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Name: HMS E31
Builder: Scotts, Greenock
Laid down: December 1914
Commissioned: 8 January 1916
Fate: Sold, 6 September 1922
General characteristics
Class & type: E class submarine
  • 662 long tons (673 t) surfaced
  • 807 long tons (820 t) submerged
Length: 181 ft (55 m)
Beam: 15 ft (4.6 m)
  • 2 × 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) diesel
  • 2 × 840 hp (626 kW) electric
  • 2 screws
  • 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) surfaced
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) submerged
  • 3,000 nmi (5,600 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 65 nmi (120 km) at 5 kn (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) surfaced
Complement: 30

HMS E31 was a British E class submarine built by Scotts, Greenock. She was laid down in December 1914 and was commissioned on 8 January 1916.

Service history[edit]

HMS E31 was involved in a curious incident when she was operating with the sea plane carrier Engadine in the North Sea in an air raid on the Zeppelin sheds at Tondern on 4 May 1916. HMS E31 surfaced and spotted Zeppelin L 7. She dived to avoid attack. While at periscope depth, it was observed that the Zeppelin was losing altitude as it had been hit by shells from the light cruisers Galatea and Phaeton. HMS E31 surfaced to shoot the Zeppelin down and rescued seven survivors.

HMS E31 was sold on 6 September 1922.


Like all post-E8 British E-class submarines, E31 had a displacement of 622 tonnes (686 short tons) at the surface and 807 tonnes (890 short tons) while submerged. It had a total length of 180 feet (55 m)[1] and a beam length of 22 feet 8.5 inches (6.922 m). It contained two diesel engines each providing a power of 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW) and two electric motors each providing 840 horsepower (630 kW) power.[2] Its complement was thirty-one crew members.[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) and a submerged speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). British E-class submarines had fuel capacities of 50 tonnes (55 short tons) of diesel and ranges of 3,255 miles (5,238 km; 2,829 nmi) when travelling at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[1] E31 was capable of operating submerged for five hours when travelling at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph). It was fitted with a 12 pounds (5.4 kg) quick-firing gun gun (12 pounder), five 18 inches (460 mm) torpedo tubes, and one spare torpedo tube. Its torpedo tubes were fitted at the front and the aft; unlike pre-E9 submarines, the two midship section torpedo tubes were not included.[1]

E-Class submarines contained wireless systems with 1 kilowatt (1.3 hp) power ratings; in some submarines, these were later upgraded to 3 kilowatts (4.0 hp) systems by removing a midship torpedo tube. Its claimed highest dive depth was 100 feet (30 m) although it was capable of reaching depths of below 200 feet (61 m). Some submarines contained Fessenden oscillator systems.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Innes McCartney; Tony Bryan (20 February 2013). British Submarines of World War I. Osprey Publishing. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-1-4728-0035-0. 
  2. ^ "E Class". Chatham Submarines. Retrieved 20 August 2015.