German submarine U-778

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-778
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven
Yard number: 161
Laid down: 3 July 1943
Launched: 6 May 1944
Commissioned: 7 July 1944
Fate: Surrendered 9 May 1945
Status: Sank on 4 December 1945
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
Part of: Kriegsmarine: 11th U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Ralf Jürs
Operations: 1 patrol: 4 – 26 March 1945
Victories: None

German submarine U-778 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in World War II. She only completed one combat patrol and sank no Allied ships. She was surrendered to the Allies at Bergen on 8 May 1945.[1]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-778 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-778 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), one 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Flak M42 and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat arrived at Horten in Norway on 28 February 1945 under the command of Kptlt. Ralf Jürs. She left Horten on her only war patrol on 4 March, completing the 23-day patrol on the 26 March 1945 at Bergen in Norway. No ships were sunk during the patrol and the U-boat was still at Bergen when she was surrendered to the Allies some six weeks later on 9 May 1945.[3]

On 4 December 1945, she was being towed offshore by the Royal Navy, to be scuttled as part of Operation Deadlight, but foundered and sank before reaching the scuttling ground, at a point 55°32′N 7°7′W / 55.533°N 7.117°W / 55.533; -7.117, 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi) North East of Malin Head[1] in around 70 metres (230 ft) of water.

Proposed salvage[edit]

The wreck was rediscovered by marine archaeologist Innes McCartney in 2001.[4] In 2007, Derry City Council announced plans to raise the boat to be the main exhibit of a new maritime museum.[5] Many of the other Operation Deadlight U-boats were used for target practice and sunk by gunfire, torpedoes, rockets or bombs. U-778, by contrast, is remarkably intact and lies in relatively shallow water.

On 3 October 2007 an Irish diver died whilst filming the wreck as part of the salvage project.[6] In November 2009, a spokesman from the council's heritage museum service announced the salvage project had been cancelled for cost reasons.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-778". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-boat Patrols Patrols by U-778". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  4. ^ "U778 image from expedition gallery".
  5. ^ Bowcott, Owen (20 August 2007). "Raise the U-boat: council plans to put Nazi sub in maritime museum". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Team to recover U-boat diver body". BBC. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
  7. ^ "Costs sink plan to raise U-boat". BBC. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 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.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°32′N 7°7′W / 55.533°N 7.117°W / 55.533; -7.117