Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)
9 ships sunk, total tonnage 38,290 GRT
3 warships sunk, total tonnage 2,902 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 4,853 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 1,625 tons
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 8,426 GRT
1 warship a total loss, total tonnage 1,625 tons
|Born||12 Jun 1915||Salzbrunn, Silesia|
|Died||9 Jun 2005||(89)|
|U-593||23 Oct 1941||13 Dec 1943||16 patrols (338 days)|
Kapitänleutnant Gerd Kelbling
Gerd Kelbling began his naval career in April 1934. He then served for a few years on several minesweepers. In January 1941 he transferred to the U-boat force. After the usual training he served on U-557 as a commander-in-training for one patrol.
In October 1941 he commissioned U-593 and went on patrol for the first time in March 1942. He operated with the U-boat on three patrols in the Atlantic before U-593 broke through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean in October 1942.
There he took the boat on 12 patrols with some success before she was sunk on 13 December 1943 after a 32-hour hunt by two Allied destroyers (Niestlé, 1998). The commander and the entire crew were taken prisoner. Kelbling was held in a Canadian POW camp for several years. In September 1947 Gerd Kelbling returned to Germany from POW camp.
Gerd Kelbling died on 9 June 2005 (Rust, 2009).
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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rust, E. (2009) E-mail correspondence. Author of Naval Officers under Hitler.
Patrol info for Gerd Kelbling
|1.||U-593||2 Mar 1942||Kiel||28 Mar 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||27 days|
|2.||U-593||20 Apr 1942||St. Nazaire||18 Jun 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 2,||60 days|
|3.||U-593||22 Jul 1942||St. Nazaire||19 Aug 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 3,||29 days|
|4.||U-593||3 Oct 1942||St. Nazaire||15 Oct 1942||La Spezia||Patrol 4,||13 days|
|5.||U-593||2 Nov 1942||La Spezia||16 Nov 1942||La Spezia||Patrol 5,||15 days|
|6.||U-593||29 Nov 1942||La Spezia||31 Dec 1942||Pola||Patrol 6,||33 days|
|7.||U-593||6 Feb 1943||Pola||8 Mar 1943||Salamis||Patrol 7,||31 days|
|8.||U-593||13 Mar 1943||Salamis||21 Mar 1943||Salamis||Patrol 8,||9 days|
|9.||U-593||25 Mar 1943||Salamis||4 Apr 1943||Salamis||Patrol 9,||11 days|
|10.||U-593||8 Apr 1943||Salamis||23 Apr 1943||Salamis||Patrol 10,||16 days|
|11.||U-593||24 Apr 1943||Salamis||28 Apr 1943||Pola||5 days|
|12.||U-593||13 Jun 1943||Pola||11 Jul 1943||Toulon||Patrol 11,||29 days|
|13.||U-593||27 Jul 1943||Toulon||8 Aug 1943||Toulon||Patrol 12,||13 days|
|14.||U-593||15 Sep 1943||Toulon||5 Oct 1943||Toulon||Patrol 13,||21 days|
|15.||U-593||26 Oct 1943||Toulon||7 Nov 1943||Toulon||Patrol 14,||13 days|
|16.||U-593||25 Nov 1943||Toulon||29 Nov 1943||Toulon||Patrol 15,||5 days|
|17.||U-593||1 Dec 1943||Toulon||13 Dec 1943||Sunk||Patrol 16,||13 days|
|16 patrols, 338 days at sea|
Ships hit by Gerd Kelbling
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|14 May 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Stavros (d.)||4,853||gr|
|25 May 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Persephone (t.)||8,426||pa|
|5 Aug 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Spar||3,616||nl||SC-94|
|12 Nov 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Browning||5,332||br||KMS-2|
|18 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Dafila||1,940||br|
|18 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Kaying||2,626||br|
|27 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||City of Guildford||5,157||br||XT-7|
|11 Apr 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Runo||1,858||br|
|22 Jun 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS LST-333 (t.)||1,625||am||Elastic|
|22 Jun 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS LST-387 (d.)||1,625||am||Elastic|
|5 Jul 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Devis||6,054||br||KMS-18B|
|21 Sep 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||William W. Gerhard||7,176||am||NSS-3|
|25 Sep 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS Skill (AM 115)||815||am|
|3 Nov 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Mont Viso||4,531||fr||KMS-30|
|12 Dec 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS Tynedale (L 96)||1,000||br||KMS-34|
|12 Dec 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS Holcombe (L 56)||1,087||br||KMS-34|
14 ships sunk (51,243 tons) and 2 ships damaged (6,478 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.