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Erich Topp (deceased)
|Born 2nd July 1914 - Died 26th December 2005. Born in Hannover, Topp joined the Kriegsmarine in 1934, serving on the cruiser Karlsruhe, before transferring to U-Boats in 1937. He was assigned to U-46 for a number of combat tours before taking command of U57 in June 1940, sinking six ships over two missions before being sunk in a collision on the 3rd of September the same year. Surviving this, Topp then commanded U-552 from December that year, sinking 30 ships, predominantly in the North Atlantic, including the first American ship of the war to be sunk, the destroyer "Reuben James". From October 1942 he commanded the 27th submarine flottilla. He also took command of two further U-Boats, these being U-3010 for about a month in 1945, and subsequently U-2513 from April 1945 until surrendering this vessel on May 8th. His highest award was the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The 3rd highest scoring U-boat Commander, Topp sank a total of 36 ships totalling almost 200,000 tons|
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