WWI U-boat commanders

Gustav Sieß

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 4/02)

53 ships sunk with a total of 159,545 GRT
3 warships sunk with a total of 28,750 tons
10 ships damaged with a total of 36,363 GRT

Born:11 Dec 1883 Hamburg 
Died:14 Oct 1970 Hamburg 

Gustav Sieß


1 Feb 1902Seekadett
11 Mar 1903Fähnrich zur See
29 Sep 1905Leutnant zur See
30 Mar 1908Oberleutnant zur See
12 Apr 1913Kapitänleutnant
1 Dec 1935Major
1 Jan 1938Oberstleutnant


Iron Cross 2nd class
Iron Cross 1st class
Lifesaving Medal
Hanseatic Cross
Order of the Crown (Prussia)
27 Feb 1917Hausorden von Hohenzollern
24 Apr 1918Pour le Mérite

U-boat Commands

U 739 Oct 1915 - 21 May 1917
U 331 Apr 1917 - 18 Aug 1918
U 3319 Oct 1918 - 11 Nov 1918
U 6519 Aug 1918 - 29 Sep 1918


He joined the Navy in April 1902, after attending the Academy and went on a on board the training ship SMS Moltke and armored cruise SMS Hansa , he was assigned in 1906 to I Division Torpedo. In October 1908 he was transferred to Mne Battalion and at the same time he obtained the command of the minesweepers S 27, S 25 and S 38.

From 1910 to 1912 he served as an assistant at the Inspectorate of the Coast Artillery and Mine. In November 1912 he obtained the command of the SMTb V3 and later that of SMTb V1.

In August 1915, after attending submarines training, he was given command of SM U-73 as part of the Baltic Flotilla based in Kiel, and subsequently sent to the Mediterranean Flotilla at Pola. He then commanded the U-33 and U-65, always working in the Mediterranean. Among his greatest successes were the sinking of the battleship HMS Russell, the Russian battleship Peresvyet and the passenger ship Britannia the sister of Titanic.

He was awarded the Pour le Mérite on 24th April 1918 in recognition of having sunk a total of 261.399 BRT of enemy shipping. Outside of the Mediterranean Siess sank 154.061 BRT of enemy shipping during three patrols with U73. In five long patrols in the same area he sank 107.338 BRT of enemy shipping.

On 24 April 1918 in recognition of his actions, he was decorated with the Order Pour le Merite. After the war, during the Weimar Republic, Gustav Siess formed a commercial company the "Siess, von Loe & Co".

In 1935, after training to become a pilot, he returned to the armed forces with the rank of Luftwafe Major and became head of logistics at the Air Ministry (Luftwaffe) in Berlin. In 1944, after a serious illness, he left active service with the rank of Generalleutnant. Arrested by the Soviets in 1945, was sentenced to 25 years in prison but was released in 1955 and returned to Hamburg, where he died at the age of 87 years October 14, 1970.

Media links

Kaiserliche Marine U-Boote 1914-1918

Dufeil, Yves

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