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

Wilhelm von Trotha (in 1938)


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Sep 1943 Kapitänleutnant


U-boat Commands

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.

U-745 left Libau (Liepaja), Latvia on 24 December 1944 and never returned. It has been conjectured that U-745 was lost in a German minefield in 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.

White arrow indicates where von Trotha's body was found

This is a so-called 'foreigners' grave' on Föglö.
von Trotha was buried there as interment Number 8 on 13 February 1945.

Föglö church

Special thanks to Mr. Stefan Abrahamsson in Finland for bringing this information to our attention.

Wreck of U-676 and U-745 discovered

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

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
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 1944U-745Wilhelm von Trotha T-45 Antikajnen (No 48)140sj
11 Jan 1945U-745Wilhelm von Trotha T-76 Korall600sj

2 ships sunk (740 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

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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