U-boat Commanders

Youngest U-boat commanders

The following are the youngest German U-boat commanders who went out on combat patrol during WWII.

 CommanderBoatPatrol infoAge at departure
1 U-931 Mar 1944 -2 Apr 19441944 years
2Ltn. Ludwig-Ferdinand von FriedeburgU-1559 Sep 1944 -21 Oct 194420 years , 111 days
3Ltn. Kurt BraunU-76323 Aug 1944 -25 Sep 194420 years , 362 days
4Oblt. Rudolf ArendtU-1825 May 1944 -7 Jun 194421 years , 121 days
5Oblt. Hans-Georg HessU-99514 Oct 1944 -11 Nov 194421 years , 162 days
6Oblt. Kurt SurethU-6252 Jan 1944 -6 Jan 194421 years , 178 days
7Oblt. Günter NeyU-28313 Jan 1944 -11 Feb 1944 Lost 21 years , 292 days
8Oblt. Peter GerlachU-22319 Jan 1944 -12 Feb 194421 years , 328 days
9Oblt. Gerhard ConradU-21422 Jul 1944 -26 Jul 1944 Lost 21 years , 339 days
10Ltn. Hubert VerpoortenU-197 Sep 1944 -10 Sep 1944 Lost 22 years
11Oblt. Hans-Heinrich HaßU-232429 Jan 1945 -25 Feb 194522 years , 110 days
12Oblt. Werner GebauerU-68114 Feb 1945 -10 Mar 1945 Lost 22 years , 158 days
13Oblt. Hans-Werner OffermannU-51823 Jan 1944 -7 May 194422 years , 205 days
14Ltn. Eberhard DahlhausU-63418 Feb 1943 -23 Mar 194322 years , 209 days
15Oblt. Hermann HoffmannU-17222 Nov 1943 -13 Dec 1943 Lost 22 years , 209 days

Oldest U-boat commanders

The following are the oldest German U-boat commanders who went out on combat patrol during WWII. Their age at the time of their first patrol in the war is used.

 CommanderBoatPatrol infoAge at departure
1Kpt. Bruno MahnUD-530 Aug 1942 -12 Nov 194254 years, 270 days
2Walter BurghagenU-21922 Oct 1943 -1 Jan 194452 years, 30 days
3FrgKpt. Hermann RigeleUD-33 Oct 1942 -22 Oct 194251 years, 17 days
4Kptlt. Friedrich SchäferU-4607 Jun 1942 -31 Jul 194249 years, 98 days
5Kptlt. Georg von Wilamowitz-MöllendorfU-45929 Mar 1942 -15 May 194248 years, 141 days
6Ebe SchnoorU-46027 Aug 1942 -12 Oct 194247 years, 66 days
7KrvKpt. Leo WolfbauerU-46311 Jul 1942 -3 Sep 194246 years, 355 days
8Kpt. Hermann LessingU-123118 Oct 1944 -31 Jan 194543 years, 364 days
9Kpt. Hans IbbekenU-1788 Sep 1942 -10 Jan 194342 years, 353 days
10KrvKpt. Karl NeitzelU-5107 Jul 1942 -13 Sep 194241 years, 158 days
11FrgKpt. Jürgen WattenbergU-1627 Feb 1942 -18 Mar 194241 years, 41 days
12Kpt. Kurt DobratzU-123210 Nov 1944 -14 Feb 194540 years, 215 days
13KrvKpt. Ernst-August RehwinkelU-57819 Nov 1941 -27 Nov 194140 years, 20 days
14Oblt. (R) Harald LangeU-50525 Dec 1943 -2 Jan 194440 years, 2 days
15Kpt. Arved von MühlendahlU-8679 Sep 1944 -19 Sep 1944 Lost 39 years, 313 days

This page is read live from our databases of Commanders and U-boat patrols. The data seen above may change slightly from time to time as new or updated information comes to light.

We consider extended time in enemy waters to be a patrol, especially later in the war when many boats were being lost only a few days out from their bases. The 43 day journey of the 20-year old Ludwig-Ferdinand von Friedeburg commanding the large U-155 from besieged Lorient, France on on 9 Sept 1944 to Flensburg, Germany certainly falls under that category.

The average age of the U-boat commanders

During the war the average age of commanders on patrol was about 28 years.

Sources

Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).