer The Life of Germany’s Highest Scoring U-boat Commander By Lawrence Paterson2 min read
He demonstrated a cool approach to combat: his mantra “one torpedo for one ship” proved that the best way for his boat to succeed against a convoy was to remain surfaced as much as possible, penetrating the convoy and using the boat’s high speed and small silhouette to avoid retaliation.
His nickname “Silent Otto” referred to his ability to remain undetected and his reluctance to provide the regular radio reports required by Dönitz: he had guessed that the Allies had broken German codes. Alongside his military skill was a character that remained rooted in the traditions of the Prussian military.
Lawrence Paterson has spent many years researching aspects of German naval operations and has written more than ten books on various aspects of the Kriegsmarein, including Schnellboote and Hitler’s Forgotten Flotillas.