U-Bootffarher Otto von Bülow has gone on Eternal Patrol
Hit Counter
Since 01-15-06

Sailor Rest Your Oars

From: Harry Cooper [sharkhunters@earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:45 PM
To: sharkhunters
Subject: Eternal Patrol
To all HOT MAIL and eKTB recipients:
It is with deep personal sadness that I must inform you that our Member and good friend Otto von Bülow has begun his 'Eternal Patrol'.  He was a fine, honorable and true man.  He always joined us to visit the grave of Grossadmiral Donitz and was with us just a few months ago when we were in north Germany. 

He was true and always supported Sharkhunters to the utmost, was friendly and outgoing with our Members there and even though he suffered from very severe arthritis, he always autographed everything our Members asked him to. 

There were only 28 Skippers who were decorated with the Oak Leaf to the Knights Cross and now that KK von Bülow has begun his 'Eternal Patrol' only a small handful remain with us.  He was 95 years old.

As an interesting aside - his cousin Heilwig is the wife of our dear friend Dr. (Law) Hans-Georg Hess, Knights Cross winning Skipper of U-995.
Please keep him and his surviving family in your hearts and prayers.
SHARKHUNTERS - Official Worldwide Publication of U-Boat History
Harry Cooper
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.

Otto von Bülow


Korvettenkapitän (Crew 30)

14 ships sunk for a total of 71.450 GRT
1 warship sunk for a total of 1.120 tons
2 ships damaged for a total of 16.689 GRT

Born   16 Oct, 1911 Wilhelmshaven
Died   5 Jan, 2006  

U-Boot Archiv
Otto von Bülow
Otto von Bülow


9 Jan, 1930 Seekadett
1 Jan, 1932 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr, 1934 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Jan, 1935 Leutnant zur See
1 Jun, 1936 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun, 1939 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jun, 1943 Korvettenkapitän


6 Apr, 1942 Iron Cross 2nd Class
6 Apr, 1942 Iron Cross 1st Class
20 Oct, 1942 Knights Cross
26 Apr, 1943 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves

U-boat Commands
U-3 11 Nov, 1940  -  2 Jul, 1941   No war patrols 
U-404 6 Aug, 1941  -  19 Jul, 1943   6 patrols (274 days) 
U-2545 29 Mar, 1945  -  18 Apr, 1945   No war patrols 

For the first ten years of his naval career, Otto von Bülow served on the large warships Deutschland and Schleswig-Holstein, and in several navy anti-aircraft units. In April 1940 he joined the U-boat arm and seven months later took command of the school boat U-3 in the 21st Flotilla. After the usual Baubelehrung, in August 1941 Bülow commissioned U-404 at Danzig. In January 1942 the boat left Kiel on her first war patrol. In the course of the next five patrols Bülow sank 14 ships, including the British destroyer HMS Veteran (1,120 tons).

On April 23 1943 Bülow attacked an Allied escort carrier with two FAT and two G7e torpedoes. The four torpedoes were directed at the HMS Biter, but von Bülow thought he was attacking the USS Ranger.

Upon hearing four explosions (probably the torpedoes dead end course), he considered them as hits, and transmitted the BdU the message "Ranger possible"; the answer was to confirm it (whether in his opinion he had sunk the carrier). Von Bülow answered with a "sinking assumed". The importance of this was that he received the Oak Leaves to this presumed sinking.

It was announced in The German Press, and Hitler himself awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves to von Bülow when the commander of U-404 returned home. The Americans reacted blaming the German commander as a coward, but it is well known that he really believed he had sunk the carrier, and for the rest had an excellent service record witnessing his bravery.

Later, when the truth was available for the Germans, their records were changed, and the attack correctly reported as being against the Biter. Bülow left the boat after this patrol.

In September 1943, Korvkpt. Bülow founded the 23rd Flotilla in Danzig, where future U-boat commanders got their first training. When he commissioned U-2545 in the spring of 1945 he was one of the highly decorated U-boat commanders (including Schnee, Cremer, Emmermann, Witt and Topp), who took command of the new Electro U-boats (Type XXI and the smaller Type XXIII) in an attempt to turn the tide in the battle of the Atlantic.

In last weeks of war Bülow commanded the Marinesturmbataillon I (Naval Assault Battalion I). After the war he spent three months in British captivity.

In July 1956 he joined the newly formed German navy (Bundesmarine). In 1960 at Charleston, South Carolina he commissioned the destroyer Z-6, the former US destroyer USS Charles Ausburne.

 In March 1963 he became commander of the 3. Zerstörer- geschwader (3rd Destroyer Squadron).

Before he retired in 1970, he spent his last five years as Kapitän zur See and garrison chief of Hamburg.