Hans-Heinrich Döhler

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 37a)

3 ships sunk, total tonnage 20,527 GRT
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 21,925 GRT

Born  5 Dec 1917 Bad Schwartau
Died  22 Feb 1943(25)North Atlantic

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3 Apr 1937 Offiziersanwärter
21 Sep 1937 Seekadett
1 May 1938 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1939 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Aug 1939 Leutnant zur See
1 Sep 1941 Oberleutnant zur See


Nov 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
28 Oct 1941 Fleet War Badge
9 Nov 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
6 Dec 1942 Iron Cross 1st Class

U-boat Commands

U-21 4 Jan 1942 24 Sep 1942   No war patrols 
U-606 2 Oct 1942 22 Feb 1943  (+)  2 patrols (100 days) 

Hans-Heinrich Döhler joined the Kriegsmarine in 1937. He served on the heavy cruiser Deutschland (later renamed Lützow) from July 1939 to April 1940. He went through U-boat training from April to Sept 1940. From Sept 1940 to June 1941 he served with the 2nd ULD (Busch & Röll, 1999).

In July 1941 he became the Second Watch Officer on the U-751 (Kptlt. Gerhard Bigalk). He went out on two patrols with the boat, spending 67 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997).

Döhler went through U-boat Commander training with the 26th (Training) Flotilla from Nov to Dec 1941. Upon completing the course he commanded the "duck" U-21, a school boat, from 4 Jan 1942 to 24 Sep 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

On 2 Oct 1942 Döhler took command of the type VIIC boat U-606. After only two weeks with the new command he left Bergen, Norway to his first war patrol in the North Atlantic (Busch & Röll, 1997). He hit 2 ships from convoy HX-212 on 28 Oct, one sunk for 8,225 GRT and the 16,966 GRT Norwegian Whale facory ship Kosmos II was damaged and later sunk by U-624 (Kplt. Graf Ulrich von Soden-Fraunhofen) (Rohwer, 1998).

The Norwegian Whale facory ship Kosmos II hit by U-606 (Döhler) on 28 Oct 1942.
Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

U-606 left for its second patrol on 4 Jan 1943 and spend 50 days in the North Atlantic. On 22 Feb Döhler sank 2 ships (12,302) and damaged on (4,959) from convoy ON-166 (Rohwer, 1998).

U-606 was sunk on 22 Feb 1943 in the North Atlantic by depth charges from the US coastguard cutter USCGC Campbell and the Polish destroyer Burza. 36 died and 11 survived the sinking (Niestlé, 1998). Oblt. Heins-Heinrich Döhler did not survive the loss of his boat (Busch & Röll, 1999).


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.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Hans-Heinrich Döhler

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-606 17 Oct 1942  Bergen  5 Dec 1942  Brest  Patrol 1,50 days
2. U-606 4 Jan 1943  Brest  22 Feb 1943  Sunk  Patrol 2,50 days
2 patrols, 100 days at sea

Ships hit by Hans-Heinrich Döhler

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
28 Oct 1942U-606 Kosmos II (d.)16,966nwHX-212
28 Oct 1942U-606 Gurney E. Newlin8,225amHX-212
22 Feb 1943U-606 Chattanooga City5,687amON-166
22 Feb 1943U-606 Empire Redshank6,615brON-166
22 Feb 1943U-606 Expositor (d.)4,959amON-166

3 ships sunk (20,527 tons) and 2 ships damaged (21,925 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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

Bloody Winter

Waters, John M.

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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