German submarine U-431

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-431
Ordered: 23 September 1939
Builder: Schichau-Werke, Danzig
Yard number: 1472
Laid down: 4 January 1940
Launched: 2 February 1941
Commissioned: 5 April 1941
Fate: Sunk on 21 October 1943 near Algiers at position 37°23′N 00°35′E / 37.383°N 0.583°E / 37.383; 0.583Coordinates: 37°23′N 00°35′E / 37.383°N 0.583°E / 37.383; 0.583 by depth charges from a RAF Wellington bomber of 179 Squadron. All hands were lost.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 PS (2,800–3,200 bhp; 2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 PS (740 shp; 550 kW) and max rpm: 296
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range: 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: 44–52 officers & ratings
Armament:
Service record[2]
Part of: 3rd U-boat Flotilla
(5 April 1941 - 1 July 1941) – Training
3rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 July 1941 - 31 December 1941)
29th U-boat Flotilla
(1 January 1942 - 21 October 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Wilhelm Dommes (Knight’s Cross)
(5 April 1941 - 6 January 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Dietrich Schöneboom (Knight’s Cross)
(15 December 1942 - 21 October 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol:
10 July - 11 August 1941
2nd patrol:
13 September - 12 October 1941
3rd patrol:
16 November - 20 December 1941
4th patrol:
25 January - 10 February 1942
5th patrol:
18 March – 15 April 1942
6th patrol:
14–30 May 1942
7th patrol:
4–20 June 1942
8th patrol:
2–27 September 1942
9th patrol:
29 September – 4 November 1942
10th patrol:
7–22 November 1942
11th patrol:
7 January - 8 February 1943
12th patrol:
11–29 March 1943
13th patrol:
20–29 May 1943
14th patrol:
5–27 June 1943
15th patrol:
9 August - 1 September 1943
16th patrol:
26 September - 21 October 1943
Victories: 6 merchant ships sunk (7,679 GRT)
1 merchant ship damaged (3,560 GRT)
1 merchant ship total loss (6,415 GRT)
3 warships sunk (3,861 tons)
1 warship damaged (450 tons)

German submarine U-431 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 4 January 1940 by Schichau-Werke in Danzig as yard number 1472, launched on 2 February 1941 and commissioned on 5 April 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Dommes (Knight’s Cross).

Service History[edit]

The boat's service began on 5 April 1941 for training as part of the 3rd U-boat Flotilla. Afterwards she transferred to the 29th flotilla operating in the Mediterranean on 1 January 1942.

In 16 patrols she sank or damaged 12 ships in total.

Wolfpacks[edit]

She took part in one wolfpack, namely,

Fate[edit]

She was sunk on 21 October 1943 in the Mediterranean off Algiers at position 37°23′N 00°35′E / 37.383°N 0.583°E / 37.383; 0.583 by depth charges dropped from a RAF Wellington bomber of 179 Squadron, operating out of Gibraltar. All hands were lost.

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
2 October 1941 Hatasu  United Kingdom 3,198 Sunk
13 December 1941 Myriel  United Kingdom 3,560 Damaged
29 January 1942 HMS Sotra  Royal Navy 313 Sunk
20 May 1942 Eocene  United Kingdom 4,216 Sunk
15 June 1942 HMS LCT-119  Royal Navy 450 Damaged
10 November 1942 HMS Martin  Royal Navy 1,920 Sunk
13 November 1942 HNLMS Isaac Sweers  Royal Netherlands Navy 1,628 Sunk
23 January 1943 Alexandria  Egypt 100 Sunk
25 January 1943 Mouyassar  Syria 47 Sunk
25 January 1943 Omar el Kattab  Syria 38 Sunk
26 January 1943 Hassan  Syria 80 Sunk
26 March 1943 City of Perth  United Kingdom 6,415 Total loss

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-431". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-431". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 May 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. 

External links[edit]