Kapitänleutnant Kurt Diggins

1939: Kapitän zur See Hans W. Langsdorff (without hat) and Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Diggins (far left) on board Admiral Graf Spee.

(Photo courtesy of Hugh R. Sochi, from the private collection of Hugo Oehler Jr. son of
Matrosenobergefreiter Hugo Oehler, Division 4, Admiral Graf Spee)


December 14, 1939: Left to right: Captain Dietrich Niebuhr, German naval attaché at Buenos Aires,
Kapitän zur See Hans W. Langsdorff, with his wounded hand in his uniform, an unidentified crewman and
Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Diggins, in a motor launch at Montevideo, Uruguay.

(Photo courtesy of Hugo R. Sochi, from the private collection of Ana Marcela Halupczok, daughter of
Maschinengefreiter Erich Halupczok, Division 9, Admiral Graf Spee)


Kurt Diggins was the Flag Lieutenant on Admiral Graf Spee, after being interned in Buenos Aires he escaped
and returned to Germany. In Sept. 1940 he became Commander of the 6th Minesweeper Flotilla, in Dec. 1940
he became Commander of the 5th Minesweeper Flotilla, holding the post until Mar. 1941.

On Dec. 12, 1941 he became the commanding officer of U-458 and in Jan. 1942 was promoted to
Kapitänleutnant. He was the only commander of U-458 and he made several war patrols sinking two ships
totaling 7,584 tons.

His boat was sunk on Aug. 22, 1943 by HMS Easton L-09 and the Greek destroyer Pindos in
the Mediterranean Sea near Italy, eight of his crew were killed, Diggins and the other survivors were taken
prisoner and were interned for the remainder of the war. Diggins was released in 1947. In 1957 he joined the
Bundesmarine and later became President of Honour of the German submariners Association.


Page published Mar. 1, 2009