Rolf Thomsen

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

1 ship sunk, total tonnage 7,176 GRT

Born  6 May 1915 Berlin
Died  27 Mar 2003(87)Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany

Kapitänleutnant. Rolf Thomsen


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Mar 1943 Kapitänleutnant


25 Nov 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
17 May 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
3 Jan 1945 U-boat War Badge 1939
4 Jan 1945 Knights Cross
29 Apr 1945 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves

U-boat Commands

U-1202 27 Jan 1944 9 May 1945   2 patrols (118 days) 

Rolf Thomsen
Fähnrich Rolf Thomsen in 1938
Rolf Thomsen joined the Kriegsmarine in 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. After six months on a minesweeper he transferred to the Luftwaffe in October 1938 and received training as a naval aviator.

For more than three years he served in several air squadrons, including Kampfgeschwader 26, the only air group in the Luftwaffe which was equipped with air torpedoes.

In April 1943 Thomsen left the Luftwaffe and went through standard training to become a U-boat commander.

On 27 January, 1944 Kptlt. Rolf Thomsen commissioned U-1202. The boat made two patrols in the North Atlantic. Thomsen attacked many ships on these patrols, but most of his reported hits and sinkings could not be confirmed after the war, and he is only credited with one ship sunk.

Following Germany's surrender in May 1945 he spent eight months in British captivity. After the war he joined the Bundesmarine (Federal German Navy) and retired with the rank of Flottillenadmiral (one-star admiral).

The newly decorated Kptlt. Rolf Thomsen with the FdU West Kapitän z. See Rösing (middle) and the commander of the 11th Flotilla Flotilla Fregkpt. Lehmann-Willenbrock on the right.


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.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Rolf Thomsen

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-1202 21 Oct 1944  Kiel  24 Oct 1944  Horten   4 days
2. U-1202 26 Oct 1944  Horten  28 Oct 1944  Kristiansand   3 days
3. U-1202 30 Oct 1944  Kristiansand  1 Jan 1945  Bergen  Patrol 1,64 days
4. U-1202 4 Mar 1945  Bergen  26 Apr 1945  Bergen  Patrol 2,54 days
2 patrols, 118 days at sea

Ships hit by Rolf Thomsen

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
10 Dec 1944U-1202Rolf Thomsen Dan Beard7,176am

1 ship sunk (7,176 tons).

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

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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