Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock

Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock

Infobox Military Person
name=Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
born=birth date|1911|12|11|df=y

allegiance=flagicon|Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
flagicon|Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
branch=navy|Weimar Republic
navy|Nazi Germany
commands=U-8, 1939-10-14 – 1939-11-30
U-5, 1939-12-05 – 1940-08-11
U-96, 1940-09-14 – 1942-04-01
9. Unterseebootsflottille Commander, 1942-04-01 – 1944-09-02
U-256, 1944-09-02 – 1944-10-18
11. Unterseebootsflottille Commander, 1944-12 – 1945-05
unit=7. Unterseebootsflottille
9. Unterseebootsflottille
11. Unterseebootsflottille
awards=Iron Cross 1st Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
laterwork=Captain in the merchantfleet

Commander Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock (December 11 1911 – April 18 1986) was a German naval officer, and a submarine commander during World War II. He was among the top ten Aces of the Deep during the Second Battle of the Atlantic against the Allies, in terms of tonnage of merchant ships sunk. He commanded four subs, most notable and successful of which was his tour commanding the U-96, a Type VII U-boat, which gained large recognition when one of its patrols was documented and publicized by an accompanying war correspondent Lothar-Günther Buchheim. It eventually would be made into a mini-series and film called "Das Boot", where he was portrayed by Jürgen Prochnow.


Born in Bremen, Willenbrock joined the Reichsmarine in April 1931, with the rank of Seekadett, serving on a light cruiser and a sailing school ship before he transferred to the U-Boat Flotilla in April 1939, five months before World War II began. Upon serving as an executive officer on U-8, he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant and took command of U-5 in December 1939. Both U-8 and U-5 were of the Type II Class. His first patrol, which lasted fifteen days, was along the coast of Norway during Operation Hartmut, the u-boat operation in support of the invasion of Norway. No ships were sunk.

Upon the return of U-5, Willenbrock was transferred to the newly commissioned U-96, a Type VIIC u-boat whose crew underwent a three-month training period before being put onto active duty. After three patrols under Willenbrock's command, U-96 had sunk 125,580 tons of enemy shipping. The third patrol alone resulted in seven ships sunk, for 49,490 tons. The seventh patrol was the approximate time that Lothar-Günther Buchheim boarded U-96 and documented the boat's successes in his book Das Boot. Willenbrock earned all of his medals during his patrols with U-96.

Willenbrock left U-96 in March 1942 to be promoted to Korvettenkapitän and appointed "Flottillenchef" of the 9. Unterseebootsflottille, stationed in Brest. On September 2, 1944 he assumed command of U-256 and escaped the besieged Brest just a few days before the towns surrender. He reached Bergen, Norway on October 23. In Bergen he was appointed "Flottillenchef" of the 11. Unterseebootsflottille in December, and held the position until the German surrender in Norway on 9 May 1945.

After a year in captivity, Willenbrock returned to Germany in May 1946, salvaging ships in the Rhine river. In 1948, he left Germany aboard his ship, Magellan, with three of his friends to Buenos Aires. After returning to Germany, he served as captain on several merchantmen, and was appointed captain of the German freighter "Otto Hahn", the first of only four civilian nuclear ships. Buchheim's book "Der Abschied" (~"The Goodbye") describes one of its voyages, which Buchheim joined as a passenger.

He was decorated in 1974 with the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande (Federal Merit Cross on Ribbon). In 1982, Willenbrock accompanied Wolfgang Petersen and the Das Boot cast and crew as an advisor to the film. Afterwards, he returned to his home at Bremen, where he remained until his death.


During his patrols with U-96, Willenbrock was awarded with the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Iron Cross 1st Class, the U-Boat War Badge, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, and the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves for his achievements. He sank 24 ships for GRT|170,237|metric|first=yes, damaged two ships for GRT|15,864|metric and damaged one ship as a total loss for GRT|8,888|metric.


*cite web | title= Uboat.net| work= The Men – Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock| url=http://uboat.net/men/willenbrock.htm| accessdate=17 February| accessyear=2007

NAME=Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
SHORT DESCRIPTION=German World War II U-boat captain
DATE OF BIRTH=11 December 1911
DATE OF DEATH=18 April 1986

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock — le 25 mai 1941, de retour à Saint Nazaire, rendant com …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock — nach der Rückkehr von einer Fahrt mit U 96, Mai 1941 Heinrich Lehmann Willenbrock (* 11. Dezember 1911 in Bremen; † 18. April 1986 in Bremen) war deutscher U …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock — (Bremen, 11 de diciembre de 1911 18 de abril de 1986) fue un comandante alemán de submarinos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial y con posterioridad capitán del único buque alemán impulsado por energía nuclear, el NS Otto Hahn. Heinrich Lehmann… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lehmann-Willenbrock — Heinrich Lehmann Willenbrock nach der Rückkehr von einer Fahrt mit U 96, Mai 1941 Heinrich Lehmann Willenbrock (* 11. Dezember 1911 in Bremen; † 18. April 1986 in Bremen) war deutscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Lehmann — ist der Name folgender Personen: Heinrich Lehmann (Baumeister) (1856–1919), Baumeister und Kommunalpolitiker in Berlin Heinrich Lehmann (Jurist) (1876–1963), deutscher Rechtswissenschaftler und Rektor der Universität zu Köln Heinrich Lehmann… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lehmann — ist ein deutscher Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name leitet sich ab von Lehnsmann, Besitzer eines landwirtschaftlichen Lehnguts. Im 18. Jahrhundert tritt er vor allem in zwei mehr oder weniger geschlossenen Verbreitungsgebieten auf.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heinrich von Vietinghoff — Born 6 December 1887(1887 12 06) …   Wikipedia

  • Heinrich von Lüttwitz — Naissance 6 décembre 1896 Krumpach, Province de Silésie Décès 9 octobre 1969 (à 72 ans) Neuberg Allégeance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Heinrich Voigtsberger — Naissance 10 février 1903 Untermhaus Décès 17 mars 1959 (à 56 ans) Wittlich Allégeance Republique de Weimar …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Heinrich Eberbach — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Eberbach. Heinrich Eberbach …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”