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 Reichsmarine in 1928. He belonged to Crew 28, and among his classmates were men like Werner Harteinstein (U-156), Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat (U-74) and Karl Thurmann (U-553).
Mathes joined the new U-boat force in 1935, and commanded the small 'duck' boat U-6 from Sep 1935 - Sep 1937, followed by U-9, another 'duck', until 18 Sept 1939. This gave him an extensive pre-war experience of great value to his future career.
After U-boat construction familiarization (Baubelehrung) at Bremen he commissioned the much larger type IX U-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 for his first war patrol.
When Kptlt. Ludwig Mathes returned to base in Feb 1940 he had completed the 5th most successful patrol of the war so far. He was highly praised by Dönitz and was told to have "perfectly executed" his mission (Blair, 1996).
He was lost at the start of his second patrol when U-44 hit a British mine on or around 13 March 1940, along with his entire crew (47). After his death Kptlt Mathes was promoted to Korvettenkapitän, effective from 1 March 1940, making him one of the first of Crew 28 to reach that rank.
Blair, C. (1996). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunters, 1939-1942.
Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
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||Panachrandos||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).
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