Herbert Nollau

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  23 Mar 1916 Wolfenstein, Rhein-Pfalz
Died  10 Apr 1968(52)Frankfurt, Germany

© Deutsches U-Boot Museum


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1939 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1943 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-534 23 Dec 1942 5 May 1945   3 patrols (160 days) 

Herbert Nollau joined the Kriegsmarine in 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. From Sept 1939 to April 1940 he served on the new heavy cruiser Blücher as radio technical officer. During the invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940 the cruiser was sunk in Oslofjord by shellfire and torpedoes from Norwegian shore batteries with some 830 casualties. Oblt Nollau then briefly joined the light cruiser Emden in April before being assigned to Horten as signals officer and the harbour defence of Oslo until Jan. 1941.

From Jan to June 1941 Herbert Nollau went through standard U-boat training, followed by U-boat construction familiarization (Baubelehrung) from July to Aug. 1941 before joining the new type IXC/40 U-505 (Kptlt. Axel-Olaf Loewe) as 1st Watch Officer (I WO). Nollau would serve on this boat until Sept. 1942, going on three patrols of 180 days at sea in total.

Nollau went through U-boat Commander training and a second Baubelehrung from Sept. to Dec. 1942, commissioning the new U-534, another type IXC/40 boat, on 23 Dec. 1942. His birthplace was commemorated by a Jäger von Kurpfalz (hunter on horseback) emblem on the conning tower.

He took the boat on two long patrols in the North Atlantic before it was sunk on 5 May 1945 in the Kattegat NW of Helsingör in position 56.39N, 11.48E, by ten depth charges from a British B-24 Liberator (RAF Sqdn 86/G). Casualties were three dead, with 49 survivors (Niestlé, 1998). The circumstances were unusual in that the boat was sunk after having shot down an Allied aircraft (RAF Liberator 547/E) after Germany had surrendered.

Herbert Nollau was a POW until August 1945, and later worked for the Federal Postal Service in Frankfurt. He committed suicide in 1968 without revealing why he had left port in U-534 and ordered his crew to fire on Allied aircraft after the ceasefire in 1945.

Both U-boats that he served on are now preserved in museums.

Photos of this boat

U-534 was raised in 1993 and has been a tourist attraction in the Liverpool area in England from 1996. Our Gallery section has many photos of this boat.

U-505 is on display at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, USA.


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Niestle, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Herbert Nollau

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-534 27 Apr 1944  Kiel  6 May 1944  Bergen   10 days
2. U-534 8 May 1944  Bergen  13 Aug 1944  Bordeaux  Patrol 1,98 days
3. U-534 25 Aug 1944  Bordeaux  24 Oct 1944  Kristiansand  Patrol 2,61 days
4. U-534 25 Oct 1944  Kristiansand  28 Oct 1944  Flensburg   4 days
5. U-534 1 May 1945  Kiel  2 May 1945  Kopenhagen   2 days
6. U-534 5 May 1945  Kopenhagen  5 May 1945  Sunk  Patrol 3,1 days
3 patrols, 160 days at sea

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

As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.