U-48 Captain awarded Knights Cross by Donitz

German Newsreel footage from March 6th 1940 of the return of U-48 and the award of the Knights Cross to Herbert Schultze:

Herbert Schultze was famed for broadcasting an open message to ‘Winston Churchill’ giving the location of one of his early victims. Records show that U-48 returned from a 34 day patrol on 26th February 1940 and that Schultze was awarded the Knights Cross on the 1st March 1940, so either may be the date of the ceremony shown here for the benefit of the Newsreel. U-48 was the most successful of all the U-boats in the Second World War, sinking a total of 51 ships amounting to 306,875 tons during 12 patrols between 1939 and 1941. The first officer on U-48 at this time was Reinhard ‘Teddy’ Suhren. He is probably the dark bearded officer seen very briefly in the video as Donitz first approaches the line of men on parade. U-48 was obviously a valuable apprenticeship for him as he won the Knights Cross later this year whilst still only first officer. He then went on to gain more success with his own commands. His memoirs Teddy Suhren – Ace of Aces: Memoirs of a U-Boat Rebel are now regarded as one of the best personal records of the U-boat wars.

Uboat.net has further background information on U-48. The award of medals to the crews of returning U-boats crews was a good source of propaganda material: see for example The return of U-50 and Admiral Donitz awarding medals in January 1940.

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