German submarine U-277

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-277
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 42
Laid down: 3 March 1942
Launched: 7 November 1942
Commissioned: 21 December 1942
Fate: Sunk, May 1944 by a British aircraft[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Robert Lübsen
  • 21 December 1942 – 1 May 1944
Operations:
  • Six patrols
  • 1st patrol: 29 June – 17 August 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 29 August – 10 October 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 12 November – 22 December 1943
  • 4th patrol: 23 December 1943 – 6 January 1944
  • 5th patrol: 25 March – 6 April 1944
  • 6th patrol: 11 April – 1 May 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-277 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down on 3 March 1942 at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 42. She was launched on 7 November 1942 and commissioned on 21 December under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Robert Lübsen.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-277 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-277 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[4]

Service history[edit]

U-274 served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training from December 1942 to May 1943 and operationally with the 6th U-boat Flotilla from 1 June.[2] She carried out six patrols, but sank no ships. She was a member of six wolfpacks.

She carried out a short voyage between Kiel in Germany and Bergen in Norway over June 1943.

1st patrol[edit]

The boat departed Bergen on 29 June 1943 and docked at Hammerfest via Bear Island on 17 August.

2nd patrol[edit]

For her second sortie, U-277 departed Hammerfest on 29 August 1943. Her route took her as far north as Svalbard before arriving at Narvik on 10 October.

3rd and 4th patrols[edit]

The boat's third patrol took her round Bear Island, but was otherwise uneventful.

Her fourth foray was followed by a series of short 'hops' between Hammerfest, Narvik, Trondheim and Bergen. During one of them, she ran aground and had to be towed off the offending rocks. The damage caused forced an immediate return to base.

5th and 6th patrols and loss[edit]

Her penultimate, official patrol was between Narvik and Hammerfest.

She left Hammerfest for the last time on 11 April 1944. She was sunk southwest of Bear Island by depth charges dropped from a Fairey Swordfish of No. 842 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm on 1 May. The aircraft had come from the carrier HMS Fencer.

Fifty men died; there were no survivors.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-277 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.

  • Monsun (30 August – 7 October 1943)
  • Monsun (17–23 November 1943)
  • Eisenbart (23 November – 21 December 1943)
  • Blitz (25 March – 4 April 1944)
  • Donner (11–20 April 1944)
  • Donner & Keil (20 April – 1 May 1944)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 186.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-277". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-277". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-277". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 277". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 73°24′N 15°32′E / 73.400°N 15.533°E / 73.400; 15.533