Günther Pulst

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 37b)

1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 7,176 GRT

Born  26 Mar 1918 Braunschweig
Died  5 Jan 1991(72)Bonn, Germany

Kapitänleutnant Günther Pulst (Narvik Shield on left arm)


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
1 Jan 1945 Kapitänleutnant


11 Feb 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
1940 Narvik Shield
21 Feb 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
19 Nov 1944 U-boat Front Clasp
18 Dec 1944 Iron Cross 1st Class
21 Dec 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-978 12 May 1943 9 May 1945   2 patrols (124 days) 

Kapitänleutnant Günther Pulst
after his last patrol in April 1945

Günther Pulst began his naval career in October 1937. In December 1939 he began service on the destroyer Wolfgang Zenker. When the destroyer was sunk in the Norwegian Campaign, Günther Pulst fought for a few weeks in the battle ashore. For this he was awarded the Narvik shield, a decoration received by only a few men of the U-boat force (e.g., Rolf Thomsen). In autumn 1940 he became a training officer at the Marineschule Flensburg-Mürwik (Mürwik Naval Academy) before joining the U-boat force in April 1942.

He made two patrols in U-752 as I WO (1st Watch Officer). He left U-753 in March 1943, and in May 1943 commissioned the type VIIC U-boat U-978.

His first patrol with U-978 was notable due to the fact that he made the whole patrol of 68 days underwater, using the Schnorchel - the longest submerged patrol of WWII (and two days longer than U-997's famous voyage to Argentina after the ceasefire). He attacked three ships and was credited with one certain sinking.

After his second patrol Germany surrendered, and Günther Pulst sailed U-978 under British control from Norway to Loch Ryan, Scotland at the end of May 1945. He then spent nearly three years in British captivity.

In September 1957 he became a civilian staff member of the Bundeswehr (Federal German Armed Services) and worked for some years in the 1960s as Financial Controller NATO in Paris. He retired in March 1983. He was decorated in 1980 with the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Merit Cross) and in 1983 with the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal (USA).


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).

Patrol info for Günther Pulst

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-978 22 Aug 1944  Kiel  24 Aug 1944  Horten   3 days
2. U-978 5 Sep 1944  Horten  7 Sep 1944  Flekkefjord   3 days
3. U-978 13 Sep 1944  Flekkefjord  13 Sep 1944  Egersund   1 days
4. U-978 7 Oct 1944  Egersund  8 Oct 1944  Bergen   2 days
5. U-978 9 Oct 1944  Bergen  16 Dec 1944  Bergen  Patrol 1,69 days
6. U-978 25 Feb 1945  Bergen  20 Apr 1945  Trondheim  Patrol 2,55 days
2 patrols, 124 days at sea

Ships hit by Günther Pulst

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
23 Nov 1944U-978 William D. Burnham (t.)7,176amTMC-44

1 ship sunk (7,176 tons).

(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

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

As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.