Gerd Kelbling

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Gerd Kelbling
Born (1912-06-12)12 June 1912
Salzbrunn, Silesia
Died 9 June 2005(2005-06-09) (aged 92)
Dießen am Ammersee
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Kapitänleutnant
Unit SSS Gorch Fock
cruiser Karlsruhe
steamer Hecht
Panzerschiff Deutschland
Minesweeper M-132
Commands held U-593
Battles/wars World War II
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: 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 Wainwright and the British escort destroyer Calpe. The entire crew, without loss of life, was taken prisoner of war.

Summary of career

Ships attacked

Date Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[1]
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 Navy Damaged for total loss
22 June 1943 USS LST-387 1,625  United States Navy 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 Navy Sunk
3 November 1943 Mont Viso 4,531  Free France Sunk
12 December 1943 HMS Tynedale 1,000  Royal Navy Sunk
12 December 1943 HMS Holcombe 1,087  Royal Navy Sunk




  1. "Ships hit by U-593 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats -". Retrieved 12 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 373.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 374.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 252.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 435.


  • 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 978-3-8132-0515-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Gerd Kelbling". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 17 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>