What you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask

The Internet is a truly wonderful thing. At the touch of a button, you can access information that would have taken days, maybe even years, to discover previously. Over the past months (nearly a year, hooray!), SS, myself, and many other talented authors and researchers on this blog, as well as an uncountable number of others, have provided you with volumes information about historical armoured vehicles. Countless numbers and statistics have been provided to the public, countless questions asked and answered.

Except this one. This is a very important question, and many man-hours and millions of dollars have went into solving it in various other fields, but goes unnoticed by the average person.

How do you poop in a WWII tank?

This is how. In case you were doubting that the vehicles at Kubinka were fully restored.

panzer poop


Personally, I’ve seen worse.

80 thoughts on “What you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask

  1. I’m sure “The Chieftan” would say that is an escape hatch that he can’t fit through…

  2. Actually, I do have a legitimate question about a certain famous tank that I can’t find a precise answer to anywhere:

    How did the crew in the turret of the Maus communicate with the crew in the hull? Or, if none of the prototypes were fitted with such a system, what plans were there along these lines? Where did the wires/tubes/whatever else run between the two?

    I ask because not only are the two groups of men in different compartments, but there’s an engine (modified from an aircraft engine, no less), air pumps, an auxiliary engine, and a generator separating them. One figures that simply shouting probably wouldn’t be enough in such a setup.

  3. So that’s the toilet of PZ3?

    I always assumed that crewmen would exit the tank before a battle to do their business….

    That makes me wonder if today’s MBTs have toilets or not. o.o

    And privacy geewhiz there is none other than looking in the different direction!

  4. Huh. I always figured you went outside if you needed to go to the toilet. If the tank was out of combat, there was no reason to poop in the tank. And if the tank was in combat, there were more pressing things than that.

  5. And overpressure from the fume blower squirts it straight in the face of that creeping saboteur. Brilliant !

  6. Guys, guys, guys! It is very funny and hilarious really I have enjoy that, but!
    It is a simple escape hatch on the bottom of a German Panzer.
    You know, the German Army and Waffen SS thought expert tankmen are more valuable for the 3e Reich, than a tank. At least the German tanks are loaded with escape hatches, yes even on the bottom of the tank (just imagine: Your tank is under infantry fire for example and the crew have to escape).
    Do You really think the crew had the opportunity to shit while the tank was fighting?
    Who might been shitting, the commander, the gunner or the driver??????
    Think about it please! Why should have just a German (see the color field grau of the tank) have an putty hole?

    • And then what’s the rubber around the hole and nice cushion for? To make escaping more comfortable? Tank escape hatches do not look like this. Germans are not superhuman, and also need to poop periodically. Tank battles take hours, sometimes days. You have to eat, and if necessary, sleep in your tank. Not every single moment of a tank battle is balls to the wall gunfire and maneuvers like in WoT.

    • For the record floor escape hatches are AFAIK also a luxury tanks with torsion-bar suspensions cannot afford.
      You know, what with the bars across the whole bottom and all.

      • Depends on the spacing of the bars, plenty of torsion bar tanks have escape hatches. They just tend to be small.

        • Which ones? This is a serious question too, as most schematics I’ve seen (not that many granted) appeared to lack any provisions for such.

    • Yep You cauch me EE. But just imagine; the Panzer wade through a swallow river (it happens quit often) and if there no rubber around the hole it is not sealed and water come in the tank. Is that a real W(ater) C(loset)? And You got me again EE, the Germans are not Übermenschen. But apparently the Russians well because they do not needed a putty hole in their tanks. At least I do not have seen any photo of it.

      • Would it be rude to point out this is was literally the first pic of such a contraption in *any* tank I’ve ever seen? I don’t think I’ve seen actual photos of the floor escape hatches I’ve since long ago known the Shermans had, for that matter…

        • Dear EE,

          First of all do not feel Yourself offended. I do not have seen any picture of Soviet tanks (or which tank at all, before) with a putty hole/escape hatch. I have read about rumors of bottom escape hatches on some German panzers (according to the rumors Panthers and Tigers). Thats all.
          Besides that there is a picture of a hole in the bottom of a German tank with a rubber sealed circle shaped hatch at the bottom of a German tank. A hole witch could been a putty hole (in my humble opinion – regarding some French toilets – rather big). Or could it been an escape hatch.
          If this is a putty hole, why on earth was no picture ever seen took in a Soviet, British, French or an USA tank with the same putty hole? Only the Germans have to shit during a tank-battle? Nobody else, just the Germans? Is there any veteran of the Panzerwaffe or the Waffen SS ever asked how they been excused while they fought the Battle of Kursk?
          OK that hole could been used as a toilet if the need was very high, but primer it was an escape hatch as far I can judge. But I am open for any argument of course.