Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)
2 ships sunk, total tonnage 21,999 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,773 GRT
|Born||14 Jul 1909||Küllstadt/Thür (Küllstedt)|
|Died||19 May 1945||(35)||Charlestown (Charles Street Prison)|
|U-511||8 Dec 1941||17 Dec 1942||2 patrols (112 days)|
|U-873||1 Mar 1944||16 May 1945||1 patrol (48 days)|
Friedrich Steinhoff was a former merchant marine officer (Rust, 2009). After serving on minesweepers, Friedrich Steinhoff transferred to the U-boat force in March 1941. With his first command, U-511, he undertook submerged rocket trials (this brother was a researcher at Peenemünde). After a year's duty in the staff of the 7th flotilla, he commissioned the Type IX D2 boat U-873 in March 1944.
On her first patrol in 1945 the war ended, and Steinhoff surrendered on 16 May, 1945 near Portsmouth, USA. Steinhoff and his crew were taken, not to a POW camp, but to the Charles Street Jail in Boston (while awaiting disposition to proper camp), a city jail with all kinds of common criminals lodged there. Stories that some crew members were mistreated are often told.
A broken man, Friedrich Steinhoff committed suicide on the morning of 19 May, 1945, opening his arteries using broken pieces of his sunglasses. The doctor from U-873, Dr. Karl Steinke, tried to give first aid, but it was too late. Some documents regarding the surrender of U-873 and interrogations of its crew can be found at uboatarchive.net.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rust, E. (2009) E-mail correspondence. Author of Naval Officers under Hitler.
Patrol info for Friedrich Steinhoff
|1.||U-511||16 Jul 1942||Kiel||29 Sep 1942||Lorient||Patrol 1,||76 days|
|2.||U-511||24 Oct 1942||Lorient||28 Nov 1942||Lorient||Patrol 2,||36 days|
|3.||U-873||17 Feb 1945||Kiel||22 Feb 1945||Horten||6 days|
|4.||U-873||21 Mar 1945||Horten||22 Mar 1945||Kristiansand||2 days|
|5.||U-873||30 Mar 1945||Kristiansand||16 May 1945||Portsmouth, USA||Patrol 3,||48 days|
|3 patrols, 160 days at sea|
Ships hit by Friedrich Steinhoff
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|27 Aug 1942||U-511||Friedrich Steinhoff||Esso Aruba (d.)||8,773||am||TAW-15|
|27 Aug 1942||U-511||Friedrich Steinhoff||Rotterdam||8,968||nl||TAW-15|
|27 Aug 1942||U-511||Friedrich Steinhoff||San Fabian||13,031||br||TAW-15|
2 ships sunk (21,999 tons) and 1 ship damaged (8,773 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.