Herbert Kühn

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew X/39)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  24 Apr 1919 Wuppertal-Vowinckel
Died  17 Jun 1990(71)

Oberleutnant zur See Herbert Kühn


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


 Iron Cross 2nd Class
 U-boat War Badge 1939
 Iron Cross 1st Class

U-boat Commands

U-38 Jan, 1944 14 Apr 1944   No war patrols 
U-708 15 Apr 1944 5 May 1945   No war patrols 

Herbert Kühn joined the Kriegsmarine in 1939. He went through U-boat training from March 1941 to Nov 1941 and was then posted to U-331 (Oblt. Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen) as 2nd Watch Officer (II WO), joining the boat in the Mediterranean (Busch & Röll, 1999).

His first patrol on U-331 was one of the most successful of the war. Sailing from Salamis, Greece on 12 Nov 1941 they patrolled north of Egypt and on Nov 25 struck gold: three British battleships of Force A outbound from Alexandria. The 28-year old Tiesenhausen hit HMS Barham with three torpedoes from short range (Rohwer, 1998), and she quickly rolled over and exploded. U-331 escaped the British escorts and made port on 3 Dec. Oberfähnrich zur See Kühn served on U-331 for a further two patrols (Busch & Röll, 1997).

British Battleship HMS Barham (04) sunk by U-331 on 25 Nov 1941.

From April 1942 to Feb 1943 Lt Kühn served as Watch Officer with the 29th Flotilla, before joining U-72 as II WO. From May 1943 he took the same role on U-81 (Oblt. Johann-Otto Krieg), and then 1st Watch Officer (I WO) from Aug. to Nov 1943. Kühn went on four patrols on U-81, spending 75 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997).

Following promotion at sea, Obltnt Kühn underwent technical training with the 3rd ULD training Division from Nov 1943 to Jan 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Oblt. Herbert Kühn commanded the veteran type IX boat U-38 from Jan 1944 to 14 Apr 1944 as part of a training unit in the Baltic. He took over command of the type VIIC boat U-708 on 15 Apr 1944. U-708 did not see active service under Oblt. Kühn, and he terminated his command by scuttling her at Wilhelmshaven, Germany on 3 May 1945 (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).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Herbert Kühn

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

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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