Helmut Brümmer-Patzig

Fregattenkapitän (Crew 4/10)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  26 Oct 1890 Danzig
Died  11 Mar 1984(93)


1 Apr 1910 Seekadett
15 Apr 1911 Fähnrich zur See
27 Sep 1913 Leutnant zur See
22 Mar 1916 Oberleutnant zur See
23 Nov 1919 Out of naval service
21 Feb 1920 Kapitänleutnant (Charakter)
2 Sep 1937 Kapitänleutnant d.R. z.V.
1 Dec 1939 Korvettenkapitän d.R. z.V.
1 Feb 1944 Fregattenkapitän


11 May 1916 Iron Cross 2nd Class
6 Mar 1917 Iron Cross 1st Class
11 Jul 1918 Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
1 Sep 1940 Spange 1939 zum Eisernen Kreuz 2. Klasse 1914
20 Apr 1943 War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords

U-boat Commands

UD-4 28 Jan 1941 15 Oct 1941   No war patrols 

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 WWI 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.

World War Two

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.

Patrol info for Helmut Brümmer-Patzig

This commander did not go out on patrols with his boats.

About ranks and decorations
Special thanks to Fernando Almeida for data on ranks and decorations.

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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