List of all U-boats




Ordered1 Apr 1935
Laid down1 Mar 1936 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 912)
Launched25 Sep 1936
Commissioned28 Dec 1936Kptlt. Rolf Dau
28 Dec 1936 - 8 Nov 1938  Kptlt. Rolf Dau
8 Nov 1938 - 11 Mar 1940  Kptlt. Johannes Habekost
30 Jul 1940 - 2 Nov 1940  Kptlt. Wilfried Prellberg
7 patrols
28 Dec 1936-31 Aug 1939  2. Flottille (active service)
1 Sep 1939-31 Dec 1939  2. Flottille (active service)
1 Jan 1940-12 Mar 1940  2. Flottille (active service)
30 Jul 1940-2 Nov 1940  2. Flottille (Fb)
Successes11 ships sunk, total tonnage 27,751 GRT
2 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 160 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 33,950 tons

Sunk on 11 March 1940 in the Jade Bight in position 53.37N, 08.10E by bombs from a British Bristol Blenheim aircraft (82 Sqn RAF/O). 58 dead (all hands lost).

Raised on 15 March 1940, repaired at Wilhelmshaven and returned to service on 30 July 1940.

Sunk again on 2 November 1940, in the North Atlantic north-west of Ireland in position 56.26N, 10.18W by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Antelope. 2 dead and 44 survivors.

Loss position

See the 14 ships hit by U-31 - View the 7 war patrols

Attacks on this boat and other events

30 Sep 1940
An unknown enemy submarine fired two torpedoes at U-31 at 03.16 hours. The boat escaped by the narrowest of margins.

8 Oct 1940
U-31 evaded a spread of four torpedoes fired by HMS Trident about 15 miles (24 km) south of Lorient and was then forced to dive when fired on by her deck gun. Trident followed up with some explosive charges, but without result. This was the third time that U-31 had been attacked by an enemy submarine on this patrol. The commander wrote sardonically in the war diary: "Main task of this patrol was to play the target ship for British submarines.".

20 Oct 1940
A British submarine fired torpedoes at U-31 off Lorient, but without success.

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

16 Sep 1939. This boat, under the command of Kptlt. Johannes Habekost, attacked the first convoy in the war on 16 Sept, 1939 when she sank the British steamer Aviemore, sailing ahead of OB 4.

11 Mar 1940. U-31 was the first U-boat to be sunk by an aircraft in WWII. She was on sea trials in the Heligoland Bight following a refit when Squadron Leader Miles Delap came out of low cloud in his Blenheim and bombed her, sinking her almost immediately.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-31 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

U-boat, Sword and Horseshoe

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

There was another U-31 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 7 Jan 1914 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 18 Sep 1914. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 31 during WWI.

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