List of all U-boats




Ordered25 Sep 1939
Laid down6 Jan 1940 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 533)
Launched22 Dec 1940
Commissioned13 Feb 1941Oblt. Ottokar Paulshen
13 Feb 1941 - 16 Dec 1941  KrvKpt. Ottokar Arnold Paulssen
4 patrols
13 Feb 1941-1 May 1941  1. Flottille (training)
1 May 1941-4 Dec 1941  1. Flottille (active service)
5 Dec 1941-16 Dec 1941  29. Flottille (active service)
Successes6 ships sunk, total tonnage 31,729 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 5,220 tons

Sank on 16 December 1941 in the Mediterranean Sea west of Crete, in position 35.31N, 23.19E, after erroneous ramming by the Italian torpedo boat Orione. 43 dead (all hands lost).

Loss position

See the 7 ships hit by U-557 - View the 4 war patrols

On 9 December 1941 U-557 left Messina for her last patrol. Six days later she sank the British cruiser HMS Galatea off the Egyptian coast. The U-boat headed back the same day for the base of the 23rd Flotilla at Salamis.

At 1806hrs on 16 December, U-557 sent a short radio signal indicating that she was 18 hours from port. At 1800hrs on the same day, the Italian torpedo boat Orione (TV M. Gambetta) left the Cretan port of Suda. The commander had no knowledge that a German U-boat was in the area off Crete and he did not receive any information to this effect during his patrol.

When the Italian commander saw a submarine at 2144hrs, heading in a northerly direction, he decided to ram it, supposing it to be British. U-557 sank immediately with all hands; the now-damaged Italian torpedo boat headed back to base.

During the investigation of this incident, it was realized that word about U-557's location had reached the Italian Navy first at 2200hrs or later. The position of the incident was given by the Italian commander as 35.31N, 23.19E.

Wolfpack operations

U-557 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   West (25 May 1941 - 20 Jun 1941)
   Bosemüller (28 Aug 1941 - 2 Sep 1941)
   Seewolf (2 Sep 1941 - 15 Sep 1941)

General notes on this boat

During the training in the Baltic Sea, the boat had a diving accident and got stuck on the bottom and one man lost his like, his name was Eckstein.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-557 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Coat of Arms of Düsseldorf

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

Iron Coffins

Werner, Herbert A.

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

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

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

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