Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the old cliché goes, and war is the most desperate time of all. But if you’re too desperate you end up with weapons that simply don’t work. Here are only ten such examples.
#5 was never going to work.
The Axis get a lot of flak for the bizarre nature of their experimental weapons, but few compare to British DMWD. The Panjandrum was a rocket-propelled exploding cart. In essence, fire wheels. It never saw combat use, however, because the rockets used to move the wheels often detached and exploded.
This single-shot pistol was designed by the Allies to be airdropped into Nazi-occupied areas of Europe to aid resistance fighters. Generals saw little use for it and as a result distribution was cut to just over twenty-thousand units. Though records of its use don’t exist and its effectiveness is nil, the strategy of airdropping simple arms to guerrilla fighters was continued by the United States.
One of WWI Germany’s attempt to make a flamethrower, this unit was likely to make its users its only casualties. The weight of the device meant that a group of three or more had to carry it. However, it was incredibly delicate and prone to explosion at even mild shocks. Given its size, this wasn’t hard for enemy troops to achieve. However, rough movement could set it off too.
An impressive looking piece of artillery from the Soviet Union, the 2B1 Oka has some obvious design issues that kept it from achieving battlefield-ready status. First, due to the difficult loading process it could only fire one round every three minutes or so. Second (and perhaps more concerning) was the twenty-meter barrel, which made the whole piece a nightmare to move.
This World War II rifle attachment was designed to fire around corners without exposing the soldier using it. Ignoring the obvious issues with with physics of curving a bullet in such a way (the bullet would shatter before exiting the barrel) the barrel itself would break after only a few hundred rounds were fired.