Kriegsmarine Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp
Born July 2ed, 1914, Hanover, Erich Topp began his naval career in April 1934, serving six months on the light cruiser Karlsruhe before joining the U-boat force in October 1937. A year later he became watch officer on U-46.
After four patrols with the U-46, Topp was assigned to take his first command aboard the U-57. With this boat he sank six ships for a total of 36,862 tons. U-57 sank on September 3, 1940 after colliding with the Norwegian ship Rona.
Topp was assigned for command aboard the famous `Red Devil Boat` U-552, a Type VIIC boat. Topp scored most of his successes in the North Atlantic against convoys and off the North American coast. On his most successful patrol, the eighth, that took place in March-April 1942, he sank eight ships for a total of 45,731 tons.
In September 1942 Topp became commander of the 27th U-boat Flotilla-the Kriegsmarine flotilla for tactical training given to new U-boats crews. Topp also wrote the Battle Instructions for the new Type XXI Elektroboot submarine in 1944, and when the war ended he was commanding one of them, the U-2513, which he surrendered at Horten, Norway in May 1945.