Peter Gerlach

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew XII/39)

1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,935 tons

Born  25 Feb 1922 Memel
Died  30 Mar 1944(22)Mediterranean


1 Dec 1939 Offiziersanwärter
1 Nov 1940 Fähnrich zur See
1 Nov 1941 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1942 Leutnant zur See
1 Dec 1943 Oberleutnant zur See


  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class

U-boat Commands

U-37 20 Nov 1943 8 Jan 1944   No war patrols 
U-223 12 Jan 1944 30 Mar 1944  (+)  2 patrols (40 days) 

When Oblt. Peter Gerlach took U-223 on patrol from Toulon on 19 Jan 1944, he became one of the youngest U-boat commanders to see active service during WWII (he was 21) (Busch & Röll, 1999). U-233 returned to base 25 days later.
Peter Gerlach died on his second patrol in U-223, when she was sunk on 30 Mar 1944 north of Palermo by depth charges from HMS Laforey, HMS Tumult, HMS Hambledon and HMS Blencathra. There were 23 dead and 27 survivors. (Niestlé, 1998).


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).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.

Patrol info for Peter Gerlach

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-223 19 Jan 1944  Toulon  12 Feb 1944  Toulon  Patrol 1,25 days
2. U-223 16 Mar 1944  Toulon  30 Mar 1944  Sunk  Patrol 2,15 days
2 patrols, 40 days at sea

Ships hit by Peter Gerlach

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
30 Mar 1944U-223 HMS Laforey (G 99)1,935br

1 ship sunk (1,935 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

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.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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