View Full Version : Why the Beard?

12-16-2004, 09:41 PM
Why did so many uboat crewmen grow a beard? surely it can't be because they didn't have shaving foam http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif you won't see this practice on surface boat crew.. only submarines.. why?


12-16-2004, 09:59 PM
I believe German subs as with many of that era had a very limited supply of fresh water and were only able to distile something like 80 gallons a day much of which was needed for maintaing the batteries. Hence bathing/shaving was an extremely rare option on patrol. The U-boat men were issued a type of perfume/cologne to disquise body oder and other foul smells. U.S. subs were the most luxurious of the time. Most were equiped with washing machines, wash basins, and even a freezer.

12-17-2004, 04:43 AM
Must have been one of the worst military jobs out, not only because of the highest fatality rate!!

12-17-2004, 06:27 AM
Remember too that, usually, just one toilet was available.

12-17-2004, 06:50 AM
Also on a boat with such a low avarage age growing beards would make you feel older. Plus shaving on a moving boat is a pain, why bother?

12-17-2004, 11:33 AM
And also probably because they could get away with it, could flaunt naval regulations a little bit, and it set them apart from the surface Navy.

Its like the Special Forces guys in the U.S. Army always seem to wear their hair a little longer than you think they would be able to get away with, and their boots are never shined because they are always just getting back from the range.

It's just kind of funny.

12-17-2004, 03:13 PM
It is just because there was not much freshwater on board for shaving. That is the only reason.

12-17-2004, 06:19 PM
You don't bother About Cleaning Up If your locked Up in A tube without windows for A long time Where evrything and evryone smells badly wheter they bathe or not, The Subs Smelled strongly of Sweat, urine, Diesel etc.
There where no Women watching.
On the contrary the Often very young crew where proud to sport A beard that would make them look more mature, and showed the lengt of their patrols. They Belonged To A Elite Unit so wanted to makeA statment by looking diffrent from the standard Sailors.
Diffrent from the 'Cleancut' Allied Propaganda picure The Allied crews looked the Same during War patrols.
BTW I Have A picture of A WWII British Carrier Flightdeck-crew that looks very rough with beards and off isue chlothing!