|Born||12 June 1912|
|Died||9 June 2005(aged 92)|
|Place of birth||Salzbrunn, Silesia|
|Place of death||Dießen am Ammersee|
|Years of service||1934–1945|
SSS Gorch Fock|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Gerd Kelbling (12 June 1912 – 9 June 2005) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. As a U-boat commander he is credited with the sinkinking of nine merchant vessels for a total of 38,290 gross register tons (GRT) and three warships for a total of 2,902 tons, including the USS Skill and HMS Tynedale. He further damaged one ship of 4,853 GRT and one warship of 1,625 tons. A further vessel of 8,426 GRT and one warship 1,625 tons were so heavily damaged that they were a total loss. U-593 was sunk on 13 December 1943 in the western Mediterranean by depth charges from the US destroyer USS Wainwright and the British escort destroyer HMS Calpe. The entire crew, without loss of life, was taken prisoner of war.
Summary of career
|Date||Name of Ship||Nationality||Tonnage||Fate|
|14 May 1942||Stavros||4,853||Greece||Damaged|
|25 May 1942||Persephone||8,426||Panama||Damaged for total loss|
|5 August 1942||Spar||3,616||Netherlands||Sunk|
|12 November 1942||Browning||5,332||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|18 March 1943||Dafila||1,940||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|18 March 1943||Kaying||2,626||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|27 March 1943||City of Guildford||5,157||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|11 April 1943||Runo||1,858||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|22 June 1943||USS LST-333||1,625||United States||Damaged for total loss|
|22 June 1943||USS LST-387||1,625||United States||Damaged|
|5 July 1943||Devis||6,054||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|21 September 1943||William W. Gerhard||7,176||United States||Sunk|
|25 September 1943||USS Skill||815||United States||Sunk|
|3 November 1943||Mont Viso||4,531||France||Sunk|
|12 December 1943||HMS Tynedale||1,000||United Kingdom||Sunk|
|12 December 1943||HMS Holcombe||1,087||United Kingdom||Sunk|
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (8 April 1938)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Minesweeper War Badge (3 December 1940)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (30 March 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 18 August 1943 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-593
- "Ships hit by U-593 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/successes/u593/html. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 373.
- Busch and Röll 2003, p. 374.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 252.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 435.
- Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 3-8132-0515-0.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
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