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Most Stupid Weapon of WWII

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

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Now that is a really stupid, yet effective weapon!
     
  2. bigdunc

    bigdunc Member

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    I have seen photos of the krummlauf attachment to be used in tanks.
     
  3. Sentinel

    Sentinel Member

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    von Poop likes this.
  4. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Is there any chance that the team firing it could duck into a bunker or something to escape some of the radiation?
     
  5. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Although I do not doubt the skill and courage of those who sailed in them, I 've got to wonder how desperate your naval forces were to consider arming merchant ships and turning the into armed merchant crusiers ? They are not designed to be warships,they were slow unarmored and not very manouverable. Also their high hull design made them suitable targets.. couple this with the fact that they were armed mostly with obsolete guns . I have to question their effectiveness as warships
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The German ones had much higher per vessel and per ton opposing ships sunk standings than any of the German surface warships I believe and some of the allied ones turned in sterling service. Remember that a lot of subs preferred to attack on the surface and if you hole a subs pressure hull it's no longer a sub.
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Besides Rawalpindi vs Scharnorst + Gneisenau, Jervis Bay vs Admiral Scheer and Alcantara, Voltaire and Carnarvon Castle vs Thor an are there any other AMC battles?

    Judging by the above the AMCs proved to be no match, ship per ship, against the elite crewed hilfskreuzer they were theoretically meant to fight.


     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    They didn't have to be a match. Remember a hilfcruiser could sink an opponent but if it sustained any significant amount of damage it was a strategic loss. Furthermore if one ship out a convoy could save several by engaging it then that was a relatively cheap strategic victory.

    I'm not sure of any other engagmenst between merchants and other "surface" ships although I believe I've read of a fair number vs subs.
     
  9. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Hi; I agree the German navy had more success with armed merchant cruisers than the allied navies had but they were attacking mostly merchant ships ( except for the raider Kormoron's battle with H M A S Sydney ) . Where the Allied naval A M C 's found themselves up against large German surface ships or uboats. Also i was wondering did the U S N use armed merchant cruisers ? I know they armed their liberty ships but that was more for defense i believe ...
     
  10. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Hi; I have another example of a somewhat useless weapon although it was developed in World War 1, how about the Ross Rifle ? They saw limited use in W. W II I think. A good single shot weapon but useless if fired quickly they had a bad habit of jamming.
     
  11. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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  12. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    i was informed that kids allied with the filipino muslim terrorist group abu sayaff fly kites with the intention of entangling them to chopper props of the philippine airforce. chopper pilots have reported that kite strings got entangled but were hesitant to say whether or not they have led to crashes.
     
  13. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    You guys realise that when the Davey Crocket, nuclear artillery shells and other tactical warheads were being put into service the effects of radiation and other things to do with nuclear weapons weren't general public knowledge, classified and only really understood by limited personnel in technical departments within the military (largely civilian contractors in practise), and very old school ideas on the use of troops in battle were still quite persistent.

    Well into the 1960s the US and GB were still doing nuclear testing with infantry soldiers from regular security battalions ordered into trenches within hundreds of yards of ground zero, formally and specifically, "to study the effects of nuclear warfare upon soldiers at the battlefield" (eg. Maralinga). And this was standard fare for military culture at the time. Nobody was sued, nobody was sacked, nobody was even compensated when those effects turned out to be lethal and horrific. This is how it always was and doctrinal shift was a long, slow process.

    Davey Crocket kills more than it costs. It's a 2fer deal, and back then most artillery/infantry personnel would happily swap their lives for a ~350:1 kill ratio.

    Someone mentioned the Boulton Paul Defiant because it had no forward guns (and was an escort fighter), but actually the guns could be fired forwards, you had to lift them to high elevation, then turn the turret and lower them to straddle around the cockpit. Then all four fired forwards but the flash from the top two wasn't nice for the pilot.
    They were designed to do this however, and there are photos of them with the guns in this position.

    The main problem with that aircraft was its power/weight being mid-30s standards in a time where fast, light interceptors had suddenly become the main front line fighter type. It couldn't even compete with a Zerstörer, let alone any single seat fighter/interceptor in BFM.
    The Fairey Battle had the same problem. It was actually a Fulmar that was converted to a land based light attack/recon model, but the Blenheim had better survivability and the best choice, which was to come later was the Hurricane for those jobs. The British Ministry was pretty conservative at first where much Euro aero industry had been constructed from the ground up only fairly recently. They got the idea and caught up doctrinally pretty quick though, learning lessons the hard way but adapting immediately.

    [​IMG]
    For dumbest weapons has anyone mentioned the German Sonic Cannon AAA yet? It actually worked, but only at very short range (50m or so) and was more dangerous to bystanders and crews than it was aircraft. It would kill you stone cold dead if you were walking around within 100m anywhere in the rather wide LF noise-ejection cone. You have to wonder if they tested it with rabbits just for giggles.
    Or whether in truth they played country or rap music from them and killed enemy pilots that way :D

    There's also a high altitude aircraft proposal that uses a DB605 motor to drive the second stage blowers for two DB603 drive engines. Unsuccessful because (predictably) the power saving of deleting thrust-engine blower drives was negated by the extra weight of a third engine to drive the blowers.
    Sometimes you really have to wonder if some designs weren't just to waste enough of Hitler's time that the war could be brought to a conclusion by the Allies concentrating on actually winning it.

    The Jagdtiger makes me headdesk every time. The few to see action wound up being buried hull down and used as pillboxes because they were virtually immobile anyway, a total joke for the role of something like a Hezter which was so awesome Czech was still producing them new in the 70s.

    Tank dogs, predictably had a slight problem about running under friendly tanks. Too much vodka, not enough schooling over there.
     
  14. Duns Scotus

    Duns Scotus Member

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    Surely the most stupid weapon of World War Two was the British giant Pananjdrum. This was devised in 1940 as an anti-invasion beach weapon and consisted of a large drum like wheel which had explosives in the drum centre and which wa powerd by mini-rockets so that it rolled along the ground like a monstrous Catherine wheel firework.
    I've seen the famous newsreel of it going berserk and making those who launched it run for their lives as it fizzled and sparked crazily around before tipping over on its side .
    It was never used in a combat situation.
     
  15. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    The Pananjdrum was developed for use in the coming invasion of France not as a defence weapon. It was designed to cross ground and detonate against a sea wall etc so breaching it, a secondary use was that it could set off mines in the area it crosses. Not a very good weapon design or use of resources.
     
  16. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    The UK stopped independent nuclear weapons testing in 1950's, the last major test of an actual weapon at Maralinga was in 1957 and the last test at Christmas Island by the UK was in 1958. Minor tests to see how fissionable material would react to fires or conventional HE explosions near a warhead and for testing nuclear triggers were carried out until 1963. They used very little fissionable material in each test but produced large amounts of radiation. After that date all tests were carried out by joint US/UK teams with US originated designs.

    The UK troops were not put in trenches within hundreds of yards of the blasts, they were however unprotected where they were and entered the contaminated areas after the detonations to check results etc.

    In the UK many have sued the government for compensation, some have received it, many more are still claiming. The UK and Australian government have also paid compensation to the indigenous tribe in the area (Maralinga) in final settlement. The Area itself has been subject to 3 clean ups (some areas are still contaminated to varying degrees).


    The Fulmer was from the same stable as the Battle but they were not really related. The Fulmer being developed from a different light bomber prototype (a proposed replacement for the Battle).
    Britain's main problems were not being conservative but by being strapped for cash, many prototypes were produced along with short production runs to keep the design teams and some production capability's around.

    The Defiant had some success but was ultimately a flawed design that could be countered fairly easily. 264 Squadron Association - History
    Production of the Hetzer (ST1) continued until the early 60's (some were not new build but repaired ones built under German occupation). 150 or so were sold to Sweden in 1947 and used until the early 70's and designated as G13, Czechoslovakian ones were retired in the 50's. They were one of the best assault gun/tank destroyers produced during WW2. The Jagdtiger suffered from its parentage and inherited its complications and reliability issues. The gun was very effective though.
     
    belasar likes this.
  17. wombat_of_war

    wombat_of_war Member

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    the bob sempel tank.. take one standard farm tracktor add non bullet proof corrogated iron to it.. mount 7 bren guns.. dont forget crew comfort, a matress ontop of the engine for a gunner to lay on haha
     
  18. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    [video=youtube;V-nSxFimoHg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-nSxFimoHg[/video]

    The Semple was however based on a US design that was sold commercially as a 'cheap' alternative to a tank, I believe a chassis was found in Afghanistan fairly recently.

    The Disston Tractor Tank

    View attachment 16147

    The Soviet Na Ispug tank actually was used in Combat
    View attachment 16146

    To be honest though a rough built tank produced in an emergency can not really be classed as stupid, now if it was built in the cold light of day with no war or other emergency on the horizon I would say it was stupid (the Disston).
     

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  19. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Agreed, stupid, innovative and desperate are NOT interchangeable terms. I also see stupid as a weapon designed without foresight, one in which a given task isn't addressed well.

    Some weren't really "stupid"; just not well focused or something. I cannot think of a single weapon design which was "stupid" in the reality of the time, there were some which seem in retrospect to have been less than "intelligent" approaches to the problem, but only in retrospect.
     
  20. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    This is a thread I thought would be a little bit pertinent to our thread, but they may not be the stupidest......how would you say partially stupid as I wouldn't want to be a driver in any of these myself so "stupid is as stupid does" and you could be stupid to do much fighting in these designs but they are fun to imagine.Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys.. - Tired tractors posing as tanks... I do like John Deere tractors so it is of interest to me for many reasons. See both pics top and bottom of article.
     

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