Karl Neitzel

Kapitän zur See (Crew 23)

3 ships sunk, total tonnage 14,128 GRT
7 ships damaged, total tonnage 49,587 GRT
2 ships a total loss, total tonnage 14,368 GRT

Born  30 Jan 1901 Kolberg, Pomerania
Died  13 Nov 1966(65)Kiel, Germany

Karl Neitzel


1 Apr 1924 Seekadett
1 Apr 1925 Fähnrich zur See
1 May 1927 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1927 Leutnant zur See
1 Jul 1929 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1935 Kapitänleutnant
1 Apr 1939 Korvettenkapitän
1 Apr 1943 Fregattenkapitän
1 Dec 1943 Kapitän zur See


WWI Iron Cross 2nd Class
23 Mar 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
1940 Minesweeper War Badge
Dec, 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
27 Mar 1943 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-510 25 Nov 1941 21 May 1943   3 patrols (220 days) 

Karl Neitzel began his naval career in the Kaiserliche Marine in 1917 on torpedo boats. After the war he left the navy, but in April 1923 rejoined what was now called the Reichsmarine and served on minesweepers for a few years. He was flotilla commander of the 1st minesweeper flotilla before joining the U-boat force in February 1941.

He commissioned the type IXC U-boat U-510 in November 1941 and operated in the Caribbean on his first and third patrols. On his third patrol he executed an outstanding attack against convoy BT 6, in which he sank three ships and damaged another five with a total of 54,130 tons (18,240 tons sunk) in only three hours. He was awarded the Knights Cross shortly afterwards.

He left the boat in May 1943 to become deputy commander of the 25th (Training) Flotilla, and in January 1944 took command of the 2nd ULD (Unterseeboots-Lehrdivision, training division). For the last three months of the war he served as the commander of Marine-Grenadier-Regiment 7 (Naval infantry regiment). After the surrender he spent more than seven months in Allied captivity.

One of the oldest Commanders
KrvKpt. Karl Neitzel was one of the oldest U-boat commanders of WWII to depart on patrol when he took U-510 out from Kiel, Germany on 7 July 1942. He was 41 years old. U-510 arrived at Lorient 69 days later, having sunk two ships totalling over 10,000 GRT and damaging two more.


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).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Karl Neitzel

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-510 7 Jul 1942  Kiel  13 Sep 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,69 days
2. U-510 14 Oct 1942  Lorient  12 Dec 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,60 days
3. U-510 16 Jan 1943  Lorient  16 Apr 1943  Lorient  Patrol 3,91 days
3 patrols, 220 days at sea

Ships hit by Karl Neitzel

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
2 Aug 1942U-510Karl Neitzel Maldonado5,285ur
10 Aug 1942U-510Karl Neitzel Alexia (d.)8,016br
19 Aug 1942U-510Karl Neitzel Cressington Court4,971brTRIN-1
31 Oct 1942U-510Karl Neitzel Alaska (d.)5,681nwSL-125
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel George G. Meade (d.)7,176amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel Kelvinbank3,872brBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel Joseph Rodman Drake (d.)7,181amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel Tabitha Brown (d.)7,176amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel Mark Hanna (d.)7,176amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel James Smith (d.)7,181amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel Thomas Ruffin (t.)7,191amBT-6
9 Mar 1943U-510Karl Neitzel James K. Polk (t.)7,177amBT-6

5 ships sunk (28,496 tons) and 7 ships damaged (49,587 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.
(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

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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