SOME OF THE PRISONERS
Vizeadmiral Kurt Utke
PW NO: A938915
2 December 1893
PLACE OF BIRTH: Frankfurt an der Oder
30 September 1970
PLACE OF DEATH: Near Leermoos/Tirol (He apparently accidentally fell to
his death while on
a mountain trip to the
Sonnenspitze summit. His body was not found until August 1971)
OCCUPATION: Naval Officer
NEXT OF KIN:
zur See: 12 April 1913
zur See: 22 March 1915 (Patenting reserved)
zur See: 12 October 1916 (Patent 22 March 1915)
zur See: 25 December 1917
1 January 1924
1 October 1931
1 April 1936
zur See: 1 October 1937
1 March 1942
1 February 1944
April 1912: Entered the Imperial German Navy as a Sea Cadet.
April 1912-10 March 1913: Initial training aboard the protected cruiser Victoria
March 1913-11 August 1913: Naval School Mürwick and Special Course.
August 1913-4 November 1914: Assigned to the armored cruiser Yorck.
[On 4 November 1914, Utke survived the sinking of the Yorck after it
struck a mine off the Jade with the loss of 336 crewmembers.]
November 1914-March 1915: Assigned to the 5. Matrosen-Regiment of the Marinekorps
1915-March 1917: Assigned to the battlecruiser von der Tann. [Assigned
to Vizeadmiral Franz Hipper’s I Scouting Group, the von der Tann took
part in the epic Battle of Jutland against the British Grand Fleet, 31 May-1
ship sustained four heavy shell hits (two 15-inch and two 13.5-inch) during
the battle and suffered the loss of 11 crewmembers killed and 35 wounded.
Although all of the ship’s turrets were put out of action at one point, she
gamely held her place in the German battle line to help draw British fire.
As such, she took part in the “death ride of the German battlecruisers,” a
desperate, Wagnerian-like rearguard action to cover the main German battle
fleet’s third Gefechtskehrtwendung (16-point battle turn-about) to
avoid having its “T crossed” by the British Grand Fleet. Upon receipt of the
signal “Battlecruisers at the enemy! Give it everything!” from the fleet flagship,
Hipper’s already battered ships grimly held their course toward the enemy
while exposed to the fire of virtually the entire British battle line. Covered
by torpedo attacks carried out by three German torpedo boat flotillas, the
battlecruisers turned about it when it became apparent that the main German
battle fleet had successfully made its escape.]
1917-June 1917: Submarine training at the U-boat School.
1917-April 1918: Watch Officer aboard the submarine UC 71 in the Flanders
1918-26 June 1918: Commander of the submarine UC 11 in the Flanders
June1918-30 May 1920: Prisoner of war when the UC 11 sank after apparently
striking one of its own mines in the North Sea (Kurt Utke was the only
to Germany and on leave.
May 1920-24 October 1920: Platoon Leader in Coast Defense Regiment Wilhelmshaven.
October 1920-8 March 1922: Company Leader in the North Sea Schiffsstammdivision
[Ship’s Cadre Division].
March 1922-30 September 1924: Watch Officer aboard the light cruiser Berlin.
October 1924-24 September 1926: Company Leader in Coast Defense Battalion
September 1926-23 September 1928: First Torpedo Officer aboard the pre-dreadnought
September 1928-4 October 1932: Military Consultant at the Eckernförde Torpedo
Development and Proving Institute.
January 1933-26 September 1934: First Officer of the light cruiser Leipzig.
September 1934-3 October 1937: Commander of the IV. Naval Artillery Battalion.
October 1937-17 April 1939: Commander of the Torpedo School.
April 1939-16 November 1939: Commander of the pre-dreadnought battleship (cadet
school ship) Schlesien. [Utke’s ship bombarded Polish fortifications
on the Hela peninsula in September 1939].
November 1939-17 February 1943: Commander of the Eckernförde Torpedo Development
and Proving Institute.
February 1943-3 December 1944: Inspector of Torpedo Matters.
December 1944-26 April 1945: Inspector, Regional Recruitment Inspectorate
May 1948: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
Decorations & Awards (included):
PAGE TITLE PAGE
Cross in Silver: 28 December 1943, Konteradmiral, Inspector of Torpedo
Iron Cross, 1st Class (1914)
Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914)
Merit Cross, 1st Class with Swords
Merit Cross, 2nd Class with Swords
Military Merit Order, 4th Class with Swords
of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service Cross)
Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal)
Navy U-boat War Badge – World War I award