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U 177 Relic

Article about: I would like to show a relic coffee mug from the U boat 177 that has come into my possesion.Depth charged and sunk in the South Atlantic by a U.S Liberator in 1944 with the loss of 50 of her

  1. #1

    Default U 177 Relic

    I would like to show a relic coffee mug from the U boat 177 that has come into my possesion.Depth charged and sunk in the South Atlantic by a U.S Liberator in 1944 with the loss of 50 of her crew. This mug has clearly been in a salt water environment, with damage to the glaze caused by salt emmersion/ sea life. A very thought evoking piece, but quite how it has 'surfaced', i cannot explain. Has the U 177 ever been legally dived on and artifacts recovered?. It would seem so. Your thoughts please.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture mug 005.jpg   mug 006.jpg  

    mug 011.jpg  

  2. #2


    Unfortunately, Scott....I have Very serious doubts on this piece. The damage to the glaze by salt water, I believe it was simply deliberately glazed that way. What turns me against this the most is, of course, the bottom markings. I have never heard of china being marked to a specific ship. I would have expected to see an eagle over an "M" or a "KM" marking, but to make china for a Single boat would make no sense and would be impractical. It would mean having to make, glaze and fire total sets of china for Each and Every ship in the German Navy when a simple German Naval mark would easily have sufficed. Not only this, but the style of the mug and the writing are all dead-on Modern. If you look up just on the Forum here, you will see what the period type of china looks like, and it definitely does not resemble anything like this. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on what would have been an amazing and rare relic.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  3. #3


    Why would a coffee cup have an individual U- Boat number? In case a blighter from another U- Boat pinched it? I could be wrong but to me this seems akin to the SS beer bottles and RZM Fuhrerwein. And in any case, the condition of the marking and the cup in general does not seem consistent with something that has potentially rolled around the seabed for over half a century.

    IMO another case of a mundane item being given "sexy" markings.


  4. #4


    Hi Scott,

    I am afraid I would have to concur with the comments above. As William stated, an "M" would certainly be present - one would think anyway...but the individual boat's marking is quite possibly an attempt to dress up an otherwise plain piece.



    p.s. It must also be said that if 50 crew were lost, wouldn't that make her a war grave and any dive illegal?
    Currently working on several KZ related projects, including items for the USHMM, Gro-Rosen Museum and various private concerns and studies. Available as a guide to KZ sites, contact for details.

    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  5. #5


    Having done a maritime archaealogy course I can say that I've never seen a pice of china come out of the sea on that sort of condition after being there for 70 odd years. Unfortunately I also don't think it's good although I wish it were. As Carl mentioned, the ship would also be a war grave so removing items would certainly be illegal.

  6. #6


    I must agree with the above members comments. The mug was
    fired to give it this glazed texture, and I believe it was not done
    to purposely replicate or mimic the look of lying at the
    bottom of the sea..........


  7. #7


    Not to mention the abrasive nature of sea sand and the effect it would have made on the mug over 70 years of water movement.

  8. #8


    Sorry...not fair but cannot resist.Thanks to the sang-froid of this member of the Boat who had a flash while evacuating the ship "Gott im Himmel! I forgot my fav Mug!!",you have this piece in your possession.
    Fakes are really everywhere.

  9. #9


    On the 6th of February 1944 the U 177 was in the south Atlantic and was sighted by a USN Liberator of VB 107 (Lt C. I. Pinnell) based on
    Ascension. The aircraft attacked with depth charges and U 177 was destroyed 640 miles WSW of Ascension.
    10 of the crew were picked up and made PoW, the commander (KK Heinz Bucholz) and 50 other men were lost.


  10. #10


    ...and I agree with the comments made so far, apart from being a war grave, the location in the south Atlantic would make it almost impossible to dive on the wreck.


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