Weird weapons

Weird military weapons montage

Bat bombs, corkscew tanks, guns that shoot around corners, aircraft carriers made out of ice and wood pulp or landing strips built on top of zeppelins. Crazy stuff that goes beyond war tubas but ranks up there with the First Earth Battalion. Check it out: Weird Military Innovations: 10 Crazy Weapons of War

A note about the anti tank dogs. I don’t know if this is true but I heard a story about the first time the Soviets deployed these dogs on the battlefield. Once unleashed the dogs ran out towards the enemy, paused and then turned back, running under the tanks of the Soviets! The plan had backfired in the worst possible way. You see, the dogs had been trained to run under tanks by putting raw meat under training tanks. Soviet training tanks. When the dogs went to war they looked at all the different types of tanks on the battlefield and knew “where the meat was” so to speak, and ended up turning on their masters.

ADDENDUM: Wikipedia knows all!

Soviets used their own diesel-engine tanks to train the dogs rather than German tanks, which had gasoline engines. As the dogs relied on their acute sense of smell, the dogs sought out familiar Soviet tanks instead of strange-smelling German tanks.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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7 Responses to Weird weapons

  1. Joe Jones says:

    Back in the early 30s, the US Navy actually tested an airship (the USS Akron) capable of carrying small fighter planes and releasing and retrieving them in flight, and the system worked surprisingly well. The problem was that the airship itself couldn’t operate in bad weather, which made it pretty useless in practice. Some color:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Akron_%28ZRS-4%29

    I remember this from a picture book about the Akron which I read in third grade. Thanks to that book I still think airships are totally awesome, even if they don’t actually work that well.

  2. Younghusband says:

    Reminds me of the Sentoku class subs the Japanese Imperial Navy designed to launch and retrieve planes.

  3. Curzon says:

    The dog story reminds me of the pigs of war used by the Romans against Carthage — to disrupt the elephant charges, they would cover pigs (or slaves…) in tar, set them on fire, and send them running into the elephants. That was often enough to throw the entire line into chaos.

  4. Roy Berman says:

    A good one to add to the list is the US Navy Marine Mammal Mine Hunting System, i.e. dolphins trained to located mines. For years I thought this was one of those failed experiments, but it’s real!

    http://www.spawar.navy.mil/sandiego/technology/mammals/mine_hunting.html

    Look, an actual page on the CURRENT program on the Navy website!

  5. Jeff says:

    Don’t forget B.F. Skinner’s pigeon guided bombs!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pigeon

  6. TS says:

    My favorite: parasite aircraft (not unlike the Akron airship idea):

    “Until the middle of the 20th century there was military interest in parasite fighters – fighter aircraft intended to be carried into a combat zone by a larger aircraft, such as a bomber. If the bomber were threatened, the parasite would be released to defend it.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite_aircraft

  7. Bob Harrison says: