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Rolf Mützelburg

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Rolf Mützelburg

Rolf Mützelburg
Born (1913-06-23)23 June 1913
Died 11 September 1942(1942-09-11) (aged 29)
Atlantic Ocean
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
Years of service 1931–42
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit 21st U-boat Flotilla
1st U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-10

World War II

Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg (23 June 1913 – 11 September 1942) was a German U-boat commander during World War II and 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. Mützelburg died on active service on 11 September 1942 following an accident at sea.


Mützelburg joined the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic on 1 April 1932 as member of "Crew 1932" (the incoming class of 1932). After spending two years on minesweepers, in October 1939 he joined the U-boat arm.[1] He spent five months commanding the school boat U-10 from June to November 1940 as part of 21st U-boat Flotilla,[2] receiving his first combat experience aboard U-100 under Joachim Schepke. He commissioned U-203 into 1st U-boat Flotilla in February 1941. On his eight patrols in the Atlantic, the US east coast, and the Caribbean Sea, he sank 19 ships for a total of 81,961 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged three more (17,052 GRT).[1]

Mützelburg died on 11 September 1942 in a freak accident. He was swimming in the Atlantic south-west of the Azores, and dove from the conning tower, but struck the deck head-first when the U-boat suddenly lurched in the swell. The supply U-boat U-462 arrived the next day with a doctor on board, but too late, and Mützelburg was buried at sea on 12 September 1942.[1]

Summary of career

Ships attacked

Date Ship Nationality GRT Convoy Fate[3]
24 June 1941 Kinross  United Kingdom 4,956 OB-336 Sunk
24 June 1941 Soløy  Norway 4,402 HX-133 Sunk
27 July 1941 Hawkinge  United Kingdom 2,475 OG-69 Sunk
28 July 1941 Lapland  United Kingdom 1,330 OG-69 Sunk
28 July 1941 Norita  Sweden 1,516 OG-69 Sunk
26 September 1941 Avoceta  United Kingdom 3,442 HG-73 Sunk
26 September 1941 Lapwing  United Kingdom 1,348 HG-73 Sunk
26 September 1941 Varangberg  Norway 2,842 HG-73 Sunk
3 November 1941 Empire Gemsbuck  United Kingdom 5,626 SC-52 Sunk
3 November 1941 Everoja  United Kingdom 4,830 SC-52 Sunk
15 January 1942 Catalina  Portugal 632 Sunk
17 January 1942 Octavian  Norway 1,345 Sunk
21 January 1942 North Gaspe  Canada 888 Damaged
10 April 1942 San Delfino  United Kingdom 8,072 Sunk
11 April 1942 Harry F. Sinclair, Jr.  United States 6,151 Damaged
12 April 1942 Stanvac Melbourne  Panama 10,013 Damaged
14 April 1942 Empire Thrush  United Kingdom 6,160 Sunk
26 June 1942 Pedrinhas  Brazil 3,666 Sunk
26 June 1942 Putney Hill  United Kingdom 5,216 Sunk
28 June 1942 Sam Houston  United States 7,176 Sunk
9 July 1942 Cape Verde  United Kingdom 6,914 Sunk
11 July 1942 Stanvac Palembang  Panama 10,013 Sunk


Wehrmachtbericht references

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 30 July 1941 In der Atlantikschlacht haben sich die Unterseeboote unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Mützelburg, Kapitänleutnant Bauer und Oberleutnant zur See Schüler besonders ausgezeichnet. [8] The submarines under the command of Captain Lieutenant Mützelburg, Captain Lieutenant Bauer and First Lieutenant at Sea Schüler have particularly distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Monday, 20 April 1942 Bei den Erfolgen deutscher Unterseeboote vor der USA-Küste zeichnete sich das Unterseeboot unter der Führung von Kapitänleutnant Mützelburg besonders aus.[9] In the success of German submarines off the U.S. coast, the submarine under the leadership of Captain Lieutenant Mützelburg distinguished itself from the rest.
15 September 1942 Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg, Kommandant eines Unterseebootes, Träger des Eichenlaubes zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, ließ auf der Fahrt gegen den Feind sein Leben. In ihm verliert die Unterseebootwaffe einen hervorragender Kommandanten und erfolgreichen Kämpfer. Das Boot setzt unter dem Kommando des ältesten Wachoffiziers die Unternehmung fort.[10] Captain Lieutenant Rolf Mützelburg, U-boat commander, recipient of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, lost his life on patrol. The U-boat arm has lost an outstanding commander and a successful fighter. The boat continues her patrol under the command of the senior watch officer.


  1. ^ a b c Rolf Mützelburg"Kapitänleutnant". Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "U-10"The Type IIB U-boat . Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  3. ^|access date 2 February 2013
  4. ^ Busch and Röll 2003, p. 156.
  5. ^ a b c Busch and Röll 2003, p. 157.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 319.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 628.
  9. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 91.
  10. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 288.

External links

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