• Shown below are pdf documents & news articles concerning the U-Boats Operations In Asia. ( Click on the pdf icon to view the documents )
  1. Summary of German submarines in Asia , U-Boats in the Far East by David Oearn
  2. A U-Boat Far From Home, Memoir by Dietrich Hille, ex Leutnant U181
  3. Wrack von deutschem Unterseeboot  U168 vor Indonesien gefunden (Die Welt - 21 Nov 2013)
  4. "U168 - Memburu Sang Pemburu" (National Geographic Indonesia - May 2014 edition)
  5. Kölnische Illustrierte Zeitung  (Nummer 43) vom 28.10.1943 
  6. Monsun U-boats in the Indian Ocean and the Far East by Marcin Jedrzejewski
  7. U-Boat Operations in the Indian Ocean and the Far East by Chuck Roberts
  8. UBoat Base, Penang by by Khoo Salma Nasution
  9. Axis Uboats In Far-Eastern Waters by Dr R. Riviera
  10. Die Geschichte des Deutschen Soldatenfriedhofs Arca Domas In Indonesien
  11. News-Artikel über das Wrack der Unterseeboot U859 - Location: 05.49.254N , 100.02.466E 
  12. German U-Boats in the Indian Ocean by Kapitaen sur See Kurt Freiwald
  13. In den Fernen Osten - Lawrence Paterson
  14. The Indonesian Declaration Of Independence typewritten on a Kriegsmarine typewriter
  15. A Pre-WW2 German plane (Arado Ar.79) in Bali, Indonesia 1938
  16. Arados in Ostasien - Ulrich Israel and Detlef Billig ( FliegerRevue Extra ) 
  17. A Pre-WW2 German-Japanese Youth Exchange Badges by Wilhelm P.B.R. Saris
  18. An account of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth delegation) visiting Japan , in November 1940
  19. Captain Bernhard Rogge's Samurai Sword @ Maritime Museum Hamburg , Germany
  20. Kollektives Gedächtnis , In Indonesia und Japan 1940/45 - Manfred Müller
  21. Torpedoes in Paradise by Noah Andre Trudeau 
  22. News article of a recent visit to New Zealand of Dr Ingrid Heiter-Reiffenstuhl, the daughter of the U862 First officer and her officiating at the unveiling of a U862 memorial plaque in Gisborne NZ


  • Shown below are E-books concerning the U-Boats Operations In Asia. (Click on the pdf icon to view the Ebooks)

Location it was sunk
03.05.50N, 100.41.50E
05.49.254N, 100.02.466E
06.20S, 111.28E
04.57S, 112.52E
06.20S, 111.28E
07.13S, 115.17E
03.05N, 100.8E
06.31.00S, 104.54.08E

1. The Penang submarines : Penang and submarine operations: 1942/45 by Dennis Gunton
The first and only book that was comissioned by the City Council of Georgetown, Penang - Malaysia. It is also the ealiest book written about both Japanese , German & Italian submarines operating in Asia during WW2. This book talks extensively about Penang Island as the primary U-Boat base, which was shared with the Imperial Japanese Navy. The relationship between two different axis navies as well as the fate of every Gruppe Monsun - the operational name given to the German U-Boats are also discussed here along with a handdrawn map that details all the U-Boats that was sunk in Asia and enroute from Europe to Penang.
2. Haie im Paradies. Der deutsche U-Boot-Krieg in Asiens Gewässern 1943/45
The quoted book is the most important literature among printed sources dealing with WW2 monsun u-boats and German Far East bases. Originally it has been prepared by raider crew member named Fritz-Ludwig Dechow but in the end it has been published by Jochen Brennecke. The contents of the book is nearly 100% the same except for some minor mis-spells of names (such as Admiral Wennecker (= wrong) instead of Admiral Wenneker, or Cpt Ehrhardt (= wrong) instead of Cpt Erhardt). Unfortunately it contains a lot of navy "slang" of the '30s and '40s which is even for German language native speakers (young generation) difficult to read and understand nowadays. -- Reviewed by Axel Dörrenbach.
3. Die Abenteuer des letzten Kapers, Hilfskreuzer Thors Reise in die Katastrophe
This out of print book has over 200 pictures that chronicles the history of this german auxiliary cruiser from its journey in Germany all the way to its destruction in Japan. Self published by Heinz Tischer in 1983, this is the definitive illustration book on this cruiser.
4. Unter Nippons Sonne. Deutsche U-Boote, Blockadebrecher und Basen in Fernost 
Kern des Buches ist die Geschichte des U-Bootes "U-843", weiterhin Berichte über Blockadebrecher und Versorgungsschiffe im fernen Osten, sowie die Zusammenarbeit mit dem damaligen verbündeten Japan.  Sprache: Deutsch - von Egbert Thomer (Autor), Oskar Herwartz (Mitwirkende) Nach Aufzeichnungen und Berichten von Fregattenkapitän Oskar Herwartz. - Minden, Wilhelm Köhler Verlag, 1959. 


  • Shown below are historical pictures of the German Kreigsmarine in Asia during WW2.

Click on the links below to view the pictures.

  • Pre-WW2 German Japanese Collaboration

  • Uboat U511

  • Uboat U859

  • Uboat U861

  • Uboat U862

  • Uboat U178

  • Uboat U181

  • Uboat U219 

  • Hilfskreuzer Thor

  • Singapore - Then & Now

  • Penang, Malaysia - Then & Now

  • Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof , German War Memorial @ Tjikopo, Indonesia  

  • Meeting the German war veterans


  • Shown below are videos of German Uboats , Japanese Submarines and German Auxiliary Cruisers that transverse across Asia during WW2

The Monsun U-Boats - A Brief History

The Monsun U-boats were perhaps the most special "wolfpack" in the war as they operated very far from Germany and its occupied countries, namely in the Indian Ocean out of Japanese provided bases in Malaysia , Singapore and Indonesia. Unlike previous U-boats operating in the Indian Ocean, Monsun boats were to be stationed in the Far East bases provided by the Japanese. Gradually the effort moved from combat missions to transport missions. However, only 4 U-boats out of 14 stationed ever in the Far East managed to reach back Europe.

Interview with Kapitänleutnant Alfred Eick on his time in Asia (In German language)

Kapitänleutnant Alfred Eick began his naval career in April 1937. Later he served for more than a year on the destroyer Hermann Beitzen, and he undertook 16 patrols in the first year of the war. In November 1940 he transferred to the U-boat force, where he accompanied U-176 on her first two patrols.

In May 1943 he became commander of U-510 and received the Knights Cross on 31st March 1944. After a successful patrol in Brazilian waters, U-510 left Lorient on her second patrol assigned as one of the Monsun boats. Eick operated for a few months in the Indian Ocean before heading back in January 1945 with a load of important goods (tin, quinine, etc.) on board. After being supplied with oil southeast of Madagascar by Krvkpt. Jürgen Oesten's U-861 (who was short of fuel herself), U-510 ran out of fuel in the North Atlantic, but managed to reach the U-boat base at St. Nazaire in France at the end of April 1945 (at that time the base was still in German hands).

Alfred Eick was in French captivity from May 1945 to July 1947. He then studied business management at the University of Hamburg and worked later as a tax adviser. He passed away at the age of 99 on 2 April 2015 in Bielefeld, Germany

The Monsun U-Boat in The Indian Ocean - 1944

Shown above is an official propaganda movie, probably shown during the " Die Deutsche Wochenschau " which was the news programme of that time , in the cinemas (the news were updated only once a week in those days). The captain's name is definitely misspelled, there is no Cpt Musee. Names that could fit are: Cpt GYSAE - or Cpt MUSENBERG. Both operated in the Indian Ocean. Also note the periscope scene which could only be arranged with professional movie maker's help. Another interesting point would be the sinking ship (at the end of the clip) RADAMES, is actually an allied egyptian transport ship, that was sunk by U-103 , Cpt. Viktor Shutze, on 25/05/1941 off coast of Liberia in The Mid-Atlantic Ocean. -- Reviewed by Axel Dörrenbach

Japanese submarine I-8 ,that visited German Occupied France, June 1943

The Japanese submarine I-8 was a World War II Junsen Type J-3 Imperial Japanese Navy submarine, famous for completing a technology exchange mission to German-occupied France and back to Japan in 1943. Its mission took place under the Axis Powers' Tripartite Pact to provide for an exchange of strategic materials and manufactured goods between Germany, Italy, and Japan. Initially, cargo ships made the exchanges, but when that was no longer possible, submarines were used.The series (I-7 and I-8), based on the KD (Kaidai) type, were the largest Japanese submarines to be completed before World War II

Commanded by Shinji Uchino, I-8 departed Kure harbor on 1 June 1943, together with I-10 and the submarine tender Hie Maru. Their cargo included two of the famed Type 95 oxygen-propelled torpedoes, torpedo tubes, drawings of an automatic trim system, and a new naval reconnaissance plane, the Yokosuka E14Y. A supplementary crew of 48 men, commanded by Sadatoshi Norita, was also packed into the submarine, with the objective of manning a German U-Boat submarine (U-1224, a Type IXC/40 U-boat) and bringing it back to Japan for reverse engineering. On arriving in Singapore nine days later, I-8 also took onboard quinine, tin, and raw rubber before heading for the Japanese base at Penang.

On July 21, I-8 entered the Atlantic, where she encountered fierce storms, but was able to continue to German-occupied France. Getting closer to Europe, on August 20, I-8 rendezvoused with German submarine U-161, commanded by Captain Albrecht Achille. Two German radio technicians were transferred onboard, as well as a FuMB 1 "Metox" 600A radar detector which was installed on the bridge of I-8. As I-8 entered the Bay of Biscay on 29 August, the Germans sent Ju-88s to provide air cover all the way to Brest, France, where she arrived two days later.
The Japanese submarine was welcomed warmly by the Germans. German news agencies announced that "now even Japanese submarines are operating in the Atlantic." Over a period of about a month, parties and visits to Paris and Berlin were organized for the crew.

I-8 left Brest on October 5, with a cargo of German equipment: machine guns, bomb sights, a Daimler-Benz torpedo boat engine, marine chronometers, radars, sonar equipment, anti-aircraft gunsights, electric torpedoes, and penicillin. The submarine also transported Rear Admiral Yokoi, naval attaché to Berlin since 1940; Captain Hosoya, naval attaché to France since December 1939; three German officers; and four radar and hydrophone technicians.

In the South Atlantic, I-8 radioed its position to the Germans, but the message was intercepted by the Allies, prompting an attack by anti-submarine aircraft, which failed. I-8 arrived in Singapore on 5 December, and finally returned to Kure, Japan on 21 December, after a voyage of 30,000 nautical miles (56,000 km).n late 1944, I-8 was converted to carry Kaiten suicide torpedoes. She was lost off Okinawa on 31 March 1945, in an encounter with the American destroyers USS Morrison and USS Stockton.-- Information extracted from Wikipedia

Secret Japanese Submarine Mission to German-Occupied France (Yanagi Missions) - by Dr Mark Felton

The Yanagi missions were a series of submarine voyages undertaken by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the Second World War, to exchange technology, skills and materials with Japan's Axis partners, principally Nazi Germany. These voyages had to run the gauntlet of the Western Allies naval superiority in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans; of the five westbound voyages, three arrived safely, with two submarines sunk en route, while of the three successful vessels only one completed her return voyage, with two sunk before reaching home.

The Yanagi missions were matched by several reciprocal voyages by German U-boats, though these were outside the Yanagi scheme, as were several blockade-running cargo voyages to and from the Far East.In April 1942 I-30 departed Kure, Japan with a cargo of mica and shellac, and plans of the Type 91 aerial torpedo; after missions in the Indian Ocean with other IJN submarines, she detached in June to proceed to Lorient, arriving there in August 1942.She departed France later that month carrying German military technology, including plans for and a complete set of a Würzburg radar, eight torpedoes and five torpedo data computers, anti-tank guns, diamonds, 20mm anti-aircraft guns, and fifty Enigma machines, and arrived at Singapore in October. However, she struck a British mine on leaving Singapore for the last stage to Japan. Some equipment was salvaged, but most was lost.

In June 1943 I-8 departed Kure with plans of the IJN's Type 95 torpedo, a reconnaissance aircraft and submarine equipment, and collected a cargo of tin, rubber and quinine at Singapore. She also carried a spare crew of 48 men from Kure tasked with bringing back a German U-boat, U-1224, which the Kriegsmarine had transferred to the IJN for examination and reverse engineering. The I-8 rendezvoused with the German submarine U-161 from Lorient who transferred two German technicians who installed a radar detector. She arrived at Brest in August. I-8 departed France in October 1943 with a variety of German technology, including: bomb and anti-aircraft gunsights, marine chronometers, a Daimler-Benz torpedo boat engine, electric torpedoes, machine guns, and penicillin, arriving at Kure in December after a round-trip voyage of 30,000 miles (48,000 km).

In October 1943 I-34 departed Kure for Singapore. At Singapore, she picked up a cargo of tin, tungsten, rubber and opium. She departed Singapore on 11 November but was intercepted and sunk on 13 November in the Straits of Malacca by the British submarine HMS Taurus.

In November 1943 I-29 departed Kure for Singapore to pick up a cargo of tin, tungsten, zinc, rubber and quinine. She departed Singapore in December 1943 for Nazi-occupied France, and reached the Bay of Biscay in March 1944. She was escorted by German warships and aircraft and came under heavy attack by Allied aircraft, but arrived safely at Lorient. I-29 departed Lorient in April 1944 with considerable German technology, including a Walter rocket engine and plans for the jet-powered Me 262 and the rocket-powered Me 163. She arrived at Singapore in July, but was sunk with her cargo en route to Japan in the Luzon Strait by the American submarine USS Sawfish on 26 July 1944.

In March 1944 I-52 left Kure with a cargo of metals, including gold, and a team of technicians who were to study German anti-aircraft techniques, stopping at Singapore to pick up other cargo, including rubber and opium. I-52 reached the South Atlantic and successfully rendezvoused with U-530 from Lorient on 23 June to embark a German liaison officer, two radio operators, the current German naval code and a Naxos radar detector. However, that night she was detected by radar-equipped Grumman TBF Avenger aircraft from an American hunter-killer group centered on the escort carrier USS Bogue, which dropped sonobuoys and "Fido" homing torpedoes, sinking I-52 with all hands (95 crew, 14 passengers and the three German sailors) near 15°16′N 39°55′WCoordinates: 15°16′N 39°55′W, west of the Cape Verde Islands.It is believed that on her return voyage to Japan she would have been carrying uranium oxide.

I-52's voyage was the last Yanagi mission undertaken by the IJN.

The German U-boat arm made several reciprocal exchange voyages, though these were outside the Yanagi scheme; they also made a number of blockade-running voyages, also separate from the Yanagi missions.

From February to June 1943 U-180 sailed to the Indian Ocean from Kiel, meeting with I-29 in the Mozambique Channel. U-180 transferred Subash Chandra Bose, future leader of the Indian National Army, and received two tons of gold picked up from Penang in payment for German goods so far received.

In May 1943 U-511 sailed for Japan from Lorient, arriving in Kure in August. Code-named 'Marco Polo I' she was transferred to the IJN as an exchange in submarine technology, and was commissioned by them as RO-500.

In February 1944 U-1224, code-named 'Marco Polo II', was transferred to the IJN at Kiel, commissioned as RO-501 and set sail under a Japanese crew, to rendezvous with I-8 to refuel, and proceed to Penang with precious metals, uncut optical glass, and blueprints and models for building Type IX U-boats and Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet rocket planes. She was intercepted and sunk west of the Cape Verde islands by USS Francis M. Robinson of the USS Bogue hunter-killer group on 13 May.

On 5 December 1944 U-864 sailed from Bergen, Norway to deliver parts and plans for Me 262s and 1,857 flasks containing 65 tonnes of mercury under Operation Caesar. She ran aground and had to return to Bergen, which suffered a British bombing raid on 12 January 1945 that delayed repairs. U-864 sailed again on 6 February 1945, but was detected and sunk by the British submarine HMS Venturer in the Norwegian Sea in the action of 9 February 1945, the only time one submarine was sunk by another while submerged.

In March 1945 U-234 sailed from Kristiansand for Japan with 1,210 tons of uranium oxide, an Me 262 jet fighter, and plans for new electric torpedoes, the last attempt to be made, but she was overtaken by the German surrender and was taken into custody by the USN off Newfoundland. Recommended reading "Yanagi: The Secret Underwater Trade between Germany and Japan 1942-1945" by Dr Mark Felton

WW2 German Auxiliary Cruiser - Thor

The Thor was one of the few German auxiliary cruisers that did two operations. It began its first combat cruise on June 6th, 1940, under the command of Captain Otto Kaehler. Thor spent 328 days at sea, and sank or captured 12 ships, for a combined tonnage of 96,547, and ending its first operation in Hamburg on 30.04.1941. During this operation, the Thor engaged three British auxiliary cruisers, destroying one of them (Voltaire ) while the other two (Carnarvon Castle and Alcantara ) were badly damaged.

Thor next operational area was the Indian Ocean, and set out on its second cruise on Nov 30th, 1941, under the command of Captain Günther Gumprich. It sank or captured 10 ships during her second cruise, for a total of 58,644 tons, during 328 days of operation.

Thor arrived in Yokohama on 9th October 1942, where she commenced refitting in preparation for a third voyage. However on November 30th, a series of explosions on the supply ship Uckermark destroyed her superstructure, sending a large amount of burning debris onto Thor, which was moored alongside. Both ships were rapidly set ablaze, along with the Nankin/Leuthen and the Japanese freighter Unkai Maru. All four ships were destroyed in the fire, and 12 of Thor's crew were killed. Thor was wrecked beyond repair, and was abandoned. Her captain, KzS Gumprich, later commanded the raider Michel on her second raiding voyage, from which he did not return.

U181 successful operation in the Indian Ocean

In March 1943 , Kpt. Wolfgang Lüth set out for a second patrol off South Africa into the Indian Ocean and in particular the waters around Mauritius. This patrol lasted 205 days (23 March 1943 – 14 October 1943) making it the second longest of the war (The longest combat patrol of World War II was 225 days in length, and this was achieved by Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat as commander of the U-196.) Lüth sank 10 ships totaling 45,331 GRT on this patrol, which turned out to be his last. While on patrol he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain) on 1 April 1943, and on 15 April 1943 received news that he had been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern).

U-181 rendezvoused with the supply ship Charlotte Schliemann east of Mauritius to refuel on 21 June 1943. Also present at the supply point were U-177 under the command of Robert Gysae, U-178 under the command of Wilhelm Dommes, U-196 under the command of Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat, U-197 under the command of Robert Bartels and U-198 under the command of Werner Hartmann. Here the commanders exchanged experiences and discussed the problem of torpedo failures. On 9 August of the same year and still on patrol, Lüth was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten). The 1st to be awarded in the Kriegsmarine and 7th winner of this prestigious award in the Wehrmacht. This is due in recognition of the number of Allied ships he had sunk & his continous success in his current patrol. By the end of this 2nd patrol, U181 under the command of Wolfgang Lüth , had managed to sink 22 Allied ships.

Lüth nominated two crew members of U-181 for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross after this patrol. The chief engineer Kapitänleutnant Carl-August Landfermann and 2nd Watch Officer Johannes Limbach both received the Knight's Cross for their achievements. When U-181 returned from this patrol Landfermann received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 October 1943 from Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, after Lüth had recommended him for the second time. Johannes Limbach received his Knight Cross in Penang, 6 February 1945.

After five years of operational U-boat service, including 15 war-patrols and over 600 days at sea, Lüth handed over command of U181 to Fregattenkapitän Kurt Freiwald on Nov 1943 and took command of 22. Unterseebootsflottille stationed at Gotenhafen in January 1944. This was a training unit for U-boat commanders. In July 1944 he took command of the 1st Department of the Marineschule Mürwik (Naval Academy Mürwik) in Flensburg-Mürwik. He was promoted to Fregattenkapitän (Frigate Captain) on 1 August 1944 and became the commander of the entire Marineschule in September, and advanced in rank to Kapitän zur See (Captain at Sea) on 1 September 1944. Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth, life would end tragically as on the night of 14 May 1945, he was shot in the head by 18 year-old Matrose Mathias Gottlob, a German sentry at the Flensburg-Mürwik Naval Academy, when he failed to respond to the sentry's challenge. Großadmiral Karl Dönitz contacted the British city commander of Flensburg, Colonel Roberts, asking him for a permission to conduct a formal state funeral, which Roberts approved. The last state funeral of the Third Reich was held for Lüth on 16 May 1945 with Adolf Hitler's successor as Head of State, Reichspräsident and Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, delivering the eulogy. Six U-boat commanders, all of them recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, formed the honour guard. To this day, a memorial stone serves to preserve the memory of this outstanding U-boat officer.

U181 now under command of Fregattenkapitän Kurt Freiwald , travelled to South East Asia as part of the Monsun UBoat Gruppe. However when Germany surrendered in May 1945, this uboat was taken over by the Imperial Japan Navy at Singapore Harbour and became the Japanese submarine I501 on 15 July 1945. After the Japanese formal surrender in August 1945 , U181 was scuttled there on 12 Feb, 1946 in the Strait of Malacca, in position 03°05′50″N 100°41′50″ECoordinates: 03°05′50″N 100°41′50″E, by the British frigates HMS Loch Glendhu and HMS Loch Lomond. The crew & captain of U181, Kurt Freiwald, were later intern in Changi Prison by the British and were finally repatriated back to Germany in 1947.

U234 - The Uboat with uranium for Japan.

U-234 was a Type XB U-boat and its first and only mission into enemy territory consisted of the attempted delivery of uranium and other German advanced weapons technology to the Empire of Japan. Its cargo included technical drawings, examples of the newest electric torpedoes, one crated Me 262 jet aircraft, a Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb, and what was listed on the US Unloading Manifest as 560 kg of uranium oxide.

U-234 sailed from Kiel for Kristiansand, Norway in the evening of 25 March 1945, accompanied by escort vessels and three Type XXIII coastal U-boats, arriving in Horten two days later. U-234 spent the next 8 days carrying out trials of her schnorchel, during which she accidentally collided with a Type VIIC U-boat performing similar trials. Damage to both submarines was minor, and despite a diving and fuel oil tank being holed, U-234 was able to complete her trials. U-234 then proceed to Kristiansand, arriving on about 5 April, where she underwent repairs and topped off her provisions and fuel.

U-234 departed Kristiansand for Japan on 15 April, 1945, running submerged at schnorchel depth for the first 16 days, and surfacing after that only because her commander Kapitänleutnant Johann-Heinrich Fehler considered he was safe from attack on the surface in the prevailing severe storm. From then on, she spent two hours running on the surface by night, and the remainder of the time submerged. The voyage proceeded without incident, and the first sign that world affairs were overtaking the voyage was when the German Navy's Goliath transmitter stopped transmitting, followed shortly after by the Nauen station; Fehler did not know it, but Germany's naval HQ had fallen into Allied hands.

Then, on 4 May, U-234 received a fragment of a broadcast from British and American radio stations announcing that Admiral Karl Dönitz had become Germany's head of state following the death of Adolf Hitler. U-234 finally surfaced on 10 May in the interests of better radio reception and received Dönitz's last order to the submarine force, ordering all U-boats to surface, hoist black flags, and surrender to Allied forces. Fehler suspected a trick and managed to contact another U-boat (U-873), whose captain convinced him that the message was authentic.

At this point, Fehler was practically equidistant from British, Canadian and American ports. He decided not to continue his journey, and instead headed for the east coast of the United States. Fehler thought it likely that if they surrendered to Canadian or British forces, they would be imprisoned and it could be years before they were returned to Germany, and believed that the US, on the other hand, would probably just send them home.

Fehler consequently decided that he would surrender to US forces, but radioed on 12 May that he intended to sail to Halifax, Nova Scotia to surrender to ensure Canadian units would not reach him first. U-234 then set course for Newport News, Virginia, Fehler taking care to dispose of his Tunis radar detector, the new Kurier radio communication system, and all Enigma related documents and other classified papers. On learning that the U-boat was to surrender, the two Japanese passengers committed suicide by taking an overdose of Luminal (a barbiturate sleeping pill). They were buried at sea.

The difference between Fehler's reported course to Halifax and his true course was soon realized by US authorities who dispatched two destroyers to intercept U-234. On 14 May 1945 she was encountered south of the Grand Banks by the USS Sutton. Members of the Sutton's crew took command of the U-boat and sailed her to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where the U-805, U-873, and U-1228 had already surrendered.

News of the U-234's surrender with her high-ranking German passengers made the event a major news event. Reporters swarmed over the Navy Yard and went to sea in a small boat for a look at the submarine. The fact that she had a half ton of uranium oxide on board was covered up and remained classified for the duration of the Cold War; a classified US intelligence summary of 19 May merely listed U-234's cargo as including "a/c [aircraft], drawings, arms, medical supplies, instruments, lead, mercury, caffeine, steels, optical glass and brass." The uranium subsequently disappeared, most likely finding its way to the Manhattan Project's Oak Ridge diffusion plant; it has been calculated that it would have yielded approximately 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg) of U-235 after processing, around 20% of what would have been required to arm a contemporary fission weapon.

U864 - A uboat that was sunk before reaching the Far East.

According to decrypted intercepts of German naval communications with Japan, U-864's mission was to transport military equipment to Japan destined for the Japanese military industry, including approximately 67 tons of metallic mercury in 1,857 32 kg steel flasks stored in her keel. Approximately 1,500 tons of mercury was purchased by the Japanese from Italy between 1942 and Italy's surrender in September 1943. This had the highest priority for submarine shipment to Japan and was used in the manufacture of explosives, especially primers.U-864 also carried parts and engineering drawings for German fighter aircraft and other military supplies for Japan, while among her passengers were Messerschmitt engineers Rolf von Chlingensperg and Riclef Schomerus, Japanese torpedo expert Tadao Yamoto, and Japanese fuel expert Toshio Nakai.

U-864, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Ralf-Reimar Wolfram, left Kiel on 5 December 1944, arriving at Horten, Norway four days later. Before leaving Germany, U-864 had been refitted with a snorkel mast. Several messages found in the ULTRA archives show that there were problems with the snorkel, which needed repairs before the U-864 put to sea for her voyage to Japan. All Schnorkel trials and training were conducted at Horten near Oslo. U-864 would have needed to be certified ready to sail at Horten before proceeding to Bergen.

While en route to Bergen, U-864 ran aground and had to stop in Farsund for repairs, not arriving in Bergen until 5 January 1945. While docked in the Bruno U-boat pens, U-864 received minor damage on 12 January when the pens and shipping in the harbour were attacked by 32 Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers and one Mosquito bomber of Numbers 9 and 617 Squadrons. At least one Tallboy bomb penetrated the roof of the bunker causing severe damage inside, and left one of the seven pens unusable for the remainder of the war.

Meanwhile, repairs and adjustments to her snorkel had been completed, and U-864 had commenced submerged trials. British submarine HMS Venturer, commanded by Lieutenant James "Jimmy" S. Launders, was sent on her eleventh patrol from the British submarine base at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands to Fedje, north of Bergen. After German radio transmissions regarding U-864 were decrypted, she was rerouted to intercept the U-boat. On 6 February U-864 passed the Fedje area without being detected, but one of her engines began to misfire and she was ordered to return to Bergen. A signal stated that a new escort would be provided her at Hellisøy on 10 February. She made for there, but on 9 February Venturer heard U-864's engine noise (Launders had decided not to use ASDIC since it would betray his position) and spotted the U-boat's periscope.

In an unusually long engagement for a submarine and in a situation for which neither crew had been trained, Launders waited 45 minutes after first contact before going to action stations, waiting in vain for U-864 to surface and thus present an easier target. Upon realizing they were being followed by the British submarine and that their escort had still not arrived, U-864 zig-zagged in attempted evasive manoeuvres and each submarine risked raising her periscope. Venturer had only eight torpedoes (four tubes and four reloads) as opposed to U-864's total of 22, and so after three hours Launders decided to make a prediction of his opponent's zig-zag, and release a spread of his torpedoes into its predicted course. The first torpedo was released at 12:12 and then at 17 second intervals after that (taking four minutes to reach their target), and Launders then dived suddenly to evade any retaliation from his opponent. U-864 heard the torpedoes coming and also dived deeper and turned away to avoid them, managing to avoid the first three but unknowingly steering into the path of the fourth. Imploding, she split in two, sinking with all hands and coming to rest more than 150 m (500 ft) below the surface on the sea floor, 2 nmi (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) west of the island of Fedje, Norway.

U180 - A uboat that carried Indian Nationalist, Chandra Bose , from Germany to Asia

This documentary chronicles the life of Indian freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose and especially his journey in uboat U-180 , that sailed from Kiel , Germany on 9 February 1943.

The U-180 was a long-range sub with its forward torpedo tubes removed to create a hold for extra cargo. Its mission was to deliver diplomatic mail for the German embassy in Tokyo, blueprints of jet engines and other technical material for the Japanese military.

On February 9, 1943, its final freight arrived in a motorboat from the beach: two Indian passengers, Subhash Chandra Bose and Abid Hasan Safrani (one of Bose’s closest aides). The U-boat crew had been briefed that their passengers were engineers headed for occupied Norway, to help build reinforced submarine docks. As a result, Bose and Safrani were permitted to sit up in the sunlight, in the conning tower, for as long as they were in German waters. The submarine set a course that took it  north along the Norwegian coast, then making a turn west towards the Faroe Islands. The sea was rough, and the two Indians were often seasick. However, despite the airless confinement, it was an exhilarating moment for Bose. He was on the move once again, working towards fulfilling his dream of one day arriving in free Delhi. While his aide joked and groused with the crew, Bose spent much of his time reading, writing and planning how to deal with the Japanese. In his memoir, The Men from Imphal, Safrani wrote,“He worked more than anyone I knew. He hardly retired for the night before two o’clock in the morning and there is no instance to my knowledge when at sunrise he was found in bed. He had so many plans for the struggle in East Asia and they had all to be worked out and, as was his habit, each one in detail.”

At dawn on April 21, 1943, 400 miles southwest of Madagascar, the U-180 rendezvoused with a Japanese submarine and exchanged signals. As mountainous waves struck the German U-Boat under dark and rolling skies, its captain emphatically advised Subhash Chandra Bose against leaving the vessel to board the Japanese submarine.Disregarding the fact that he could not swim, Bose stepped into a raft with Safrani and crossed the stormy seas to board the Japanese vessel I-29, anchored a 100 metres away to prevent the possibility of collision. The crossing was short, and only took minutes but it was a nautical feat without precedent in the war—the only sub-to-sub transfer of civilians in hostile waters.

Two Japanese engineers then took their places on the U-180 – along with fifty bars of gold. Then the two submarines dived beneath the waves and set off for home in different directions. After two years spent in Hitler’s Reich, Bose was now a guest of Japan’s Imperial Navy.Aboard the I-29, the Japanese captain Teraoka gave his own cabin to the Indian guests; it all felt, as Safrani wrote in his memoir, like “something akin to a homecoming”. Before they sailed, the Japanese crew shopped for Indian spices in Penang, Malaysia. They served Bose and Hasan a hot curry, to celebrate their crossing, and the birthday of the emperor in whose realm they had just arrived.

In the coming days, Bose would continue to Sabang on the tip of Sumatra, before moving to Singapore and finally to Tokyo. Here, he would take command of the Indian National Army, beginning the most admired chapter of his life. While he never fulfilled his dream of returning to a free Delhi, his aim to make it a reality never wavered. After Japan’s unconditional surrender in August 1945. Bose had earlier chosen not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese, but rather to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British. He died from third degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan.

WW2 German & Japanese Collaboration - German Footage 

Shown in this video are Pre WW2 German & Japanese collaboration which shows General Tomoyuki Yamashita visit to Berlin meeting Adolf Hitler and meetings between Japanese Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka. 

During the late 1930s, though motivated by political and propaganda reasons, several cultural exchanges between Japan and Germany took place. A focus was put on youth exchanges, and numerous mutual visits were conducted; for instance, in late 1938, the ship Gneisenau carried a delegation of 30 members of the Hitlerjugend to Tokyo for a study visit. With Nazi Germany not only having conquered most of continental Europe including France, but also maintaining the impression of a Britain facing imminent defeat,Tokyo interpreted the situation in Europe as proof of a fundamental and fatal weakness in western democracies. Japan's leadership concluded that the current state of affairs had to be exploited and subsequently started to seek even closer cooperation with Berlin. Hitler, for his part, not only feared a lasting stalemate with Britain, but also had started planning an invasion of the Soviet Union. These circumstances, together with a shortage in raw materials and food, increased Berlin's interest in a stronger alliance with Japan. German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was sent to negotiate a new treaty with Japan, whose relationships with Germany and Italy, the three soon to be called "Axis powers", were cemented with the Tripartite Pact of 27 September 1940.

After the signing of the Tripartite Pact, mutual visits of political and military nature increased. After German ace and parachute expert Ernst Udet visited Japan in 1939 to inspect the Japanese aerial forces, reporting to Hermann Göring that "Japanese flyers, though brave and willing, are no sky-beaters", General Tomoyuki Yamashita was given the job of reorganizing the Japanese Air Arm in late 1940. For this purpose, Yamashita arrived in Berlin in January 1941, staying almost six months. He inspected the broken Maginot Line and German fortifications on the French coast, watched German flyers in training, and even flew in a raid over Britain after decorating Hermann Göring, head of the German Luftwaffe, with the Japanese "Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun". General Yamashita also met and talked with Hitler, on whom he commented,

"I felt, that in the mind of Hitler there was much of spiritual matters, transcending material plans. When I met the Führer he said that since boyhood he had been attracted by Japan. He read carefully reports of Japan's victory over Russia when he was only 17 years old and was impressed by Japan's astonishing strength."
According to Yamashita, Hitler promised to remember Japan in his will, by instructing the Germans "to bind themselves eternally to the Japanese spirit." In fact, General Yamashita was so excited that he said: "In a short time, something great will happen. You just watch and wait." Returning home, the Japanese delegation was accompanied by more than 250 German technicians, engineers and instructors. Soon, Japan's Air Force was among the most powerful in the world.
On 11 November 1940, German–Japanese relations, as well as Japan's plans to expand southwards into South-East Asia, were decisively bolstered when the crew of the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis boarded the British cargo ship SS Automedon. Fifteen bags of Top Secret mail for the British Far East Command were found, including naval intelligence reports containing the latest assessment of the Japanese Empire's military strength in the Far East, along with details of Royal Air Force units, naval strength, and notes on Singapore's defences. It painted a gloomy picture of British land and naval capabilities in the Far East, and declared that Britain was too weak to risk war with Japan. The mail reached the German embassy in Tokyo on 5 December, and was then hand-carried to Berlin via the Trans-Siberian railway. A copy was given to the Japanese; it provided valuable intelligence prior to their commencing hostilities against the Western Powers. The captain of the Atlantis, Bernhard Rogge, was rewarded for this with an ornate katana Samurai sword; the only other Germans so honored were Hermann Göring and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

History Channel - Documentary on German Japanese Alliance 

They were unlikely allies, bound together on the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But despite fighting on opposite sides of the globe and the ideological divide that separated them, Germany and Japan cooperated extensively throughout World War II.

Using government documents, the recollections of soldiers and commentary from leading historians, Samurai and the Swastika tells the long-overlooked story of the strategic alliance between the Axis powers. “Samurai and the Swastika” is the untold story of Japanese and German military and technical cooperation in World War II. From 1939-1945, Germany and Japan forged an unlikely strategic alliance that included logistical support from both sides and a range of technical cooperation. German U-boats that patrolled the Indian Ocean used Japanese-occupied Singapore as a key fuelling and supply depot. In exchange, Germany supplied Japan’s air force with sophisticated jet and rocket technology.

Together, Germany and Japan launched “Operation Orient”, a key element in Hitler’s plan for world domination. The Axis allies also jointly supported major anti-British uprisings in India and gave aid and military supplies to Bose Chandras, a dissident Indian general, and his guerrilla army. The Axis allies felt that the key to the success of “Operation Orient” lay in the capture of this unstable British colony. Following on from their exploits in India, in perhaps the boldest scheme of all, Germany and Japan conspired to destroy the Panama Canal and cut off America’s Pacific War from its crucial Atlantic supply operations. Here, sophisticated computer animations show how Japan planned to destroy the Panama Canal so that the Americans had almost no access to the Pacific Ocean. If successful, this would have posed a major blow to the allied forces and could have forever changed the shape of the war. With the use of vivid computer animations to depict various plans of attack, exhilarating archival footage and expert opinion, documentary provides a superb insight into an alliance that has long been shrouded in mystery.

Uboot U168 wreck found in Indonesian waters 
(Media press conference by the Indonesian Navy presented to the German Embassy )

National Geographic Indonesia - Uboat Wreck found in East Java

U-168 conducted four patrols, sinking three ships totalling 8,008 gross register tons (GRT) and damaging one other grossing 9,804 GRT.  On U-168's first patrol commenced with her departure from Kiel on 3 March 1943. Her route took her through the Kattegat and Skaggerak, along the coast of Norway, through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean south and southwest of Greenland. She arrived at Lorient in occupied France on 18 May. On its 2nd patrol, the Uboat then moved into the Indian Ocean, sinking the British steam merchant ship SS Haiching 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) west southwest of Bombay (now Mumbai), on 2 October 1943. 
She was unsuccessfully attacked by a Catalina flying boat of No. 413 Squadron RCAF on 3 November. Four 250 lb depth charges were dropped. 

The patrol terminated in Penang, Malaya (now Malaysia) on 11 November.On its 3rd patrol , the submarine began her third and what would turn out to be her most successful patrol when she departed Penang on 7 February 1944. She fired three torpedoes at the British salvage vessel HMS Salviking south of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on the 14th. One of the projectiles malfunctioned, but the other two were sufficiently destructive to send the ship to the bottom. The following day she sank a Greek ship, Epaminondas C. Embiricos about 130 nautical miles (240 km; 150 mi) north of Addu Atoll in the Maldives. The Master and the Chief Engineer were both taken prisoner and handed over to the Japanese. The former's captivity prevented disciplinary action being taken over why he had ordered the undamaged ship to be abandoned and why the vessel was stationary for two hours, despite standing orders to the contrary.U-168 also damaged the Norwegian Fenris with her last torpedo on the 21st west of the Maldives, but had no ammunition left for her deck gun to finish the ship off which continued to Bombay under her own power. 

The boat returned to Batavia (now Jakarta) on 24 March. On its 4th patrol ,The submarine left Batavia on 5 October 1944. According to normal procedures to safeguard friendly submarines the U-168 gave local Japanese units its precise departure and arrival times, intended course and speed. This was subsequently decrypted and included in a FRUMEL report on the 5th of October, 1944. With little time, the Free Dutch Forces submarine Zwaardvisch, under the command of Lieutenant Commander H Goosens, was ordered to intercept. Shortly after sunrise on 6 October, while in the Java Sea, U-168 was spotted on steady easterly course and fired upon by a spread of six torpedoes. The torpedoes were spotted mere seconds before impact, being struck by two. One hit the U-168's pressure hull but failed to detonate. The second hit the forward torpedo room and exploded. Attempts to stem the flooding failed and the U-168 sank rapidly. The attack killed 23 men, with a further 27 being captured including Pich. In his interrogation, unaware of Allied code-breaking and signals intelligence, Pich could not explain why he'd been caught unawares with one of his crewmen blaming the Japanese, complaining that they never started anti-submarine air searches before 11:00. 

When in November 2013, Fishermen found the U-168 wreck, 17 skeletons of German sailors were still on board and a media press conference by the Indonesian Navy presented to the German Embassy was subsequently made.

Channel News Asia - Who’s behind the illegal looting of WWII shipwrecks near Indonesia

News Article - 3rd June 2021