Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)

1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 9,135 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 31,100 tons
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 372 tons

Born  22 Feb 1913 Riga, Latvia
Died  17 Aug 2000(87)Vancouver, Canada

Kapitänleutnant Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen wearing his Knights Cross.


8 Apr 1934 Offiziersanwärter
26 Sep 1934 Seekadett
1 Jul 1935 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1937 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jan 1942 Kapitänleutnant


30 Jan 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
26 Feb 1940 U-boat War Badge 1939
7 Dec 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
27 Jan 1942 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-331 31 Mar 1941 17 Nov 1942   10 patrols (242 days) 

Freiherr von Tiesenhausen began his U-boat career in December 1939 on U-23, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer. Together they completed three successful patrols and sank five ships with a total of 27,000 tons, as well as one destroyer.

After his fourth patrol on U-23, under Commander Beduhn, he transferred to the new U-93 (Kapitänleutnant Klaus Korth).

In April 1941 Freiherr von Tiesenhausen took command of U-331. He led the boat on nine patrols, and on 25 November, 1941 he scored his greatest success by sinking the British battleship HMS Barham.

He spent time as a prisoner, first in England and then for three years in Canada. In 1947 he returned to Germany and worked as a joiner. During the autumn of 1951 he left Germany and went back to Canada. He lived in the Vancouver area for the rest of his life, working as an interior designer, and achieving some distinction as a nature photographer.


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 Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-331 2 Jul 1941  Kiel  19 Aug 1941  Lorient  Patrol 1,49 days
2. U-331 24 Sep 1941  Lorient  11 Oct 1941  Salamis  Patrol 2,18 days
3. U-331 12 Nov 1941  Salamis  3 Dec 1941  Salamis  Patrol 3,22 days
4. U-331 14 Jan 1942  Salamis  28 Feb 1942  La Spezia  Patrol 4,46 days
5. U-331 4 Apr 1942  La Spezia  19 Apr 1942  Salamis  Patrol 5,16 days
6. U-331 9 May 1942  Salamis  21 May 1942  Messina  Patrol 6,13 days
7. U-331 25 May 1942  Messina  15 Jun 1942  La Spezia  Patrol 7,22 days
8. U-331 5 Aug 1942  La Spezia  10 Aug 1942  La Spezia  Patrol 8,6 days
9. U-331 12 Aug 1942  La Spezia  19 Sep 1942  La Spezia  Patrol 9,39 days
10. U-331 7 Nov 1942  La Spezia  17 Nov 1942  Sunk  Patrol 10,11 days
10 patrols, 242 days at sea

Ships hit by Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
10 Oct 1941U-331Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen HMS TLC-18 (A 18) (d.)372br
25 Nov 1941U-331Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen HMS Barham (04)31,100br
9 Nov 1942U-331Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen USS Leedstown (AP 73)9,135amTorch

2 ships sunk (40,235 tons) and 1 ship damaged (372 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

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

Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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