Jost Metzler

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Jost Metzler
Jost Metzler1.jpg
Jost Metzler
Born (1909-02-26)26 February 1909
Died 29 September 1975(1975-09-29) (aged 66)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Commands held U-69
19th U-boat Flotilla

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Jost Metzler (26 February 1909 – 29 September 1975) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II, commander of the U-boats U-69 and U-847, and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Metzler joined the Kriegsmarine in October 1933, after spending eight years in the merchant marine. He served on the torpedo boat T-196 and on several minesweepers. After 13 patrols on the minesweeper Grille, he transferred to the U-boat arm in April 1940, commissioning U-69 in November 1940.[1]

On his first patrol, sailing from Kiel to St. Nazaire in early 1941, he sank three ships for a total of 18,576 gross register tons (GRT).[1] On his second patrol south-west of Iceland, he sank a single ship of 3,759 GRT and damaged another.[2] Metzler's third patrol on U-69 was the most successful. He laid 16 mines in the harbour of Lagos, Nigeria, where they later sank a British steamer. He then sank another five ships for a total of 25,544 GRT.[1]

Metzler developed renal colic a few days after leaving St. Nazaire on his fourth patrol in August 1941, forcing the U-boat to return to port. After two months in hospital he served as the leading training officer in 25th and 27th U-boat Flotilla until February 1943.[1]

Metzler commanded U-847 from February to June 1943 without sailing on any patrols, and was appointed temporary locum commander of 5th U-boat Flotilla for two months before serving as commander of 19th U-boat Flotilla from October 1943 until the end of war.[1]

In 1954 Metzler published a memoir The Laughing Cow: The Story of U-69. The title is derived from the time when U-69 was first assigned to 7th U-boat Flotilla and the crew were instructed to paint Günther Prien's snorting bull insignia on the U-boat's conning tower. No illustration was enclosed, so U-69's First Watch Officer, Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Jürgen Auffermann instructed a shipyard worker to copy the head of laughing cow which appeared on the packaging of a popular French dairy product instead. This naturally proved to be a source of great amusement.[3]

Summary of career[edit]

Ships attacked[edit]

As commander of U-69 Jost Metzler is credited with sinking ten ships for a total of 50,873 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging one ship of 4,887 GRT and damaging one ship of 5,445 GRT so severely that it had to be considered a total loss.

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[4]
17 February 1941 MV Siamese Prince  United Kingdom 8,456 Sunk
19 February 1941 SS Empire Blanda  United Kingdom 5,693 Sunk
23 February 1941 SS Marslew  United Kingdom 4,542 Sunk
30 March 1941 SS Coultarn  United Kingdom 3,759 Sunk
3 April 1941 Thirlby  United Kingdom 4,877 Damaged
21 May 1941 SS Robin Moor  USA 4,999 Sunk
21 May 1941 SS Tewkesbury  United Kingdom 4,601 Sunk
31 May 1941 MV Sangara  United Kingdom 5,445 Total loss
3 June 1941 barge Robert Hughes  United Kingdom 2,879 Sunk (mine)
27 June 1941 SS Empire Ability  United Kingdom 7,603 Sunk
27 June 1941 SS River Lugar  United Kingdom 5,423 Sunk
3 July 1941 SS Robert L. Holt  United Kingdom 2,918 Sunk




  1. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "Korvettenkapitän Jost Metzler". German U-boat Commanders of WWII - Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-69 from 18 Mar 1941 to 11 Apr 1941". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Laughing Cow of Lorient". Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-69". German U-boats of WWII - 
  5. ^ a b c d e Busch & Röll 2003, p. 149.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 309.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945] (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 

External links[edit]