Otto Wermuth

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew X/39)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  28 Jul 1920 Aalen, Württemberg


16 Sep 1939 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jul 1940 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1941 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Mar 1942 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1943 Oberleutnant zur See


U-boat Commands

U-853 10 Jul 1944 31 Aug 1944   No war patrols 
U-530 Jan, 1945 10 Jul 1945   1 patrol (130 days) 

Otto Wermuth joined the Kriegsmarine in 1939. He served on the destroyer Z 23 from March to April 1941. He joined the U-boat force in April and began his training.

After completing training he joined the U-37 as a Watch Officer (WO) in Sept 1941. The hugely successful U-37 was by that time retired to school boat duties and Wermuth did not go out on patrol with it. In July 1942 Otto Wermuth became the Second Watch Officer (2WO) on the successful U-103, staying in that role until June 1943 when he became the First Watch Officer (1WO) until Feb 1944. He served on the U-103 during 3 patrols, total of over 150 days at sea. During his time on the U-103 the boat sank 3 ships.

Otto Wermuth went through U-boat commander training from March to July 1944. He took command of the U-853 on 10 July for a short while, leaving command on 31 Aug. He was then assigned to the 1. UAA and as a supernumerary Watch Officer on the U-530 from 14 Sept to Jan 1945.

Surrender of his U-boat to Argentina
The 24 year-old Oblt. Otto Wermuth became commander of the U-530 in January 1945 and took the boat on what was to become one of the more special patrols of the war. On 3 March 1945 he left Horten, Norway for a patrol intended to hunt of Halifax, Canada. Finding little there he headed south to New York waters. From May 4 to 7 U-530 fired 9 torpedoes at Allied shipping off New York but they all missed or malfunctioned. When Wermuth then learned of the German surrender he decided to flee to Argentina and all but a few enlisted man approved the idea. He jettisoned the remaining 5 torpedoes and headed south the Atlantic and surrendered his boat to the Argentinian navy on 10 July 1945 after 130 days at sea (Blair, 1998).

Even though the boat was a normal combat boat, empty of armaments and secret materials the press soon began to wonder amazing things about this patrols. Martin Bormann, Eva Braun, Hitler himself and others were at one time or another believed to have been on board. Some still believe this. No evidence has ever come forth for any of this (Blair, 1998).


Blair, C. (1998). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunted, 1942-1945.
Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.

Patrol info for Otto Wermuth

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-530 19 Feb 1945  Kiel  23 Feb 1945  Horten   5 days
2. U-530 3 Mar 1945  Horten  10 Jul 1945  Mar del Plata, Argentina  Patrol 1,130 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.

Media links

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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