German submarine U-77 (1940)
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||25 January 1939|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||28 March 1940|
|Launched:||23 November 1940|
|Commissioned:||18 January 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk, 28 March 1943, off Calpe, Spain by British aircraft|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Type VIIC|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.10 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.50 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|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)|
|Draft:||4.72 m (15 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged MAN, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines totalling 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 shp). Max rpm: 470–490
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 double-acting electric motors
|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)
Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44-52 officers and ratings|
7th U-boat Flotilla
23rd U-boat Flotilla
29th U-boat Flotilla
|Commanders:||Oblt.z.S. Heinrich Schonder
(18 January 1941 – 2 September 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Otto Hartman
(2 September 1942 – 28 March 1943)
29 May – 7 July 1941
2 August – 10 September 1941
11 October – 13 November 1941
10–19 December 1941
28 March – 3 April 1942
a. 6–17 June 1942
b. 23 June – 9 July 1942
16 July – 21 August 1942
12 October – 1 November 1942
3 November – 5 December 1942
26 January – 10 February 1943
3–28 March 1943
|Victories:||14 commercial ships sunk (31,186 GRT);
one warship sunk – 1,050 tons;
two ships damaged - 5,384 GRT;
two warships damaged – 2,880 tons;
one ship a total loss
German submarine U-77 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built by the Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack. Her keel was laid down on 28 March 1940, by Bremer Vulkan of Bremen-Vegesack, Germany as yard number 5. She was launched on 23 November 1940 and commissioned on 18 January 1941, with Oberleutnant zur See Heinrich Schonder in command until September 1942, when he was succeeded by Oblt.z.S. Otto Hartmann, who remained in charge until the U-boat's loss.
The boat was sunk on 28 March 1943 off Calpe, Spain, by two British aircraft.
U-77 conducted 11 patrols, sinking 15 ships totalling 32,236 GRT and damaging two others, totalling 5,384 GRT. She also damaged two warships totalling 2,880 tons and caused one ship of 5,222 GRT to be declared a total loss. She was a member of six wolfpacks.
She sank the Tresillian on 13 June southeast of Cape Race ( Newfoundland ). Using her deck gun, she fired 87 rounds, scoring 60-65 hits; but it needed a torpedo to administer the coup de grâce. She then sank the Arakaka, a weather ship, on the 22nd, 450 nautical miles (830 km; 520 mi) east of St. Johns. There were no survivors. It was a similar story with the Anna Bulgaris south of Cape Farewell, (Greenland).
U-77 docked in St. Nazaire in occupied France on 7 July.
2nd and 3rd patrols
The boat's second foray began with her departure from St. Nazaire on 2 August 1941, but despite covering large tracts of the Atlantic, she returned to the French base on 10 September empty-handed.
For her third sortie, U-77 once more found the cupboard bare west of Ireland and the Bay of Biscay. Nothing.
U-77 's next patrol was divided into two. Part one was into the Mediterranean. Leaving St. Nazaire on 10 December 1941, she slipped past the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar and entered Messina in northeast Sicily on the 19th.
On the way, she sank the Empire Barracuda 34 nautical miles (63 km; 39 mi) from Cape Trafalgar [before the Gibraltar experience], on the 15th.
Part two involved the boat's attack on the British destroyer HMS Kimberley off Tobruk on 12 January 1942. The warship's stern was blown off, but she was towed to Alexandria for temporary repairs before more permanent restoration was carried out in Bombay. The ship returned to service in January 1944.
The submarine docked at Salamis in Greece on 14 January.
Having moved to La Spezia in northwest Italy in April, U-77 departed the port for the initial portion of a two-part patrol on 6 June 1942. She sank the destroyer HMS Grove north of Sollum on the 12th. This was during Operation Vigorous, [a supply convoy to Malta].
The U-boat was unsuccessfully attacked by HMS Thrasher, a British T-class submarine, off what today is the Israeli coast on 4 July. (Note: there is some confusion over this incident as the U-boat's own page on 'uboat.net' also puts her further west on that day and does not mention an attack).
U-77 finished the patrol in Salamis on 9 July.
7th and 8th patrols
Departing Salamis on 16 July 1942, her only victory was the Greek sailing ship Vassilliki, which she sank with 10 rounds from the deck gun east of Cyprus on the 22nd.
U-77 torpedoed the sloop HMS Stork on 12 November 1942 but was attacked by the corvettes HMS Lotus and Poppy the following day northeast of Algiers. The slightly damaged U-boat returned to La Spezia on 5 December.
U-77 sank two more ships - the Empire Banner and the Empire Webster, both on 7 February 1943 west of Algiers. She had departed La Spezia on 26 January and returned there on 10 February.
11th patrol and loss
The boat departed La Spezia for the last time on 3 March 1943. On the 28th, she was sunk south of Cape Nao in Spain (off Calpe, in the province of Alicante) by depth charges from two British Lockheed Hudsons of 48 and 233 Squadrons, RAF, based on Gibraltar.
38 men died; there were nine survivors. They were rescued by a Spanish fishing vessel. The bodies of the dead sailors were recovered during the following days and buried in the cemetery of Alicante.
U-77 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.
- West (6–20 June 1941)
- Grönland (10–23 August 1941)
- Kurfürst (23 August – 2 September 1941)
- Seewolf (2–7 September 1941)
- Reissewolf (21–31 October 1941)
- Störtebecker (15 November – 2 December 1941)
Summary of Raiding History
|13 June 1941||Tresillian||United Kingdom||4,743||Sunk|
|22 June 1941||Arakaka||United Kingdom||2,379||Sunk|
|25 June 1941||Anna Bulgaris||Greece||4,603||Sunk|
|15 December 1941||SS Empire Barracuda||United Kingdom||4,972||Sunk|
|12 January 1942||HMS Kimberley||Royal Navy||1,690||Damaged|
|12 June 1942||HMS Grove||Royal Navy||1,050||Sunk|
|22 July 1942||Vassiliki *||Greece||140||Sunk|
|24 July 1942||Toufic El Rahman *||Syria||30||Sunk|
|30 July 1942||Fany *||Egypt||43||Sunk|
|1 August 1942||St. Simon *||Egypt||100||Sunk|
|6 August 1942||Adnan *||Egypt||155||Damaged|
|6 August 1942||Ezzet *||Egypt||158||Sunk|
|10 August 1942||Kharouf *||Mandatory Palestine||158||Sunk|
|16 August 1942||Daniel *||Mandatory Palestine||100||Sunk|
|20 August 1942||Mahrous *||Syria||18||Sunk|
|12 November 1942||HMS Stork||Royal Navy||1,190||Damaged|
|7 February 1943||SS Empire Banner||United Kingdom||6,999||Sunk|
|7 February 1943||Empire Webster||United Kingdom||7,043||Sunk|
|16 March 1943||Hadleigh||United Kingdom||5,222||Total loss|
|16 March 1943||Merchant Prince||United Kingdom||5,229||Damaged|
* Sailing vessel
- Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-77". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- M.A.R. (25 December 2011). "Captan las primeras imágenes del submarino alemán hundido en Calpe". ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 2013-02-06.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-77". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- 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 (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 77". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-77". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 24 December 2014.