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Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière

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Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, Posen, 18. March 1886 - Le Bourget, 24. February 1941, was a Naval officer, who reached the rank of Vizeadmiral. He was the most successfull U-Boot commander in WW1 and sank over 194 ships with a total of 453.716 BRT, at the same time the most successfull U-Boot commander in history.

 

Background

His great grandfather was Johann Gabriel Arnauld de la Perière, who left France after a duell in 1757 and settled in Prussia, where he became an officer in the Army of Frederick the Great. One of his sons, Eugen Ahasverus Albert Arnauld de la Perière, born 1800 in Neidenburg, was the grandfather of Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière.

Career

Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière joined the Imperial Navy in April 1903 at the age of 17 as a Sea Cadett. He absolved the usual torpedo training and sailed with Fregattenkapitän von Dombrowski on the Sailing ship SMS Stein for a training voyage to the West Indies. In 1905 he took part in special courses for the torpedo weapon and artillery. In 1906 he was commissioned as Leutnant zur See. During the following year followed commands on the linear ships Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm, Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as with the II. Torpedodivision. From 1911 till 1913, Oberleutnant zur See Arnauld de la Perière was a torpedo officer on the light cruiser Emden. Up till the outbreak of war, he was Adjutant of the Chief of Admiralty Staff, Admiral Hugo von Pohl in Berlin

World War I

At the outbreak of war Arnauld de la Perièr joined the Naval Air Service. Promoted to Kapitänleutnant on 16. December 1914, he transferred to the U-Boot arm in April 1915. Afer a training course as a commander with U1 and U3, he took over command of U-35 in Pola in November 1915. With this boat he led 14 ventures into the Meditarranean up till March 1918. The sixth operation from the 26. July till 20. August 1916 brought over 54 vessels sunk with a total of 90.000 BRT, the most successfull during the First World War. On 11. October 1916 he was decorated with the Ordre Pour le Mérite as third U-Boot commander of U-Flottille Pola. On the 18. May 1918 Arnauld de la Perière put the U-Cruiser 139 into commission under the name of Kapitänleutnant Schwieger. Using this boat, he made a voyage sinking five ships with a total tonnage of 7.008 BRT. In all, he sank over 193 merchant ships with a total tonnage of 457.179 BRT, as well as two gunboats of 2.500 BRT and damaged seven ships with a total of 31.810 BRT.

Between the wars

At the end of the war Arnauld de la Perière remained in the Navy and led the Sturmbataillon von Arnauld-de-la-Perière within the 3. Marinebrigade under the command of Wilfried von Loewenfeld from 1 February 1919 till October 1920.

In 1922 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän. In the following years he was a navigation officer on board the Hannover and the Elsass, as well as Admiralty Staff Officer at the Marinestation der Nordsee under the command of Vizeadmiral Bauer. From 1928 till 1930 he was commander of the light cruiser Emden as a Fregattenkapitän. On 30. September 1931 he reached the rank of Kapitänleutnant and pensioned off. From 1932 till 1938 he was an instructor at the Turkish Naval Academy.

World War II

Arnauld de la Perière was reactivated at the outbreak of war and was Naval Commander in Danzig till March 1940. After a short period as Naval Commander in Belgium-Netherlands, he was then Konteradmiral z.V. till June 1940 as Naval Commander in Brittany, and afterwards Western France. On 1. February 1941 was promotion to Vizeadmiral. On his way to taking over command as Admiral Südost, his plane crashed at Le Bourget near Paris.

A group of VII-C-Boats in the Mediterranean were formed under the name Arnauld

Arnauld de la Perière was buried at the Invalidenfriedhof in East Berlin

Decorations in World War I:

Source: Translation from Wikipedia

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