List of all U-boats

U-977

Type

VIIC

 
Ordered5 Jun 1941
Laid down24 Jul 1942 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 177)
Launched31 Mar 1943
Commissioned6 May 1943Oblt. Hans Leilich
Commanders
6 May 1943 - Mar, 1945  Kptlt. Hans Leilich
Mar, 1945 - 17 Aug 1945  Oblt. Heinz Schaeffer
Career
1 patrol
6 May 1943-30 Sep 1943  5. Flottille (training)
1 Oct 1943-28 Feb 1945  21. Flottille (school boat)
1 Mar 1945-8 May 1945  31. Flottille (training)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged
Fate

Interned at Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August 1945 after a 66-day submerged trip from Norway.

Post war information (see more post-war boats):
Moved to Rio Santiago Naval Base, Buenos Aires. Transferred to US Navy. Departed Rio Santiago on 11 Sept 45 escorted by USS Cherokee. Arrived in New London, CT on 12 Oct 45. Torpedoed off Cape Cod on 13 Nov 1946 during torpedo trials by the US submarine USS Atule. Map position is approximate.

Final location

Blue marker shows the final fate of the boat after the war. Orange marker shows German surrender. Map is click-able and zoom-able.

View the 1 war patrol

General notes on this boat

10 May 1945. On 10 May, 1945 U-977, in Norwegian waters when Germany surrendered, put ashore those men who did not wish to accompany the rest of the crew on a desperate voyage to Argentina.

17 Aug 1945.

Surrender in Argentina in August 1945

The boat left Kristiansand, Norway on 2 May 1945 for a combat patrol in the English Channel. When Germany surrendered a few days later the boat was outbound in Norwegian waters. After deciding to make for Argentina, Schäffer gave the married men on board the chance to go ashore. Roughly a third of the crew, 16 men, opted for this, and landed by dinghy near Holsenöy on 10 May. They all ended up in British hands. U-977 then sailed for Argentina. One continuously submerged Schnorchel run of 66 days was made between May 10 and July 14, the second longest of the war (after 68 days by U-978).

The journey was extremely stressful for the crew and many were apparently on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The boat stopped at the Cape Verde Islands for a short swim break and then proceeded south on the surface on one diesel. After crossing the equator on July 23, U-977 arrived in Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August after being at sea for 108 days.

The commander, Heinz Schäffer, published a book, "U-boat 977" about the voyage in 1952.

Schnorchel-fitted U-boat
This boat was fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus in February 1945. Read more about the Schnorchel and see list of fitted boats.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-977 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.


Media links


Battle Beneath the Waves

Stern, Robert C.


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth


Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


U-977 - 66 Tage unter Wasser

Schaeffer, Heinz