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Erwin Rostin
Born (1907-10-08)8 October 1907
Died 30 June 1942(1942-06-30) (aged 34)
Place of birth Güstrow, Mecklenburg
Place of death Atlantic Ocean
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–1942
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit Schlesien
Commands held Minensuchboot M 98, M 21
(25 September 1941–30 June 1942)
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Erwin Rostin (8 October 1907 in Güstrow – killed in action 1 July 1942 in Atlantic Ocean) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He is numbered thirty-one in the list of U-Boat aces of World War II.


Rostin joined the German Navy in 1933 and served eight years on minesweepers. He was transferred to submarine training in 1941. Rostin sailed for his first combat patrol as commander of U-158 on 7 February 1942, sinking five ships (38,785 tons), including the SS Empire Celt, and damaging two (15,264 tons) of the east coast of the United States[1] His second and last patrol (4 May–30 June 1942), took him into the Gulf of Mexico where U-158 sank 12 ships (62,536 tons), one of the most successful patrols in the Kriegsmarine.[2] However it ended with the sinking of U-158 by a United States Navy PBM Mariner bomber, with all hands lost, at 32°50′N 67°28′W / 32.833°N 67.467°W / 32.833; -67.467. In five months Rostin sank 17 ships for a total of 101,321 GRT, and damaged two others for a total of 15,264 GRT.[3]

Summary of careerEdit

Ships attackedEdit

Erwin Rostin as commander of U-158 sank 17 merchant ships totalling 101,321 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged another two of 15,264 GRT.

24 February 1942DilomaCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom8,146Damaged
24 February 1942Empire CeltCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom8,032Sunk
2 March 1942FinnagerCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom9,551Sunk
11 March 1942CaribesaCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom2,609Sunk
13 March 1942John D. GillFlag of the United States.svg USA11,641Sunk
15 March 1942ArioFlag of the United States.svg USA6,952Sunk
15 March 1942OleanFlag of the United States.svg USA7,118Damaged
25 May 1942DarinaCivil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom8,113Sunk
22 May 1942Frank D. BairdFlag of Canada.svg Canada1,748Sunk
2 June 1942Knoxville CityFlag of the United States.svg USA5,686Sunk
4 June 1942NidarnesFlag of Norway.svg Norway2,647Sunk
5 June 1942Velma LykesFlag of the United States.svg USA2,572Sunk
7 June 1942HermisFlag of Panama.svg Panama5,234Sunk
11 June 1942ScheheradzeFlag of Panama.svg Panama13,467Sunk
12 June 1942Cities Service ToledoFlag of the United States.svg USA8,192Sunk
17 June 1942MoiraFlag of Norway.svg Norway1,560Sunk
17 June 1942San BlasFlag of Panama.svg Panama3,601Sunk
23 June 1942Major General Henry GibbinsFlag of the United States.svg USA5,766Sunk
23 June 1942EveraldaFlag of Latvia.svg Latvia3,950Sunk



  1. "Patrol of U-158 from 7 Feb 1942 to 31 Mar 1942". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  2. "Patrol of U-158 from 4 May 1942 to 30 Jun 1942". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  3. "The Type IXC boat U-158". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 229.
  6. Scherzer 2007, p. 640.
  7. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 230.
  • Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2. 
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 

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