Eberhard Zimmermann

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 37b)

1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,445 tons

Born  27 Oct 1916 Danzig-Langfuhr
Died  5 Jul 1981(64)


9 Oct 1937 Offiziersanwärter
28 Jun 1938 Seekadett
1 Apr 1939 Fähnrich zur See
1 Mar 1940 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 May 1940 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1942 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jan 1945 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-351 25 Aug 1942 25 May 1943   No war patrols 
U-548 30 Jun 1943 8 Feb 1945   1 patrol (96 days) 

Eberhard Zimmermann joined the Kriegsmarine in 1937. He served on the destroyer Z 20 Karl Galster from Nov 1939 to Oct 1940.

He went through U-boat training from Oct 1940 to March 1941 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) in preparation for this watch officer duties on a new U-boat. He finished the training and became Second Watch Officer (2WO) on the new type IXC boat U-130 (KrvKpt. Ernst Kals) in June 1941.

He served on the boat for 3 patrols, 152 days at sea. These were successful patrols under the very competent Commander Kals and they sank 10 ships for almost 60,000 tons and damaged another 7,000 ton ship.

Eberhard Zimmermann went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th (Training) Flotilla from June to July 1942. He took command of the training boat U-351 on 25 Aug 1942. 9 months later he left the boat and began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) for his own command from May to June 1943.

Eberhard Zimmermann commissioned the new type IXC/40 boat U-548 on 30 June 1943. After spending another 9 months with the boat in the Baltic during work-up and training he took the boat from Kiel, Germany on 21 March 1944 for its first patrol. 96 days later he arrived at Lorient, France having sunk one Canadian corvette, the HMCS Valleyfield (K 329) on 7 May 1944.

After his first patrol Zimmerman and part of his crew were on leave in Germany when the Allied invasion of France took place in June 1944. He was unable to return to his boat at Lorient to due to advancing Allied forces (Blair, 1998). Günther Pfeffer took he boat for him from France to Flensburg, Germany - arriving on 12 Oct 1944.

Zimmermann did not go out on another patrol with the boat and on 9 Feb 1945 he handed over Command to Erich Krempl who would be lost with all hands on 19 April, 46 days into his first patrol.

After the war Zimmermann was detained by the Allies, being released in Dec 1947.

Interesting story regarding Picasso paintings

In late 1945, Zimmermann sold two paintings by Picasso to Wilhelm Wilhelmsen for 650 marks somewhere near the border and Kiel. The buyer was born in Norway in 1903 but fled during the war. Wilhelmsen’s grandson, Micheal Sjodin said, “If I remember correctly,” Zimmerman, a submariner, said he was from the 7th Unterseeflotille in Kiel and the transaction took place in late 1945. Perhaps the grandson did not remember correctly as the 7th was not in Kiel at the end of the war, but Zimmerman had been released from allied captivity in December 1945. The paintings were a self-portrait in a clown’s costume and lilly flowers. Picasso signed the back of Lillies indicating the date they were painted: 1901/02. Also on the back is the date 6/5/1944 (May 6, 1944), the date the paintings left Picasso’s hands. Many German officers visited Picasso’s studio, especially Gerhard Heller, censor of French literature and friendly with all French intellectuals and artists and with Otto Abetz, head of all political matters in occupied France who also lavishly entertained French intellectuals and artists at the old German Embassy. Picasso was in some political trouble in May and the paintings went to someone who could benefit him. After the allied invasion in June, many German officers from Paris were on the U-boat docks with their personal goods looking for a way to transport them back to Germany. In late June, it would have been easy for Zimmerman to say he was being sent back to Kiel on leave and could take the two rolled-up paintings with him. Once on leave neither he nor others of his crew could return to Lorient.


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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Eberhard Zimmermann

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-548 21 Mar 1944  Kiel  24 Jun 1944  Lorient  Patrol 1,96 days

Ships hit by Eberhard Zimmermann

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
7 May 1944U-548 HMCS Valleyfield (K 329)1,445caONM-234

1 ship sunk (1,445 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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