History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-631
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 607
Laid down: 5 September 1941
Launched: 27 May 1942
Commissioned: 16 July 1942
Fate: Sunk 17 October 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 58°13′N 32°29′W / 58.217°N 32.483°W / 58.217; -32.483Coordinates: 58°13′N 32°29′W / 58.217°N 32.483°W / 58.217; -32.483, by depth charges from HMS Sunflower.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Jürgen Krüger
  • 16 July 1942 – 17 October 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 19 December 1942 – 4 February 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 6 March – 11 May 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 18 September – 17 October 1943
Victories: 2 merchant ships sunk (9,136 GRT)

German submarine U-631 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 5 September 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 607, launched on 27 May 1942 and commissioned on 16 July 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Krüger.

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-631 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two BBC GG UB 720/8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-631 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 16 July 1942, followed by active service on 1 January 1943 as part of the 9th Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In three patrols she sank two merchant ships, for a total of 9,136 gross register tons (GRT).[3]

Wolfpacks

U-631 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely

  • Falke (28 December 1942 – 19 January 1943)
  • Landsknecht (19–28 January 1943)
  • Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf 2 (21–30 March 1943)
  • Meise (11–27 April 1943)
  • Rossbach (27 September – 9 October 1943)
  • Schlieffen (14–17 October 1943)

Fate

U-631 was sunk on 17 October 1943 in the North Atlantic SE of Cape Farewell, Greenland, in position 58°13′N 32°29′W / 58.217°N 32.483°W / 58.217; -32.483, by depth charges from British corvette HMS Sunflower. All crew members died.[3]

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
29 December 1942 Ingerfem  Norway 3,978 Sunk
17 March 1943 Terkoelei  Netherlands 5,158 Sunk

References

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-631". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ a b Busch & Röll 1999.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-631". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2014.

Bibliography

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-631". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.