German submarine U-1231


Nazi Germany
Name: U-1231
Ordered: 14 October 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg
Yard number: 394
Laid down: 31 March 1943
Launched: 18 November 1943
Commissioned: 9 February 1944
Fate: transferred as war booty to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Name: N-26
Acquired: 5 November 1945
Commissioned: 13 February 1946
Decommissioned: 29 December 1955
  • B-26
  • KPB-33
  • UTS-23
Stricken: 31 January 1968
Fate: broken up for scrap in 1968
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Service record
Identification codes: M 43 319

German submarine U-1231 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.


German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-1231 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[1] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[1] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-1231 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Flak M42 as well as two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[1]

Service history

U-1231 was ordered in October 1941 from Deutsche Werft AG Weser in Hamburg-Finkenwerder under the yard number 394. Her keel was laid down on 31 March 1943 and was launched on 18 November 1943. About three months later she was commissioned into service under the command of Kapitän zur See Hermann Lessing (Crew 21) in the 31st U-boat Flotilla.

After completing training and work-up for deployment U-1231 was transferred to the 33rd U-boat Flotilla for front-line service on 1 October 1944. The U-boat left Bergen on 18 October 1944 for the first war patrol operating unsuccessfully against Allied shipping in the North Atlantic and off the coast of Canada. After returning to Flensburg on 5 February 1945, Lessing was relieved as commander by Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Winke (Crew X/39). In April 1945 'U-1231 left Kiel for the North Atlantic, again operating without success. After the German surrender, Winke took U-1231 to Dundee, from where the U-boat was transferred to Lisahally.

In November 1945, U-1231 was allocated to the Soviet Union as war booty and was transferred to Libau via Copenhagen between 24 November and 5 December 1945. Renamed N-26 the U-boat was commissioned into the Soviet Navy and served with the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. On 29 December 1955, having been re-designated B-26, the U-boat was decommissioned and placed into reserve and used for training purposes. Struck from the list on 31 January 1968 and sold for scrap the U-boat was later broken up in Riga.


  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.