|Ordered||23 Sep 1939|
|Laid down||26 Jan 1940||Nordseewerke, Emden (werk 203)|
|Launched||20 Dec 1940|
|Commissioned||31 Mar 1941||Oblt. Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen|
|Successes||1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 9,135 GRT|
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 31,100 tons
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 372 tons
Sunk on Nov 17, 1942 in the Mediterranean north of Algiers in position 37.05N, 02.27E after she had been badly damaged by a Hudson aircraft she signaled surrender to a seaplane but was attacked by a torpedo-equipped aircraft Albacore from the British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Squadrons 500 and 820). 32 dead and 17 survivors.
Tiesenhausen and the rest of the survivors were rescued by the British seaplane at the scene.
U-331 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Goeben (24 Sep 1941 - 30 Sep 1941)
Attacks on this boat
10 Oct 1941
The boat fought a gun duel with 3 British landing craft off Sidi Barrani and damaged HMS TLC-18 (A 18), but was itself slightly damaged. Two men of the gun crew were wounded, one of them mortally. [Bootsmann Hans Gerstenich]
13 Nov 1942
On being attacked by a convoy escort in the Mediterranean U-331 dived too deep and struck the sea bed, suffering minor damage.
2 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
17 Nov 1941. On 17 November, at the start of her 3rd patrol, U-331 landed eight commandos on the Egyptian coast east of Ras Gibeisa. Their mission was to blow up a railway line, in which they failed. U-331 then sank the British battleship HMS Barham on 25 Nov.
Men lost from the boat
10 Oct 1941
The boat was attacked by 3 fighter aircraft, one of its gunners died. [Bootsmann Hans Gerstenich]
Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -
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