|Ordered||25 Jan 1939|
|Laid down||28 Mar 1940||Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 5)|
|Launched||23 Nov 1940|
|Commissioned||18 Jan 1941||Oblt. Heinrich Schonder (Knights Cross)|
|Successes||14 ships sunk, total tonnage 31,171 GRT|
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,050 tons
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 5,384 GRT
2 warships damaged, total tonnage 2,880 tons
2 ships a total loss, total tonnage 11,637 GRT
Sank at 0115 hrs on 29 March 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea east of Cartagena, in position 38.33N, 00.14E, after being badly damaged by depth charges from two British Hudson aircraft (500 Sqn RAF/C & 233 Sqn RAF/L) in position 37.42N, 00.10E on 28 March. 38 dead and 9 survivors. (Axel Niestlé & Eric Zimmerman, February 2010).
Previously recorded fate
- Sunk by a British Hudson aircraft (48 Sqn RAF/V) east of Cap de la Nau, Spain, in position 38.31N, 00.53W.
Notes. This attack was actually directed against U-380 inflicting no damage.
U-77 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
West (6 Jun 1941 - 20 Jun 1941)
Grönland (10 Aug 1941 - 23 Aug 1941)
Kurfürst (23 Aug 1941 - 2 Sep 1941)
Seewolf (2 Sep 1941 - 7 Sep 1941)
Reissewolf (21 Oct 1941 - 31 Oct 1941)
Störtebecker (15 Nov 1941 - 2 Dec 1941)
Attacks on this boat and other events
1 Apr 1942
U-77 was attacked by a Swordfish aircraft in the Mediterranean, leaving the boat badly damaged and unable to dive.
4 Jul 1942
HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.S. Mackenzie, DSO, RN) fired three torpedoes at U-77 in position 32º48N, 33º36E, which all missed. Thrasher then surfaced to engage with gunfire, but U-77 dived and escaped.
13 Nov 1942
The target of the depth charge attack on 13 Nov 1942 by British corvettes HMS Lotus and HMS Poppy, credited with sinking U-605 was in fact U-77, which escaped with only minor damage. (Sources: 1987-07-01, FDS/NHB)
26 Mar 1943
After a successful attack on the convoy MKS-10, the U-boat was attacked for one hour with depth charges dropped by HMS Atherstone and HMS Quantock, assisted by HMS Tartar. U-77 sustained some damage before escaping further attacks, only to be sunk by air attacks a few days later. (Sources: ADM 199/1785)
28 Mar 1943
The sinking of U-77 The boat was attacked with depth charges by a Hudson (500 Sqn RAF/C, pilot P/O F.J. Clarke) on patrol east of Cartagena in position 37°42N/00°10E and dived immediately on being attacked. Water entered through a serious leak in the engine room, which forced U-77 to surface later, unable to dive. Hartmann reported his situation to the FdU while en route to Toulon, and was instructed to enter the neutral port of Alicante to make repairs under international maritime law. U-380 (Röther) was ordered to meet the boat to take off most of the crew to avoid internment in Spain, but before that could happen, Hudson Mk. IIIA T9430 (233 Sqn RAF/L, pilot F/O E.F. Castell) found U-77 at 17.45 hrs between Cabo San Antonio and Ibiza. Despite fierce flak, the aircraft made several attack runs, firing 3000 rounds of .303 ammunition and dropping four depth charges and a single A/S bomb, which detonated only 15 yards abaft the stern, for which F/O Castell was awarded the DFC.
The badly damaged boat managed to escape with the coming of dusk and continued to Alicante, but during the night both electric motors broke down, and as she lost way U-77 began to go down, sinking at 01.15 hrs on 29 March south of Cape Nao, Spain (the wreck has been located at a depth of 80m in position 38°33.334N/00°14.875E). The crew abandoned ship in one rubber dinghy and makeshift rafts made from deck planks, but the commander and 37 others died from exposure or drowning. Several hours later nine survivors were rescued by a Spanish fishing boat from Denia. They landed at Altea on 30 March, and were eventually repatriated. 36 bodies washed ashore in Spain, the commander and four men being buried at Altea, and 31 others at Calpe. In 1983 they were reinterred at the cemetery at Cuacos de Yuste, Provincia de Cáceres, Spain.
5 recorded attacks on this boat.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-77 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.
The Wild Onager - U-338
There was another U-77 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 9 Jan 1916 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 10 Mar 1916. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 77 during WWI.