Günther Pfeffer

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)

4 ships sunk, total tonnage 22,304 GRT

Born  23 Oct 1914 Berlin
Died  25 Apr 1966(51)Bonn, Germany


8 Apr 1934 Offiziersanwärter
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 Mar 1942 Kapitänleutnant


 Iron Cross 2nd Class
 Iron Cross 1st Class
 U-boat War Badge 1939

U-boat Commands

U-67 5 Jun 1941 2 Jul 1941   No war patrols 
U-171 25 Oct 1941 9 Oct 1942   1 patrol (115 days) 
U-170 19 Jan 1943 Jul, 1944   3 patrols (270 days) 
U-548 Aug, 1944 Nov, 1944   2 patrols (52 days) 

Günther Pfeffer joined the Reichsmarine in 1934. He served as 1st Watch Officer (1WO) on U-67 from January to May 1941 before taking command of the boat for a month. (Busch & Röll, 1999)

Pfeffer went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th (Training) Flotilla and 7th Flotilla, and U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) from July to Oct 1941. (Busch & Röll, 1999)

OL Pfeffer commissioned the type IXC U-boat U-171 at Bremen on 25 Oct 1941. (Busch & Röll, 1999) He went out on one long patrol of 115 days to the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 1942, sinking three ships totalling 17,641 tons. On reaching base on 9 Oct the boat was sunk by a mine, leaving 22 dead and 30 survivors. (Niestlé, 1998)

After another Baubelehrung from Nov 1942 to Jan 1943, KL Pfeffer commissioned a second type IXC boat, U-170, on 19 Jan 1943, and again at Bremen. (Busch & Röll, 1999) He commanded the boat on three patrols of 270 days total, sinking one ship of 4,663 tons.

In August 1944 Pfeffer took over as acting commander of U-548, then stationed at besieged Lorient, France (Busch & Röll, 1999), leaving there on 11 Aug to arrive at Bergen, Norway on 25 Sept. From there he took the boat to Flensburg, with a brief stop at Hölen, arriving 12 Oct. (Busch & Röll, 1997)

Günther Pfeffer spent the last months of the war as a training leader of torpedo schools and other staff positions at Kiel. (Busch & Röll, 1999)

Post war

Günther Pfeffer joined the Federal German Navy (Bundesmarine) after the war and held the rank of Fregattenkapitän at the time of his death (Rust, 2009).


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.
Rust, E. (2009) E-mail correspondence. Author of Naval Officers under Hitler.

Patrol info for Günther Pfeffer

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-171 17 Jun 1942  Kiel  9 Oct 1942  Sunk  Patrol 1,115 days
2. U-170 27 May 1943  Kiel  9 Jul 1943  Lorient  Patrol 2,44 days
3. U-170 29 Aug 1943  Lorient  23 Dec 1943  Lorient  Patrol 3,117 days
4. U-170 9 Feb 1944  Lorient  27 May 1944  Lorient  Patrol 4,109 days
5. U-548 11 Aug 1944  Lorient  25 Sep 1944  Bergen  Patrol 5,46 days
6. U-548 27 Sep 1944  Bergen  28 Sep 1944  Hölen   2 days
7. U-548 7 Oct 1944  Hölen  12 Oct 1944  Flensburg  Patrol 6,6 days
6 patrols, 437 days at sea

Ships hit by Günther Pfeffer

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
26 Jul 1942U-171 Oaxaca4,351me
13 Aug 1942U-171 R.M. Parker Jr.6,779am
4 Sep 1942U-171 Amatlan6,511me
23 Oct 1943U-170 Campos4,663bz

4 ships sunk (22,304 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

Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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