Karl-Friedrich Merten

Kapitän zur See (Crew 26)


Successes
27 ships sunk, total tonnage 170,151 GRT

Born  15 Aug 1905 Posen
Died  2 May 1993(87)


Karl Friedrich Merten

Ranks

1 Apr 1926 Offiziersanwärter
1 Apr 1928 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jun 1930 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1930 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1933 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1936 Kapitänleutnant
1 Apr 1941 Korvettenkapitän
1 Jan 1944 Fregattenkapitän
15 Apr 1945 Kapitän zur See

Decorations

2 Oct 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class
2 Aug 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
31 Dec 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
13 Jun 1942 Knights Cross
16 Nov 1942 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves
30 Jan 1943 U-boat War Badge with Diamonds

U-boat Commands

U-boatFromTo
U-68 11 Feb 1941 21 Jan 1943   5 patrols (368 days) 

Merten
Korvkpt. Karl-Friedrich Merten

After a ten-year stint on warships and serving on the WWI battleship Schleswig-Holstein during the attack on the Polish "Westerplatte" in September 1939, Merten joined the U-boat arm on 1 May, 1940. He operated all over the world, patrolling in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Indian Oceans. U-68 was in the U-boat wolfpack "Eisbär" (Polar bear), which in the course of a few weeks during September/October 1942 sank more than 100,000 tons of shipping off South Africa.

In January 1943 Merten became the commander of the 26th U-boat-Flotilla in Pillau. There the new U-boat crews received their final training before going to the front. In March 1943 Merten moved to the 24th U-boat-Flotilla in Memel where he also was the flotilla commander. This was the training flotilla for future Commanders-to-be.

After the war Merten salvaged sunken ships in the Rhine river along with another famous former U-boat commander, Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock. Later he worked in the shipbuilding industry.


Karl-Friedrich Merten during the funeral of Großadmiral Dönitz in 1981,
behind him Oblt. Otto Westphalen (U-968)

Sources

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 Karl-Friedrich Merten


 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-68 30 Jun 1941  Kiel  1 Aug 1941  Lorient  Patrol 1,33 days
2. U-68 11 Sep 1941  Lorient  25 Dec 1941  Lorient  Patrol 2,106 days
3. U-68 11 Feb 1942  Lorient  13 Apr 1942  Lorient  Patrol 3,62 days
4. U-68 14 May 1942  Lorient  10 Jul 1942  Lorient  Patrol 4,58 days
5. U-68 20 Aug 1942  Lorient  6 Dec 1942  Lorient  Patrol 5,109 days
5 patrols, 368 days at sea

Ships hit by Karl-Friedrich Merten

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
22 Sep 1941U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Silverbelle5,302brSL-87
22 Oct 1941U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Darkdale8,145br
28 Oct 1941U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Hazelside5,297br
1 Nov 1941U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Bradford City4,953br
 
3 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Helenus7,366br
8 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Baluchistan6,992br
16 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Baron Newlands3,386br
17 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Ile de Batz5,755br
17 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Scottish Prince4,917br
17 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Allende5,081br
30 Mar 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Muncaster Castle5,853brST-18
5 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten L.J. Drake6,693am
6 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten C.O. Stillman13,006pa
10 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Surrey8,581br
10 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Ardenvohr5,025br
10 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Port Montreal5,882br
15 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Frimaire9,242fr
23 Jun 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Arriaga2,345pa
12 Sep 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Trevilley5,296brOS-38
15 Sep 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Breedijk6,861nl
8 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Koumoundouros3,598gr
8 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Gaasterkerk8,679nl
8 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Swiftsure8,207am
8 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Sarthe5,271br
9 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Examelia4,981am
9 Oct 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten Belgian Fighter5,403be
6 Nov 1942U-68Karl-Friedrich Merten City of Cairo8,034br
 170,151

27 ships sunk (170,151 tons).

Legend
We have a picture of this vessel.


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


Silent Hunters

Savas, Theodore P. (editor)


Wolf

Vause, Jordan


Aces of the Reich

Williamson, Gordon


Goodnight, Sorry for Sinking You

Barker, Ralph

Listing of all U-boat commanders