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Most Stupid Weapon of WWII

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by Doktor D 1313, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    It was a mixture of straw/wood pulp and water frozen, that was an idea. Never used.

    Pykrete, a mixture of water and woodpulp that when frozen was stronger than plain ice, was slower-melting and would not sink.

    Pykrete could be machined like wood and cast into shapes like metal, and when immersed in water formed an insulating shell of wet wood pulp on its surface that protected its interior from further melting. However, Perutz found a problem: ice flows slowly, in what is known as plastic flow, and his tests showed that a pykrete ship would slowly sag unless it was cooled to −16 °C (3 °F).

    The enormous amount of steel needed for the refrigeration plant that was to freeze the pykrete was greater than that needed to build the entire carrier of steel, but the crucial argument was that the rapidly increasing range of land-based aircraft rendered floating islands unnecessary.
     
  2. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Despite the fact that it never made it off the "drawing board" it still seems like a comical silly idea
     
  3. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    When first proposed so did making an entire boat out of metal.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    The Ross did not see "limited use," but was standard in the Canadian infantry when WWI began. As you say, the action was less than ideal for rapid fire and the rifle as a whole was not robust enough for the abuse of trench warfare. It used a Mannlicher-style clip, and Mannlicher actions can admit dirt and grit into the works. To make matters worse, the bolt could be assembled improperly with danger to the shooter. After numerous complaints of jams and so on the Canadians finally replaced the Ross in the rifle sections with the SMLE. Essentially, the Ross was a target or sporting weapon miscast as a standard service rifle. Yet the Ross was far from being entirely bad, and it did well when the right role was found for it. It was very, very accurate, and was widely and successfully used in WWI as a sniping rifle by the British and Canadians even after it had been withdrawn from ordinary service in the rifle sections. The Russians got some from the Allies during the war and even as late as the 50s Soviet shooting teams were winning prizes with actions based on the Ross. Large numbers were held in reserve in Britain and Canada and in 1940 these were issued to the Home Guard, the RN and Merchant Navy, and non-infantry units of the army after large numbers of SMLEs had been lost in France. (The comedian Spike Milligan was issued with one when he was serving in 56th Heavy Regiment RA.) The Ross was still in stock in 1945, and when the little Duchy of Luxembourg re-established its military forces they were first armed with the Ross. So, while the Ross was a failure in its intended role it proved useful in others.
     
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  5. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Pacifist said: "When first proposed so did making an entire boat out of metal."

    True that.
     
  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    While the Ross was not a suitable combat rifle, a lot of the "unreliability" charges directed at it can be attributed to the ammunition and not the rifle itself. The Ross rifle's chamber was built to tight tolerances at the insistence of the pre-war procurement committee and Canadian Mk VII .303 ammo was correspondingly according built to tight tolerances. The Lee-Enfields had a comparatively larger chamber, and could use poorer tolerance ammo. As a result, British ammo was built to looser tolerances.

    When deployed to France, the CEF was to be equipped with this high-tolerance Canadian-made ammo but instead most of the ammo (and subsequent shipments) were appropriated by the British for use in Vickers machine guns. Upon arriving in England the Canadians were given British ammo, which was often too large to chamber and/or extract properly after firing in the Ross. Its worth noting that some of the ammo lots given to the Canadians had been outright rejected by the Royal Army.
     
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  7. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I did not know about the ammunition problem. But shouldn't your forum name be something like "Guy Simonds"?
     
  8. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Its a long story that I might get around to posting some day. On a slightly different note, I went to the same high school as Harry Crerar (commander of the 1st Canadian Army). They used to have his name on a plaque hanging in the gym along with the other men who attended RMC. So I suppose that if I did retire "George Patton" I'd be obligated to go with "Harry Crerar"!
     
  9. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    The same with the Iowas.

    The conversion of the Battleships Ise and Hyuga was stupid? They didn't even had planes for these strange Hybrids - a lot of effort to destroy useful Battleships.

    Nearly all of the stupid weapons were developped as a stop gap or in desperate situations. What's just logical, beause usually weapons were thoroughly tested before entering service. The Boulton Paul Defiant was an exception.

    Most of the weapons mentioned here were bad, but not stupid. The Breda LMG for example was bad, but the Italian industry was small and couldn't improve weapons as easy as the USA did. The small magazine was not the major fault, it needed oiled cartridges to work properly, in dusty Italy or sandy Northafrica not a nice feature. And it was akward to carry, but to eliminate these faults a completely new weapon would have been necessary.

    Really stupid was the Northover Projector. Not only it was dangerous to fire, but in the intendent role as an anti-tank-weapon totally useless. Knocking out a tank with a Molotow-Cocktail was possible, but only when the bottle was thrown against the exact spot on the tank. Otherwise it looks spectalur, but that's it.
    But it was a very cheap weapon at least.

    The Jagdtiger was therefore even more stupid. Why building such a heavy and unreliable monster when there is a formidable Jagdpanther which could knock out every enemy tank at nearly every reasonable range? And then deployed in the West, where the majority of the enemies were Shermans, which every cheap Hetzer could knock out too...
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Recent evidence indicates that Yamato hit one of the jeep carriers at around 30,000 yards with it's initial salvo. A light cruiser would have a harad time doing that. Musahi kept a lot of planes off other ships in the fleet she was with at the end.
     

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