The Favorite War Story of 8-Year-Olds

Ever watched in horror after you've flushed and the water in the toilet bowl is rising? Hopefully your experience wasn't as bad as this one:

It was April 14, 1945. World War II was a couple weeks from over. German's 220-foot U-1206 submarine was eight miles off the coast of Scotland, some 200 feet down. The sub had recently had a bathroom upgrade—new, high-pressure toilets that could be used while running at depth.

In theory.

So, of course, a toilet overflowed, flooding the forward section of the boat, including batteries, causing them to release chlorine gas. That left the captain, whose named was Schlitt, with no choice but to surface, upon which time he was pounded by British bombers. Schlitt then had to scuttle the U-1206, earning it the distinction of the first warship in history to be sunk by a toilet.

The wreck lay on the ocean floor 230 feet down for thirty years until it was discovered by BP workers laying an oil pipeline. U-1206 will be restored and become a permanent exhibit in the Bathroom Hall of Fame, if and when a certain eight-year-old boy I know builds that institution.

Related Links: Personal Submarine Buying Guide, Once a Spy