List of all U-boats

U-68

Type

IXC

 
Ordered7 Aug 1939
Laid down20 Apr 1940 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 987)
Launched22 Oct 1940
Commissioned11 Feb 1941Kptlt. Karl-Friedrich Merten (Oak Leaves)
Commanders
11 Feb 1941 - 21 Jan 1943  KrvKpt. Karl-Friedrich Merten (Knights Cross)
21 Jan 1943 - 16 Jun 1943  Oblt. Albert Lauzemis (German Cross in Gold)
14 Jun 1943 - Jul, 1943  Oblt. Ekkehard Scherraus
Jul, 1943 - 29 Jul 1943  Oblt. Gerhard Seehausen (German Cross in Gold)
30 Jul 1943 - 10 Apr 1944  Oblt. Albert Lauzemis (German Cross in Gold)
Career
10 patrols
11 Feb 1941-31 May 1941  2. Flottille (training)
1 Jun 1941-10 Apr 1944  2. Flottille (active service)
Successes32 ships sunk, total tonnage 197,453 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 545 GRT
Fate

Sunk 10 Apr 1944 north-west of Madeira, Portugal, in position 33.24N, 18.59W, by depth charges and rockets from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (VC-58). 56 dead and 1 survivor.

Loss position

See the 33 ships hit by U-68 - View the 10 war patrols

Wolfpack operations

U-68 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Eisbär (25 Aug 1942 - 1 Sep 1942)

Attacks on this boat and other events

27 Jul 1941
Atlantic west of Corunna, Spain: U-68 was kept down and held off a convoy by 24 depth charges from Flower Class corvette HMS Rhododendron. Another U-boat got the same treatment from HMS Sunflower and Pimpernel at roughly the same time. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 328)

2 Apr 1943
16.06 hrs, Atlantic N of Montserrat: three bombs from an American Mariner flying boat (USN VP-204/P-9) caused slight damage. U-68 had been operating off Puerto Rico since 27 March, and had been attacked on three occasions and kept submerged by aircraft for 127 hours over the past six days. After this attack the boat began its return voyage. (Sources: Rohwer/Ritschel)

14 Jun 1943
09.33 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: the boat was strafed by one of four Mosquito aircraft. More details about this incident can be found at U-155. Aboard U-68, the commander, the II.WO and one of the men were wounded. The I.WO, Oblt E. Scherraus, took command. One man was apparently hit while operating an MG38 machinegun, fell overboard and could not be recovered [Obergefreiter Hans Schaumburg]. The boat returned to base in company with U-155. U-68's doctor was later transferred to the other boat. (Sources: Norman Franks)

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

* U-68 was attacked on 14 June, 1943 by a British Mosquito aircraft and the commander was badly wounded. The IWO took over the command and brought the boat back to her base in Lorient, France.

The survivor, a lookout on the bridge, was rescued by the same US convoy escort group that had sunk Henke's U-515 the day before. The survivor was taken aboard the USS Guadalcanal and kept in isolation from the U-515 survivors already on board for the duration of the vessel's patrol to America. This was an American policy of not publishing U-boat sinkings.

Men lost from the boat

14 Jun 1943
09.33 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: the boat was strafed by one of four Mosquito aircraft. More details about this incident can be found at U-155. Aboard U-68, the commander, the II.WO and one of the men were wounded. The I.WO, Oblt E. Scherraus, took command. One man was apparently hit while operating an MG38 machinegun, fell overboard and could not be recovered [Obergefreiter Hans Schaumburg]. The boat returned to base in company with U-155. U-68's doctor was later transferred to the other boat.

  Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -

U-boat Emblems

We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Clover and a V

Clover and V

Media links


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay


Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay


Goodnight, Sorry for Sinking You

Barker, Ralph

There was another U-68 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 1 Jun 1915 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 17 Aug 1915. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 68 during WWI.