Korvettenkapitän (Crew 34)
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|
|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).
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
|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 1941||U-752||T-898 (No 44)||553||sj|
|27 Aug 1941||U-752||RT-8 Seld´||608||sj|
|15 Nov 1941||U-752||T-889 (No 34)||581||sj|
|21 Apr 1942||U-752||West Imboden||5,751||am|
|23 Apr 1942||U-752||Reinholt (d.)||4,799||nw|
|1 May 1942||U-752||Bidevind||4,956||nw|
|23 Jul 1942||U-752||Garmula||5,254||br|
|27 Jul 1942||U-752||Leikanger||4,003||nw||FN-20|
|9 Aug 1942||U-752||Mendanau||6,047||nl|
|13 Aug 1942||U-752||Cripple Creek||6,347||am|
9 ships sunk (34,100 tons) and 1 ship damaged (4,799 tons).
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