Re: U-boat toilets
Posted by: Ken Dunn ()
Date: August 17, 2007 02:16PM

Hi Jukka,

All U-boats had toilets and some had two.

The first part of the problem was that when the boats first left for patrol one of the heads was used as a storage area for food & supplies and couldn’t be used for anything else until the items stored there were consumed. That left the whole crew, perhaps 50 men, competing for the one available toilet (assuming the boat had two) and if two needed it at the same time one would have to wait or use the bucket.

The second part of the problem was that the heads couldn’t be used below a certain depth (25 meters at first). They didn’t have a storage system so the contents had to be pumped directly into the water when flushed and the water pressure at depth was too great to allow this. A storage tank that could have been pumped out later would have been a better idea but that’s not how the boats were designed. So below 25 meters the bucket was the only facility available. They did eventually develop a more powerful pumping system (nicknamed a “thunder box”) which allowed the heads to work at a deeper depth (not sure what the max depth it could be used was but I think it might have been 75 meters) but the same problem still existed – below a certain depth it wouldn’t work either.

Also I doubt the head could be used during silent running & that again left the bucket as the only alternative.

I don’t know if they ever developed a storage system for the Type VII & Type IX but I think the Type XXI might have had one but am not certain.


Ken Dunn

Subject Written By Posted
U-boat toilets Jukka Juutinen 08/17/2007 10:23AM
Re: U-boat toilets Ken Dunn 08/17/2007 02:16PM
Re: U-boat toilets Jukka Juutinen 08/18/2007 08:03AM
Re: U-boat toilets Jukka Juutinen 08/18/2007 12:39PM
Re: U-boat toilets ROBERT M. 08/19/2007 05:53AM
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