A German submarine sank because of poop…
Submarines are great military resources of any naval fleet, since they allow countries to infiltrate enemy lines and gather precious information without being detected.
However, if you are at a dangerous distance from your base, it is better not to have to leave, due to the risk of being discovered and sunk.
The submarines were used for the first time in the First World War, but it was in World War II that they gained prominence and were vital to promote attacks and defend territories.
And although they were considered strategic resources, the submarines have not been designed to offer the minimum comfort to their crew.
Tight and Smelly
The space was very limited, the smell bad, almost unbearable, and there were only two bathrooms for the whole team. The German submarines were even worse: there were no storage tanks for the toilets, which meant having to throw the waste directly into the water.
In this way, the only way to get rid of all the “production” of the submarine’s equipment was when the vehicle emerged to the surface.
And as obviously the crew needed to go to the bathroom, while the submarine was submerged, this resulted in an abundant amount of waste scattered through the rooms. If the smell was already bad normally, this condition would reach disgusting levels.
They modernized it, but not so much
The submarines have been modernized years later, with the arrival of the U-1206 model, but that did not mean big changes for the bathrooms.
The only modification was an increase in the pressure of the toilets, allowing the discharges of the vessels to be more intense.
However, the process became so complex that some members of the crew had to be trained to carry out the task.
From there, being hard trained to perform a biological function of the most normal and natural as defecation, complicated things.
On one occasion, Captain Karl Adolf Schlitt needed to use the bathroom when the submarine he commanded was a week from 200 feet below the surface near the Scottish coast.
He tried to give the download, but, due to the difficulty of the instruction manual, he ended up calling one of the experts.
A fatal mistake when going to the bathroom
He, then, opened the open-air valve, while the interior was open, allowing a constant stream of water to enter the submarine.
Unfortunately, the water wet the batteries, the diffusion of chlorine gas entered the premises, which was absolutely fatal. In order to avoid a disaster, Captain Schlitt, still holding the toilet paper in his hands, made the brave decision to take the submarine to the surface in order to receive breathing air.
However, they were spotted by an aircraft, which fired and damaged the submarine in such a way that they could not submerge again.
The final balance was one member shot to death, three drowned, thirty-six rescued by small boats in the neighborhood and ten captured by opposition forces.
And all because of the captain who did not know how to throw their droppings, following the instructions in the manual.