Korvettenkapitän (Crew 31)
10 ships sunk, total tonnage 40,619 GRT
|Born||3 Apr 1912||Castrop-Rauxel|
|Died||17 Apr 1943||(31)||North Atlantic|
|U-175||5 Dec 1941||17 Apr 1943 (+)||3 patrols (158 days)|
Heinrich A. B. Bruns joined the Navy in 1931. His officer training included deployments aboard the sail training ship (STS) Niobe and the light cruiser Karlsruhe. Prior to WW2 he had duty postings as watch officer on the torpedo boat Jaguar (DE equivalent) as well as cadet training officer aboard STS Albert Leo Schlageter and STS Horst Wessel.
At the start of the war he was a signals officer on the famous battle cruiser Scharnhorst and then moved on to the 1st torpedo boat flotilla where he took command of torpedo boat T 3 in January 1940. His boat was sunk, after escorting a German convoy in, by British bombers alongside the quay in Le Havre, France on 19 Sept, 1940. Bruns was severely wounded in this raid, requiring months of recovery and proper care. He then became a navigational officer on the training ship Schleswig Holstein before entering the U-boat service in March 1941.
After finishing U-boat commander training he was assigned as "Konfirmand" (Evaluation commander) to Ringelmann's U-75 where he went on one patrol where they sank 2 ships for roughly 10,000 tons. Heinrich Bruns was then assigned to oversee the final construction of the U-175 in Bremen, taking command of that boat on 5 Dec, 1941.
His first patrol on U-175 was outstanding as he sank 9 ships for roughly 33.000 tons during his 64-days at sea (all the ships were actually sunk during the last 30 days).
His boat was lost on its third patrol on 17 April, 1943 after only 7 days at sea. Heinrich Bruns and 12 of his men died but 41 men survived (Niestlé, 1998). The sinking of U-175 is often seen in books as many photographs exist of its loss.
Heinrich Bruns was married and had 2 children; a daughter and a son. His main passion in the navy lay in 2 things; sailing the big three-masted sail training vessels and driving destroyers. With no destroyer commands available in the Germany navy he volunteered for the U-boat service (info from his son).
Patrol info for Heinrich Bruns
|1.||U-175||15 Aug 1942||Kiel||17 Oct 1942||Lorient||Patrol 1,||64 days|
|2.||U-175||1 Dec 1942||Lorient||24 Feb 1943||Lorient||Patrol 2,||86 days|
|3.||U-175||10 Apr 1943||Lorient||17 Apr 1943||Sunk||Patrol 3,||8 days|
|3 patrols, 158 days at sea|
Ships hit by Heinrich Bruns
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|18 Sep 1942||U-175||Norfolk||1,901||ca|
|21 Sep 1942||U-175||Predsednik Kopajtic||1,798||yu|
|24 Sep 1942||U-175||West Chetac||5,627||am||TRIN-14|
|26 Sep 1942||U-175||Tambour||1,827||pa|
|28 Sep 1942||U-175||Alcoa Mariner||5,590||am|
|1 Oct 1942||U-175||Empire Tennyson||2,880||br|
|2 Oct 1942||U-175||Aneroid||5,074||pa|
|4 Oct 1942||U-175||Caribstar||2,592||am|
|5 Oct 1942||U-175||William A. McKenney||6,153||am|
|23 Jan 1943||U-175||Benjamin Smith||7,177||am|
10 ships sunk (40,619 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.