German submarine U-431
|Ordered:||23 September 1939|
|Laid down:||4 January 1940|
|Launched:||2 February 1941|
|Commissioned:||5 April 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk on 21 October 1943 near Algiers at position Coordinates: by depth charges from a RAF Wellington bomber of 179 Squadron. All hands were lost.|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
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).
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-431 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8-276 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-431 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
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.
She took part in one wolfpack, namely,
- Brandenburg (15 September – 1 October 1941)
Summary of raiding history
|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|
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-431". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.