Kapitänleutnant (Crew 34)
9 ships sunk, total tonnage 38,290 GRT
4 warships sunk, total tonnage 2,954 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 4,853 GRT
2 warships damaged, total tonnage 1,677 tons
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 8,426 GRT
1 warship a total loss, total tonnage 1,625 tons
|Born||12 Jun 1915||Salzbrunn, Silesia|
|Died||9 Jun 2005||(89)||Ammersee, Germany|
|U-593||23 Oct 1941||13 Dec 1943||16 patrols (338 days)|
Kapitänleutnant Gerd Kelbling
Gerd Kelbling began his naval career in April 1934. After serving on minesweepers for a few years he transferred to the U-bootwaffe in January 1941. Following standard training he went to U-557 for one patrol as a Konfirmant (commander-in-training) .
In October 1941 he commissioned U-593, and took her on patrol for the first time in March 1942. After three patrols in the Atlantic, U-593 broke through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean in October 1942.
After enjoying some success over 12 patrols there, she was sunk on 13 December 1943 after being hunted for 32 hours by two destroyers (Niestlé, 1998). The commander and the entire crew were taken prisoner. Kelbling was held in a Canadian POW camp and didn't return to Germany until September 1947.
Gerd Kelbling died on 9 June 2005 (Rust, 2009).
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). 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 Gerd Kelbling
|1.||U-593||2 Mar 1942||Kiel||28 Mar 1942||Sunk||Patrol 1,||27 days|
|2.||U-593||20 Apr 1942||St. Nazaire||18 Jun 1942||Sunk||Patrol 2,||60 days|
|3.||U-593||22 Jul 1942||St. Nazaire||19 Aug 1942||Sunk||Patrol 3,||29 days|
|4.||U-593||3 Oct 1942||St. Nazaire||15 Oct 1942||Sunk||Patrol 4,||13 days|
|5.||U-593||2 Nov 1942||La Spezia||16 Nov 1942||Sunk||Patrol 5,||15 days|
|6.||U-593||29 Nov 1942||La Spezia||31 Dec 1942||Sunk||Patrol 6,||33 days|
|7.||U-593||6 Feb 1943||Pola||8 Mar 1943||Sunk||Patrol 7,||31 days|
|8.||U-593||13 Mar 1943||Salamis||21 Mar 1943||Sunk||Patrol 8,||9 days|
|9.||U-593||25 Mar 1943||Salamis||4 Apr 1943||Sunk||Patrol 9,||11 days|
|10.||U-593||8 Apr 1943||Salamis||23 Apr 1943||Sunk||Patrol 10,||16 days|
|11.||U-593||24 Apr 1943||Salamis||28 Apr 1943||Sunk||5 days|
|12.||U-593||13 Jun 1943||Pola||11 Jul 1943||Sunk||Patrol 11,||29 days|
|13.||U-593||27 Jul 1943||Toulon||8 Aug 1943||Sunk||Patrol 12,||13 days|
|14.||U-593||15 Sep 1943||Toulon||5 Oct 1943||Sunk||Patrol 13,||21 days|
|15.||U-593||26 Oct 1943||Toulon||7 Nov 1943||Sunk||Patrol 14,||13 days|
|16.||U-593||25 Nov 1943||Toulon||29 Nov 1943||Sunk||Patrol 15,||5 days|
|17.||U-593||1 Dec 1943||Toulon||13 Dec 1943||Sunk||Patrol 16,||13 days|
|16 patrols, 338 days at sea|
Ships hit by Gerd Kelbling
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|14 May 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Stavros (d.)||4,853||gr|
|25 May 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Persephone (t.)||8,426||pa|
|5 Aug 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Spar||3,616||nl||SC-94|
|12 Nov 1942||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Browning||5,332||br||KMS-2|
|18 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Dafila||1,940||br|
|18 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Kaying||2,626||br|
|27 Mar 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||City of Guildford||5,157||br||XT-7|
|11 Apr 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Runo||1,858||br|
|22 Jun 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS LST-333 (t.)||1,625||am||Elastic|
|22 Jun 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS LST-387 (d.)||1,625||am||Elastic|
|5 Jul 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Devis||6,054||br||KMS-18B|
|5 Jul 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS LCM-1123 [Trans.]||52||br||KMS-18B|
|5 Jul 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS LCM-1129 (d.) [Trans.]||52||br||KMS-18B|
|21 Sep 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||William W. Gerhard||7,176||am||NSS-3|
|25 Sep 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||USS Skill (AM 115)||815||am|
|3 Nov 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||Mont Viso||4,531||fr||KMS-30|
|12 Dec 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS Tynedale (L 96)||1,000||br||KMS-34|
|12 Dec 1943||U-593||Gerd Kelbling||HMS Holcombe (L 56)||1,087||br||KMS-34|
15 ships sunk (51,295 tons) and 3 ships damaged (6,530 tons).
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.