WWI U-boat commanders

Helmut Patzig

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 4/10)

24 ships sunk with a total of 87,326 GRT
1 ship damaged with a total of 5,189 GRT

Born:26 Oct 1890 Danzig 
Died:11 Mar 1984  

Helmut Patzig
Helmut Patzig in Kriegsmarine uniform


1 Apr 1910 Seekadett
15 Apr 1911 Fähnrich zur See
27 Sep 1913 Leutnant zur See
22 Mar 1916 Oberleutnant zur See
22 Nov 1919 Out of naval service
21 Jan 1920 Kapitänleutnant (Charakter)


11 May 1916  Iron Cross 2nd class
6 Mar 1917  Iron Cross 1st class
11 Jul 1918  Royal House Order of Hohenzollern

U-boat Commands

U 8626 Jan 1918 - 11 Nov 1918
U 901 Aug 1918 - 31 Aug 1918


Helmut Brümmer-Patzig entered the Germany Navy as member of class 1910. He served on the pre-dreadnaught battleship Pommern until Nov 1915 when he switched to the U-boat force. He was a Watch Officer on U A (Scherb) and U 55 (Werner) from Nov 1915 to Sep 1917. Brümmer-Patzig commanded the WWI U-boat U 86 from Jan 1918 to Aug 1918 when he took command of U 90 until the Armistice on 11 Nov.

Helmut Brümmer-Patzig was successful as a WWI U-boat commander and sank 24 ships (89,318 GRT) and damaged one (5,189 GRT). See his WWII page.

Sinking of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle
One of the worst atrocities of the Naval war was is reported to have happened on 27 June, 1918, when SM U-86 (Oblt.z.S. Helmut Patzig), against international law and standing orders of the Imperial German Navy, sank the hospital ship LLandovery Castle. On top of that, he ordered his U-boat to ram the life boats and shot at the survivors. Of a crew of 258 of the LLandovery Castle only 24 survived. For this war crime, Patzig and his watch officers were tried after the war before a German court at Leipzig and were condemned to four years imprisonment. Patzig could not be found to be tried and his officers "escaped" on the way to labor camp.

After WWI

When the Second World War broke out he offered his service again, serving past his retirement age. Brümmer-Patzig served on the BdU staff from Feb to Jun 1940, then in several staff positions until he took command of the former Dutch boat UD 4 on 28 Jan 1941. he commanded that boat, no patrols, until 15 Oct 1941 when he again served in staff positions until retirement on 3 May 1945.


Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.

Media links

Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

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