Robert Gysae

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 31)

24 ships sunk, total tonnage 136,266 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 10,549 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 2,588 GRT

Born  14 Jan 1911 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Died  26 Apr 1989(78)Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Kptlt. Robert Gysae


1 Apr 1931 Offiziersanwärter
14 Oct 1931 Seekadett
1 Jan 1933 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1935 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1935 Leutnant zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jul 1943 Korvettenkapitän


31 May 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
15 Apr 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
31 May 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
31 Dec 1941 Knights Cross
31 May 1943 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
1 Oct 1944 U-boat Front Clasp

U-boat Commands

U-98 12 Oct 1940 23 Mar 1942   6 patrols (194 days) 
U-177 24 Mar 1942 16 Oct 1943   2 patrols (312 days) 

Robert Gysae began his naval career in April 1931. After some years on torpedo boats (Albatros, Leopard and T-107) Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae transferred to the U-boat arm in April 1940. Six months later in October of 1940 he commissioned the U-98, and in March 1941 set out on his first patrol with that boat. What is amazing is that Robert Gysae started his career as a U-boat commander without serving any time as IWO or "Kommandantenschüler" on any other boats. Very few men were shown such trust by BdU.

Kptlt. Gysae, well shaved

Korvkpt. Gysae, with a proud beard after patrol

After six patrols with U-98, he took over the larger U-177. On two long-range patrols into the Indian Ocean Gysae sank 14 ships with a total of 87,388 tons. During the second patrol he received the Oak Leaves. In October 1943 he left the boat and in January 1944 he became the commander of the 25th (Training) Flotilla . In the last month of the war (April 1945) he was the commander of the Marinepanzerjagd-Regiment 1 (Navy tank-hunter regiment).

Flotillenadmiral Robert Gysae

After the war's end he spent some weeks in captivity before going on to serve for more than two years in the German minesweeping service (Deutscher Minenräumdienst).

During the postwar period he joined the Bundesmarine (post-war German Navy). There he served for four years as Navy attache in the USA and then spent three years as Flottillenadmiral and Commander of the Marinedivision Nordsee before retiring in March 1970.


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.

Patrol info for Robert Gysae

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-98 12 Mar 1941  Kiel  14 Apr 1941  Lorient  Patrol 1,34 days
2. U-98 1 May 1941  Lorient  29 May 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 2,29 days
3. U-98 23 Jun 1941  St. Nazaire  23 Jul 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 3,31 days
4. U-98 31 Aug 1941  St. Nazaire  26 Sep 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 4,27 days
5. U-98 29 Oct 1941  St. Nazaire  29 Nov 1941  St. Nazaire  Patrol 5,32 days
6. U-98 18 Jan 1942  St. Nazaire  27 Feb 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 6,41 days
7. U-177 17 Sep 1942  Kiel  22 Jan 1943  Bordeaux  Patrol 7,128 days
8. U-177 1 Apr 1943  Bordeaux  1 Oct 1943  Bordeaux  Patrol 8,184 days
8 patrols, 506 days at sea

Ships hit by Robert Gysae

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
27 Mar 1941U-98Robert Gysae Koranton6,695brSC-25
4 Apr 1941U-98Robert Gysae Helle2,467nwSC-26
4 Apr 1941U-98Robert Gysae Welcombe5,122brSC-26
9 Apr 1941U-98Robert Gysae Prins Willem II1,304nlHX-117
13 May 1941U-98Robert Gysae HMS Salopian (F 94)10,549brSC-30
20 May 1941U-98Robert Gysae Rothermere5,356brHX-126
21 May 1941U-98Robert Gysae Marconi7,402brOB-322
9 Jul 1941U-98Robert Gysae Designer5,945brOB-341
9 Jul 1941U-98Robert Gysae Inverness4,897brOB-341
16 Sep 1941U-98Robert Gysae Jedmoor4,392brSC-42
15 Feb 1942U-98Robert Gysae Biela5,298brON-62
2 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Aegeus4,538grTRIN-16
9 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Cerion (d.)2,588br
19 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Scottish Chief7,006brPA-8
20 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Pierce Butler7,191am
28 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Nova Scotia6,796br
30 Nov 1942U-177Robert Gysae Llandaff Castle10,799br
7 Dec 1942U-177Robert Gysae Saronikos3,548gr
12 Dec 1942U-177Robert Gysae Empire Gull6,408br
14 Dec 1942U-177Robert Gysae Sawahloento3,085nl
28 May 1943U-177Robert Gysae Agwimonte6,679amCD-20
28 May 1943U-177Robert Gysae Storaas7,886nwCD-20
6 Jul 1943U-177Robert Gysae Jasper Park7,129ca
10 Jul 1943U-177Robert Gysae Alice F. Palmer7,176am
29 Jul 1943U-177Robert Gysae Cornish City4,952brDN-53
5 Aug 1943U-177Robert Gysae Efthalia Mari4,195gr

25 ships sunk (146,815 tons) and 1 ship damaged (2,588 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Attack and Sink!

Edwards, Bernard
($ 12.95)

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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