German submarine U-31 (1936)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-31.
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-31
Ordered: 1 April 1935
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Cost: 4,189,000 Reichsmark
Yard number: 912
Laid down: 1 March 1936
Launched: 25 September 1936
Commissioned: 28 December 1936
Fate: Sunk, 11 March 1940, raised, sunk again 2 November 1940
General characteristics [1][2]
Class and type: Type VIIA submarine
Displacement: 626 tonnes (616 long tons) surfaced
745 t (733 long tons) submerged
Length: 64.51 m (211 ft 8 in) o/a
45.5 m (149 ft 3 in) pressure hull
Beam: 5.85 m (19 ft 2 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totaling 2,100–2,310 PS (2,070–2,280 bhp; 1,540–1,700 kW). Max rpm: 470-485
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 electric motors, totaling 750 PS (740 shp; 550 kW). Max rpm: 322
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
Range: 6,200 nmi (11,500 km; 7,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
73–94 nmi (135–174 km; 84–108 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 220 m (720 ft)
Crush depth: 230–250 m (750–820 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 2nd U-boat Flotilla
(28 December 1936–2 November 1940)
Identification codes: M 28 961
Commanders: Kptlt. Rolf Dau
(28 December 1936–8 November 1938)
Kptlt. Johannes Habekost
(8 November 1938–11 March 1940)
Wilfried Prellberg
(8 July 1940–2 November 1940)
Operations: Seven:
1st patrol:
27 August–2 September 1939
2nd patrol:
9 September–2 October 1939
3rd patrol:
21–31 October 1939 4th patrol:
19 November–11 December 1939
5th patrol:
15 January–4 February 1940
6th patrol:
16 September–8 October 1940
7th patrol:
19 October–2 November 1940
Victories: 11 commercial ships sunk (27,751 GRT)
two auxiliary warships sunk (160 GRT)
one warship damaged (33,950 GRT)

German submarine U-31 was a Type VIIA U-boat of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during World War II. She was laid down on 1 March 1936 as yard number 912, launched on 25 September and commissioned on 28 December 1936.[3]

Service history[edit]

During her career U-31 was involved in seven war patrols, and attacked the first convoy of World War II, OB-4 on 16 September 1939, sinking the British steamer SS Aviemore.[5]

In U-31‍ '​s entire career she sank 11 ships, totalling 27,751 gross register tons (GRT), and one auxiliary warship of 160 GRT. A mine laid by U-31 damaged the British battleship HMS Nelson of 33,950 tons.[3]

On 11 March 1940 U-31 was sunk in the Jade estuary by bombs from a Bristol Blenheim aircraft of 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force with the loss of all 58 crew. The U-boat was raised later that month, repaired and returned to service in July.[3][6][7]

U-31 was sunk again on 2 November 1940, north-west of Ireland, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Antelope, which picked up 44 survivors (or 43, sources vary), from the crew of 46.[3][8]

Summary of Raiding History[edit]

Date Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[9]
16 September 1939 Aviemore  United Kingdom 4,060 Sunk
24 September 1939 Hazelside  United Kingdom 4,646 Sunk
1 December 1939 Arcturus  Norway 1,277 Sunk
3 December 1939 Ove Taft  Denmark 2,135 Sunk
4 December 1939 HMS Nelson  Royal Navy 33,950 Damaged (mine)
4 December 1939 Primula  Norway 1,024 Sunk
6 December 1939 Agu  Estonia 1,575 Sunk
6 December 1939 Vinga  Sweden 1,974 Sunk
23 December 1939 HMS Glen Albyn  Royal Navy 82 Sunk (mine)
23 December 1939 HMS Promotive  Royal Navy 78 Sunk (mine)
22 September 1940 Union Jack  Faroe Islands 81 Sunk
27 September 1940 Vestvard  Norway 4,319 Sunk
29 October 1940 Matina  United Kingdom 5,389 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-Boat War in World War II: Type VIIA". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Type VII U-Boat". German U-boat. Uboataces.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIA boat U-31". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-31". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Aviemore (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  6. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 64.
  7. ^ Rohwer, Jürgen; Gerhard Hümmelchen. "Seekrieg 1940, Märtz". Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart (in German). Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 67.
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-31". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 31". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIA boat U-31". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014.