List of all U-boats




Ordered29 Jul 1936
Laid down15 Mar 1937 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 942)
Launched14 May 1938
Commissioned4 Aug 1938Kptlt. Heinrich Schuch
4 Aug 1938 - 24 Sep 1939  Kptlt. Heinrich Schuch
25 Sep 1939 - 6 May 1940  KrvKpt. Werner Hartmann (Knights Cross)
6 May 1940 - 26 Oct 1940  Kptlt. Victor Oehrn (Knights Cross)
26 Oct 1940 - 2 May 1941  Kptlt. Asmus Nicolai Clausen (Knights Cross)
3 May 1941 - 15 Nov 1941  Kptlt. Ulrich Folkers (Knights Cross)
16 Nov 1941 - 30 Jun 1942  Oblt. Gustav-Adolf Janssen (German Cross in Gold)
1 Jul 1942 - 3 Jan 1943  Oblt. Albert Lauzemis (German Cross in Gold)
4 Jan 1943 - 19 Nov 1943  Oblt. Hinrich Kelling
20 Nov 1943 - 8 Jan 1944  Oblt. Peter Gerlach
9 Jan 1944 - 21 Dec 1944  Oblt. Wolfgang Seiler
22 Dec 1944 - 5 May 1945  Kptlt. Eberhard von Wenden
11 patrols
1 Apr 1938-31 Aug 1939  6. Flottille (active service)
1 Sep 1939-31 Dec 1939  6. Flottille (active service)
1 Jan 1940-30 Apr 1941  2. Flottille (active service)
1 May 1941-31 Mar 1942  26. Flottille (school boat)
1 Apr 1942-30 Jun 1944  22. Flottille (school boat)
1 Jul 1944-5 May 1945  4. Flottille (trial boat)(eb)
Successes53 ships sunk, total tonnage 200,063 GRT
2 warships sunk, total tonnage 2,404 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 9,494 GRT

Scuttled on 5 May 1945 in Hörup Haff, in position 54.55N, 09.47E. Wreck broken up in 1946.

Final location

See the 56 ships hit by U-37 - View the 11 war patrols

Attacks on this boat and other events

24 Oct 1939

Between 11.47 and 12.12 hrs, the boat was depth charged by several aircraft after attacking Tafna about 100 miles (161km) WSW of Gibraltar. U-37 dived to 105m (345ft) and was not damaged by the depth charges, which exploded far above. Hartmann wisely decided to run silent at a depth of 80m (263ft) and ordered most of the crew to lie down and rest, because shortly afterwards HMS Keppel, HMS Vidette and HMS Watchman arrived from Gibraltar and began an anti-submarine sweep of the area. At 16.45 hrs HMS Keppel dropped a full pattern of five depth charges set for 250ft (76m) after obtaining a good Asdic contact in position 36°03N/07°33,5W, and observed an air bubble and possibly oil rise to the surface afterwards, but failed to regain contact. The Germans had switched off the hydrophones and were caught off guard by the accurate detonations, which were felt as severe blows in the boat, which then dived to 95m (312ft). At 18.20 hrs HMS Watchman dropped a single depth charge set for 150ft (46m) from the port thrower on an Asdic contact in position 36°02N/07°18W, and lost contact after dropping the remaining four depth charges of the pattern in a follow up attack. Hartmann heard these detonate at some distance, but knew that they could not stay submerged all night as the crew had already begun to breathe through potash cartridges, so ordered the boat to be prepared for scuttling before surfacing with all guns manned at 21.45 hrs. However, the destroyers were no longer nearby and the boat was able to leave the area undetected, heading SW with a deck gun out of action due to the breech plug being jammed in place by extreme pressure at depth.

(Sources: KTB U-37, ADM 199/145)

3 Nov 1939
The boat suffered slight damage after an air attack.

2 Aug 1940
15.08 hrs, North Sea SW of Norway: U-37 (Oehrn) and U-38 (Liebe) were sailing together when they were attacked by a Coastal Command Hudson (220 Sqdn RAF), whose pilot thought he had attacked a single submarine. No damage.

16.00 hrs, 56.15N, 02.35E: following an earlier unsuccessful attempt to waylay U-34, Dutch submarine O-22 (J.W. Ort) sighted either U-37 or U-38, and after difficulty getting into a firing position fired two torpedoes from the extreme range of 3600m (3,937 yds) at 16.20. Both missed, and the U-boat remained unaware of the attack.

24 Aug 1940
The boat was hit by both surface escorts and aircraft in mid-Atlantic and forced to abort to France. Date is approximate. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 180)

4 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

8 Feb 1941. U-37 located convoy HG 53 late on 8 Feb 1941. She opened attack on the 9th and sank three ships over the next two days, also calling in Fw Condor aircraft from 2/KG 40 which sank another five ships on the 9th. The heavy cruiser Hipper was also vectored to the position, but by the time she arrived on the 11th there only remained a solitary straggler for her to sink.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-37 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.



Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

U-Boats at War

Showell, Jak P. Mallmann
($ 35.50)

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

There was another U-37 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 25 Aug 1914 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 9 Dec 1914. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 37 during WWI.

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