|Ordered||25 Jan 1939|
|Laid down||21 Dec 1939||F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel (werk 618)|
|Launched||31 Oct 1940|
|Commissioned||14 Dec 1940||Kptlt. Walter Flachsenberg|
|Successes||5 ships sunk, total tonnage 38,894 GRT|
Decommissioned on 27 February 1945 at Wilhelmshaven.
Scuttled on 2 May 1945 at Wilhelmshaven, western entrance to Readerschleuse.
U-71 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Grönland (10 Aug 1941 - 27 Aug 1941)
Bosemüller (28 Aug 1941 - 2 Sep 1941)
Seewolf (2 Sep 1941 - 3 Sep 1941)
Breslau (2 Oct 1941 - 29 Oct 1941)
Seeräuber (21 Dec 1941 - 23 Dec 1941)
Seydlitz (27 Dec 1941 - 16 Jan 1942)
Endrass (12 Jun 1942 - 16 Jun 1942)
Wolf (13 Jul 1942 - 30 Jul 1942)
Pirat (31 Jul 1942 - 3 Aug 1942)
Steinbrinck (3 Aug 1942 - 7 Aug 1942)
Panther (10 Oct 1942 - 20 Oct 1942)
Veilchen (20 Oct 1942 - 7 Nov 1942)
Falke (28 Dec 1942 - 19 Jan 1943)
Landsknecht (19 Jan 1943 - 28 Jan 1943)
Hartherz (3 Feb 1943 - 7 Feb 1943)
Adler (7 Apr 1943 - 13 Apr 1943)
Meise (13 Apr 1943 - 17 Apr 1943)
Attacks on this boat and other events
25 Jun 1941
The British corvette HMS Gladiolus (K 34) sighted the surfaced boat as she attempted to penetrate a convoy and forced her to dive. Gladiolus then dropped 30 depth charges over five runs before the arrival of the corvette HMS Nasturtium, which dropped six depth charges. U-71 managed to make her escape on the surface. She received at least one hit on the conning tower from HMS Gladiolus. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 311)
26 Oct 1941
During battle against convoy HG 75, U-71 attacked an escort with a four-torpedo fan, which missed. The former target then depth charged the boat for seven hours, leaving U-71 so severely damaged that she was forced to return to base. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 393)
30 Nov 1941
The target of the depth charge attack on 30 Nov. 1941 in the Bay of Biscay west of Nantes, France in position 46.55N, 07.16W by a British Whitley bomber (RAF Sqdn 502/B), formerly credited with sinking U-206, was in fact U-71, which escaped unscathed. (Sources: 1991-08-01, FDS/NHB)
5 Jun 1942
15.49 hrs, 5 June, 1942, approx 300km off La Pallice (Grid: BF 9442): When less than one day out from La Pallice, U-71 was attacked by an Australian Sunderland flying boat (RAAF Sqn. 10/U, pilot S.R.C. Wood), which dropped eight shallow-set depth charges and then strafed repeatedly, firing 2000 rounds of .303 ammunition. The boat escaped by diving, but had to return to La Pallice under E-boat escort. She was quickly repaired and sailed again on 11 June. Two hours after attacking U-71 the Sunderland was itself attacked by a Fw 200 Condor aircraft (I/KG 40), both aircraft sustaining damage. Two of the Sunderland crew were slightly injured.
12 Apr 1943
06.25 hrs, mid Atlantic, south of Greenland: while shadowing convoy ON 176, U-71 was forced to dive by gunfire from a destroyer. The destroyer dropped 38 depth charges, which caused only minor damage, but the boat had to remain submerged for about six hours and lost contact with the convoy. (Sources: Ritschel)
5 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
19 Oct 1941. The boat fired two torpedoes at a cruiser escorted by two destroyers in the North Atlantic, but without result.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-71 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.
There was another U-71 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 31 Oct 1915 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 20 Dec 1915. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 71 during WWI.