10 Bizarre World War II Weapons That Were Actually Built

Weapons work on a elementary principle: They’re essentially designed to kill or invalidate people. How they do that is customarily rather candid though infrequently borders on violent or ludicrous. Here are 10 weapons from World War II that we won’t trust were indeed built.

10 Tauchpanzer


Created by a Nazis for use in Operation Sea Lion, a designed (but never executed) advance of a UK, a Tauchpanzer, literally definition “diving tank,” was designed to be forsaken off a coast, transport underwater on a sea floor, and rattle ashore, prepared to yield glow support for soldiers alighting on a beaches of Britain. The Tauchpanzers were Panzer III tanks mutated to be totally waterproof, featuring one-way empty valves, inflatable seals for a turret rings, and a hose trustworthy to a levity device to get atmosphere for a engine.

Even with all of those modifications, a Tauchpanzer could spend no some-more than 20 mins submerged and could usually transport during a abyss of adult to 15 meters (50 ft), being singular by a length of a atmosphere hose. The pattern valid a success, however, and some-more than 150 of a tanks were built. After Operation Sea Lion was canceled, a Tauchpanzers were distributed among some-more compulsory Panzer divisions. They were indeed used for their dictated purpose once, to cranky a Bug River during a Nazi advance of a Soviet Union, though were afterwards used as normal tanks afterward.

9 DD Tank

While a Nazis came adult with underwater tanks as a process of amphibious conflict on rivalry shores, a Allies engineered modifications that authorised tanks to float. Specifically, a cloth shade was added, that could be lifted around a tank to make it float, in serve to propellers for propulsion. The judgment was initial explored in 1941, and after contrast several tanks, a Allies finally staid on a Sherman tank as a one to modify, nonetheless some other tanks were also propitious with a shade and propellers.

The DD Tanks’ fight entrance came during D-Day, when they were sent ashore to yield glow support for Allied infantry alighting on a beach. Rough seas sent 27 DD tanks to a bottom of a ocean, though after waves of a tanks were some-more successful, and they would go on to be used in serve campaigns, including channel a Rhine into Germany.

8 Karl-Gerat

Germany began work on a super gun designed to dig a complicated fortifications of a French Maginot Line in 1936. Originally designed to be ecstatic in pieces and fabricated nearby a target, a gun became self-propelled when designers satisfied that it was distant too complicated and cumbersome. The initial gun was undergoing glow trials by 1939 and exam drives by 1940. It was named a Karl-Gerat, or “Karl Device,” after Nazi General Karl Becker, who had been closely concerned in a pattern of a gun.

The trebuchet was gigantic. It had a 600-millimeter tub and could chuck a scarcely 1,800-kilogram (4,000 lb) bombard roughly 5 kilometers (3 mi), nonetheless a after various with a longer 540-millimeter tub could propel a bombard some-more than 10 kilometers (6 mi). Each Karl-Gerat had a support sight of vehicles consisting of several mutated tanks carrying 4 shells each, though even with ammunition storage offloaded to other vehicles, a trebuchet and a framework weighed 124 metric tons.

Six Karl-Gerats were constructed, all of that served on a Eastern Front opposite Russia and after on a Western Front opposite a advancing Allies. Among their achievements was outstanding a Soviet outpost during Sevastopol, with a vast trebuchet shells exceedingly deleterious a outpost structure and authority post. As a fight dragged on, a super mortars became reduction useful, being too unwieldy and apparent to equivocate atmosphere attack. The Americans and Soviets finished adult capturing several of a weapons, and one survives currently in a Russian tank museum.

7 Sturmtiger

After a catastrophic Battle of Stalingrad, where tiny groups of devoted Russian defenders used deserted buildings and rubble as cover to reason off a most incomparable organisation of German infantry in street-to-street civic fighting, Hitler demanded a growth of a arms that could blast divided fortified civic areas with perfect firepower. The Sturmtiger was born. It was a heavily armored car armed with a vast rocket launcher.

Converted from a framework of a famous Tiger we tank, a Sturmtiger combined some-more armor to an already really heavily armored vehicle. The rocket launcher, blending from a naval design, compulsory holes around a tub to opening a empty gas constructed by a rising rocket. The projectiles were so vast that usually 14 could be carried, and even then, one had to be already installed into a launcher.

The antecedent was rushed to conceal a Polish overthrow in Warsaw, and a dozen some-more were constructed and saw combat. They were fearsome though false weapons, and they weren’t befitting for a defensive fight that Germany found itself in after 1943.

6 The Zveno Project

Zveno Project

Born out of a Soviet module in a 1920s to yield atmosphere support to belligerent infantry while also safeguarding bombers from rivalry warrior aircraft, a Zveno plan was a drifting aircraft carrier, mating a hulk Soviet TB-3 bomber with several smaller and shorter-ranged warrior aircraft or dive-bombers. The TB-3 could lift adult to 3 aircraft, dual above a wings and one subsequent a body, or dual aircraft subsequent a wings.

The initial fight appurtenance saw use opposite Nazi Germany during a unfortunate early years on a Eastern Front, when a Soviet Union was being pushed back. In 1941, a TB-3 bomber carrying dual dive-bombers successfully brought them in operation of a vital Nazi oil fields of Ploiesti. The dive-bombers successfully pounded a trickery and afterwards returned to Soviet airfields unharmed. Although a Zveno flew scarcely 30 missions, it had been late by 1942.

5 Mistel Flying Bomb

Mistel Flying Bomb

Developed in 1942 by a German Sailplane Association, a Mistel was a judgment for an unmanned aircraft packaged with explosives, guided to a aim by a commander in a warrior aircraft trustworthy above it. The thought itself was demonstrated in 1943, though it was not until 1944, when a waves of fight had truly incited opposite Nazi Germany, that a thought was put into practice.

More than 100 Ju-88 bombers were nude of their hardware and converted into enormous drifting bombs packaged with 1,800 kilograms (4,000 lb) of explosives, with struts combined to insert a running aircraft on tip of a Ju-88. The Mistel was an intensely delayed combination aircraft; it flew during usually 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph), creation it an easy aim for Allied aircraft if it was spotted. The Mistel was also an false weapon. Many missed their targets, notwithstanding their running pilots claiming otherwise.

4 The Surcouf


A mind-bogglingly vast submarine built by a French in a late 1920s, a Surcouf was unique, not given of a some-more than 4,000–metric ton displacement, though given it carried dual 20-centimeter (8 in) guns, usually found on complicated cruisers. The signing of a Washington Naval Treaty criminialized submarines over 2,800 metric tons displacement, though a special management was combined permitting a French to keep a Surcouf. She was creatively dictated as a initial of 3 new Surcouf-class submarines, though given new ships of her distance could no longer be built, she became one of a kind.

The submarine served in a French navy until 1940, when a Nazis invaded France. Limping out of harm’s approach to a UK on one engine, a Surcouf was remade during Plymouth and eventually seized there by a UK when France surrendered, in sequence to forestall it from potentially descending into Nazi hands. The submarine was afterwards consecrated into a Free French Navy and used in a fight effort. In Dec 1941, a Surcouf was systematic to a Pacific Ocean with America’s stipulation of fight on Japan, though she dead with all hands. She was expected incidentally run over by a US load boat during night and sunk.

3 Type XVII Submarine

Type XVII U-Boat
In 1933, German Professor Hellmuth Walter came adult with a potentially insubordinate submarine thrust complement that would be some-more compress than existent diesel-electric thrust systems, furnish some-more power, and concede for extended durations underwater. The usually locate was that it was powered by hydrogen peroxide, that is ordinarily used as a rocket fuel. The really subsequent year, Walter due to a Kriegsmarine High Command a submarine that would transport during a tip speed of 30 knots underwater, compared to a small 7 knots that compulsory submarines during a time could do.

The Walter turbine, as a thrust complement was called, used a stabilized form of hydrogen peroxide to conflict with fuel oil to furnish steam, that would expostulate a turbine. The Kriegsmarine took one demeanour during a offer and threw it out. However, Walter was persistent, and in 1937, he got Karl Donitz, a destiny commander of Nazi Germany’s U-boats, to see a revised proposal. Donitz was impressed, and by 1939, construction started on a antecedent U-boat powered by a Walter turbine. The antecedent showed guarantee during testing, and 4 larger, ocean-going, Walter turbine–powered U-boats were systematic in 1942. They were canceled dual years after in preference of compulsory U-boats with some-more batteries and softened hydrodynamics for underwater speed.

Four smaller coastal submarines with Walter turbines were built and underwent sea trials—the Type XVII U-boats. However, nothing of them indeed saw fight before a fight ended. Britain finished adult commissioning one of them as a HMS Meteorite for a brief time and after built dual hydrogen peroxide–powered submarines, though they were scrapped after chief energy was proven possibly for naval use by a US, creation Walter turbines obsolete.

2 Nakajima A6M2-N ‘Rufe’

Nakajima A6M2-N 'Rufe'

The usually float-equipped warrior aircraft that saw use during World War II, a Nakajima A6M2-N “Rufe” was a chronicle of Japan’s barbarous Zero warrior with seaplane floats instead of compulsory alighting gear. It was designed to work from island bases to support a Japanese fight appurtenance as it sought to control a far-flung islands of a Pacific. Zero fighters were mutated by stealing a alighting rigging and attaching a vast executive boyant underneath it, along with dual smaller floats on a side. The initial antecedent warrior flew a same day that a Japanese inebriated Pearl Harbor. The Rufe arrived usually as a Pacific Theater of World War II kicked off.

Although a vast boyant degraded opening significantly, a Rufe was still really useful and valid itself in fight in a Solomon Islands. Then, a Americans inebriated a bottom from that a seaplanes operated, destroying scarcely all operational Rufes, in 1942. However, Japan was producing some-more Rufes; prolongation finished adult totaling several hundred seaplane fighters, that were used for aggressive Allied convoys, patrolling, and gun-spotting for Japanese warships.

As a fight dragged on, a increasing series of Allied warrior aircraft meant that a Rufes became reduction and reduction useful, as their already degraded opening couldn’t even mount adult to archaic Allied aircraft, not to discuss a newer models being fielded. The few Rufes left by a finish of a fight were reserved to urge opposite Allied bombings of Japan, and they achieved really feeble in that role.

1 The Canal Defence Light

An try by a Allies to rise a arms that would use light as a arms to invalidate Nazi soldiers, a Canal Defence Light, as it was code-named, was a brainchild of a Greek operative who was vital and operative in Britain. Using a absolute flickering searchlight, it would blind a spectator by causing a pupils of a eye to fast enhance and contract, causing revulsion and nausea from a gorgeous effects. The searchlight was mounted on a tank (replacing a categorical gun), with an armored shiver permitting light out. In tests, a arms valid intensely effective.

While hundreds of a tip weapons were constructed and shipped to a Allied front lines, they were never used as intended, partly given they were so tip that Allied commanders had no thought they existed and partly given a commanders who knew that they did exist didn’t trust they would indeed work. Instead, some were used as tangible searchlights during a Allied channel of a Rhine to mark saboteurs perplexing to destroy a bridges that a Allies indispensable to cranky into Germany. After a war, they were scrapped, a unhappy finale for a arms with so most potential.

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