Erwin Rostin

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)

17 ships sunk, total tonnage 101,321 GRT
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 15,264 GRT

Born  8 Oct 1907 Güstrow, Mecklenburg
Died  30 Jun 1942(34)West Atlantic, west of Bermudas

Erwin Rostin


1 Apr 1933 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jan 1934 Fähnrich zur See
1 Sep 1935 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1936 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1937 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1940 Kapitänleutnant


10 Oct 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
21 Nov 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
28 Jun 1942 Knights Cross
1 Jul 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939 (posthumous)

U-boat Commands

U-158 25 Sep 1941 30 Jun 1942  (+)  2 patrols (111 days) 

Erwin Rostin began his naval career in October 1933. Later he served as commander on the minesweepers M-98 and M-21. In March 1941 he transferred to the U-boat force. After the usual training but without any previous battle experience, he commissioned U-158. After four months of training undertook his first war patrol, in which he sank five ships with a total of over 38,000 tons off the US east coast.

One month after his return he began a second patrol on 4 May 1942. This became one of the most successful patrols of the war, with U-158 sinking 12 ships with a total of 62,536 tons. Unfortunately the boat was sunk with all hands on 30 June, 1942 by an American aircraft (Niestlé, 1998). Kptlt. Rostin received his Knights Cross via radio two days before he died in this attack.


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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Erwin Rostin

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-158 2 Feb 1942  Wilhelmshaven  2 Feb 1942  Helgoland   1 days
2. U-158 7 Feb 1942  Helgoland  31 Mar 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,53 days
3. U-158 4 May 1942  Lorient  30 Jun 1942  Sunk  Patrol 2,58 days
2 patrols, 111 days at sea

Ships hit by Erwin Rostin

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
24 Feb 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Empire Celt8,032brONS-67
24 Feb 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Diloma (d.)8,146brONS-67
1 Mar 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Finnanger9,551nwONS-67
11 Mar 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Caribsea2,609am
13 Mar 1942U-158Erwin Rostin John D. Gill11,641am
15 Mar 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Olean (d.)7,118am
15 Mar 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Ario6,952am
20 May 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Darina8,113brON-93
22 May 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Frank B. Baird1,748ca
2 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Knoxville City5,686am
4 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Nidarnes2,647nw
5 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Velma Lykes2,572am
7 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Hermis5,234pa
11 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Sheherazade13,467pa
12 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Cities Service Toledo8,192am
17 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin San Blas3,601pa
17 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Moira1,560nw
23 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Major General Henry Gibbins5,766am
29 Jun 1942U-158Erwin Rostin Everalda3,950le

17 ships sunk (101,321 tons) and 2 ships damaged (15,264 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders