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Much of this information, the data, the photos etc. comes directly from the veterans, the veterans' organizations and is the most accurate available anywhere..............much of this information is not even known elsewhere.
 

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
VII-A AG Weser (Bremen) 25 Sep 1936
     
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
28 Dec 1936
30 Jul 1936
M28961 11 Mar 1940
  3 Nov 1940
     
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
RAF Aircraft (1st time)
HMS ANTELOPE (2nd time)
Schillig Roads (1st time)
NW of Ireland (2nd time)
56º 26'N x 10º 18'W
        (2nd time)

  HMS ANTELOPE (H-36)

     1st sinking - All Hands Lost, the ship's crew plus 13 others
     2nd sinking - Four Men Lost

There was a multi-page article in the 2 July 1937 issue of Die Wehrmacht entitled
     "24 Hours On Board U-31"
Here are some of the photos:

   
         
   

Photo above - Clemens Laar, the author of this article, peers over the bridge while underway.

Photo left are the officers.  From left are:
     Leutnant zur See Klaus Korth
     Kapitänleutnant (Ing) Bahn
     Kapitänleutnant Rolf Dau

     
 
In the Kiel Kanal at Brunsbüttle.  The U-Boat
support ship WEICHSEL is astern of U-31.
  Navigation training on the compass
     
 
Two other reporters aboard   The Watch Officer prevents the cameraman from
falling overboard as he gets another shot

Commanders of U-31 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Dau Rolf     U-5 and U-42  
Rigele Hermann     U-10, U-17, UD-1 and UD-3  
Habekost Johannes   9 Sep 1939 12 Mar 1940   KIA aboard U-31
   (1st sinking)
Prellberg Wilfried 21 Aug 1939   9 Sep 1939 U-19  
Prellberg Wilfried 30 Jul 1940   3 Nov 1940   KIA aboard U-31
   (2nd sinking)

NOTE - Sharkhunters Member's names appear in bold capital letters followed by their Membership Number.

U-31
was attached to the U-Flottille Saltzwedel then to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille.  She patrolled the North Atlantic and the North Sea in September and December 1939, had a minelaying mission off Loch Ewe in the North Minch on 27 October 1939 and again on 21 January 1940.  She was sunk on 11 March 1940 by RAF aircraft with all hands plus 13 other naval personnel lost.

U-31 was raised and recommissioned on 30 July 1940 when she began her second life, again attached to the 2nd U-Bootflottille.  On her first Feindfahrt (war patrol) she had an engagement with a British submarine on 8 October 1940 with no outcome.  She was sunk the second time on 3 November 1940 by HMS ANTELOPE (H-36) with four men lost and all others captured.

U-31 was the first submarine to attack a convoy in World War Two and she was the first submarine in that war to be sunk twice.

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-31 (Habekost commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
16 Sep 1930 AVIEMORE  * England Steamer 4,060
24 Sep 1930 HAZELSIDE England Freighter 4,646
  1 Dec 1939 ARCTURUS Norway Freighter 1,277
  1 Dec 1939 MERCATOR Finland Freighter 4,260
  3 Dec 1939 OVE TOFT Denmark Freighter 2,135
  4 Dec 1939 GIMLE Norway Freighter 1,271
  4 Dec 1939 PRIMULA Norway Freighter 1,024
  6 Dec 1939 FOINA Norway Freighter 1,674
  6 Dec 1939 VINGA Sweden Freighter 1,974
23 Dec 1939 GLEN ALBYN  ** England Mine Sweeper       82
23 Dec 1939 PROMOTIVE  ** England Mine Sweeper       78

  *  Habekost heard multiple detonations and assumed that he hit another ship in Convoy OB.4 but all hits were against AVIEMORE.
 
** Both minesweepers struck mines laid by U-31 on 27 October 1939 in Loch Ewe.

 
AVIEMORE   HAZELSIDE
     
 
ARCTURUS   HMS NELSON  ***


***  The battleship HMS NELSON was damaged on 4 December 1939 when she ran onto a mine laid by U-31 on 27 October.

 

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-31 (Prellberg commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
22 Sep 1940 UNION JACK Faroe Island Steam/sail      81
27 Sep 1939 VESTVARD Norway Freighter 4,319
29 Oct 1940 MARTINA  *** England Freighter 5,389
 

***  MARTINA was hit and incapacitated by U-28 (Kuhnke) on 26 October but she did not sink.  U-31 found her three days later and sank her with a coup d'grace torpedo.

UNION JACK

   

          Men lost on U-31 (2nd sinking)

Maschinengefreiter Konstantin Aker was lost 2 November 1940 in an accident
 

LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK   LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK
Gerdes Adolf Masch Ob Gfr   Grunert Bruno Oblt Ing
Gundel Otto Masch Ob Gfr   Güther Erich Ober Gfr

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Many thanks to our friend and Sharkhunters Member since 1987 GEORG HÖGEL for all the conning tower emblems used in our monthly KTB Magazine and also here on the pages of our website.  GEORG was radioman aboard U-30, the first boat into combat, the first to sink a ship (the liner ATHENIA) and the first into an occupied French port.  When that Skipper (Lemp) took command of U-110, GEORG was one of the former crew to transfer to the new boat under Lemp.  After the war, he was Professor of Art at a major German university.