Ulrich Thilo

Kapitän zur See (Crew 22)

5 ships sunk, total tonnage 30,813 GRT

Born  4 Jan 1903 Münster
Died  9 Sep 1980(77)

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1 Apr 1924 Fähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1926 Leutnant zur See
1 Jul 1928 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1934 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jul 1938 Korvettenkapitän
1 Jun 1942 Fregattenkapitän
1 Jul 1943 Kapitän zur See


U-boat Commands

U-174 26 Nov 1941 8 Mar 1943   2 patrols (134 days) 

Ulrich Thilo joined the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1922. From Nov 1938 to Nov 1939 he served as Commander of Torpedo School Flotilla, then he became an adviser to German Navy high command (OKM) until March 1941. Entering U-boat training in April he finished in October 1941.

FregKpt. Ulrich Thilo went through U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) from Oct to Nov 1941 when he was given command of his boat, the new U-174 at Bremen on 26 Nov 1941. For the next 8 months the boat and crew was worked up and finally left for their first patrol on 30 July 1942 from Kiel.

When he left for patrol on Thilo was 39 years old, among the oldest Commanders to go out on patrol. He brought the boat back after 39 days. His 95-day second patrol to Brazilian waters from Oct 1942 to Jan 1943 was very successful with 5 ships sunk for almost 31,000 GRT.

He left the boat on 8 March 1943 and worked in several staff positions regarding torpedo schools until Dec 1944. He ended the was as Commander of Naval Transport Gdynia and Swinemünde.


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

Patrol info for Ulrich Thilo

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-174 30 Jul 1942  Kiel  6 Sep 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,39 days
2. U-174 7 Oct 1942  Lorient  9 Jan 1943  Lorient  Patrol 2,95 days
2 patrols, 134 days at sea

Ships hit by Ulrich Thilo

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
31 Oct 1942U-174 Marylyn4,555br
1 Nov 1942U-174 Elmdale4,872brTRIN-20
2 Nov 1942U-174 Zaandam10,909nl
2 Dec 1942U-174 Besholt4,977nw
15 Dec 1942U-174 Alcoa Rambler5,500am

5 ships sunk (30,813 tons).

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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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