Manfred Kinzel

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 35)

4 ships sunk, total tonnage 21,927 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,134 GRT

Born  27 Mar 1915 Waldheim
Died  20 Sep 1943(28)south-west of Iceland


5 Apr 1935 Offiziersanwärter
25 Sep 1935 Seekadett
1 Apr 1936 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Aug 1942 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-338 25 Jun 1942 20 Sep 1943  (+)  3 patrols (64 days) 

Manfred Kinzel joined the Kriegsmarine in 1935. He was seconded to the Lufwaffe, German Air Force from Oct 1937 to Aug 1941. Kinzel began his U-boat training in Sept 1941 and finished his courses the following December when he was sent to the 3rd Flotilla, serving there until Feb 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

He served as the Second Watch officer (2WO) on the U-404 (Kptlt. Otto von Bülow) and served on the first combat patrol of this successful boat, spending 50 days at sea and sinking 4 ships for over 22,000 tons in American waters.

Kinzel went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th Flotilla from May to June 1942 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) in preparation for his first U-boat Command (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Oblt. Manfred Kinzel commissioned the new type VIIC boat U-338, the "Wild Onager", on 25 June 1942 at Emden, Germany. On his first patrol he joined Wolfpack Stürmer in the attacks on convoys SC-122 and HX-229 in mid-march 1943. Kinzel proved himself as a very capable commander and sank 4 ships from SC-122 for almost 22,000 tons and damaged another 7,134 ton ship. His attack on the convoy SC-122 was the most successful, he hit almost half of the ships hit.

His second patrol in the summer of 1943 (when the U-boats had largely been withdrawn after terrible losses) was aborted only 2 days into it after the boat was damaged by B-17 bomber in the Bay of Biscay on 17 June - returning to port 4 days later. The boat went missing with all hands of 51 men about 27 days into his 3rd patrol (Nistlé, 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.

Patrol info for Manfred Kinzel

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-338 23 Feb 1943  Kiel  24 Mar 1943  St. Nazaire  Patrol 1,30 days
2. U-338 15 Jun 1943  St. Nazaire  21 Jun 1943  St. Nazaire  Patrol 2,7 days
3. U-338 25 Aug 1943  St. Nazaire  20 Sep 1943  Sunk  Patrol 3,27 days
3 patrols, 64 days at sea

Ships hit by Manfred Kinzel

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
17 Mar 1943U-338 Alderamin7,886nlSC-122
17 Mar 1943U-338 Fort Cedar Lake (d.)7,134brSC-122
17 Mar 1943U-338 King Gruffydd5,072brSC-122
17 Mar 1943U-338 Kingsbury4,898brSC-122
17 Mar 1943U-338 Granville4,071paSC-122

4 ships sunk (21,927 tons) and 1 ship damaged (7,134 tons).

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

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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