Name: HMS H31
Builder: Vickers Limited, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 19 April 1917
Commissioned: 21 February 1919
Fate: Sunk, 24 December 1941
General characteristics
Class and type: H class submarine
  • 423 long tons (430 t) surfaced
  • 510 long tons (518 t) submerged
Length: 171 ft 0 in (52.12 m)
Beam: 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
  • 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) surfaced
  • 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) submerged
  • 2,985 nmi (5,528 km) at 7.5 kn (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) surfaced
  • 130 nmi (240 km) at 2 kn (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged
Complement: 22

HMS H31 was a British H class submarine built by Vickers Limited, Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 19 April 1917 and was commissioned on 21 February 1919.

HMS H31 survived until World War II . During the war, she took part in the operation to keep the German battleship Scharnhorst in Brest, France in November 1941 before the "Channel Dash" to German homeports in the company of Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen in February 1942. During the operation, H31 was sunk by unknown causes, but most believe she was mined in the Bay of Biscay on 24 December 1941.


Like all post-H20 British H-class submarines, H31 had a displacement of 440 tonnes (490 short tons) at the surface and 500 tonnes (550 short tons) while submerged.[1] It had a total length of 171 feet (52 m),[2] a beam length of 15 feet 4 inches (4.67 m), and a draught length of 12 metres (39 ft).[3] It contained a diesel engines providing a total power of 480 horsepower (360 kW) and two electric motors each providing 320 horsepower (240 kW) power.[3] The use of its electric motors made the submarine travel at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph). It would normally carry 16.4 tonnes (18.1 short tons) of fuel and had a maximum capacity of 18 tonnes (20 short tons).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) and a submerged speed of 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph). Post-H20 British H-class submarines had ranges of 2,985 nautical miles (5,528 km; 3,435 mi) at speeds of 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) when surfaced.[1][3] H31 was fitted with an anti-aircraft gun and four 21 inches (530 mm) torpedo tubes. Its torpedo tubes were fitted to the bows and the submarine was loaded with eight 21 inches (530 mm) torpedoes.[1] It is a Holland 602 type submarine but was designed to meet Royal Navy specifications. Its complement was twenty-two crew members.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "H-class". Battleships-Cruisers, Cranston Fine Arts. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  2. Derek Walters (2004). The History of the British 'U' Class Submarine. Casemate Publishers. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-84415-131-8.
  3. 1 2 3 Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. Retrieved from Naval-History on 20 August 2015.
  4. J. D. Perkins (1999). "Building History and Technical Details for Canadian CC-Boats and the Original H-CLASS". Electric Boat Company Holland Patent Submarines. Retrieved 20 August 2015.


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