Otto von Bülow

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Otto von Bülow
VonBÜLOWOtto.jpg
Born (1911-10-16)16 October 1911
Wilhelmshaven
Died 5 January 2006(2006-01-05) (aged 94)
Wohltorf
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1930–45
1956–70
Rank Kapitän zur See
Commands held 23rd U-boat Flotilla
U-404
German Destroyer Z-6
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Cross of Merit, First class

Otto von Bülow (16 October 1911 – 5 January 2006) was a German U-boat commander in World War II, and a captain in the Bundesmarine. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Family[edit]

Bülow was born in Wilhelmshaven as the son of Captain Otto von Bülow (1874–1930) and Johanna Meyer (1883–1937). He was descended from the Bülow family, an old aristocratic family from Mecklenburg. On June 5, 1937 he married Helga Christiansen (born April 2, 1914 in Rødding, Denmark). Bülow was the chairman (1970–1988) and afterwards honorary chairman of the Bülow Family Association.

Military career[edit]

Bülow joined the Kriegsmarine on 1 April 1930, and completed his basic training in Stralsund. His first assignment was on the Niobe, a German training ship, from July until October 1930. He then served on the Light Cruiser Emden until the start of 1932. He then went back to Stralsund for more training, and between 1932 and 1933 he trained at the Naval Academy Mürwik.

In 1933 he was stationed on the battleship Deutschland, where he was Battery commander. He later served on the Emden, the Schleswig-Holstein, and later on a landbased assignment in Pillau until 1940.

In April 1940 Bülow transferred to the U-boat service, and completed his training on 11 November 1940. He was posted as commander of the U-3 in the 21st U-boat Flotilla. On 6 August 1941 he took command of U-404 in the 6th U-boat Flotilla. He sank 15 ships whilst in U-404, including a Royal Navy destroyer (HMS Veteran), and damaged 2 other ships. He received the Knight's Cross on 20 October 1942, and in April, 1943, the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves for the assumed sinking of USS Ranger. On 1 September 1943 he was reassigned as commander of the 23rd U-boat Flotilla based in Danzig.

In May 1945, Bülow was taken prisoner by the British, and was released in August of that year. In 1956 he joined the Bundeswehr and was the garrison chief of Bremerhaven. He received command of the German Destroyer Z-6 in 1962. In 1963, he became commander of the 3rd Destroyer Squadron. Before he retired in 1970 he was the garrison chief of Hamburg for five years. He died in Wohltorf.

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 28 June 1942 Wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, versenkten deutsche Unterseeboote trotz starker amerikanischer Abwehr in der Karibischen See, im Golf von Mexiko, on der Ostküste der Vereinigten Staaten und im Atlantik sechzehn Schiffe mit 107 000 BRT. Dabei zeichnete sich das Boot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants von Bülow besonders aus.[4] As announced by special bulletin, German submarines sunk despite strong American defenses in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, on the east coast of the United States and in the Atlantic sixteen ships with a total of 107 000 GRT. Here, the boat under the leadership of Captain Lieutenant von Bülow especially distinguished itself from the rest.
26 April 1943 Wie durch Sondermeldung bekanntgegeben, versenkte ein Unterseeboot unter Führung des Kapitänleutnants v. Bülow in der Mitte des Nordatlantik den zur Überwachung der atlantischen Geleitwege eingesetzten amerikanischen Flugzeugträger "Ranger". Der Führer hat Kapitänleutnant v. Bülow als 234. Soldaten der deutschen Wehrmacht das Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes verliehen.[5] As announced by special bulletin, sank a submarine under the command of Captain Lieutenant v. Bülow in the middle of the North Atlantic, the American aircraft carrier "Ranger" used to protect the Atlantic convoy routes. The Führer has awarded Captain Lieutenant v. Bülow as 234th Soldier of the German Wehrmacht the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c Busch and Röll 2003, p. 264.
  2. ^ Williamson and Pavlovic 1995, p. 48.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 251.
  4. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 178.
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, pp. 483–484.
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945] (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2. 
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color I Abraham – Huppertz] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-20-1. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
  • Williamson, Gordon; Pavlovic, Darko (1995). U-Boat Crews 1914–45. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-545-6. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Otto von Bülow". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of German destroyer Z-6 (formerly USS Charles Ausburne)
April 1960 – January 1962
Succeeded by
Fregattenkapitän Reeder