U-701 Rettung.jpg
Survivors are rescued from U-701.
Nazi Germany
Name: U-701
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: HC Stülcken & Sohn, Hamburg
Yard number: 760
Laid down: 13 May 1940
Launched: 16 April 1941
Commissioned: 16 July 1941
In service: 16 July 1941 to 7 July 1942
Fate: Sunk by a USAAF Hudson on 7 July 1942 about 22 miles off Cape Hatteras. Seven survivors including the Captain were taken as prisoners of war.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
U-701 (submarine) shipwreck and remains
Nearest cityBuxton, North Carolina
MPSWorld War II Shipwrecks along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico MPS
NRHP reference #15000806
Added to NRHPNovember 12, 2015

German submarine U-701 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for the Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that served in the North Atlantic during World War II. It was launched on 16 April 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Horst Degen, with a crew of 43.

In three operational patrols U-701 sank five ships, of 25,390 gross register tons (GRT) and damaged four others for 37,093 GRT. She also sank four auxiliary warships and damaged a destroyer.

She was destroyed in an air attack on 7 July 1942 and rests at a depth of 115 feet (35 m) at 35°14.330′N 75°06.690′W / 35.238833°N 75.111500°W / 35.238833; -75.111500Coordinates: 35°14.330′N 75°06.690′W / 35.238833°N 75.111500°W / 35.238833; -75.111500.[1]


U-701 was destroyed on 7 July 1942 off Cape Hatteras. While running on the surface U-701 was attacked by a Hudson of 396 Sqdn USAAF. She was hit by two bombs and sunk. 17 of her crew were able to escape, but were adrift for two days before being found and rescued by the US Coast Guard. By that time just 7 men had survived.

Final resting place

Diving on the wreck of the U-701 in 2008.

At 115 feet (35 m) below the surface, U-701 is still intact, retaining its 8.8 cm (3.5 in) deck gun. Majority of the debris lies within 100 metres (330 ft) radius of the wreck.[1] This wreck has become an artificial reef that is heavily populated with Seriola dumerili.[1]

The wreck of the U-701 was originally discovered by Uwe Lovas in the coastal waters off Cape Hatteras in 1989.[2] The location of the wreck and the site remained a closely guarded secret and therefore undisturbed for 15 years.[2] The U-701 represents a virtually intact, pristine wreck site and a unique opportunity to explore and experience an unspoiled U-boat within recreational diving depths on the East Coast of the United States.

Recently, the vessel’s location has been rediscovered and the coordinates have become accessible to the general public, who have already begun diving the site. An overwhelming majority of the local recreational and wreck diving community is deeply concerned about the potential for disturbance, damage and loss resulting from unauthorized salvage.[2][3][4] The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

A dive to the wreck in 2011[5] was documented in the National Geographic TV documentary, Hitler's Secret Attack on America (2013).


U-701 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.

  • Zieten (6–22 January 1942)
  • Westwall (2–12 March 1942)
  • York (12–26 March 1942)

Summary of raiding history

Faroe postage stamp showing the trawler Nýggjaberg, which was sunk by U-701 on 28 March 1942
Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[6]
6 January 1942 Baron Erskine  United Kingdom 3,657 Sunk
6 March 1942 Rononia  United Kingdom 213 Sunk
7 March 1942 Nyggjaberg  Faeroes 349 Sunk
9 March 1942 HMS Notts County  Royal Navy 541 Sunk
11 March 1942 HMS Stella Capella  Royal Navy 507 Sunk
15 June 1942 HMS Kingston Ceylonite  Royal Navy 448 Sunk (mine)
15 June 1942 USS Bainbridge  United States Navy 1,190 Damaged (mine)
15 June 1942 Robert C. Tuttle  United States 11,615 Damaged (mine)
15 June 1942 Esso Augusta  United States 11,237 Damaged (mine)
17 June 1942 Santore  United States 7,117 Sunk (mine)
19 June 1942 USS YP-389  United States Navy 170 Sunk
26 June 1942 Tamesis  Norway 7,256 Damaged
27 June 1942 British Freedom  United Kingdom 6,985 Damaged
28 June 1942 William Rockefeller  United States 14,054 Sunk
Total tonnage sunk = 27,056

See also



  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.


  1. ^ a b c Hoyt, Joe C (2009). "2008 Battle of the Atlantic Survey Methodology". In: Pollock NW, ed. Diving for Science 2009. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 28th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Hoyt, Joe C. "History and Disposition of the U-701" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Catherine Kozak, “Scuba Diving Thieves Plunder Rare Unspoiled WW II Submarine Wreck U-701,” Virginian-Pilot, 8 September 2004
  4. ^ Jerry Allegood, “The U-boat,” Raleigh News and Observer, 5 December 2004.
  5. ^ NOAA National Marine Sanctuary, 2011 Battle of the Atlantic Expedition
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-701". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 February 2014.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.

External links

  • Media related to U-701 (submarine, 1941) at Wikimedia Commons
  • Article by Paul M. Hudy
  • Article about preserving the U-701 on the Project Aware website
  • A blog about the U-701
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-701". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.