Wilhelm von Trotha
Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 140 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 600 tons
|Born||7 Aug 1916||Kiel|
|Died||31 Jan 1945||(28)||Baltic Sea|
|U-733||14 Nov 1942||11 May 1943||No war patrols|
|U-745||19 Jun 1943||31 Jan 1945 (+)||4 patrols (114 days)|
Wilhelm von Trotha joined the Kriegsmarine in 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. After serving on the light cruiser Königsberg and the school ship Schleswig-Holstein, he transferred to the U-bootwaffe (U-boat force) in 1941. His first command was the school boat U-733. In June 1943 he took command of U-745. In June 1944 he made one patrol in Norwegian waters, but in August 1944 the boat's operational area was changed to the Baltic.
There were reports that von Trotha's body was washed ashore on the Estonian coast in early February 1945. It was actually found by local fishermen on 10 February 1945, in the sea off the island of Föglö, part of the Finnish Åland archipelago. The body was frozen, and there was blood in the mouth and throat, but was otherwise unmarked. It is possible that he died while ascending to the surface after his boat sank.
Special thanks to Mr. Stefan Abrahamsson in Finland for bringing this information to our attention.
In late 2012, after ten years of searching, the Finnish diving team Badewanne reported they had found both U-676 and U-745 in the Gulf of Finland south of Hanko. Both boats went missing in early 1945 with all hands lost. The boats apparently fell victim to the mine barrage Vantaa 3 laid by the Finnish minelayers Louhi and Ruotsinsalmi on 12 Jan 1945.
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 Wilhelm von Trotha
|1.||U-745||24 May 1944||Kiel||26 May 1944||Larvik||3 days|
|2.||U-745||9 Jun 1944||Larvik||7 Jul 1944||Bergen||Patrol 1,||29 days|
|3.||U-745||15 Jul 1944||Bergen||17 Jul 1944||Marviken||3 days|
|4.||U-745||29 Jul 1944||Marviken||1 Aug 1944||Kiel||4 days|
|5.||U-745||3 Aug 1944||Kiel||7 Aug 1944||Helsinki||5 days|
|6.||U-745||8 Aug 1944||Helsinki||9 Aug 1944||Gotenhafen||2 days|
|7.||U-745||14 Aug 1944||Gotenhafen||18 Aug 1944||Helsinki||5 days|
|8.||U-745||20 Aug 1944||Helsinki||20 Aug 1944||Kalasika||1 days|
|9.||U-745||23 Aug 1944||Kalasika||27 Aug 1944||Riisiö||Patrol 2,||5 days|
|10.||U-745||29 Aug 1944||Riisiö||29 Aug 1944||Helsinki||1 days|
|11.||U-745||11 Sep 1944||Helsinki||20 Oct 1944||Danzig||Patrol 3,||40 days|
|12.||U-745||23 Dec 1944||Danzig||31 Jan 1945||Sunk||Patrol 4,||40 days|
|4 patrols, 114 days at sea|
Ships hit by Wilhelm von Trotha
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|26 Aug 1944||U-745||Wilhelm von Trotha||T-45 Antikajnen (No 48)||140||sj|
|11 Jan 1945||U-745||Wilhelm von Trotha||T-76 Korall||600||sj|
2 ships sunk (740 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.