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Lock, Stock, and History

How a Toilet Sank a Submarine —- The Sinking of U-1206, WWII

One April 14th, 1945 the German U-Boat U-1206 was cruising off the coast of Scotland at a depth of 200 feet.  Commissioned in 1943, U-1206 had an uneventful career with no kills or sinkings, and with the war dying down it seemed that the submarine would never see any action.  Then somebody flushed the toilet.

The U-1206 had recently been installed with a new high pressure toilet which allowed it to be used in the deep sea.  The new toilet was a wonder of engineering, but also very complex to use.  The ships captain, Kptl. Adolf Schlitt chose to use the toilet without consulting a specialist trained in its operation.  One flush and large quantities of seawater entered the boat.  When the salty seawater mixed with the chemicals in the ships batteries, the sub filled with chlorine gas, forcing it to surface.

Unfortunately U-1206 surfaced directly below a squadron of enemy aircraft, which immediately bombed the U-boat.  Despite pumping fresh air into the sub, the boat was critically damaged and unable to dive.  Rather than surrender the boat, Captain Schlitt ordered the ship to be scuttled.  The incident caused the deaths of 4 crewmen.  

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    Shit went down, so to speak.
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    I’ve been meaning to look up the interrogation reports conducted of this crew because interrogation reports of u-boat...
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