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Rolf Mützelburg
File:MUTZELBURG.jpg
Born (1913-06-23)23 June 1913
Died 11 September 1942(1942-09-11) (aged 29)
Place of birth Kiel
Place of death Atlantic Ocean
36°14′N 31°21′W / 36.233°N 31.35°W / 36.233; -31.35 (Rolf Mützelburg (death))
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1931–1942
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit 21st U-boat Flotilla
1st U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-10
U-203
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg (23 June 1913 – 11 September 1942) was a German U-boat commander during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Mützelburg died on active service on 11 September 1942 following an accident at sea.

Career[edit | edit source]

Mützelburg joined the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic on 1 April 1932 as member of "Crew 1932" (the incoming class of 1932). After spending two years on minesweepers, in October 1939 he joined the U-boat arm.[1] He spent five months commanding the school boat U-10 from June to November 1940 as part of 21st U-boat Flotilla,[2] receiving his first combat experience aboard U-100 under Joachim Schepke. He commissioned U-203 into 1st U-boat Flotilla in February 1941. On his eight patrols in the Atlantic, the US east coast, and the Caribbean Sea, he sank 19 ships for a total of 81,961 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged three more (17,052 GRT).[1]

Mützelburg died on 11 September 1942 in a freak accident. He was swimming in the Atlantic south-west of the Azores, and dove from the conning tower, but struck the deck head-first when the U-boat suddenly lurched in the swell. The supply U-boat U-462 arrived the next day with a doctor on board, but too late, and Mützelburg was buried at sea on 12 September 1942.[1]

Summary of career[edit | edit source]

Ships attacked[edit | edit source]

Date Ship Nationality GRT Convoy Fate[3]
24 June 1941 Kinross  United Kingdom 4,956 OB-336 Sunk
24 June 1941 Soløy  Norway 4,402 HX-133 Sunk
27 July 1941 Hawkinge  United Kingdom 2,475 OG-69 Sunk
28 July 1941 Lapland  United Kingdom 1,330 OG-69 Sunk
28 July 1941 Norita  Sweden 1,516 OG-69 Sunk
26 September 1941 Avoceta  United Kingdom 3,442 HG-73 Sunk
26 September 1941 Lapwing  United Kingdom 1,348 HG-73 Sunk
26 September 1941 Varangberg  Norway 2,842 HG-73 Sunk
3 November 1941 Empire Gemsbuck  United Kingdom 5,626 SC-52 Sunk
3 November 1941 Everoja  United Kingdom 4,830 SC-52 Sunk
15 January 1942 Catalina  Portugal 632 Sunk
17 January 1942 Octavian  Norway 1,345 Sunk
21 January 1942 North Gaspe  Canada 888 Damaged
10 April 1942 San Delfino  United Kingdom 8,072 Sunk
11 April 1942 Harry F. Sinclair, Jr.  USA 6,151 Damaged
12 April 1942 Stanvac Melbourne  Panama 10,013 Damaged
14 April 1942 Empire Thrush  United Kingdom 6,160 Sunk
26 June 1942 Pedrinhas  Brazil 3,666 Sunk
26 June 1942 Putney Hill  United Kingdom 5,216 Sunk
28 June 1942 Sam Houston  USA 7,176 Sunk
9 July 1942 Cape Verde  United Kingdom 6,914 Sunk
11 July 1942 Stanvac Palembang  Panama 10,013 Sunk

Awards[edit | edit source]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit | edit source]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Wednesday, 30 July 1941 In der Atlantikschlacht haben sich die Unterseeboote unter Führung von Kapitänleutnant Mützelburg, Kapitänleutnant Bauer und Oberleutnant zur See Schüler besonders ausgezeichnet. [8] The submarines under the command of Captain Lieutenant Mützelburg, Captain Lieutenant Bauer and First Lieutenant at Sea Schüler have particularly distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Monday, 20 April 1942 Bei den Erfolgen deutscher Unterseeboote vor der USA-Küste zeichnete sich das Unterseeboot unter der Führung von Kapitänleutnant Mützelburg besonders aus.[9] In the success of German submarines off the U.S. coast, the submarine under the leadership of Captain Lieutenant Mützelburg distinguished itself from the rest.
15 September 1942 Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg, Kommandant eines Unterseebootes, Träger des Eichenlaubes zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, ließ auf der Fahrt gegen den Feind sein Leben. In ihm verliert die Unterseebootwaffe einen hervorragender Kommandanten und erfolgreichen Kämpfer. Das Boot setzt unter dem Kommando des ältesten Wachoffiziers die Unternehmung fort.[10] Captain Lieutenant Rolf Mützelburg, U-boat commander, recipient of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, lost his life on patrol. The U-boat arm has lost an outstanding commander and a successful fighter. The boat continues her patrol under the command of the senior watch officer.

References[edit | edit source]

Notes
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/men/muetzelburg.htm. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  2. "The Type IIB U-boat U-10". uboat.net. http://www.uboat.net/boats/u10.htm. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  3. http://uboat.net/boats/successes/u.203/html%7Caccess date 2 February 2013
  4. Busch and Röll 2003, p. 156.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 157.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 319.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 60.
  8. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 628.
  9. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 91.
  10. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 288.
Bibliography
  • 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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Huß, Jürgen; Viohl, Armin (2003) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes der preußischen Provinz Schleswig-Holstein und der Freien und Hansestadt Lübeck 1939–1945 [The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Bearers of the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck 1939–1945]. Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-925480-79-9. 
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]



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