Gustav Poel

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

4 ships sunk, total tonnage 34,525 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,100 tons

Born  2 Aug 1917 Hamburg
Died  16 Jan 2009(91)Hamburg, Germany

Kapitänleutnant Gustav Poel


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Feb 1943 Kapitänleutnant


6 Jun 1939 Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords
8 Nov 1939 U-boat War Badge 1939
28 Feb 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
26 Nov 1942 Iron Cross 1st Class
21 Mar 1944 Knights Cross
22 Dec 1944 German Cross in Gold
27 Apr 1945 U-boat Front Clasp

U-boat Commands

U-413 3 Jun 1942 19 Apr 1944   5 patrols (290 days) 

Kapitänleutnant Gustav Poel

Gustav Poel joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. After service on the sailing school ship Gorch Fock and the light cruiser Emden, he spent six months on the torpedo boat Tiger, seeing action in the Spanish Civil War. He transferred to the U-boat force in October 1938. Following standard training and a brief period as II WO (2nd Watch Officer) on U-27, he transferred to U-37 (Schuch), serving as II WO from May 1939 - June 1940, during which he again saw active service. He then spent a year in staff positions, first at BdU org (Commander in Chief U-boats, admin), Kiel, and with Italian Submarine Command liason at Bordeaux .

In June 1941 he became a tactical instructor at the 25th (Training) Flotilla, and in January 1942 became a staff officer there.

On 3 June 1942 he commissioned the Type VIIC U-413. He took her on five patrols, mostly in the North Atlantic. A particularly notable success was his sinking the British destroyer HMS Warwick off the Scilly Isles in February 1944. He was awarded the Knights Cross in March 1944 (Rohwer, 1998).

He left U-413 in April 1944 to become a unit leader at Marinekriegsschule Glücksburg (Naval Warfare Academy). From January 1945 he was on Admiral von Friedeburg's staff (Kommandierende Admiral der U-Boote) at Flesburg-Mürwik until the end of the war.

After the war he joined the post-war German Navy, Bundesmarine, and later retired as Fregattenkapitän.


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Special thanks to Mr. Fernando Almeida for details on date of death and post-war career.

Patrol info for Gustav Poel

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-413 22 Oct 1942  Kiel  24 Oct 1942  Marviken  Patrol 1,3 days
2. U-413 28 Oct 1942  Marviken  25 Nov 1942  Brest  Patrol 1,29 days
3. U-413 27 Dec 1942  Brest  17 Feb 1943  Brest  Patrol 2,53 days
4. U-413 29 Mar 1943  Brest  13 Jun 1943  Brest  Patrol 3,77 days
5. U-413 4 Sep 1943  Brest  5 Sep 1943  Brest  Patrol 4,2 days
6. U-413 8 Sep 1943  Brest  18 Sep 1943  Brest  Patrol 4,11 days
7. U-413 27 Sep 1943  Brest  28 Sep 1943  Brest  Patrol 4,2 days
8. U-413 2 Oct 1943  Brest  21 Nov 1943  Brest  Patrol 4,51 days
9. U-413 26 Jan 1944  Brest  27 Mar 1944  Brest  Patrol 5,62 days
5 patrols, 290 days at sea

Ships hit by Gustav Poel

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
14 Nov 1942U-413Gustav Poel Warwick Castle20,107brMKF-1X
22 Jan 1943U-413Gustav Poel Mount Mycale3,556grSC-117
5 Feb 1943U-413Gustav Poel West Portal5,376amSC-118
21 Apr 1943U-413Gustav Poel Wanstead5,486brONS-3
20 Feb 1944U-413Gustav Poel HMS Warwick (D 25)1,100br

5 ships sunk (35,625 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders