M@re Nostrum

U1277 
By Luis Mota (SUBMANIA)

The U1277 was built in the Bremer Vulcan shipyard in Bremen - Vegesack, commissioned on the 3rd May 1944 and launched May 18th of the same year, with her command delivered to captain-lieutenant Peter-Ehrenreich Stever.

 

She belongs to VIIC class and she was, originally, 67m (221ft) long, 6.20m (20ft) high and 4.74m (15ft) waterline beam. She used two of her four engines (two diesel and two electric engines) that generated a power of 3200hp with a maximum speed of 17.6 knots on surface and 750hp with maximum speed of 7.6 knots when submerged.

 

She displaced 769 tons on the surface and 871 when submerged. The sub had a range of 8500 miles at 10 knots on surface, 130 miles at 2 knots submerged, 3250 miles at 17 knots on surface and 80 miles at 4 knots submerged. She could submerge to a maximum depth between 150m (495ft) and 180m (594ft) with a minimum crash-dive time between 25 and 30 seconds and she had the capacity to store 113.5 tons of fuel.

 

The sub was fitted with four torpedo launch tubes on the bow, two on starboard and two on portside, and a fifth on the stern (all 533mm), carrying a total of 14 torpedoes. She had also, outside the conning tower, anti-aircraft guns. These guns were automatic 37mm cannon and two twins 20mm machine guns.

 

This submarine was integrated on the 8th flotilla, where she worked first as an experimental and instruction ship. On February 1945, because of the few remain U-boats still active, she was transferred to Bergen (Norway), home of the 11th flotilla. This sub was now a front boat. Her first and only patrol was to sail across the Iceland Strait into the Atlantic and position herself on the entrance of the English Channel. The U1277 leaves port on April 22nd, 1945.

 

The crew was composed by 45 men, four of which were officials - commandant (Peter-Ehrenreich Stever), first subordinate officer (Johannes Malwitz), second subordinate officer (Carl Hermann Stachow) and the machine officer (Ernst Engel) - four sergeants and the remaining were sailors. The age of the crew of the U1277 averaged between 18 and 25.

 

The U-boat was scuttled on the dawn of June 3rd 1945 out of Cabo do Mundo, near Oporto, by order of her commander, the captain-lieutenant Stever, after sailing without course through the Atlantic for a period of one month (the Armistice was signed on the 8th of May 1945, one year after her launch into the water and almost one month before she was sunk).

 

In October 1973 a group of sport divers and local fishermen went out to sea to find out what was the obstacle that takes hold of all their fishing nets. It was with some luck and happiness that they found that the obstacle was the famous German submarine that sunk on our coast at the end of the World War II. The sub rests since 1945 at 31m (102ft) on a sandy seabed, with the stern completely silted up and lain about 45 degrees on her portside. The bow is missing, existing only the four torpedoes launch tubes, as well as the conning tower where all anti-aircraft guns were.

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Original frame outline

Visible part remaining

Sand bottom level (31m)

Hidden part remaining

 

The hull is dressed with little white anemones (Sargatia elegans), thousands of small fishes, conger eels that are the biggest that can be found in these waters, huge octopuses and the amazing colony of pink anemones descendant from the North Sea. These are some of the natural attraction of this wreck. On the conning tower, divers can only see the hard hull, made with 22mm solder rigid sheet metal, the periscope and the open hatchway.

 

Even in this state of deterioration, the U1277 is still clearly one of the best and more interesting wreck dive sites of Portugal and the best in the north of our country.

 

Minimum diving certification required to dive this wreck:
CMAS two stars or equivalent.

Batelao ] Bezerros ] Brenha ] Charneca ] Jakob Maersk ] Kassamba ] Navio Do Norte ] Olo ] Pelo Negro ] Prego ] Rodelha ] Ruy Barbosa ] Veronese ] Vila do Porto ] [ U1277 ]

THE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DIVE SITE WAS PROVIDED BY:

 

SUBMANIA, Escola de Mergulho
Matosinhos - Portugal
web: www.submania.pt
email: info@submania.pt

© Luis Mota

 

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Última modificación: 07 d’agost 2017 06:03


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