Friedrich Schäfer

Korvettenkapitän (Crew IV/14)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  28 Feb 1893 Hannover


16 Nov 1915 Leutnant zur See der Reserve
30 Nov 1918 Out of naval service
1 Dec 1942 Korvettenkapitän


< Feb 1918 Iron Cross 2nd Class

U-boat Commands

UD-1 4 May 1941 2 Nov 1941   No war patrols 
U-460 24 Dec 1941 1 Aug 1942   1 patrol (55 days) 
UA 10 Aug 1942 22 Mar 1943   No war patrols 
UD-4 23 Mar 1943 22 Nov 1944   No war patrols 

Kapitänleutnant Friedrich Schäfer was one of the oldest U-boat commanders of WWII to depart on patrol when he took his boat, the milch cow U-460, out from Kiel, Germany on 24 Dec 1941. He was 49 years old at the time. He arrived safely in St. Nazaire, France 55 days later. This was his only operational patrol.

He had served in the Kaiserliche Marine in WWI, joining as a reserve officer candidate in 1914 and serving on the coastal defence ship SMS Siegfried and torpedo boat S23 before transferring to U-boats in June 1916. He joined the newly commissioned U 55 as 2nd Watch Officer in June 1916 under the command of Kptltnt. Wilhelm Werner. Under Werner's command U 55 sank 64 ships, total tonnage 133,742, including the former liner RMS Carpathia, serving as a troopship. Carpathia was famous as the first ship to arrive after the sinking of the Titanic. Schäfer remained with U 55 until the end of the war, when he was discharged.

He joined the Kriegsmarine in 1938, serving in the OKM Foreign Intelligence section (Amt für Auslandsabwehr) before joining UD-4 as 1st Watch Officer in Jan. 1941. He then went on to command UD-1 in May 1941 with the rank of Kapitänleutnant.

On 2 Nov 1941 he took over the newly-commissioned type XIV U-460. After her one operational patrol, she didn't see further active service under Kptltnt Schäfer, who handed her over to Oblt.z.S. Ebe Schnoor on 1 Aug 1942. Schäfer was promoted Korvettenkapitän 1 Dec 1942, and served training new crew on U-A and UD-4, and in UAK Danzig (Unterseebootsabnahmekommando: U-boat acceptance commission) until the war's end.


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 Friedrich Schäfer

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-460 7 Jun 1942  Kiel  31 Jul 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 1,55 days

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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