German submarine U-1206

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Type VIIC U-Boat
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-1206
Ordered: 2 April 1942
Builder: Schichau-Werke, Danzig
Yard number: 1576
Laid down: 12 June 1943
Launched: 30 December 1943
Commissioned: 16 March 1944
Fate: Sank due to accident on 14 April 1945 in the North Sea near Peterhead, Scotland, at position 57°21′N 01°39′W / 57.350°N 1.650°W / 57.350; -1.650Coordinates: 57°21′N 01°39′W / 57.350°N 1.650°W / 57.350; -1.650. 4 dead and 46 survivors.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.23 m (220 ft 7 in) o/a
50.50 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power: 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion: 2 shafts; 2 × diesel engines
2 × electric motors
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
8th U-boat Flotilla
16 March 1944 – 31 January 1945
11th U-boat Flotilla
1 February 1945 – 14 April 1945
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Günther Fritze[2]
16 March 1944 – July 1944
Kptlt. Karl-Adolf Schlitt[3]
July 1944 – 14 April 1945
Operations: 1 patrol
Victories: None

German submarine U-1206 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down on 12 June 1943 at F. Schichau GmbH in Danzig and went into service on 16 March 1944 before sinking less than a year later. The boat's emblem was a white stork on a black shield with green beak and legs.[4]


German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-1206 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[1] It had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 shaft horsepower (760 PS; 560 kW) for use while submerged. It had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. It was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[1] When submerged, it could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, it could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-1206 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at its bow and one at its stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. It had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[1]

Service history[edit]

After being commissioned, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Günther Fritze, the submarine took part in training exercises with the 8th U-boat Flotilla until July 1944 when it was assigned to the 11th U-boat Flotilla. Command was handed over to Kapitänleutnant Karl-Adolf Schlitt. The boat was then fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus before being released for patrol duties.


On 28 March 1945 the submarine departed from Kiel for its first training patrol in the North Sea, returning on March 30. The submarine departed from Horten for a one-day patrol on 2 April, and its first active patrol began on 6 April when it departed from Kristiansand.


On 14 April 1945, 24 days before the end of World War II, while U-1206 was cruising at a depth of 200 feet (61 m), 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) off Peterhead, Scotland, misuse of the new toilet caused large amounts of water to flood the boat.[5] According to the Commander's official report, while in the engine room helping to repair one of the diesel engines, he was informed that a malfunction involving the toilet caused a leak in the forward section. The leak flooded the submarine's batteries (located beneath the toilet) causing them to release chlorine gas, leaving him with no alternative but to surface.[5] Once surfaced, U-1206 was discovered and bombed by British patrols, forcing Schlitt to scuttle the submarine. One man died in the attack, three men drowned in the heavy seas after abandoning the vessel and 46 were captured.[6] Schlitt recorded the location as 57°24′N 01°37′W / 57.400°N 1.617°W / 57.400; -1.617 but the wreck could not be located.

During survey work for the BP Forties Field oil pipeline to Cruden Bay in the mid 1970s, the remains of U-1206 were found at 57°21′N 01°39′W / 57.350°N 1.650°W / 57.350; -1.650 in approximately 70 m (230 ft) of water. The site survey performed by RCAHMS suggests that the leak that forced U-1206 to surface may have occurred after running into a pre-existing wreck located at the same site.[7]

A large number of sources attribute this incident to U-120.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Günther Fritze". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Karl-Adolf Schlitt". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-1206 emblem". German U-boats of WWII - 
  5. ^ a b Carter, Elliot (September 17, 2015). "The High-Tech Toilet That Sank a Submarine". War is Boring. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ Showell, Jak P. Mallman (2006). The U-Boat Century: German Submarine Warfare 1906-2006. Chatham Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-86176-241-2. 
  7. ^ U-1206: North Sea RCAHMS
  8. ^ "Stranger than fiction " - See item 17 Visual Concept Entertainment humor page


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • German U-Boat Losses During World War II - Axel Niestle 1998, United States Naval Inst. ISBN 1-55750-641-8

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