Horst Höltring

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)

6 ships sunk, total tonnage 39,891 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 206 tons

Born  30 Jun 1913 Altona
Died  24 Aug 1943(30)Central Atlantic, aboard U-185


1 Apr 1933 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jul 1934 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1936 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1936 Leutnant zur See
1 Jun 1938 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Mar 1941 Kapitänleutnant


  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class
6 Nov 1943 German Cross in Gold (posthumous)

U-boat Commands

U-149 13 Nov 1940 30 Nov 1941   1 patrol (24 days) 
U-604 8 Jan 1942 11 Aug 1943   6 patrols (179 days) 

Horst Höltring joined the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1933. He went through U-boat training from March to Oct 1940. On 13 Nov 1940 he was given command of the small "duck" U-149, a training boat. He served on the boat for more than a year, giving up command on 30 Nov 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Horst Höltring returning from patrol.

From Dec 1941 to Jan 1942 he went through U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) in preparation for his next command. On 8 Jan 1942 Kptlt. Horst Höltring commissioned the type VIIC U-604 at Hamburg (Busch & Röll, 1999).

U-604 went on seven patrols, spending 203 days at sea. Six ships were sunk, totaling 40,000 tons (Rohwer, 1998). On the 7th patrol the boat was lost.

Loss of his boat and death of Horst Höltring
Horst Höltring survived the loss of his boat on 11 Aug 1943 after she was scuttled following an attack by two American aircraft (Niestlé, 1998). The entire crew of 45 men was rescued by two U-boats. He died together with 13 of his men when the boat that rescued half of his crew, U-185 (Kptlt. August Maus), was sunk 13 days later (Niestlé, 1998).

According to survivors, when U-185 was fatally hit and chlorine gas was spreading through the boat, Höltring, himself wounded, jumped from his bunk with a pistol and ran to the forward torpedo room where two badly wounded men from U-604 begged to be shot to avoid drowning or suffocating, which he did, before taking his own life (Blair, 1998). 14 men from U-604 died on U-185 (Niestlé, 1998).

U-172 (Kptlt. Carl Emmermann) had rescued the rest of Höltring's crew, and reached port with them at Lorient, France on 7 Sept 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1997).


Blair, C. (1998). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunted, 1942-1945.
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 Horst Höltring

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-149 18 Jun 1941  Gotenhafen  11 Jul 1941  Gotenhafen  Patrol 1,24 days
2. U-604 4 Aug 1942  Kiel  8 Sep 1942  Brest  Patrol 2,36 days
3. U-604 14 Oct 1942  Brest  5 Nov 1942  Brest  Patrol 3,23 days
4. U-604 26 Nov 1942  Brest  31 Dec 1942  Brest  Patrol 4,36 days
5. U-604 8 Feb 1943  Brest  9 Mar 1943  Brest  Patrol 5,30 days
6. U-604 22 Apr 1943  Brest  26 Apr 1943  Brest  Patrol 6,5 days
7. U-604 24 Jun 1943  Brest  11 Aug 1943  Sunk  Patrol 7,49 days
7 patrols, 203 days at sea

Ships hit by Horst Höltring

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
27 Jun 1941U-149 M-99206sj
25 Aug 1942U-604 Abbekerk7,906nl
27 Oct 1942U-604 Anglo Mærsk7,705brSL-125
30 Oct 1942U-604 Président Doumer11,898brSL-125
30 Oct 1942U-604 Baron Vernon3,642brSL-125
2 Dec 1942U-604 Coamo7,057amMKF-3
23 Feb 1943U-604 Stockport1,683brON-166

7 ships sunk (40,097 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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)

No ordinary war

Prag, Christian

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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