Ernst Kals

Kapitän zur See (Crew 24)

17 ships sunk, total tonnage 111,249 GRT
3 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 34,407 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 6,986 GRT

Born  2 Aug 1905 Glauchau, Saxony
Died  2 Nov 1979(74)Emden, Germany

Kapitän zur See Ernst Kals


19 Jun 1925 Seekadett
1 Apr 1926 Fähnrich zur See
1 May 1928 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1928 Leutnant zur See
1 Jul 1930 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1935 Kapitänleutnant
1 Aug 1939 Korvettenkapitän
1 Jun 1943 Fregattenkapitän
1 Sep 1944 Kapitän zur See


18 Dec 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
18 Dec 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
18 Dec 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
1 Sep 1942 Knights Cross
30 Jan 1944 War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords

U-boat Commands

U-130 11 Jun 1941 1 Jan 1943   5 patrols (286 days) 

Ernst Kals began his 18-year career in the German Navy in 1924. After a few years on torpedo boats and light cruisers he transferred to the U-boat arm in October 1940. After one patrol in U-37, in June 1941 he commissioned U-130.

He was one of the first five commanders to operate off the US east coast in Operation Drumbeat, and on the next patrol Kals operated in the Caribbean, where he shelled the oil depot at Bullenbay (Curacao) with the deck gun.

Korvkpt. Kals receiving congratulations
after receiving his Knights Cross.

His greatest success was achieved on 12 November 1942, when he attacked heavily guarded transport ships in the Fedala roads off Morocco. In five minutes he sank three large transport vessels with a total of 34,507 tons.

In January 1943 he became commander of the 2nd Flotilla at Lorient, and later Chief of Staff Lorient Naval Command.

Ernst Kals was was held in French captivity from May 1945 to January 1948.


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.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Ernst Kals

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-130 1 Dec 1941  Kiel  16 Dec 1941  Lorient  Patrol 1,16 days
2. U-130 27 Dec 1941  Lorient  25 Feb 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,61 days
3. U-130 24 Mar 1942  Lorient  6 Jun 1942  Lorient  Patrol 3,75 days
4. U-130 4 Jul 1942  Lorient  12 Sep 1942  Lorient  Patrol 4,71 days
5. U-130 29 Oct 1942  Lorient  30 Dec 1942  Lorient  Patrol 5,63 days
5 patrols, 286 days at sea

Ships hit by Ernst Kals

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
10 Dec 1941U-130 Star of Luxor5,298agSC-57
10 Dec 1941U-130 Kirnwood3,829brSC-57
10 Dec 1941U-130 Kurdistan5,844brSC-57
13 Jan 1942U-130 Frisco1,582nw
13 Jan 1942U-130 Friar Rock5,427paSC-64
21 Jan 1942U-130 Alexandra Høegh8,248nw
25 Jan 1942U-130 Varanger9,305nw
27 Jan 1942U-130 Francis E. Powell7,096am
27 Jan 1942U-130 Halo (d.)6,986am
11 Apr 1942U-130 Grenanger5,393nw
12 Apr 1942U-130 Esso Boston7,699am
25 Jul 1942U-130 Tankexpress10,095nw
27 Jul 1942U-130 Elmwood7,167br
30 Jul 1942U-130 Danmark8,391br
9 Aug 1942U-130 Malmanger7,078nwE-5
11 Aug 1942U-130 Mirlo7,455nwE-6
25 Aug 1942U-130 Viking Star6,445br
26 Aug 1942U-130 Beechwood4,897br
12 Nov 1942U-130 USS Edward Rutledge (AP 52)9,360amUGF-1
12 Nov 1942U-130 USS Hugh L. Scott (AP 43)12,479amUGF-1
12 Nov 1942U-130 USS Tasker H. Bliss (AP 42)12,568amUGF-1

20 ships sunk (145,656 tons) and 1 ship damaged (6,986 tons).

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

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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