Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 38)
|Born||12 Aug 1919||Hamburg|
|Died||18 Aug 1977||(58)|
|U-6||20 Oct 1942||Jun, 1943||No war patrols|
|U-476||28 Jul 1943||25 May 1944||1 patrol (6 days)|
|U-3507||19 Oct 1944||19 Mar 1945||No war patrols|
Otto Niethmann joined the Kriegsmarine in 1938. He went through U-boat training from Oct 1940 to May 1941. He served as a Watch officer (WO) on the U-30 from May 1941 to March 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
From March to Aug 1942 Niethmann served as a Watch Officer on the U-373 (Kptlt. Paul-Karl Loeser) (Busch & Röll, 1999). He went out on one patrol with the U-boat from 18 May to 8 July 1942 where they sank one small ship of 396 tons.
Niethmann commanded the small "duck" school boat U-6 from 20 Oct 1942 to July 1943 when he began his U-boat Familiarization (Baubelehrung) for his next command, a new type VIIC boat. On 28 July 1943 he commissioned the U-476 at Kiel (Busch & Röll, 1999). The next months were spent training in the Baltic. U-476 arrived in Norway for combat patrols in April 1944 and left for its first and only war patrol on 20 May 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1997).
Surviving two lost boats in two days
On 24 May 1944 the U-476 (Oblt. Otto Niethmann) suffered a crippling damage from a British Catalina aircraft (Sqdn 210/V) and the boat was scuttled (Niestlé, 1998). Kplt. Hubert Nordheimer in his U-990 rescued 21 of the men while 34 went down with the boat (Blair, 1998).
The men from U-476 brought no luck to the U-990 as it was sunk the next day by another aircraft, this time a British Liberator (Sqdn 59/S). 20 men from U-990 died in the sinking but 33 survived (Niestlé, 1998).
The German outpost boat V 5901 rescued 51 men from the sinking U-990, including 18 from the U-476 (3 died on the U-990). Both commanders Niethmann and Nordheimer survived and were sent to Germany to command the new type XXI boats (Blair, 1998).
Oblt. Otto Niethmann served with the 11th Flotilla from May to July 1944 and then travelled to Germany to began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) for the new XXI boats. He finished his training and commissioned the new U-3507 at the Schichau yard at Danzig on 19 Oct 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1999). He spent the winter training in the Baltic and finally scuttled the boat at Travemünde on 3 May 1945 (Niestlé, 1998). The last few days of the war he served with the 5th flotilla at Kiel.
Blair, C. (1998). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunted, 1942-1945.
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.
Patrol info for Otto Niethmann
|1.||U-476||25 Apr 1944||Kiel||29 Apr 1944||Egersund||5 days|
|2.||U-476||16 May 1944||Egersund||17 May 1944||Bergen||2 days|
|3.||U-476||20 May 1944||Bergen||25 May 1944||Sunk||Patrol 1,||6 days|
Ships hit by Otto Niethmann
No entries found.
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.