Ralph Kapitzky

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 35)

4 ships sunk, total tonnage 27,231 GRT

Born  28 Jun 1915 Dresden
Died  7 Aug 1943(28)Caribbean Sea


5 Apr 1935 Offiziersanwärter
25 Sep 1935 Seekadett
1 Apr 1936 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1942 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

U-615 26 Mar 1942 7 Aug 1943  (+)  4 patrols (221 days) 

Beginning in the North Atlantic on the 29 July 1943, Ralph Kapitzky fought one of the longest serial actions by any U-boat against aircraft during the war. Although his boat was ultimately sunk, by that time having reached the Caribbean, the long-running battle absorbed the attentions of the US forces in the area and enabled the many other U-boats in the Caribbean to surface and escape to the east.

The first to attack was an American B-18 bomber, and over the week that followed the boat fought its way across the Atlantic through multiple air attacks, shooting down one Mariner flying boat and damaging others. The boat was finally overwhelmed and sunk by six more Mariners and one Ventura on the 7 August. Kptlt. Kapitzky died on the bridge still directing the defence of his boat.

Patrol info for Ralph Kapitzky

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-615 5 Sep 1942  Kiel  30 Oct 1942  La Pallice  Patrol 1,56 days
2. U-615 25 Nov 1942  La Pallice  9 Jan 1943  La Pallice  Patrol 2,46 days
3. U-615 18 Feb 1943  La Pallice  20 Apr 1943  La Pallice  Patrol 3,62 days
4. U-615 12 Jun 1943  La Pallice  7 Aug 1943  Sunk  Patrol 4,57 days
4 patrols, 221 days at sea

Ships hit by Ralph Kapitzky

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
11 Oct 1942U-615 El Lago4,221paONS-136
23 Oct 1942U-615 Empire Star12,656br
11 Apr 1943U-615 Edward B. Dudley7,177amHX-232
28 Jul 1943U-615 Rosalia3,177nl

4 ships sunk (27,231 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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

Silent Hunters

Savas, Theodore P. (editor)

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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