While in German possession, this class of ship was stationed off the coast of France or in the Baltic Sea. However, this particular vessel was given to Britain as a war prize as World War II drew to a close. The ship was then handed over to the U.S. Navy on July 11, 1945 for use with Navy trials. After its transfer to the U.S., the ship was redesignated the SS-935. From there, the Ship was transferred to the French government, who used it for spare parts over the next five years before scrapping it in October of 1952.
This World War II German vessel resembled U.S. and British destroyers in terms of its armament, size and tactical use. Although most resembling the U.S. Fletcher-class destroyer, this vessel was smaller. This Elbing-class Flottentorpedoboot was one of 15 boats built at the Schichau Shipyards for the Deutsche Kriegsmarine.
However, this particular design of vessel was hampered by mechanical failures, making it a nearly unusable design. The Elbing-class of German vessels used two separate engine and boiler rooms. Although this configuration appeared promising in theory, the ship machinery was relatively unreliable. Construction of these ships took place from 1942 until 1944.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although asbestos was used in numerous areas on ships, the material was especially prevalent in boilers and engine compartments, where the outbreak of fire was most likely. Because the Elbing-class Flottentorpedoboot had two completely separate engine and boiler rooms, the ship held an even greater chance of exposing those on board to this toxin.
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.