Update: On 22 Feb 2015 Horst Bredow passed away in his home at Altenbrusch, Germany. He was 90 years old and will be sorely missed. See more information on our forums.
Horst Bredow was born in 1924 and during the WW II he was Leutnant zur See (Crew VI/42) and WO on U-288. While he was recuperating from wounds suffered in combat, U-288 left Narvik for the second patrol. The U-boat was lost on this patrol with all hands in combat against convoy JW-58.
He commanded then after his convalescence for some months a mine sweeper in the Med. Shortly before the war was over he was a crew member of a type XXI U-boat, which was under construction at the shipyard, but was not commissioned.
Oberfähnrich zur See
Horst Bredow in 1944.
When Horst Bredow returned after two years in allied captivity he was determined to learn what had befallen his comrades so he could inform their loved ones.
Through contacts with these families and others, he began collecting various materials on Germany's U-boat force. Working as a teacher in Berlin he shared his flat with constantly growing records. His collection soon crowded his Berlin apartment.
When he retired he moved the archive to spaces at the naval air base at Westerland on the island of Sylt. In 1989 he moved the materials to Altenbruch, a suburb of the popular North Sea resort town Cuxhaven.
With his wife, Anne-Marie, Horst Bredow answers more than 3,000 research requests and opens his doors to more than 4,000 visitors and researchers annually.
Horst Bredow's achievements and archive work have been recognized by the award of the Federal German Distinguished Service Cross but he is equally delighted by the enthusiastic welcome he receives from the many friends he has made over the years.
In 1992 Horst Bredow was invited to go to sea in the US nuclear submarine SSN Bremerton and received the distinction of having been made an honorary watch officer.