Merten, Karl Friedrich

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Merten, Karl Friedrich, born 15-08-1905 in Posen, he joined the Reichsmarine  in 1926. After training he spent many years on surface ships. He joined the U-Boat service on 01-05-1940. From October 1940 until January 1941 he joined U-38 as a trainee Captain with the experienced Heinrich Liebe , Liebe died age 89, on 27-07-1997, in Eisenach. On 11-02-1941, Merten commissioned U-68 and lead 5 successful patrols. He operated all over the world, patrolling in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean. U-68  was in the U-boat wolf pack Eisbär (Polar Bear Group), consisting of four submarines, U-68 (Merten), U-156 , Werner Hartenstein , Werner Hartenstein died in action, age 35, on 08-03-1943, U-172, Carl Emmermann , Carl Emmermann died age 75, on 25-03-1990, U-504 Hans-Georg Friedrich Poske  a fifth U-boat, U-159 Helmut Witte , Helmut Witte died age 90, on 03-10-2005, in Duisburg, joined the group later, which in the course of a few weeks during September/October 1942, sank more than 100.000 gross register tons (GRT) tons of shipping off South Africa. On 22-09-1941 Merten torpedoed his first ship the .,302 GRT British Steamer SS Silverbelle sailing in convoy SL-87 and on the 06-11-1942 he sunk his last ship the 8.034 GRT British Steamer SS City of Cairo and was awarded with the Oak Leave . His total was 29 ships sunk at a tonnage of 170.151. After this patrol Merten was appointed to the U-boat Flotilla in Pillau and this and other training appointments curtailed his operational career. Nevertheless, when the war ended he stood seventh in the table of U-Boat commanders in terms of tonnage sunk. Merten here at the funeral of Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz

   After the war he made a new career, somewhat ironically, in shipbuilding, retiring in 1974. Long after the sinking of the SS City of Cairo he was invited to a post-war reunion of survivors where one observed: “We couldn’t have been sunk by a nicer man”.

Death and burial ground of Merten, Karl Friedrich.

   Merten died on 02-05-1993, old age 87, in Waldshut-Tiengen and is buried with his wife Ruth Maria, who died old age 89, in 1999, on the local cemetery..

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