March 1941 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
  Overview  
  1 Allied auxiliary warship was sunk by a mine.  
  1 Allied warship was damaged by a U-boat.  
   
  4 U-boat were sunk by Allied warships.  
  1 U-boat was reported missing, presumably sunk by a mine.  
   
  40 Allied or neutral merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 234,847 tons.  
  7 Allied merchant ships were damaged by U-boats totaling 40,023 tons.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Sunday, March 9, 1941  
  The minesweeping trawler HMS Gulfoss (FY 710) struck a mine and sank in the English Channel east of Hastings.  
   
  Thursday, March 20, 1941  
  While escorting Convoy SL-68, the battleship HMS Malaya (01) was torpedoed and damaged by the U-106, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten, approximately 250 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. The HMS Malaya was forced to leave the convoy and head for Trinidad and after temporary repairs continued to the New York Navy Yard, where the battleship was docked for 4 months.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Friday, March 7, 1941  
  The U-47, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Günther Prien, was missing. Possible reasons for the loss of U-47 include mines, by its own torpedoes or by an attack by British corvettes HMS Camellia and HMS Arbutus. All of the ship’s complement of 45 died. During its career the U-47 sank 1 warship, 30 merchant ships for a total of 162,769 tons and damaged 8 ships for a total of 62,751 tons. The U-47 was commanded by Korvettenkapitän Prien, one of Germany’s top U-boat aces and the first U-boat commander to win the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. By far his most famous exploit, however, was the sinking of the British battleship HMS Royal Oak (08) at anchor in the Britain's Home Fleet's anchorage in Scapa Flow.  
   
  The U-70, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Matz, was sunk southeast of Iceland by the corvettes HMS Camellia (K 31) and HMS Arbutus (K 86). Of the ship’s complement, 20 died and 25 survived. During its career  under Kapitänleutnant Matz the U-70 sank 1 ship for a total of 820 tons and damaged 3 ships for a total of 20,484 tons.  
   
  Monday, March 17, 1941  
  After having had just successfully attacked convoy HX-112 several times and sinking five ships and damaging another the previous day the U-99, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, was scuttled by its crew southeast of Iceland after being damaged by after a depth charge attack by the destroyer HMS Walker (D 27). During its career under Korvettenkapitän Kretschmer the U-99 sank 35 ships for a total of 198,218 tons, captured 1 ship for a total of 2,136 tons, and damaged 5 ships for a total of 37,965 tons. Kretschmer was considered one of Germany’s top U-boat aces. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 40 survived and spent the war in captivity.  
   
  The U-100, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schepke, was sunk after rammed and depth charged by the destroyers HMS Walker (D 27) and HMS Vanoc (H 33). Of the 44 man crew, 38 died including the captain. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Schepke the U-100 sank 25 ships for a total of 135,614 tons, damaged 4 ships for a total of 17,229 tons, and damaged 1 ship beyond repair a total of 2,205 tons. Kapitänleutnant Schepke was considered one of Germany’s top U-boat aces.  
   
  Sunday, March 23, 1941  
  The U-551, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl Schrott, was sunk in the North Atlantic southeast of Iceland by depth charges from the ASW trawler HMS Visenda (FY 138). All of the ship’s complement of 45 died. During its under Kapitänleutnant Schrott career the U-551 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Saturday, March 1, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy HX-109, the British steam tanker Cadillac was torpedoed and sunk by the U-552, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Erich Topp, northeast of Rockall in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 37 died and 5 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Malcolm (D 19). The 12,062 ton Cadillac was carrying aviation fuel and was bound for Avonmouth, England.  
   
  Sunday, March 2, 1941  
  A straggler from convoy HX-109, the Norwegian steam merchant Augvald was torpedoed and sunk by the U-147, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Reinhard Hardegen, 155 miles northwest of the Hebrides in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 29 died and 1 survivor was picked up by the corvette HMS Pimpernel. The 4,811 ton Augvald was carrying steel, scrap iron and tractors and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Pacific was torpedoed and sunk by the U-95, commanded by Gerd Schreiber, 180 miles west-southwest of Syderöy, Faroe Islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 34 died and 1 survivor was picked up by the Icelandic trawler Dora. The 6,034 ton Pacific was carrying steel and scrap and was bound for Grangemouth, England.  
   
  Wednesday, March 5, 1941  
  The neutral Swedish motor merchant Murjek was torpedoed and sunk by the U-95, commanded by Gerd Schreiber, west-northwest of Rockall in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 31 died. The 5,070 ton Murjek was carrying ballast and was bound for Gothenburg, Sweden.  
   
  Friday, March 7, 1941  
  The unescorted Greek steam merchant Mentor was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Asmus Nicolai Clausen, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 7 died and 22 survived. The 3,050 ton Mentor was carrying ballast and was bound for Takoradi, Ghana.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy OB-293, the already damaged British motor tanker Athelbeach was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, southeast of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 7 died and 37 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Camellia. The 6,568 ton Athelbeach was carrying ballast and was bound for New York, New York.  
   
  The British whale factory ship Terje Viken was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99 southeast of Iceland. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the British fishing vessels Dole and Evesham. One of the largest ships sunk during the war, the 20,638 ton Terje Viken was carrying ballast and was bound for Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy OB-293, the British steam merchant Delilian was torpedoed and damaged by the U-70, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Matz, southeast of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 68 survived and were picked up by escorts. The 6,423 ton Delilian was carrying general cargo and was bound for St. John, New Brunswick.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy OB-293, the Dutch Motor tanker Mijdrecht was torpedoed and damaged by the U-70, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Matz, southeast of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The 7,493 ton Mijdrecht was carrying general cargo and was bound for Trinidad.  
   
  Saturday, March 8, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Harmodius was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, north-northeast of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Faulknor (H 62). The 5,229 ton Harmodius was carrying pig iron and general cargo and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  The British steam merchant Hindpool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 28 died and 12 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Faulknor (H 62) and the British steam merchant Guido. The 4,897 ton Hindpool was carrying iron ore and was bound for Middlesbrough, England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Lahore was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 82 survived and were picked up by the destroyer HMS Forester (H 74). The 5,304 ton Lahore was carrying general cargo, including timber, tea, pig-iron, and mail and was bound for London, England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Nardana was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124 north of the Cape Verde Islands. Of the ship’s complement, 19 died and 107 survivors were picked up by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (H 62) and HMS Forester (H 74). The 7,974 ton Nardana was carrying general cargo, including linseed, palm kernels, pig iron, and seeds and was bound for London, England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Tielbank was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz north of the Cape Verde Islands. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 62 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Forester (H 74). The 5,984 ton Tielbank was carrying groundnuts, groundnut cake and manganese ingots and was bound for Oban, Scotland.  
   
  Monday, March 10, 1941  
  The Icelandic steam trawler Reykjaborg was sunk by gunfire by the U-552, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Erich Topp, southeast of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 13 died and 2 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Pimpernel. The 687 ton Reykjaborg was carrying fish.  
   
  Tuesday, March 11, 1941  
  The unescorted British motor merchant Memnon was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten, about 200 miles west of Cape Blanco, French West Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 69 survived. The 7,506 ton Memnon was carrying general cargo, including wheat and zinc concentrates and was bound for Swansea, England.  
   
  The Icelandic fishing trawler Frodi was damaged by gunfire by the U-74, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat, approximately 190 miles southeast of Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 6 survived.  
   
  Wednesday, March 12, 1941  
  The Icelandic steam trawler Pétursey was sunk by gunfire by the U-37, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Asmus Nicolai Clausen, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 10 died. The 91 ton Pétursey was carrying fish.  
   
  Sunday, March 16, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the Norwegian motor tanker Beduin was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the British steam trawler River Ayr and the Icelandic trawler Hilmir. The 8,136 ton Beduin was carrying petrol and was bound for Clyde, United Kingdom.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the Norwegian motor tanker Ferm was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 35 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Bluebell (K 80). The 6,593 ton Ferm was carrying fuel oil and was bound for Avonmouth, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the Canadian steam merchant J.B. White was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 38 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Walker (D 27). The 7,375 ton J.B. White was carrying steel and newsprint and was bound for Ellesmere Port, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the Swedish motor merchant Korshamn was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99 in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 24 died and 12 survived. The 6,673 ton Korshamn was carrying general cargo and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the 9,314 ton British motor tanker Franche Comte was torpedoed and damaged by the U-99 in the northern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-112, the British steam tanker Venetia was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99 in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 40 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Bluebell (K 80). The 5,728 ton Venetia was carrying maize and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Monday, March 17, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy SL-68, the British steam merchant Andalusian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 42 survived and were picked up by the Portuguese steam merchant Nyassa. The 3,082 ton Andalusian was carrying cocoa and was bound for Oban, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SL-68, the Dutch steam merchant Tapanoeli was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106 north of the Cape Verde Islands. Of the ship’s complement, all 75 survived. The 7,034 ton Tapanoeli was carrying general cargo and passengers and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Tuesday, March 18, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Medjerda was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 54 died. The 4,380 ton Medjerda was carrying iron ore and was bound for Middlesbrough, England.  
   
  Wednesday, March 19, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy SL-68, the Dutch steam merchant Mandalika was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, about 100 miles northeast of Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 62 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Marguerite (K 54). The 7,750 ton Mandalika was carrying sugar and was bound for Belfast, Ireland.  
   
  Thursday, March 20, 1941  
  While sailing with  Convoy SL-68, the Dutch steam merchant Meerkerk was torpedoed and damaged by the U-106, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten, approximately 250 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. The 7,995 ton Meerkerk was bound for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Friday, March 21, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy SL-68, the British steam merchant Benwyvis was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 34 died and 21 survivors were picked up by a French ship. The 5,920 ton Benwyvis was carrying rice, lead, timber and wolfram and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SL-68, the British steam merchant Clan Ogilvy was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105 north of the Cape Verde Islands. Of the ship’s complement, 61 died and 24 survivors were picked up by the the British steam merchant Batna. The 5,802 ton Clan Ogilvy was carrying general cargo, including pig iron, groundnuts and tea and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Scattered from convoy SL-68, the British steam merchant Jhelum was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105 north of the Cape Verde Islands. Of the ship’s complement, 8 died and 49 survived. The 4,038 ton Jhelum was carrying general cargo, including boracite and figs and was bound for Oban, Scotland.  
   
  Sunday, March 23, 1941  
  The British motor tanker Chama was torpedoed and sunk by the U-97, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Udo Heilmann, west-southwest of Fastnet, Ireland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 59 died. The 8,077 ton Chama was carrying ballast and was bound for New York, New York.  
   
  Monday, March 24, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Eastlea was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten, 130 miles west-northwest of San Antonia, Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 37 died. The 4,267 ton Eastlea was carrying cotton seed and was bound for Newport News, Virginia.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-56, the Norwegian steam merchant Hørda was torpedoed and sunk by the U-97, commanded by Udo Heilmann, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 30 died. The 4,301 ton Hørda was bound for Halifax, Canada.  
   
  Wednesday, March 26, 1941  
  The unescorted Norwegian steam merchant Siremalm was torpedoed and damaged and then attacked by gunfire by the U-110, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, en route from Reykjavik to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 25 survived.  
   
  Thursday, March 27, 1941  
  A straggler from convoy SC-25, the British steam merchant Koranton was torpedoed and sunk by the U-98, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae, south-southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 34 died. The 6,695 ton Koranton was carrying general cargo and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Saturday, March 29, 1941  
  A straggler from convoy OB-302, the Swedish steam merchant Liguria was torpedoed and sunk by the U-46, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, about 600 miles east-southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 19 died and 10 survived. The 1,751 ton Liguria was carrying coal and was bound for Las Palmas, Grand Canary Islands.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-115, the British steam merchant Germanic was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 35 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Dianella (K 07). The 5,352 ton Germanic was carrying wheat and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-115, the British motor merchant Hylton was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48 south of Iceland. Of the ship’s complement, all 44 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Dianella (K 07). The 5,197 ton Hylton was carrying wheat and was bound for Tyne, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-115, the Belgian motor merchant Limbourg was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48 south of Iceland. Of the ship’s complement, 22 died and 2 survived. The 2,483 ton Limbourg was carrying phosphate and was bound for Aberdeen, Scotland.  
   
  Sunday, March 30, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Umona was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, about 90 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 102 died and 5 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Foxhound (H 69). The 3,767 ton Umona was carrying maize, pulses, and jam and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy OB-302, the British steam merchant Coultarn was torpedoed and sunk by the U-69, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jost Metzler, southwest of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 39 survivors were picked up by the armed merchant cruiser HMS California. The 3,759 ton Coultarn was carrying ballast and was bound for Mobile, Alabama.  
   
  Monday, March 31, 1941  
  The Swedish motor tanker Castor was torpedoed and sunk by the U-46, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 15 died and 27 survived. The 8,714 ton Castor was carrying oil and was bound for Gothenburg, Sweden.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Saturday, March 1, 1941  
  Support Force Atlantic Fleet, under command of Rear Admiral Arthur L. Bristol, composed of destroyers, patrol plane squadrons, and supporting auxiliaries was established for protection of convoys in North Atlantic.  
   
  Thursday, March 6, 1941  
  Churchill issued his Battle of the Atlantic directive. Catapult armed merchantmen (CAM) were to be fitted out, merchant ships to be given AA weapons as a first priority, and more Coastal Command squadrons formed and fitted with radar. Port and dockyard congestion was to be dealt with and the defense of ports greatly improved. These and numerous other matters were to be dealt with as a matter of the very highest priority. Overall direction was to be exercised by a Battle of the Atlantic Committee chaired by the Prime Minister himself.  
   
  Saturday, March 29, 1941  
  The U.S. Coast Guard received a report that the crew of the Italian merchantman Villarperosa, interned at Wilmington, North Carolina, was sabotaging the ship. The U.S. Coast Guard was investigating reports that the crews of Italian and German vessels in American ports had received orders to "sabotage and disable" them.  
   
  Sunday, March 30, 1941  
  As the result of the Coast Guard investigation of the report that the crew of Italian merchantman Villarperosa was sabotaging their ship, the United States took protective custody of two German, 26 Italian, and 35 Danish ships in that had been interred in American ports. On June 6, 1941 the U.S. Ship Requisition Act would be passed by the U.S. Congress and signed the same day by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt would issue Executive Order No. 8771 authorizing the U.S. Maritime Commission to take over certain foreign vessels. This allowed the U.S. Coast Guard to seize these vessels for the war effort. In all 105 ships totaling 554,991 tons would be seized from 11 countries. The Coast Guard would eventually imprison 850 Italian and 63 German officers and men.  
     
   
     
   
 

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