Heinrich Zimmermann

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 32)

5 ships sunk, total tonnage 23,649 GRT
2 warships sunk, total tonnage 1,850 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,955 GRT

Born  21 Jan 1907 Duisburg
Died  11 Jul 1942(35)west of Madeira

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1 Sep 1935 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1936 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1937 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1939 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-136 30 Aug 1941 11 Jul 1942  (+)  3 patrols (108 days) 

Heinrich Zimmermann joined the Reichsmarine in 1932. From Aug 1939 to May 1940 he served as an acting Commander of the 7th Minesweeping Flotilla while commanding his own minesweeper. He then joined the 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla from May 1940 to March 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

From March to Aug 1941 he went through U-boat training, U-boat Commander training, and finally U-boat construction familiarization (Baubelehrung) for his own U-boat command (Busch & Röll, 1999).

On 30 Aug 1941 Kptlt. Heinrich Zimmermann commissioned the brand new type VIIC boat U-136 at Bremen. After training in the Baltic he left Kiel for his first patrol on 22 Jan 1942.

First patrol

On his first patrol around the British Isles he sank four ships (almost 13,000 tons) from four different convoys before arriving at his new base at St. Nazaire, France on 1 March 1942. These included the British corvette HMS Arbutus (K 86) on 5 Feb, and on 11 Feb the Canadian corvette HMCS Spikenard (K 198) (Rohwer, 1998).

The British corvette HMS Arbutus (K 86), sunk by U-136 (Zimmermann) 5 Feb 1942.

His second patrol was also successful. This time he operated off the US east coast and sank three ships (12,707 tons) and damaged a large ship of 8,955 tons (Rohwer, 1998). He arrived back to France on 20 May 1942 after 58 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997).

On 29 June 1942 Zimmermann left base in U-136 for the last time (Busch & Röll, 1997). 13 days later his boat was sunk with all hands (45 men) in the Atlantic west of Madeira, Portugal by depth charges from the Free French destroyer Léopard, the British frigate HMS Spey and the British sloop HMS Pelican (Niestlé, 1998).


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 Heinrich Zimmermann

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-136 22 Jan 1942  Kiel  24 Jan 1942  Kristiansand  Patrol 1,3 days
2. U-136 26 Jan 1942  Kristiansand  28 Jan 1942  Bergen  Patrol 1,3 days
3. U-136 30 Jan 1942  Bergen  1 Mar 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 1,31 days
4. U-136 24 Mar 1942  St. Nazaire  20 May 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 2,58 days
5. U-136 29 Jun 1942  St. Nazaire  11 Jul 1942  Sunk  Patrol 3,13 days
3 patrols, 108 days at sea

Ships hit by Heinrich Zimmermann

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
5 Feb 1942U-136 HMS Arbutus (K 86)925brON-63
11 Feb 1942U-136 Heina4,028nwSC-67
11 Feb 1942U-136 HMCS Spikenard (K 198)925caSC-67
17 Feb 1942U-136 Empire Comet6,914brHX-174
19 Apr 1942U-136 Axtell J. Byles (d.)8,955am
24 Apr 1942U-136 Empire Drum7,244br
28 Apr 1942U-136 Arundo5,163nl
8 May 1942U-136 Mildred Pauline300ca

7 ships sunk (25,499 tons) and 1 ship damaged (8,955 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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