Ulf Lawaetz

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 37b)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  5 Nov 1916 Copenhagen
Died  2 May 2002(85)Copenhagen, Denmark


9 Oct 1937 Offiziersanwärter
28 Jun 1938 Seekadett
1 Apr 1939 Fähnrich zur See
1 Mar 1940 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 May 1940 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1942 Oberleutnant zur See


U-boat Commands

U-672 6 Apr 1943 18 Jul 1944   4 patrols (160 days) 

Ulf Erling Gunther Lawaetz was born to a Danish engineer working in German shipyards and a German mother. He began naval training with the Royal Danish Navy, but in 1937, three years after his mother died, he had to choose between Danish or German citizenship. He opted for German, and then joined the Kriegsmarine.

Ulf Lawaets was assigned to the destroyer Hans Ludemann in Nov 1939 and took part in the Battle of Narvik in April 1940, in which ten German destroyers were lost, including his. He survived the loss of his ship and also the shore action fought between German and British troops for the city of Narvik.

In Sept 1941 Lawaets began U-boat training, finishing his courses in April 1942 when he was posted to U-564 as 1st Watch Officer (I WO). He spent over 200 days at sea on her, on three patrols.

From Jan to April 1943 he received U-boat commander training, then attended U-boat construction familiarization (Baubelehrung) for a type VIIC U-boat being built at Hamburg. On 6 April 1943 he took command of U-672. For the next seven months he prepared the crew and boat for the first war patrol.

Oblt. Ulf Lawaets took U-672 on four war patrols, 160 days at sea. His boat was sunk on 18 July 1944 in the English Channel by the British frigate HMS Balfour (Niestlé, 1998). Unusually for the time, Oblt. Ulf Lawaets and his entire crew of 52 survived to become POWs.

After the war

He was released in Dec 1945 and went to Bunde, Germany where he worked as an interpreter and eventually managed a cigar factory.


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

Patrol info for Ulf Lawaetz

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-672 13 Nov 1943  Kiel  15 Jan 1944  St. Nazaire  Patrol 1,64 days
2. U-672 24 Feb 1944  St. Nazaire  12 May 1944  St. Nazaire  Patrol 2,79 days
3. U-672 28 Jun 1944  St. Nazaire  1 Jul 1944  St. Nazaire  Patrol 3,4 days
4. U-672 6 Jul 1944  St. Nazaire  18 Jul 1944  Sunk  Patrol 4,13 days
4 patrols, 160 days at sea

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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