:: TYPE U 31 (1914) ::

Type U 31 attack submarine (1914) High resolution picture

Type U 31 attack submarine (1914) High resolution picture

In the main theater of naval operations of the First World War, the North Sea, British and Germans deployed their newest submarine units, built upon the base of either new or already experimented designs. The Type U 31 was a short series of German attack submarines built from 1912 and launched during 1914. The commanders of the U-boat reported that many small enemy vessels could be destroyed by means of cannon fire, being saved so the very costly torpedoes; hence all of the German attack submarines were fitted with deck cannons of diverse calibers: 88 or 105 millimeters in the heavier units and 50 millimeters in the lesser units.

The units of the Type 31 represent the first generation of attack submarines or U-boats deployed by the Kriegsmarine during the war. They were extremely well conceived and deadly units for their time, and their basic design would influence the several generations of U-boats which would create much unrest in the North Atlantic during the two world wars. The lead vessel U 31 was lost in the North Sea in January 1915, allegedly destroyed by a mine, but other units were more successful: the U-35, U-38 and U-39 alone accounted for more than 1244204 gross register tonnes sunk.

Type U 31: 11 units (U 31 to U 41)

Type: Attack submarine

Length: 64.4 meters

Beam: 6.3 meters

Draught: 3.6 meters

Displacement (surfaced): 685 tonnes

Displacement (submerged): 878 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x Diesel engine Germania 925 horsepower, 2 x electric motor Siemens-Schuckert 600 horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 16.7 knots (30.9 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 9.8 knots (18.1 kilometers/hour)

Range (surfaced): 8800 nautical miles (16300 kilometers) at 8 knots

Range (submerged): 80 nautical miles (150 kilometers) at 5 knots

Test depth: 50 meters

Complement: 35

Armament: 4 x 500-millimeter torpedo tube (2 at prow, 2 astern), 6 x torpedo, 1 x 88-millimeter deck cannon (no deck cannon on U 31, 75-millimeter cannon on U 35)(during 1916-1917 replaced by 105-millimeter cannon on U 32 to U 39)

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