Korvettenkapitän (Crew 28)
8 ships sunk, total tonnage 30,885 GRT
|Born||23 Nov 1908||Kaiserslautern|
|Died||13 Mar 1940||(31)||North Sea|
|U-6||7 Sep 1935||30 Sep 1937||No war patrols|
|U-9||1 Oct 1937||18 Sep 1939||1 patrol (22 days)|
|U-44||4 Nov 1939||13 Mar 1940 (+)||2 patrols (36 days)|
Ludwig Mathes joined the German Navy in 1928. He belonged to class of 1928 and among his classmates were men like Werner Harteinstein (U-156), Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat (U-74) and Karl Thurmann (U-553).
Since 1935 Mathes had been involved with the new U-boat force, commanding the small "duck" U-6 from Sep 1935 to Sep 1937 and then U-9, another "duck", until 18 Sept 1939. This gave him an extensive pre-war experience of great value for things to come.
Spending 2 months with U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) at Bremen he commissioned the new and much larger type IX boat U-44 on 4 Nov 1939 and put her through her trials in the Baltic with the 6th flotilla. On 6 Jan 1940 he left Wilhelmshaven, Germany for his first war patrol.
When Kptlt. Ludwig Mathes returned to base after his first patrol in Feb 1940 he had completed the 5th most successful patrol of the war so far. He was highly praised by Dönitz and told to have "perfectly executed" his mission (Blair, 1996). After his death he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän with the effective date of 1 March 1940 making him one of the first of his class to reach that rank.
He was lost at the start of his second patrol when his U-44 hit a British mine on or around 13 March 1940, no survivors from a crew of 47 men. The Germany navy thus lost one of its most promising U-boat officers when he died.
Patrol info for Ludwig Mathes
|1.||U-9||25 Aug 1939||Wilhelmshaven||15 Sep 1939||Kiel||Patrol 1,||22 days|
|2.||U-44||6 Jan 1940||Wilhelmshaven||9 Feb 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 2,||35 days|
|3.||U-44||13 Mar 1940||Wilhelmshaven||13 Mar 1940||Sunk||Patrol 3,||1 days|
|3 patrols, 58 days at sea|
Ships hit by Ludwig Mathes
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|15 Jan 1940||U-44||Fagerheim||1,590||nw|
|15 Jan 1940||U-44||Arendskerk||7,906||nl|
|16 Jan 1940||U-44||Panachrandros||4,661||gr|
|18 Jan 1940||U-44||Canadian Reefer||1,831||da|
|20 Jan 1940||U-44||Ekatontarchos Dracoulis||5,329||gr|
|24 Jan 1940||U-44||Alsacien||3,819||fr||56-KS|
|25 Jan 1940||U-44||Tourny||2,769||fr||56-KS|
|28 Jan 1940||U-44||Flora||2,980||gr|
8 ships sunk (30,885 tons).