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Erwin Rostin

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Erwin Rostin

Erwin Rostin
Born (1907-10-08)8 October 1907
Güstrow, Mecklenburg
Died 30 June 1942(1942-06-30) (aged 34)
Atlantic Ocean
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch  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 Güstrowkilled 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 career

Ships attacked

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.

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[4]
24 February 1942 Diloma  United Kingdom 8,146 Damaged
24 February 1942 Empire Celt  United Kingdom 8,032 Sunk
2 March 1942 Finnager  United Kingdom 9,551 Sunk
11 March 1942 Caribesa  United Kingdom 2,609 Sunk
13 March 1942 John D. Gill  USA 11,641 Sunk
15 March 1942 Ario  USA 6,952 Sunk
15 March 1942 Olean  USA 7,118 Damaged
25 May 1942 Darina  United Kingdom 8,113 Sunk
22 May 1942 Frank D. Baird  Canada 1,748 Sunk
2 June 1942 Knoxville City  USA 5,686 Sunk
4 June 1942 Nidarnes  Norway 2,647 Sunk
5 June 1942 Velma Lykes  USA 2,572 Sunk
7 June 1942 Hermis  Panama 5,234 Sunk
11 June 1942 Scheheradze  Panama 13,467 Sunk
12 June 1942 Cities Service Toledo  USA 8,192 Sunk
17 June 1942 Moira  Norway 1,560 Sunk
17 June 1942 San Blas  Panama 3,601 Sunk
23 June 1942 Major General Henry Gibbins  USA 5,766 Sunk
23 June 1942 Everalda  Latvia 3,950 Sunk



  • Busch, Rainer & 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.
  • 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.

External links

  • Erwin Rostin

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