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Engelbert Endrass

Engelbert Endrass

German navy officer and world war II U-boat commander
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German navy officer and world war II U-boat commander
Countries Germany
Occupations Soldier Submariner Military officer
A.K.A. Engelbert Endraß, Endrass, Engelbert, Endraß, Engelbert
Gender male
Birth March 2, 1911 (Bamberg)
Death December 21, 1941 (Atlantic Ocean)
Education Naval Academy at Mürwik
Engelbert Endrass
The details

Engelbert Endrass (German: Engelbert Endraß) (2 March 1911 – 21 December 1941) was a German U-boat commander in World War II. He commanded the Type VIIB U-boat U-46 and the Type VIIC U-567, being credited with sinking twenty-two ships on ten patrols, for a total of 118,528 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied shipping, to purportedly become the 23rd highest scoring U-boat commander of World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany. It was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Endrass.


Endrass began his naval career in April 1935. After some months on the cruiser Deutschland and service on escort ships, he was assigned in October 1937 to the U-boat force. He joined U-47 in December 1938 as Leutnant zur See. He was first Watch Officer when Günther Prien made his famous Scapa Flow attack and sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak. The famous snorting bull emblem on U-47's conning tower was painted by Endrass before they returned.

Endrass remained on U-47 until December 1939, when he left the U-boat and after some training courses took over command of U-46 in May 1940 from the relatively unsuccessful Herbert Sohler, who had only sunk two ships in five patrols. Endrass had immediate success and sank five ships, including the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Carinthia.

Snorting bull emblem on the conning tower painted by Endrass

Endrass' success continued on his second patrol with U-46, sinking five more ships, including another British auxiliary cruiser, HMS Dunvegan Castle although the main periscope was damaged. After returning from this patrol, Endrass received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Five patrols later he received the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. The presentation was made on 30 June 1941 by Adolf Hitler at the Führer Headquarter Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) in Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn in Poland).

In September 1941 Endrass left U-46, which would become a training vessel, and a month later took over U-567. On his second patrol, he was killed on 21 December 1941 while operating against Convoy HG 76, when U-567 was sunk with all hands by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Deptford and corvette HMS Samphire, northeast of the Azores.


  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (5 April 1939)
  • Spanish Cross (6 June 1939)
  • Iron Cross (1939) 2nd Class (25 September 1939) & 1st Class (17 October 1939)
  • U-boat War Badge (1939) (19 December 1939); with Diamonds (18 July 1941)
  • Italian Croce di Guerra with Swords (1 November 1941)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 5 September 1940 as Oberleutnant zur See and commander of U-46
    • 14th Oak Leaves on 10 June 1941 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-46
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