Erwin Rostin

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 32)

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
3 Jan 1941 Minesweeper War Badge
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 1932. After serving on the WWI battleship Schlesien, he commanded the minesweepers M-98 and M-21 1940-41. In March 1941 he transferred to the U-boat force. Following standard training, but without any previous combat experience, he commissioned the large type IXC U-boat U-158 on 25 Sep 1941. After four months of working up the boat and crew, he took U-158 out for the first war patrol, off the US east coast, during which he sank five ships with a total of over 38,000 tons.

One month after her return, U-158 left for the second war patrol, this time in the Gulf of Mexico, on 4 May 1942. This turned out to be one of the most successful patrols of the war in terms of tonnage, with 12 ships totalling 62,536 tons sunk. Its outcome was not successful for the boat and her crew, however. U-158 was sunk by depth charges from a US aircraft on 30 June 1942 and went down with all hands (Niestlé, 1998). Kptlt. Rostin had been awarded the Knights Cross via radio two days before his death.


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

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