Oberleutnant zur See (Crew XII/39)
No ships sunk or damaged.
|Born ||28 Apr 1921|| ||Berlin|
|Died ||15 Jan 1979||(57)||Berlin, Germany|
|1 Dec 1939|| ||Offiziersanwärter|
|1 Nov 1940|| ||Fähnrich zur See|
|1 Nov 1941|| ||Oberfähnrich zur See|
|1 Apr 1942|| ||Leutnant zur See|
|1 Dec 1943|| ||Oberleutnant zur See|
|U-148 ||30 Nov 1943 ||15 Dec 1944 || No war patrols |
|U-977 ||Mar, 1945 ||17 Aug 1945 || 1 patrol (108 days) |
Earlier in the war Schäffer served on U-445 as 1st Watch Officer (I WO) for four patrols. He then took command of the small type IID U-boat U-148.
He later took over U-977 from Hans Leilich, and it was under Oblt. Schäffer’s command that U-977 set off from Norway on her very famous (and no doubt arduous) voyage to Argentina when Germany announced her surrender. He made sure to keep the full complement of torpedoes, despite the cramped conditions in a type VIIC U-boat, to avoid any accusations of having sunk ships after the ceasefire (Blair, 1998).
After the war he wrote a book, U-boat 977, about this patrol and all the bizarre rumours related to it.
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).
Patrol info for Heinz Schäffer
| ||U-boat ||Departure
||Arrival|| || ||
||13 Apr 1945 ||Kiel
||20 Apr 1945 ||Horten
|| ||8 days||
||29 Apr 1945 ||Horten
||30 Apr 1945 ||Kristiansand
|| ||2 days||
||2 May 1945 ||Kristiansand
||17 Aug 1945 ||Mar del Plata, Argentina
||Patrol 1,||108 days||
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.