Friday, May 30, 2014
Sailor of Monarchy: Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere
When the Great War broke out in 1914, von Arnauld de la Periere did not see action initially. His duties were confined to staff positions which, while important, were certainly not very thrilling. That all changed in 1915 when he volunteered for a transfer to the submarine force. After training in Pola he was given command of the Type-31 submarine U-35 (the Type-31 was the most successful sub class of the war). In the fourteen cruises Kapitanleutnant Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere undertook at the helm of U-35 he cut a path through Allied shipping lanes the likes of which had never been seen before and would never be seen again. His most successful area of operations was the Mediterranean. Awards and promotions followed; the Iron Cross second class, first class, the Hohenzollern House Order and elevation to Korvettenkapitan. In just one month he sent 54 ships to the bottom of the sea, accounting for 91,000 tons and while expending just four torpedoes. That was one of the unusual things about this submarine ace, he very rarely, in fact almost never, attacked while actually submerged. Some may also have found it odd that the crew enjoyed something of a ‘family’ atmosphere and even had a pet monkey onboard, the official mascot of the U-boat named Fipps.