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Type IXC / 40
1,120 Tons (surfaced)
1,232 Tons (submerged)
252 x 22' 8" x 31' 6"
6 x torpedo tubes
4 bow, 2 stern with 22 torpedoes
1 x 105/45mm deck gun
2 x AA gun
Built by Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau AG, Bremen. Laid down on March 15, 1941 as Type IXC / 40 werk nummer 707. Launched March 5, 1942. Commissioned September 10, 1941 in the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) as U-163 with Kptlt. Helmut Pich in command.
Assigned to 4 Flottille, this submarine began a training cruise on September 10, 1942 until February 28, 1943. Assigned to 2 Flottile on March 1.
First War Patrol
Departed on March 9, 1943 on her first war patrol from Kiel, Germany. Arrived at Lorient, France on May 18.
Second War Patrol
Departed on her second war patrol from Lorient on July 3 bound for the Pacific and arrived at Penang on November 11. Claimed 2,183 tons. On January 28, 1944 departed Penang then returned without results to Penang on February 3.
Third War Patrol
On February 7, 1944 departs Penang on her 3rd War Patrol. On March 24, 1944 arrives at Batavia (Jakarta). Claimed 15,629 tons.
Fourth War Patrol
On October 1, 1944 assigned to 33 Flottille. Before departing Batavia, the crew has a farewell party that includes taking their Indonesian girl friends aboard the submarine. On October 5, 1944 departed Batavia on her 4th patrol bound for Soerabaja, where she was to rendesvous with U-537 and U-862 to patrol off the coast of Australia.
On October 6, 1944 at 1:30pm in the Java Sea off the north coast of Java, spotted by HrMs Zwaardvisch (P 322) that fires six torpedoes with one hitting and sinking the submarine bow first at Lat 6°20'S Long 111°28'E. During the sinking, 23 died and 27 survived the sinking.
Fates of the Crew
Afterwards, HrMs Zwaardvisch (P 322) rescued the 27 survivors who became Prisoners Of War (POW). This included three officers, one WO and the medical officer and the LI escaped from the submarine from a depth of 120' without any breathing apparatus. These prisoners remained aboard the Dutch vessel while the rest were placed on a nearby fishing vessel and set free, and eventually reached the coast of Java. The prisoners claimed three torpedoes hit them but only one exploded.
UBoat.net - U-168
UBoat.net - Patrols by U-168
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