Kapitänleutnant (Crew 32)
19 ships sunk, total tonnage 81,961 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 17,052 GRT
|Born||23 Jun 1913||Kiel|
|Died||11 Sep 1942||(29)||Northern Atlantic|
|U-10||10 Jun 1940||29 Nov 1940||No war patrols|
|U-203||18 Feb 1941||11 Sep 1942 (+)||8 patrols (242 days, * died during this patrol)|
After two years on minesweepers, Oblt. Rolf Mützelburg joined the U-boat arm in October 1939. He spent five months on a school boat, but received his first combat experience on Schepke's U-100. He commissioned U-203 in February 1941. On his patrols in the Atlantic and off the US east coast, as well as in the Caribbean Sea, he sank 19 ships and damaged 3 more (Rohwer, 1998).
Kptlt. Rolf Mützelburg died on 11 September, 1942 in a freak accident. Taking the opportunity to go swimming in the Atlantic southwest of the Azores, he dived from the conning tower and struck the deck with his head and shoulder when the boat lurched suddenly in the swell *. The doctor from the Milch Cow U-462 arrived the next day, but too late, and Rolf Mützelburg was buried at sea on 12 September, 1942 in position 36.14N, 31.21W.
On 15 September, 1942 the daily Wehrmachtsbericht announced :
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.
(Kapitänleutnant 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.)
* Teddy Suhren in his biography states that Mützelburg hit the saddle tanks and not the deck though.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Suhren, T. (2006). Teddy Suhren, ace of aces.
Patrol info for Rolf Mützelburg
|1.||U-203||5 Jun 1941||Kiel||29 Jun 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||25 days|
|2.||U-203||10 Jul 1941||St. Nazaire||31 Jul 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 2,||22 days|
|3.||U-203||20 Sep 1941||St. Nazaire||30 Sep 1941||Brest||Patrol 3,||11 days|
|4.||U-203||18 Oct 1941||Brest||12 Nov 1941||Brest||Patrol 4,||26 days|
|5.||U-203||25 Dec 1941||Brest||29 Jan 1942||Brest||Patrol 5,||36 days|
|6.||U-203||12 Mar 1942||Brest||30 Apr 1942||Brest||Patrol 6,||50 days|
|7.||U-203||3 Jun 1942||Brest||4 Jun 1942||Lorient||2 days|
|8.||U-203||4 Jun 1942||Lorient||29 Jul 1942||Brest||Patrol 7,||56 days|
|9.||U-203||27 Aug 1942||Brest||18 Sep 1942||Brest||Patrol 8,||16 days||*|
|8 patrols, 242 days at sea|
* Rolf Mützelburg died during this patrol on 11 Sep 1942
Ships hit by Rolf Mützelburg
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.