8 Awesome Military Inventions, Past and Present

8 Awesome Military Inventions, Past and Present

Military tech is typically pretty cool, but these eight inventions are some of the coolest ever.

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Surprised to see no mention of the Davy Crockett nuclear bazooka where the fun part was that the launcher was still within the blast radius making it effectively a suicide weapon. I'd think of more crazy stuff since it is an area I'm hugely interested in but I just got out of bed.

That's a myth, fortunately. The Davy Crockett's blast radius was fairly modest, in fact; the weapon was about as small as you can make a nuclear weapon, in terms of payload, and was only like 10-20 tons of TNT equivalent, nowhere near the 150-300 kiloton yields more typical for nuclear warheads today.

The radiation produced by the Crockett was significantly more dangerous than the actual blast, of course, but even that tended to be limited to about 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile in terms of short-term lethality. And while you could set the Crockett to arm close enough to put you in that radius, you'd have to be in pretty desperate straits to take that sort of risk.

Given that even the shorter-ranged variant of the Crockett fired out over a mile... Why wait?

The Maus really was a mistake, I mean my god the thing couldn't even off pavement without sinking too deep to move if it didn't stay in motion.

The Schwerer Gustav was impressive for its time for sheer scale, though in terms of range we've had artillery with similar rage for some time now, and it's accuracy made it, well, there's a reason only 2 where ever made, and it wasn't because of the unwillingness to have such weapons built with resources (we are talking about a government which wasted a million cubic tons of concrete on a bunker that was never finished or that would ever serve a practical purpose if it had)

Schwerer Gustav AKA The real-life Sister Ray Mako Cannon.

Zontar:
The Maus really was a mistake, I mean my god the thing couldn't even off pavement without sinking too deep to move if it didn't stay in motion.

Speaking the Maus, there was it's planned followup tank, the Ratte.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1000_Ratte

Pretty sure this is the inspiration for that massive tank in Valkyria Chronicles. So heavy it wouldn't have been able to cross bridges or use railways....and most roads would probably be destroyed by driving on them.

So really, it would have been more of a bunker/turrent that could reposition....a little. Hitler loved the idea. The rest of the German High command put the kibosh on it pretty quick, realizing what a massive waste of time and resources it would be.

And even bigger, was the Monster, which was pretty much the Space Shuttle crawler with cannon built into it. Which was also canceled. I'm betting this is around the time that they changed the locks on the R&D department so Hitler couldn't get in.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1500_Monster

German tank design was absolutely crippled by committees obsessed with gigantism and the idea of the "wonder weapon". Rather than listen to field commanders with excellent technical knowledge like Heinz Guderian, the Germans ended up with a million prototypes that barely worked and took resources away from stable workhorse vehicles. The Jagdpanzer IV was utterly superfluous in a world where the StuG III and IV were already doing the job just fine.

The Tiger and Panther were bad tanks from a lot of angles, and the Panzer IV was a prewar design that reached its potential halfway through the war and then started to lose pace.

The Maus isnt the heaviest fully enclosed tank ever built if Type 2604 is actually real. If it was made to its design specifications it would be 200 tons vs the maus 170t.

I think you all misunderstand the real reason for those super tank designs - they were busywork to show that the designers were doing something that could keep them from being being sent into combat.

It's a joke, yes - a real one.

beastro:
I think you all misunderstand the real reason for those super tank designs - they were busywork to show that the designers were doing something that could keep them from being being sent into combat.
It's a joke, yes - a real one.

Smells like a smelly thing.

I simply cannot imagine someone sending Ferdinand Motherfucking Porsche, One of The Most Powerful Men in Nazi Germany, or any of his apprentices and trusted coworkers, to the front lines. And he's the one who suggested most of German tank designs and personally worked on a lot of them.

Even production-line workers of most important military factories in Germany were absolved from draft up until the Red Army came knocking on doors of Berlin because:
1. German command demanded the highest possible quality of military equipment, dismissing even the idea of replacing skilled factory workers with new inexperienced ones or GOD FORBID - women and children, like the Soviet Union did.
2. The higher-ups of said factories (like Krupp and Porsche) had the Fuhrer's ear and an endless supply of favoritism. If any drafting commission ever dared to even suggest taking their workers, often hand-picked back at the dawn of German reconstruction - said commission would itself be riding the first train to Stalingrad on a personal order from Hitler.

And that's just blue-collar proletariat. Drafting designers and constructors themselves is just bullshit. Most of them were men well in their 50s, and possessing unique skills that Reich needed severely. "Unique" meaning that Porsche's entire construction bureau consisted of a few hundred people, and that's if we count in the interns and the like. That's not enough for even a regiment. Mobilizing ALL the constructors in German military industry would not make even a brigade, and all of them would be untrained and inefficient. Fuhrer was not a complete idiot to literally murder his nation's entire technological development potential (and a ton of his personal friends) for a couple of really shitty regiments.

And as a final nail - work on most of super-tank designs began as early as 1943, when the German command only first got introduced to the thought that they may actually start losing the war.

Soviet Heavy:

The Tiger and Panther were bad tanks from a lot of angles, and the Panzer IV was a prewar design that reached its potential halfway through the war and then started to lose pace.

And BTW, Panther and Tiger were really great combat machines. It's the maintenance, logistics and production of them that were literal hell. But that's what military asked for - the best machines combat-wise that Germany could give them, disregarding production costs and logistical difficulties.

Soviet Heavy:
the Germans ended up with a million prototypes that barely worked and took resources away from stable workhorse vehicles

That's called "technological search". Soviets and Allies had easily the twice amount of designs that reached prototype stage but never entered mass-production. They are simply a lot less known.

Marxie:

And BTW, Panther and Tiger were really great combat machines. It's the maintenance, logistics and production of them that were literal hell. But that's what military asked for - the best machines combat-wise that Germany could give them, disregarding production costs and logistical difficulties.

Soviet Heavy:
the Germans ended up with a million prototypes that barely worked and took resources away from stable workhorse vehicles

That's called "technological search". Soviets and Allies had easily the twice amount of designs that reached prototype stage but never entered mass-production. They are simply a lot less known.

When Tigers and Panthers worked properly, they were fantastic fighting machines (provided you didn't try to do a three point turn in a Panther and wrecked the transmission). But being good in a straight up fight means nothing if your poor construction means you are constantly waiting on repairs with a terrible logistics problem. Which was exacerbated by the second point about prototypes. The Germans had absolutely no need for machines like the Jagdpanzer IV when the StuGs did the job just as well and didn't take resources away.

If Guderian hadn't been disgraced at Moscow and people actually listened to him, a bunch of Germany's more boneheaded machines wouldn't have been fielded.

 

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