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Fritz Frauenheim
9 March 1912(1912-03-09) – 28 September 1969 (aged 57)
Fritz Frauenheim.jpg
Place of birth Berlin
Place of death Hamburg
Allegiance Germany
Service/branch Kriegsmarine
Rank Fregattenkapitän
Unit 2. Unterseebootsflottille
1. Unterseebootsflottille
7. Unterseebootsflottille
23. Unterseebootsflottille
29. Unterseebootsflottille
Commands held U-21, 1 October 1937 - 6 January 1940
U-101, 11 March 1940 - 18 November 1940
Awards Spanish Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Knights Cross

Fritz Frauenheim (9 January 1912 - 28 September 1969) was a German U-boat commander of the Second World War. From September 1939 until retiring from front line service in December 1940, he sank 19 ships for a total of 78,853 GRT, and damaged two others. For this he received the Knights Cross, among other commendations.


Early life

Frauenheim was born in Berlin on 9 January 1912. He entered the navy and spent his initial training on the cadet ship Schleswig-Holstein, followed by a period on the light cruiser Karlsruhe. He was transferred to the U-boat force in January 1936 and rose quickly through the ranks and on 1 April 1939 he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant.[1] He appears to have spent time with the German forces supporting the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War, as he was awarded the Spanish Cross on 6 June 1939.[1]

Wartime career

Frauenheim had been made watch officer on U-25 in 1938, eventually spending over a year in this role, until October 1939.[1] He was appointed to command U-21 on 1 October 1937, eventually carrying out five patrols, eventually sinking four merchant ships. He also laid mines, one of which damaged HMS Belfast on 21 November, putting her out of action for nearly three years.[1] The netlayer Bayonet was sunk by one of U-21’s mines on 21 December.[1]

Frauenheim left U-21 on 6 January 1940, taking over command of the newly built U-101 on 11 March 1940. He commissioned the boat and took her on four successful patrols. He sank a total of 12 ships, including three sunk and one damaged from the ill-fate convoy SC-7.[1] He left U-101 on 18 November 1940 and became a teacher in the 2nd ULD. He went on to hold a number of staff positions, before taking command of 23. Unterseebootsflottille in the Mediterranean in September 1941. In 1942 he moved to command 29. Unterseebootsflottille. On 1 March 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Korvettenkapitän.[1] In February 1944 Frauenheim joined the staff of the Admiral der Kleinkampfverbände (Admiral of Midget Assault Units), where he remained for the rest of the war. He was again promoted, this time to Fregattenkapitän on 1 December 1944.[1]

Post war

After the end of the war Frauenheim spent eight months in Allied captivity before being released.[1] Not much is known about his post war life. He died in Hamburg on 28 September 1969 at the age of 57.



  • Busch, Rainer & Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939-1945 - Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-88740-748-X.
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-355-0.
External link
Military offices
Preceded by
Kapitänleutnant Werner Jacobsen
Commander of the 4. Unterseebootsflottille
July 1942
Succeeded by
Fregattenkapitän Heinz Fischer
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Franz Becker
Commander of the 29. Unterseebootsflottille
May 1942 – July 1943
Succeeded by
Korvettenkapitän Gunter Jahn


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