Helmut Schmoeckel

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

1 ship sunk, total tonnage 1,621 GRT

Born  18 Dec 1917 Berlin

Fähnrich zur See Helmut Schmoeckel


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


U-boat Commands

U-802 13 Dec 1943 11 May 1945   4 patrols (247 days) 

Helmut Schmoeckel joined the Kriegsmarine in 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. From the beginning of the war until July 1942 he served on the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. After standard U-boat training and a few months as IWO (1st Watch Officer), he took command of U-802 in December 1943. He operated mainly in the North Atlantic and in Canadian waters. He surrendered U-802 on 11 May 1945 at Loch Eriboll (Niestlé, 1998).

In 1938 it was discovered that Schmoeckel’s maternal grandfather was “100 percent Jewish”, leading to his discharge from the service. Schmoeckel’s father petition for his reinstatement was granted in July 1939. (Mulligan, 1999)

After the war Helmut Schmoeckel wrote Menschlichkeit im Seekrieg (Humanity in Naval Warfare), in which he described instances of German naval crews giving aid to shipwrecked Allies.

You can listen to Herr Schmoeckel speaking of his experiences here.


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).
Mulligan, T. (1999) Neither Sharks Nor Wolves.
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Helmut Schmoeckel

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-802 29 Jan 1944  Kiel  2 May 1944  Lorient  Patrol 1,95 days
2. U-802 22 Jun 1944  Lorient  9 Jul 1944  Lorient  Patrol 2,18 days
3. U-802 16 Jul 1944  Lorient  12 Nov 1944  Bergen  Patrol 3,120 days
4. U-802 13 Nov 1944  Bergen  20 Nov 1944  Horten   8 days
5. U-802 21 Nov 1944  Horten  23 Nov 1944  Flensburg   3 days
6. U-802 8 Apr 1945  Kiel  12 Apr 1945  Horten   5 days
7. U-802 22 Apr 1945  Horten  23 Apr 1945  Kristiansand   2 days
8. U-802 28 Apr 1945  Kristiansand  11 May 1945  Loch Eriboll, UK  Patrol 4,14 days
4 patrols, 247 days at sea

Ships hit by Helmut Schmoeckel

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
22 Mar 1944U-802Helmut Schmoeckel Watuka1,621caSH-125

1 ship sunk (1,621 tons).

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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