August Maus

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)

9 ships sunk, total tonnage 62,761 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 6,840 GRT

Born  7 Feb 1915 Wuppertal
Died  28 Sep 1996(81)Hamburg, Germany

August Maus


8 Apr 1934 Offiziersanwärter
26 Sep 1934 Seekadett
1 Jul 1935 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1937 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Nov 1941 Kapitänleutnant


6 Oct 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
5 Jun 1940 Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords
26 Dec 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
5 May 1943 Iron Cross 1st Class
21 Sep 1943 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-185 13 Jun 1942 24 Aug 1943   3 patrols (229 days) 

Wilhelm Hugo August Maus joined the Reichsmarine in April 1934. He served on the light cruiser Nürnberg and the school ship Schleswig-Holstein before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1940. After standard training he served for two patrols as I WO (1st Watch Officer) on U-68 under the command of Korvkpt. Karl-Friedrich Merten. In December 1941 he left U-68 and in June 1942 commissioned the Type XIC/40 boat U-185.

He took U-185 on three successful patrols, mostly in the mid and South Atlantic, before she was sunk on 24 August 1943 by three aircraft from the US escort carrier USS Core (Niestlé, 1998). U-185 had 100 men aboard, having taken on crew from U-604 two weeks earlier after their boat was scuttled due to fatal damage from air attacks. Kptlt. Maus was among the 36 survivors rescued by the USS Barker.

Kptlt. Maus then spent nearly three years in American captivity. After being held at the POW camp in Crossville, Tennesee, he was transferred to the camp at Papago Park, Arizona on 27 January 1944. On February 12 he was one of five U-boat commanders to escape from this camp, but he and his companion Friedrich Guggenberger were recaptured in Tucson. Maus participated in the digging of the tunnel through which 25 POWs escaped on the night of 23-24 December 1944 but he was not among them, an injury compelling him to remain behind.

Folowing a transfer to Camp Shanks, New York in February 1946, Maus was then held in the British zone of Germany before finally being released. Later he became a successful businessman in Hamburg.

August Maus 2
August Maus returning from patrol


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.

Patrol info for August Maus

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-185 27 Oct 1942  Kiel  1 Jan 1943  Lorient  Patrol 1,67 days
2. U-185 8 Feb 1943  Lorient  3 May 1943  Bordeaux  Patrol 2,85 days
3. U-185 9 Jun 1943  Bordeaux  24 Aug 1943  Sunk  Patrol 3,77 days
3 patrols, 229 days at sea

Ships hit by August Maus

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
7 Dec 1942U-185 Peter Mærsk5,476brON-149
10 Mar 1943U-185 Virginia Sinclair6,151amKG-123
10 Mar 1943U-185 James Sprunt7,177amKG-123
6 Apr 1943U-185 John Sevier7,176amGTMO-83
7 Jul 1943U-185 James Robertson7,176amBT-18
7 Jul 1943U-185 William Boyce Thompson7,061amBT-18
7 Jul 1943U-185 S.B. Hunt (d.)6,840amBT-18
7 Jul 1943U-185 Thomas Sinnickson7,176amBT-18
1 Aug 1943U-185 Bagé8,235bzTJ-2
6 Aug 1943U-185 Fort Halkett7,133br

9 ships sunk (62,761 tons) and 1 ship damaged (6,840 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.

Men who sank over 50,000 tons

Media links

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.

The Faustball Tunnel

Moore, John Hammond

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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