Karl-Ernst Schroeter

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 34)


Successes
7 ships sunk, total tonnage 32,966 GRT
2 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 1,134 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 4,799 GRT

Born  3 Dec 1912 Freystadt, Silesia
Died  23 May 1943(30)Central North Atlantic


Kriegsmarine Crew photo

Ranks

1 Apr 1937 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Feb 1941 Kapitänleutnant
1 May 1943 Korvettenkapitän

Decorations

U-boat Commands

U-boatFromTo
U-121 28 May 1940 30 Mar 1941   No war patrols 
U-752 24 May 1941 23 May 1943  (+)  9 patrols (329 days) 

Karl-Ernst Schroeter joined the German Navy (Reichsmarine) in 1934. He served as the First Watch Officer (1WO) on the U-9 (Kptlt. Ludwig Mathes) during one patrol during Sept - Oct 1939. He then became the First Watch Officer on the much larger type IXB boat U-38 (Kptlt. Heinrich Liebe) during which he also went out on one patrol taking part in sinking 3 ships for over 13,000 GRT.

Karl-Ernst Schroeter served with a training flotilla from Jan to April 1940. May 1940 he spent getting familiar with the small "duck" U-121 before commissioning the new boat on 28 May 1940. The boat spent its entire career as a school boat and Schroeter left her on 30 March 1941.

From April to May he would again spend time learning the ins and out of a new boat, this time the larger type VIIC boats, at Wilhelmshaven. He commissioned the brand new U-752 on 24 May 1941, his first combat U-boat.

With the U-752 Kptlt. Karl-Ernst Schroeter went out on 9 war patrols spending 329 days at sea. He was a successful commander, sinking 8 ships for over 33,000 GRT and damaging another merchant for 4,799 GRT.

The loss of U-752

On 19 May 1943 U-752 joined Wolfpack Mosel along with 20 other boats. On May 23 Schroeter found convoy HX-239 and reported its position. This, in turn, homed in Allied escort forces and aircraft. A Swordfish from the British escort carrier HMS Archer found the boat on the surface and attacked with 8 rockets, the last 2 of which penetrated the pressure hull causing extensive damages and flooding. This forced Schroeter to abort the crash dive and fight it out on the surface (Blair, 1998).

On reaching the tower Schroeter was hit in the head by gunfire from a Wildcat/Martlet aircraft and killed instantly along with several of his crew. His Chief Engineer (LI) took command and scuttled the boat, ordering men to abandon ship. The First Watch Officer willingly went down with the boat. Allied escorts picked up 13 men and 4 survivors were picked up by U-91 (Oblt. Heinz Hungershausen) later in the day (Blair, 1998).

Sources

Blair, C. (1998). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunted, 1942-1945.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.

Patrol info for Karl-Ernst Schroeter

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-752 23 Jul 1941  Kiel  24 Jul 1941  Horten   2 days
2. U-752 31 Jul 1941  Horten  2 Aug 1941  Trondheim   3 days
3. U-752 18 Aug 1941  Trondheim  22 Aug 1941  Kirkenes   5 days
4. U-752 23 Aug 1941  Kirkenes  17 Sep 1941  Kirkenes  Patrol 1,26 days
5. U-752 19 Sep 1941  Kirkenes  23 Sep 1941  Trondheim   5 days
6. U-752 18 Oct 1941  Trondheim  22 Oct 1941  Kirkenes   5 days
7. U-752 7 Nov 1941  Kirkenes  18 Nov 1941  Kirkenes  Patrol 2,12 days
8. U-752 22 Nov 1941  Kirkenes  10 Dec 1941  Kiel  Patrol 3,19 days
9. U-752 4 Feb 1942  Kiel  5 Feb 1942  Helgoland  Patrol 4,2 days
10. U-752 7 Feb 1942  Helgoland  10 Feb 1942  Bergen  Patrol 4,4 days
11. U-752 12 Feb 1942  Bergen  13 Mar 1942  La Pallice  Patrol 4,30 days
12. U-752 28 Mar 1942  La Pallice  21 May 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 5,55 days
13. U-752 2 Jul 1942  St. Nazaire  4 Sep 1942  La Pallice  Patrol 6,65 days
14. U-752 19 Oct 1942  La Pallice  21 Oct 1942  La Pallice  Patrol 7,3 days
15. U-752 22 Oct 1942  La Pallice  3 Dec 1942  La Pallice  Patrol 7,43 days
16. U-752 9 Jan 1943  La Pallice  15 Feb 1943  St. Nazaire  Patrol 8,38 days
17. U-752 22 Apr 1943  St. Nazaire  23 May 1943  Sunk  Patrol 9,32 days
9 patrols, 329 days at sea

Ships hit by Karl-Ernst Schroeter

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
25 Aug 1941U-752 T-898 (No 44)553sj
27 Aug 1941U-752 RT-8 Seld´608sj
15 Nov 1941U-752 T-889 (No 34)581sj
 
21 Apr 1942U-752 West Imboden5,751am
23 Apr 1942U-752 Reinholt (d.)4,799nw
1 May 1942U-752 Bidevind4,956nw
23 Jul 1942U-752 Garmula5,254br
27 Jul 1942U-752 Leikanger4,003nwFN-20
9 Aug 1942U-752 Mendanau6,047nl
13 Aug 1942U-752 Cripple Creek6,347am
 38,899

9 ships sunk (34,100 tons) and 1 ship damaged (4,799 tons).

Legend
We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

Media links


German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim


Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.

Listing of all U-boat commanders