Events on this day

31 January

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This is a run-down from several databases on our site. It's meant to give a clear picture of events on this date, all year round.

U-boat Shipyard report

Ordered (3) Laid down (1) Launched (2) Commissioned (3)
1939: U-116, U-117, U-1181942: U-9511942: U-443
1945: U-3037
1941: U-751
1942: U-217
1945: U-3525
These are commissioned boats. For more see our Shipyard pages.

Allied Ships hit on this date


 U-boatCommanderName of shipTonsCountryConvoy
1940 
 U-13SchulteStart 1,168   nw
 U-21StieblerVidar 1,353   da
1942 
 U-105SchuchHMS Culver (Y 87) 1,546   brSL-98
 U-107GelhausSan Arcadio 7,419   br
 U-333CremerSpreewald 5,083   dt
 U-82RollmannHMS Belmont (H 46) 1,190   brNA-2
 17,759
* Unless otherwise noted the ships listed here were sunk. (d) = damaged

See all Allied ships hit by U-boats during WWII.

Attacks on this day

1944

U-608. Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
British Wellington MP813 (RAF Sqdn 172/K, pilot F/S L.D. Richards)

This attack by a British Wellington bomber during the night of 30/31 Jan. 1944 in the Bay of Biscay west of Bordeaux, France in position 45.25N, 05.15W was formerly credited with the sinking of U-364 with depth charges.

The target was in fact the outbound U-608, which escaped unscathed. The boat scored hits on the aircraft with AA fire when it switched on the Leigh Light and then escaped by diving. The Wellington did not drop any depth charges, and apparently crashed shortly afterwards, as witnessed by a Polish-crewed Wellington (RAF Sqdn 304/2B, F/S S. Czekaski), who apparently misinterpreted the crash as exploding depth charges. The six aircrew were all lost.

(Axel Niestle, Franks/Zimmerman)


U-boats lost


1943: U-519 +
1944: U-592 +
1945: U-3520 +, U-745 +

232 men died when those 4 U-boats were lost on this date. There were no survivors.
U-boats marked with + were lost with all hands.

- For more information on U-boat losses check out our Fates section.


U-boat Men Lost or Wounded

1943

U-376
U-376 left Bergen, Norway on 30 Jan. for her 6th patrol, only to return at 0057 hrs on the 31st after the the 3rd Watch Officer was lost overboard. After collecting his replacement she sailed again the same day. [Obersteuermann Heinz Richter]

- For more information on Men lost from U-boats check out this page.


Personnel Information

The following men were born on this day:
Dietrich von der Esch (1915), Max-Martin Teichert (1915), Eduard Turre (1920), Günter Wolff (1920).

The following men died on this day:
Sarto Ballert (1945), Günter Eppen (1943), Heinz Jaschke (1944), Wilhelm von Trotha (1945).

See the entire U-boat commander listing showing all U-boat commanders.
We might include more officers (Allied and Axis) at a later date.


U-boat departures and arrivals on 31 January

This section shows the U-boat departures and arrivals from bases on this day of the year. Current country names shown with harbour names. Boats entering port display days at sea during that patrol.


1940



U-boats entering base:
To Helgoland, Germany: U-10 ( days), U-20 ( days)


1941



U-boats entering base:
To Lorient, France: U-105 ( days)


1942


Sailed:
From Brest, France: U-653
From Kiel, Germany: U-456
From St. Nazaire, France: U-69, U-96

U-boats entering base:
To La Spezia, Italy: U-372 ( days)
To Salamis, Greece: U-97 ( days)
To St. Nazaire, France: U-135 ( days), U-587 ( days)


1943


Sailed:
From Narvik, Norway: U-629
From St. Nazaire, France: U-590

U-boats entering base:
To La Spezia, Italy: U-83 ( days)


1944


Sailed:
From Lorient, France: U-154, U-734 (lost 10 days later)

U-boats entering base:
To Lorient, France: U-129 ( days)
To St. Nazaire, France: U-437 ( days)


1945


Sailed:
From Kiel, Germany: U-1278
From Kristiansand: U-927 (lost 25 days later)

U-boats entering base:
To Bergen, Norway: U-285 ( days), U-905 ( days)
To Farsund U-1231 ( days)
To Horten, Norway: U-879 ( days)


U-boats at sea on 31 January

Boats entering port on this day are not counted, but boats departing for patrol are. (+) indicates the boat was lost during this patrol.

1940

U-13, U-17, U-21, U-24, U-25, U-26, U-31, U-34, U-37, U-41 (+), U-44, U-48, U-51, U-56, U-58, U-59.
16 boats at sea.

1941

U-37, U-48, U-52, U-93, U-94, U-96, U-101, U-103, U-106, U-107, U-123.
11 boats at sea.

1942

U-66, U-67, U-69, U-73, U-81, U-82 (+), U-84, U-85, U-86, U-96, U-98, U-103, U-105, U-106, U-107, U-108, U-109, U-123, U-125, U-128, U-129, U-130, U-132, U-136, U-156, U-161, U-205, U-213, U-331, U-332, U-333, U-352, U-375, U-402, U-404, U-431, U-432, U-435, U-453, U-454, U-455, U-456, U-502, U-504, U-505, U-553, U-561, U-563, U-564, U-565, U-566, U-572, U-575, U-576, U-581 (+), U-582, U-584, U-585, U-586, U-591, U-653, U-654, U-701, U-751, U-753, U-754.
66 boats at sea.

1943

U-19, U-24, U-43, U-66, U-69 (+), U-71, U-77, U-81, U-87 (+), U-89, U-96, U-105, U-107, U-108, U-117, U-118, U-123, U-124, U-125, U-135, U-156 (+), U-160, U-175, U-176, U-182 (+), U-183, U-186, U-187 (+), U-201 (+), U-202, U-214, U-217, U-218, U-223, U-226, U-255, U-257, U-258, U-260, U-262, U-264, U-265 (+), U-266, U-267, U-268 (+), U-303, U-332, U-333, U-358, U-376, U-377, U-381, U-383, U-384, U-402, U-403, U-404, U-407, U-413, U-414, U-431, U-436, U-438, U-439, U-442 (+), U-444, U-448, U-453, U-454, U-456, U-459, U-460, U-465, U-466, U-504, U-506, U-509, U-510, U-511, U-514, U-516, U-518, U-521, U-522 (+), U-525, U-529 (+), U-558, U-571, U-572, U-575, U-584, U-590, U-594, U-596, U-598, U-606 (+), U-607, U-608, U-609 (+), U-613, U-614, U-617, U-620 (+), U-624 (+), U-625, U-631, U-632, U-653, U-657, U-662, U-704, U-706, U-707, U-752, U-753, U-755.
116 boats at sea.

1944

U-18, U-24, U-66 (+), U-91 (+), U-123, U-154, U-177 (+), U-178, U-188, U-193, U-212, U-223, U-230, U-238 (+), U-256, U-257 (+), U-260, U-278, U-281, U-283 (+), U-309, U-312, U-313, U-371, U-386 (+), U-390, U-406 (+), U-407, U-413, U-424 (+), U-425, U-441, U-453, U-455, U-510, U-516, U-518, U-530, U-532, U-539, U-545 (+), U-546, U-547, U-549, U-586, U-601, U-608, U-636, U-650, U-666 (+), U-709 (+), U-714, U-716, U-731, U-734 (+), U-737, U-739, U-762 (+), U-763, U-764, U-802, U-845 (+), U-846, U-852 (+), U-953, U-956, U-957, U-960, U-963, U-965, U-967, U-969, U-984, U-985, U-989, U-990, U-1062, UIT-22 (+).
78 boats at sea.

1945

U-195, U-244, U-245, U-275, U-278, U-286, U-293, U-299, U-300 (+), U-307, U-309, U-313, U-325, U-327 (+), U-370, U-427, U-475, U-480 (+), U-510, U-532, U-676 (+), U-739, U-764, U-806, U-825, U-843, U-861, U-862, U-868, U-869 (+), U-870, U-907, U-927 (+), U-963, U-992, U-1004, U-1009, U-1014 (+), U-1017, U-1018 (+), U-1055, U-1058, U-1203, U-1208 (+), U-1230, U-1232, U-1233, U-1276 (+), U-1279, U-2324, UIT-24.
51 boats at sea.


General Events on 31 January

1943

Karl Dönitz became the Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine (ObdM) (CinC) (whilst retaining his position as BdU).


1945

U-927 sailed from Kristiansand on her first and final patrol.

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