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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.
|VII-A||AG Weser (Bremen)||25 Sep 1936|
|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
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.
|In the Kiel Kanal at Brunsbüttle.
support ship WEICHSEL is astern of U-31.
|Navigation training on the compass|
|Two other reporters aboard||The Watch Officer prevents the
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
|Prellberg||Wilfried||21 Aug 1939||9 Sep 1939||U-19|
|Prellberg||Wilfried||30 Jul 1940||3 Nov 1940||KIA aboard U-31
NOTE - Sharkhunters
Member's names appear in bold capital letters followed by their Membership
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)
|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.
|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)
|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.
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.