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blastomatic1759
05-10-2006, 09:48 AM
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 head for Argentina Sch√¬§ffer gave the married men on board the chance to go to shore. Roughly a third of the crew, 16 men, opted for the shore and were put on land on 10 May near Holsen√¬∂y in dinghies. They all ended up in British hands. U-977 then sailed for Argentina; from May 10 to July 14 the voyage was a 66-day continuous submerged Schnorchel run, the second longest in the war (after U-978's 68 days).
The journey was extremely difficult for the crew and many were apparently on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The boat stopped in Cape Verde Islands for a short swim break and then headed south on the surface using one diesel. Crossing the equator on July 23 she arrived in Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August for a total patrol length of 108 days.

The commander, Heinz Sch√¬§ffer, published a book in 1952 called U-boat 977 about his journey.

blastomatic1759
05-10-2006, 09:48 AM
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 head for Argentina Sch√¬§ffer gave the married men on board the chance to go to shore. Roughly a third of the crew, 16 men, opted for the shore and were put on land on 10 May near Holsen√¬∂y in dinghies. They all ended up in British hands. U-977 then sailed for Argentina; from May 10 to July 14 the voyage was a 66-day continuous submerged Schnorchel run, the second longest in the war (after U-978's 68 days).
The journey was extremely difficult for the crew and many were apparently on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The boat stopped in Cape Verde Islands for a short swim break and then headed south on the surface using one diesel. Crossing the equator on July 23 she arrived in Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August for a total patrol length of 108 days.

The commander, Heinz Sch√¬§ffer, published a book in 1952 called U-boat 977 about his journey.

Celeon999
05-10-2006, 10:13 AM
One of the few who really made it. There were several Kaleuns planning something like this but not many really did it when the time came.

Bucketlung
05-10-2006, 11:41 AM
I'm starting that book tonight. The book is in quite poor condition so it may have actually been on the boat.

I just finished "Clear The Bridge" by Richard H. O'Kane, the commander of the U.S.S. Tang. Not a very good book as it was too mechanical and dry. It was like reading a glorified log. I don't know how you make a submarine book dry but he did it.

It does have me excited for SHIV as that should be an interesting change of pace. I hope the developers enhance the time compression because that is a lot of water.

I also hope they make it possible to be part of the force that goes to the battle of Midway and other battles where there is a lot of military targets. Maybe it isn't historically accurate but to see that Japanese task force approaching Midway through a periscope would be something else, especially if they also had the air battle take place. One thing American subs did in the Pacific was go to potential air battles and help with recovery. Surface and watch.

Bucketlung
05-28-2006, 07:19 PM
Just finished the book, U-Boat 977 by Heinz Schaeffer.

Very good book and an interesting read as it was written right after the war so nerves were still a bit raw. Heinz Schaeffer was quite young as he had just turned 24 when the war ended. That's too young in my opinion to be commanding a sub but you do what you have to do.

He writes a lot about joining the Navy and his training.

A person forgets that 1940 wasn't too far removed from 1918. The memories of the stalemate during WWI were still fresh in peoples minds so after the surprise cakewalk in France in 1940 he said some of his classmates were concerned the war would be over before they had a chance to get involved. I wonder how much the ease Hitler had in France tainted his decision making after that.

He uses fathoms in the book. (I hate fathoms http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif).

He writes this interesting comment. "At this time new submarines were first fitted with a Snorchel or "Snort" a north-German dialect term for nose (frequently misspelt Schnorkel)."

He also said the "Snort" was very difficult for the Allies to pick up with radar. (I knew it.)

He said the Allies developed a receiver which picked up the faint emission of their Fu.M.B. radar detector and that caused a lot of concern.

He discusses at length the problems radar caused.

He said they got a new acoustic torpedo that was most effective. It was so sensitive it could pick up a ship lying stopped just by the noise on the ship. In a month in 1944 eighty destroyers and corvettes were sunk by these torpedoes. They were so effective the U-boat chasers had to break off attacking their submarines as it was suicidal for them. The Allies later developed counter measures but they weren't completely effective. (I find this to be a very interesting comment.)

He laments the "mad demand for unconditional surrender". How many times have I read comments like this. I think an entire book could be written about the "unconditional surrender" policy.

They last sailed out of Christiansund in Norway. I assume that is the same as Kristiansund on my National Geographic map, which is way up north by Trondheim. I didn't realize the Germans still controlled that part of Norway at the end of the war.

He didn't believe the message from Donitz about unconditional surrender and he didn't like what he was hearing so he unplugged his wireless. Why didn't Paulus think of that at Stalingrad.

Not all of the crew went to Argentina, those that wanted to stay were set ashore in Norway.

The run to Argentina really wasn't a good decision but I can see why he did it. He didn't want to be a POW and he didn't want to surrender his boat to the Allies. But after that long tough trip the boat and he and his men were turned over to the US right away.

Of course the big question after VE day was, where is Adolf Hitler? The reason he wrote the book was to dispel the story that he gave anybody a ride to South America.

He did return to Argentina after he was "let go". He didn't say how long he was detained after the war. He was born in 1921 so he could still be alive today.

One question I wonder about is how the German people felt about those who left for places like Argentina after the war instead of staying and rebuilding Germany.

Bucketlung
05-28-2006, 07:26 PM
I just noticed on uboat.net they say U-Boat 977 left Kristiansand, Norway on 2 May, 1945. In the book though it says Christiansund. There is a Kristiansand at the very southern tip of Norway and Kristiansund is up north by Trondheim.