Careful How You Flush Aboard A Submarine


UBoat headThe U-1206 was commissioned on March 16, 1944 as a type 7C U-boat. This type U-Boat was equipped with a new type of toilet designed to allow the submarine to dive deeper and avoid Allied attack. It was a very complicated high pressure valve system which required special training to use them.

On 14 April 1945, the boat was quietly cruising at a depth of 200ft only 8-10 miles off Peterhead, Scotland, when the commander, Kptlt. Schlitt, decided to use the toilet without consulting a rating trained in its operation (the procedure was complicated). Something went wrong, and when the specialist arrived he misunderstood the situation and opened the wrong valve, which resulted in large quantities of seawater entering the boat. The water reached the batteries directly under the toilet, causing the production of chlorine gas, and the boat was forced to surface immediately; unfortunately right underneath an enemy aircraft. The crew managed to clear the gas by blowing clean air into the boat, but were at the same time bombed by the aircraft, causing extensive damage which left U-1206 unable to dive. Considering the hopeless situation, Schlitt had no choice but to destroy the secret material and order Abandon Ship to save his crew. submarine toilet

Now do you remember me talking about the terrifying flush system aboard the British “T” Class submarines!!!Fortunately no one ever sunk a T class boat this way, although it was suspected a few sailors who failed to pressurize the blow correctly ended up with freckles for life. In the case of Kapitan Schlitt it was probably just as well he was taken prisoner, if Hitler had gotten a hold of him he would have been in even deeper Sh-t

The T class boats had a head (toilet) system that was used by the crew especially at night until the bowl was full to the brim with urine. No one chose to flush until there was absolutely no room for a single drop more.  Waking for the middle watch 12 midnight to 4am and still half asleep, one had to relieve themselves before going on watch.Of course the bowl was always brimming over. Blowing the contents to sea required the operator to be very alert! Before blowing to sea one had to know our depth and sea pressure outside the hull. Then had to charge the air inside to a great degree in order to ensure everything went out and did not blow back into the operators face. Get the outer and inner pressures wrong and Hey! you’d have freckles for life. Plus you wouldn’t smell good for the rest of the patrol and as our boats had no showers you’d not be popular around the mess table.!!The moral of this story “Nothing could waken a submariner up who was bursting to pee like a bowl full of pee”

God Bless and flush carefully!!

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About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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