Fritz Schneewind

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

5 ships sunk, total tonnage 30,052 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 6,993 GRT

Born  10 Apr 1917 Padang, Sumatra
Died  23 Apr 1945(28)Java Sea


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Mar 1943 Kapitänleutnant


  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class
11 Jan 1945 German Cross in Gold

U-boat Commands

U-511 18 Dec 1942 20 Nov 1943   2 patrols (158 days) 
U-183 20 Nov 1943 23 Apr 1945  (+)  3 patrols (99 days) 

Fritz Schneewind joined the Kriegsmarine in 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. He served as a Group Officer at the Naval College at Flensburg and on the sailing ship Leo Schlageter and at the Kriegsmarine Depot at Boulogne (Busch & Röll, 1999) before joining the U-boat arm in 1940.

After basic training he served as a Watch Officer (WO) with the 1st Flotilla and the 3rd Flotilla until Sept 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

From Sept 1941 - Nov 1942 Schneewind served as First Watch Officer (I WO) on the successful type IXC U-boat U-506 (Würdemann) (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Commander training and patrol to Japan

Kptlt Schneewind went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th (Training) Flotilla before taking over command of U-511, another long range boat, on 18 Dec 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999). He commanded her on two patrols; the first was in the mid Atlantic, and for the second he was ordered to take the boat to the Indian Ocean and then deliver the boat to Japan (Busch & Röll, 1997). U-511 arrived at Kure, Japan on 7 Aug 1943, having sunk two ships en route.

On 20 Nov 1943 Kptlt. Fritz Schneewind took command of U-183 (another type IXC) at Singapore (Busch & Röll, 1999). The boat operated in the Indian Ocean as part of the Monsun group. Schneewind successfully completed four patrols in her (Busch & Röll, 1997), sinking three ships of almost 18,000 tons (Rohwer, 1998).

On the fifth patrol the boat was ambushed by the American submarine USS Besugo in the Java Sea and sunk, leaving only one survivor from a crew of 55 (Niestlé, 1998). Kptlt. Fritz Schneewind went down with the boat.


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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Fritz Schneewind

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-511 31 Dec 1942  Lorient  8 Mar 1943  Lorient  Patrol 1,68 days
2. U-511 10 May 1943  Lorient  7 Aug 1943  Kure  Patrol 2,90 days
3. U-183 28 Jan 1944  Singapur  30 Jan 1944  Penang   3 days
4. U-183 10 Feb 1944  Penang  21 Mar 1944  Penang  Patrol 3,41 days
5. U-183 3 May 1944  Penang  5 May 1944  Penang  Patrol 4,3 days
6. U-183 17 May 1944  Penang  7 Jul 1944  Penang  Patrol 4,52 days
7. U-183 Aug 1944  Penang  Aug 1944  Singapur   
8. U-183 16 Oct 1944  Singapur  30 Oct 1944  Kobe   15 days
9. U-183 22 Feb 1945  Kobe  9 Mar 1945  Batavia   16 days
10. U-183 21 Apr 1945  Batavia  23 Apr 1945  Sunk  Patrol 5,3 days
5 patrols, 257 days at sea

Ships hit by Fritz Schneewind

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
9 Jan 1943U-511 William Wilberforce5,004br
27 Jun 1943U-511 Sebastian Cermeno7,194am
9 Jul 1943U-511 Samuel Heintzelman7,176am
29 Feb 1944U-183 Palma5,419br
9 Mar 1944U-183 British Loyalty (t.)6,993br
5 Jun 1944U-183 Helen Moller5,259br

6 ships sunk (37,045 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

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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