Gerhard Bigalk

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 33)

5 ships sunk, total tonnage 21,412 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 11,000 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,096 GRT

Born  26 Nov 1908 Berlin-Niederschönhausen
Died  17 Jul 1942(33)North Atlantic

Kptlt. Gerhard Bigalk


1 Apr 1933 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jul 1934 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1936 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1936 Leutnant zur See
1 Jun 1938 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1939 Kapitänleutnant
5 Apr 1945 Korvettenkapitän (posthumous)


1 Jun 1939 Feldzugsmedaille des Roten Kreuzes "Cruz roja medalla de la campane"
6 Jun 1939 Spanish Cross in Silver with Swords
30 Nov 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
7 Jul 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
26 Dec 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
26 Dec 1941 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-14 2 Jun 1940 Aug, 1940   No war patrols 
U-751 31 Jan 1941 17 Jul 1942  (+)  7 patrols (218 days) 

Bigalk 2
Gerhard Bigalk on the conning tower.

Gerhard Bigalk began his naval career in April 1934. Like Günther Prien and some other U-boat commanders he spent some years in the merchant navy before joining the U-boat arm. In October 1935 he began reconnaissance training in the naval air force, and in 1937 made 21 combat flights in the Spanish Civil War. In November 1939 he transferred to the U-boat force and after the usual training and a short time as commander of the school boat U-14, he commissioned the larger Atlantic boat U-751 in January 1941.

During his very successful fourth patrol, he sank the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (11,000 tons) on 21 December, 1941. Five days later he received the Knights Cross.

Kapitänleutant Gerhard Bigalk died on 17 July, 1942 when a British aircraft sank U-751 with all hands in the North Atlantic northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain (Niestlé, 1998).


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Gerhard Bigalk

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-751 3 Jun 1941  Kiel  5 Jul 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 1,33 days
2. U-751 2 Aug 1941  St. Nazaire  8 Sep 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 2,38 days
3. U-751 11 Oct 1941  St. Nazaire  8 Nov 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 3,29 days
4. U-751 16 Dec 1941  St. Nazaire  26 Dec 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 4,11 days
5. U-751 14 Jan 1942  St. Nazaire  23 Feb 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 5,41 days
6. U-751 15 Apr 1942  St. Nazaire  15 Jun 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 6,62 days
7. U-751 14 Jul 1942  St. Nazaire  17 Jul 1942  Sunk  Patrol 7,4 days
7 patrols, 218 days at sea

Ships hit by Gerhard Bigalk

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
14 Jun 1941U-751Gerhard Bigalk St. Lindsay5,370brOG-64
21 Dec 1941U-751Gerhard Bigalk HMS Audacity (D 10)11,000brHG-76
2 Feb 1942U-751Gerhard Bigalk Corilla (d.)8,096nlHX-173
4 Feb 1942U-751Gerhard Bigalk Silveray4,535brON-55
7 Feb 1942U-751Gerhard Bigalk Empire Sun6,952br
16 May 1942U-751Gerhard Bigalk Nicarao1,445am
19 May 1942U-751Gerhard Bigalk Isabela3,110am

6 ships sunk (32,412 tons) and 1 ship damaged (8,096 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

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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