WWI U-boat commanders

Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/03)

193 ships sunk with a total of 453,369 GRT
2 warships sunk with a total of 2,500 tons
8 ships damaged with a total of 34,312 GRT

Born:18 Mar 1886 Posen 
Died:24 Feb 1941 Air crash at Paris Le Bourget airport 

Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière


1 Apr 1903 Seekadett
15 Apr 1904 Fähnrich zur See
28 Sep 1906 Leutnant zur See
27 Mar 1909 Oberleutnant zur See
16 Dec 1914 Kapitänleutnant
1 Apr 1922 Korvettenkapitän
1 Nov 1928 Fregattenkapitän
1 Oct 1930 Kapitän zur See
25 Jan 1937 char.Konteradmiral
19 Aug 1939 char.VizeAdmiral
1 Jun 1940 Konteradmiral a.D.
1 Feb 1941 Vizeadmiral z.V.


1906  Order of the Crown
 Iron Cross 2nd class
   Hanseatic Cross
 Iron Cross 1st class
   Military Merit Cross
   Empire Silver Medal Imtiaz with Scimitars
11 Sep 1916  Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
11 Oct 1916  Pour le Mérite
 Order of the Iron Crown
   Iron Half Moon
   Order of Leopold
1918  U-Boat War Badge
   Honor Cross for Combatants
   Clasp to the Iron Cross II Class
   War Merit Cross 2nd Class

U-boat Commands

U 3513 Nov 1915 - 16 Mar 1918
U 13918 May 1918 - 11 Nov 1918


At the end of 1915 SM U 35 was taken over by Kptlt. Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere. He was to become the most successful U-boat skipper of all time, a record which still stands. During his war time career, he sank 194 ships totalling 454,000 tons, always strictly according to prize rules often with his boat's 88 mm deck gun. His patrol performance was outstanding: in April/May 1916 he sank 23 ships, totaling 68,000 tons on a five week patrol and in July/August 1916 in four weeks he sank 54 ships, totaling 91,150 tons using only 4 torpedoes (one miss).

Arnauld, who stayed in command of SM U 35 until 1918 and conducted 15 war patrols with it, later commented on this patrol:

"My record cruise was quite tame and dull. We stopped the vessels. The crews boarded the lifeboats. We inspected the ships' documents, told the crews how they could reach the next port and then sank the stopped prize."

For his achievements the Prussian aristocrat Arnauld, who was a modest but very skilled skipper respected by his crew, was awarded the Pour le Mérite.

After the war Arnauld served in the Turkish Navy in the 1930's and from 1939 again in the German Navy. He died in an aircraft accident at Le Bourget airport near Paris, France in 1941.

Media links

Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

German Submarine Warfare 1914-1918 in the Eyes of British Intelligence

Koerver, Hans Joachim

Captains of War

Gray, Edwyn

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