In WW2, there was one big difference between allied submarines and German U-boats: the toilets.

British and American submarines had septic tanks, their toilets emptied into these.

German U-boats didn’t have septic tanks, they emptied straight into the sea.

Emptying straight into the sea was fine while they were on the surface, but when they were submerged the water pressure meant they couldn’t open the valves.

They couldn’t use the toilets so they had to fill up buckets, pots and pans, whatever was available and store it all around the U-boat until they surfaced.

They could have fitted septic tanks like the Americans and British.

But they thought septic tanks were a waste of space, space for more fuel or ammunition.

So they determined to find a way to expel human waste from the U-boat straight into the ocean, while submerged.

Eventually they developed a high-pressure system able to do this.

It had two valves, one either side of a holding tank (like an airlock).

When you finished using the toilet you opened the inner valve to move the contents into the holding tank.

Then closed the inner valve, pressurised the contents, then opened the outer valve.

The greater pressure would expel the human waste into the ocean.

Because this was complicated, it needed a crewman who was trained in using it: the ‘Waste Disposal Unit Manager’ (or the ‘shit man’ as he was known to the crew).

On April 14th 1945, Captain Karl Adolf Schlitt was on the maiden voyage of the U1206.

They were submerged at 200 feet, 8 miles off the coast of Scotland.

Captain Schlitt needed to use the toilet.

He wanted privacy, so he opened the inner valve himself, to move the contents to the holding tank.

But he couldn’t remember the exact sequence of what came next, so he called the ‘Waste Disposal Unit Manager’.

The trained crewman opened the outer valve to expel the waste, assuming Captain Schlitt had closed the inner valve.

But he hadn’t, and the pressure of the water at 200 feet rushed down the pipes and straight  into the submarine forcing seawater and waste to gush out everywhere.

Directly below the toilet were the submarine’s main batteries.

The human waste and seawater went all over them, the mixture created lethal chlorine gas which spread all over the U-boat.

Captain Schlitt had no choice but to surface as fast as they could.

As soon as he did, British planes bombed and strafed his U-boat killing a crewman.

The crew abandoned the sinking vessel, 3 drowned, 46 made it to shore and were captured.

All because the Germans wouldn’t install a septic tank like the British and Americans.

Septic tanks took up too much room, they got in the way, they were for humans and humans were basically a nuisance.

Whatever the problem, technology can solve it, forget about humans.

Which is exactly where we find ourselves now.

Ordinary humans say they hate advertising, it’s everywhere, it’s a nuisance, it’s pollution.

So the answer must be more technology and more frequent targeting.

But humans don’t like the boring, repetitive content that’s in the technology.

They don’t want more, they want better.

Never mind that, we can solve all problems with even more technology.

Hit them faster, hit them more accurately, hit them more often, never mind what goes in it.

Technology is the answer, forget about humans, they’re a nuisance and get in the way.