Korvettenkapitän (Crew 33)
5 ships sunk, total tonnage 28,600 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 19,230 GRT
|Born||23 Feb 1909||Bielefeld|
|Died||25 Nov 1943||(34)||north of Punta Delgada, Azores|
|U-600||11 Dec 1941||25 Nov 1943 (+)||6 patrols (278 days)|
Bernhard Zurmühlen joined the Reichsmarine in 1933. He served as a Radio Technical Officer on the old training battleship Schleswig-Holstein from Aug 1939 to Aug 1940. From Aug to Nov 1940 he served at Bruges after which he became an instructor at the Signals School at Mürwik until March 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He went through U-boat training from March to July 1941 when he began his U-boat Commander training with the 24th Flotilla. In Sept 1941 Bernhard Zurmühlen graduated and was assigned as a supernumerary Watch Officer (WO) on the U-331 (Kptlt. Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen). He went out on two patrols with the boat; on the first they broke into the Mediterranean and on the second they sank the British battleship HMS Barham on 25 Nov 1941 (Rohwer, 1998).
After returning from the U-331 after the successful patrol Bernhard Zurmühlen was sent to an U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) to prepare for his own command. On 11 Dec 1941 he commissioned the brand new type VIIC boat U-600. After training in the Baltic during the winter the boat left for its first war patrol on 14 July 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
Kptlt. Bernhard Zurmühlen commanded the U-600 on 5 patrols, sinking 5 ships (28,600 tons) and damaging 3 more (19,230 tons). In March 1943 he fought in one of the largest convoy battles of the war when his boat, as part of Wolfpack Raubgraf, operated against convoy HX-229. U-600 was one of the most successful boats during this operation with 1 large ship sunk and 2 damaged (Rohwer, 1998).
The just promoted KrvKpt. Bernhard Zurmühlen was lost with his entire crew of 54 men when his U-600 was sunk on 25 Nov 1943 in the North Atlantic north of Ponta Delgada by depth charges from the British frigates HMS Bazely and HMS Blackwood (Niestlé, 1998).
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Bernhard Zurmühlen
|1.||U-600||14 Jul 1942||Kiel||22 Sep 1942||La Pallice||Patrol 1,||71 days|
|2.||U-600||22 Nov 1942||La Pallice||27 Dec 1942||La Pallice||Patrol 2,||36 days|
|3.||U-600||11 Feb 1943||La Pallice||26 Mar 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 3,||44 days|
|4.||U-600||25 Apr 1943||La Pallice||11 May 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 4,||17 days|
|5.||U-600||12 Jun 1943||La Pallice||10 Sep 1943||Brest||Patrol 5,||91 days|
|6.||U-600||7 Nov 1943||Brest||25 Nov 1943||Sunk||Patrol 6,||19 days|
|6 patrols, 278 days at sea|
Ships hit by Bernhard Zurmühlen
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|10 Aug 1942||U-600||Vivian P. Smith||130||br|
|13 Aug 1942||U-600||Delmundo||5,032||am||TAW-12|
|13 Aug 1942||U-600||Everelza||4,520||le||TAW-12|
|8 Dec 1942||U-600||James McKay||6,762||am||HX-217|
|24 Feb 1943||U-600||Ingria (d.)||4,391||nw||ON-166|
|17 Mar 1943||U-600||Irénée Du Pont (d.)||6,125||am||HX-229|
|17 Mar 1943||U-600||Nariva (d.)||8,714||br||HX-229|
|17 Mar 1943||U-600||Southern Princess||12,156||br||HX-229|
5 ships sunk (28,600 tons) and 3 ships damaged (19,230 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Special thanks to Fernando Almeida for data on ranks and decorations.