There were usually 44 to 46 men on a Type VII, depending on which variant. The typical Type VII U-boat had four officers, who had the overall responsibility of maintaining trim and balance throughout the boat.
||Kapitanleutnant or Oberleutnant zur See
||Of all, the captain has the highest responsibility as he routinely made life or death decisions affecting the fate of the entire crew. It was not surprising therefore that the crew identified closely with their captain, and were especially proud if he had been awarded a medal.
|First Watch Officer (1WO)
||Oberleutnant zur See or Leutnant zur See
||Executive Officer. The second in command.
||He shadowed the CO closely so that he could take command if the CO fell ill or was killed in battle. His other responsibilities included the boat’s weapons systems and conducting torpedo aiming during surface attacks.
|Second Watch Officer (2WO)
||Leutnant zur See
||He was responsible for the watchcrew on deck, the Flak gun and the deck gun. He also oversaw the radio room crew.
||A highly experienced officer, he was responsible for the maintenance of the U-boat’s mechanics, which included the engines, motors, batteries, and other mechanical systems. The LI also set the demolition charges in the event the boat had to be scuttled. This also meant that many LIs went down with the boat, some of them deliberately.