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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Swedish Submarine U3-inside out

I'd explored inside of a Submarine earlier, at Submarine Museum, Vizag. Got to explore another Submarine, U3 recently. This was at Malmo Technology Museum.


U3 was a 50 meter long, diesel and electrical powered submarine built in 1942. It was commissioned in 1953 and with one major overhaul in 1953, was decommissioned in 1964. Sweden was politically neutral during world war 2, but was often subjected to accidental bombings and caught in the middle of conflict between British, German and Russian forces. Sweden built a series of submarines, U1 to U9, following the principles of German U Boats. One of them, U3, now rests in the Malmo technology museum.

Once inside, the first thing I noticed on the right was the torpedo chamber and the bunker beds on the left side. U3 had a total of 3 torpedo tubes


Next to it was a tiny circular hatch that would connect to next compartment. In between the 2 hatch doors was a ladder to the top, which forms the main entry and exit point for submarine. I passed through these doors and for a moment, felt like a soldier.

In the event of emergency/accident- such as leakage, fire etc, these doors would be closed to protect rest of the submarine. If you happen to be on the wrong side, your fate is almost certainly death.

A communication room is located near this door 
Main thing on the other half was Engine compartment. U3 had a 8 cylinder, 1100 HP diesel engine, with 2 electric motors. U3 was classified as coastal submarine, with primary intent of protecting the coast line, than performing deep sea duties. Hence U3 could dive only for about 100 meters. (In comparison, WWII German U boats had a deapth range of 200-280 meters). Modern submarines can dive twice that depth.

 
 To the other end was the most luxurious cabin the submarine, smaller than the set of seats in sleeper coach. This one was understandably for the main person on board, the captain. 
There were other compartments in the submarine, both above and below where I was standing. But these areas were not open to tourists. The U3 originally had an anti aircraft gun, which was later removed and replaced with a snorkel (Snorkel is an air intake device-see the Force Gurkha SUV for reference)
It was a good experience spending sometime inside this warship. The workload, deadlines and weekend slogging we do is nothing in front of the men who spent months underwater, sometime, never managed to come out. If this topic interests you, do watch movies like Das Boot (1981).

Btb did you know how to operate a submarine toilet? That demands another post on its own.

I recommend this museum as must visit if you're in Malmo. There're other attractions at the museum, which I will cover in separate post.

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