Karl-Heinz Marbach

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 37a)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  5 Jul 1917 Kolberg
Died  27 Sep 1995(78)Bonn, Germany

Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Marbach


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
1 Sep 1944 Kapitänleutnant


14 Apr 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
9 Sep 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
21 Nov 1943 Iron Cross 1st Class
22 Jul 1944 Knights Cross
26 Nov 1944 U-boat Front Clasp

U-boat Commands

U-101 1 Jan 1942 3 Feb 1942   No war patrols 
U-29 6 May 1942 30 Jun 1942   No war patrols 
U-28 1 Jul 1942 30 Nov 1942   No war patrols 
U-953 17 Dec 1942 Aug, 1944   7 patrols (227 days) 
U-3014 17 Dec 1944 3 May 1945   No war patrols 

Kapitänleutnant Marbach after being decorated

Karl-Heinz Marbach began his naval career in April 1937. He served for some months in 1939 on the light cruisers Leipzig and Nürnberg. Before transferring to the U-boat force in autumn 1940, he spent a year in a staff position.

After U-boat training he was assigned to U-101 (Ernst Mengersen). Marbach was aboard U-101 from March to November 1941, during which Mengersen sank three ships. Marbach took command of her himself for a month, leaving in February 1942.

After a short commander training course, Marbach was given command of school boats U-28 and U-29. In December 1942 he commissioned the type VIIC U-boat U-953. After seven patrols he was awarded the Knights Cross for acts of bravery.

While he was in Berlin to receive his decoration from the BdU (Commander in Chief U-boats), US troops encircled the U-boat base at Brest. Oblt. Herbert A. Werner took command of U-953, while Marbach went to the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen to commission one of the new type XXI Elektro U-boat Elektro boats.

He commissioned U-3014 in December 1944, but the boat never saw active service, and he scuttled her on 3 May. Following the German surrender in May 1945, he remained a POW until February 1948, being among the last U-boat men to be released.

After the war he joined the Bundesmarine (Federal German Navy), and later retired as Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander).

Karl-Heinz Marbach wrote about his service in U-boats in Von Kolberg über La Rochelle nach Berlin (From Kolberg via La Rochelle to Berlin).

Special thanks to Mr. Fernando Almeida for details on date of death and post-war career.


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).

Patrol info for Karl-Heinz Marbach

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-953 13 May 1943  Kiel  22 Jul 1943  La Pallice  Patrol 1,71 days
2. U-953 2 Oct 1943  La Pallice  17 Nov 1943  La Pallice  Patrol 2,47 days
3. U-953 26 Dec 1943  La Pallice  20 Feb 1944  La Pallice  Patrol 3,57 days
4. U-953 30 Mar 1944  La Pallice  1 Apr 1944  La Pallice  Patrol 4,3 days
5. U-953 23 Apr 1944  La Pallice  26 Apr 1944  Brest   4 days
6. U-953 22 May 1944  Brest  28 May 1944  Brest  Patrol 5,7 days
7. U-953 6 Jun 1944  Brest  18 Jun 1944  Brest  Patrol 6,13 days
8. U-953 24 Jun 1944  Brest  22 Jul 1944  Brest  Patrol 7,29 days
7 patrols, 227 days at sea

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

Aces of the Reich

Williamson, Gordon

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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