After the start of World War II the construction of all new destroyers were canceled. Instead 12 additional ships of the Zerstörer 1936A class were ordered. To save material and increase the constructions time, some slight internal simplifications and engine modifications were done. This class of destroyers was then called "Zerstörer 1936A (Mob)". The 15 cm gun turrets were taken from the already ordered O-Class battlecruisers.
The engines caused less trouble than those of the previous destroyers but at the end of the war the remaining ships showed some heavy corrosion in the boilers and tubes.
was the first ship of this class. It was ordered on 19.09.1939 and was laid down about one year later on 01.09.1940. After launched on 15.05.1941 it was commissioned on 11.04.1942. At this time, the 15 cm twin turret was not available, therefore the ship was completed with a single 15 cm gun.
The ship had an interesting history regarding its armament. The original turret was refitted in 1943. In January of 1945, the ship was badly damaged during a battle with British cruisers, destroying the twin turret. During repairs, the Flak armament was increased while the forward turret was replaced with a single 10,5 cm gun. An interesting detail is that the ship was equipped with some experimental IR detection device in 1943.
During the war, the Z31
was stationed in Norway and the Baltic Sea, after the war the ships was used by the French navy as Marceau