When you think of the military, you don’t think of individuality do you? The whole point of boot camp is to stamp out each soldier’s rebellious streak and instil a sense of community within them: everyone eats the same rations, wears the same type of uniform, and fires the same types of weapon? Or do they? As it turns out, some armies invented some strange weapons that could only be used by one type of person: the utterly insane.
Aunt Jemima Bombs
Who here hasn’t had a pancake? If not, a muffin then? No? Fine, a biscuit then! In World War II, however, each baked good meant only one outcome!
During WW2, a scientist named George Bogdon developed something interesting. It was a very powerful, powdered explosive that could be used for sabotage by the allies. We mean, come on… what’s more American than fighting with a pancake?! Maybe a cheeseburger and a beer, but this was the 40’s. Mr. Bogdon was able to make it so the powder could be incorporated into a baked item; cookies, muffins, cakes, and even (you guessed it) pancakes! They transported the potent explosive in bags labelled ‘flour’ so as not to attract attention, and even when asked to prove it, they fed people! It was said that the baked explosives, codenamed “Aunt Jemima”, had a grainy texture and tasted just a hair off, but otherwise were just fine to eat.
Now you might be asking yourself “how the hell did they bake an explosive into a fucking pancake?!” The answer lies in the chemical composition of the explosive. Unlike less stable compounds like nitro-glycerine, it needed a blasting cap to be set off, otherwise it’d just slowly burn out. A handy solution when one needed a grenade and only had a muffin. Slip in a blasting cap and you’re good to go!2.
The MP44/StG44 Curved Barrel Rifle Attachment
Taken right out of Wanted, which we suspect the Nazi’s saw when seeing the future with their Occult research, this gun attachment was designed with a truly unique feature. Shooting around corners!
Wil E. Coyote would buy this in a heartbeat
Complete with periscope, these were used for infantry and tanks to help make them safer. When it came to tanks there were dead areas; places where normal rifles wouldn’t be able to reach if the enemy was close against the tank. These attachments worked wonders on the field for close quarters combat, but the barrels had such a short lifespan that it was difficult to keep up. Only 300 rounds could be fired with the 30 degree attachment, and only 160 rounds for the 45 degree barrel. However, the problem with these barrels was that with the stress on the bullet would often cause it to fragment and shatter out. So while excellent in close combat, these barrels subsequently were useless if the target was around the corner and a couple hundred yards away.
The brilliant thing about this curved barrel was that it was such an intriguing invention for (at the time) modern warfare that the Soviets decided to adapt it for their PPSh-41. For those who don’t know, this is a sub-machine gun! How’d you like to be a German soldier minding his own business when suddenly a barrage of gunfire comes out of fucking nowhere!
Single Rounds Vs Submachine. Who wins?
What could possibly make an off road jeep more perfect? Some guns? Check. Enough supplies to last for a week or so? Check. The ability to fly? Check!
Say hello to the Rotabuggy! It was designed by Raoul Hafner of the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment, which sounds like one of the coolest jobs around. We here at Weirdworm believe working there went something like this.
Funding accountant: “We gave you five million dollars, and this is what you came up with?” Hafner: “Yep!”
Funding accountant: “… Fabulous! Put a jeep for the plank and put that rotor on top! Here’s another seven million to get you started!”
Testing was quite unique, involving one jeep, concrete and a ledge. In order to test the durability, they literally just dropped the concrete filled jeep from various heights until they found that just over seven and a half feet wouldn’t damage the car. The AFEE used a Willys MB Jeep and towed the heli-jeep behind a truck, but it just wasn’t enough to get their weed-induced contraption airborne. Thankfully, the Bentley stopped by to show off and finally got the damn thing into the air. The Rotabuggy was able to glide at 45 mph, but shook like Michael J Fox on a paint mixer.
With some improvements, the Rotabuggy became a brilliant vehicle that, with the last test, flew for ten minutes at 65mph while 400 feet in the air. Sadly, the invention of the Waco CG-4 glider put all their efforts to waste, making the Rotabuggy obsolete. It never even made it to combat. Raoul Hafner’s career never really made it off the ground after this, considering his earlier project, the Rotachute, was a crappier version of this Rotabuggy.
He really had a thing for making stuff fly that probably shouldn’t.
Imagine 30 of these in a row staring you down…
In Medieval times, the trebuchet was the nuke of siege engines. It was capable of chucking things upwards of 350 pounds over extreme distances. To be more specific, the best type and most used kind of trebuchet was the counterweight version. It involved having a large, reinforced crane-like attachment with the projectile in a sling on one end and a large weight, usually rocks, on the other. Flip the switch and the counterweight lunges the projectile through the air at rather extreme speeds. Now we can prattle on and on about what soldiers would throw, but at the end of the day, it’s one projectile in particular we’re interested in.
Diseased, rotting corpses where the prime choice of projectile when it came to demoralizing, terrorizing, and infecting enemy castles or cities. Back in the Medieval era, where the local antibiotic was a leech, if someone threw a diseased cow carcass on top of you, there was no Obamacare to take care of you. Better yet, they would recycle your body if you had died of The Black Death and just let you explode on impact inside city walls. For those who don’t remember, one in every three people died horribly from the bubonic plague in Europe while the epidemic had hold.
Imagine these five times as big and filled with rotten bodies. Fear them!!
Trebuchet’s were so effective they were used from the 12th century all the way till the early 1500’s. Unfortunately the cannon took over as the siege weapon of choice, owing to the much faster reload time, increased damage, and greater portability. There wasn’t any rotting carcasses being fired (which we think would have kicked ass), but a heavy cannonball works when there’s three times as many cannons as there was trebuchets.
The Wooden Leg of Sir Arthur Aston
First, a little history lesson. Sir Arthur Aston was a lifelong professional soldier, starting his career in 1610. He worked in Russia to start, but switched to Poland and later was authorized to create an English regiment for the Swiss. In modern times we think he would be considered a mercenary!
Say hello to the modern Arthur Aston.
However, we bring the history lesson to the English Civil War. After a series of battles, awards, and achievements, Arthur was knighted and made Governor of Oxford until he lost his leg when he fell off his horse. He received a good pension from King Charles I and later became Governor of the port of Drogheda. Then, in 1649, Oliver Cromwell attacked the city in a very ugly battle. It was horrific because, when they stormed the city, the Parliamentarian soldiers slaughtered almost everyone. Sir Arthur became very desperate and offered to surrender on the bridge of Drogheda. Unfortunately Cromwell told his soldiers to kill anything with a pulse. This included Arthur.
This was his murder weapon
While still apparently unrecorded, it’s widely believed that the soldiers thought Arthur’s leg was filled with gold coins. So they proceeded to take the leg from him and literally beat him to death with it. We believe this is where the “I’ll beat your ass with your own damn _____” came from. This was quite the dick move on the Parliamentarian’s part. Killing a man is one thing, but with his own damn leg?
During WWII the allies needed to find a way to destroy German dams and prevent them from being able to produce hydroelectric power. Torpedo nets stopped them from being able to just launch from under the water, and trying to drop a bomb from the sky onto a dam proved very difficult. That’s when the man with the biggest bomb fetish we’ve ever seen stepped in; Barnes Wallis. He invented such things as the Tallboy and the Blockbuster bombs. As it turns out, he was very good at blowing things up. However these were later designs; his first bomb was the bouncing bomb.
As we could all imagine, he began experimenting simply by “skipping marbles over water tanks in his garden.” That’s right ladies and gentlemen. He skipped marbles to create one of WWII’s greatest bombs.
If you watch closely in the video, you can see the bomb spinning opposite of the direction they were flying before dropping it. That was the key to the effectiveness of its bounce, added in with its shape. If it rolled the same way it flew, the bomb would simply sink like a rock. If you don’t believe it, then test it! Take a hula-hoop and toss it sideways down the sidewalk while rolling it in the direction it would go, and then throw forwards while jerking your wrist to make it spin backwards and watch what happens. It’ll bounce momentarily before coming back towards you. Now imagine dropping that hula-hoop from about a hundred feet up. Understand? Good, moving on.
Once deployed, the bomb would skip across the water over torpedo nets until it slammed into the target and sunk; once submerged, the bomb exploded, like a depth charge, increasing the effectiveness immensely. They worked so well that the allies began using them to attack German ships, such as the German battleship Tirpitz.
The unfortunate thing was that the bomb worked very well, but the deployment was very tricky. Since planes had to fly very low to drop the bomb off there was a 37% chance you’d be shot down during the drop off. Because of this alarmingly high mortality rate of planes, bouncing bombs were rarely used after 1943.7.
Barnes Wallis was truly one of the greatest designers of explosives during the 2nd World War. As stated before, he designed multiple bombs that proved to be very effective. However, there was always some catch to make it truly unique. Whether that be making the world’s biggest non-nuclear bomb, bouncing water bombs, or bombs designed to simulate earthquakes. That’s right, he mastered the fucking planet!
His goal is to be the ‘Captain Planet of bombs’, so to speak
It was actually a rather simple idea. Drop a bomb from very high up so it would break the sound barrier before slamming deep into the ground with its hard armoured tip. It would bury itself deep underground before exploding and causing severe shock waves. To be more simple, imagine dropping a firecracker into a bucket of water and watch it go off. Now pretend the water was ground. Simple, no?
We’d like to think so
Wallis also stated that if the bomb got down deep enough it could create an underground cavern! In the right place, this would remove a buildings foundation and cause it to collapse. We bet that, with enough time, he’d have figured out how to open cans with bombs! The problem Wallis had with the idea of a bomb diving over 100 feet into the ground was that there wasn’t a plane designed to fly a heavy bomb high enough to drop it. So what did Wallis do? He designed a better plane to carry such a bomb! Sadly no one took him seriously until his bouncing bombs shut them all up.
After he built his glorious 6 engine plane, he went on to design the Tallboy, a type of earthquake bomb with a slightly different design. After being quite successful, Sir Arthur Travis Harris said: “When the success of the Tallboy bomb was proved, Wallis designed a yet more powerful weapon… This 22,000 lb. bomb did not reach us before the spring of 1945, when we used it with great effect against viaducts or railways leading to the Ruhr and also against several U-boat shelters.” If you don’t understand, Barnes Wallis pulled a Tim Taylor.
Sir Arthur was talking about the suped up version of the tallboy; the Grand Slam. Fuck Denny’s, these bombs were the 2nd largest of its kind in history. Due to its new design, the bomb was able to rape the planet at an even deeper depth and explode with enough force to rip it a new asshole. Since it was able to go deeper, Grand Slams were able to create these underground caverns and fuck up any building around it. Once again though, the military went “Tool Time” on the Grand Slam and created the T-12 Cloudmaker. This fat bastard weighed a whopping 43,600 lbs, vs the 22,000 lb Grand Slam. This new bomb was so big that only one plane could carry it; the Convair B- 36 “Peacemaker.
It should be pointed out that if it wasn’t for the design of Earthquake bombs, The US military wouldn’t have created the ever resourceful bunker buster!
Barnes Wallis, We salute you! Thank you for having such a hard on for explosives!
- – Aunt Jemima Bombs: http://tctechcrunch.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/nuclear-bomb-badger350.jpg?w=350&h=295 http://pzzzz.tripod.com/nam_P/1_DucPho.jpg
- – The MP44/StG44 Curved Barrel Rifle Attachment: http://world.guns.ru/userfiles/images/assault/as51/mp44-4.jpg
- – The Rotabuggy: http://realitypod.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/the-flying-jeep.jpg http://www.miniscience.com/kits/CAR_PROP/Step_6.jpg http://www.ppsh41.com/ppsh-45.JPG https://www.fiddlersgreen.net/landing/flyingjeep/IMAGES/rotachute3.jpg
- – The Trebuchet: http://www.naturelich.com/archives/images/trebuchet.jpg http://www.thestonehousemovie.com/images/released/22r3-2006i25354.jpg http://www.and.org/pictures/Events/Bristol%20Pumpkin%20Fest%202007/img_40/trebuchet%203%20loaded.jpg
- – The Wooden Leg of Sir Arthur Aston: http://news.restoringthepride.com/image/2007/08-01-07/ss.jpg http://surfwithberserk.com/img/weird/a_stupid_way_to_go/9.jpg
- – Bouncing Bombs: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=26775&stc=1&d=1185170723 http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/5/2/1304356744274/Dambusters-raid-recreated-007.jpg
- – Earthquake Bombs: http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2010-05-03-captainplanet1.jpg http://www.jcphome.com/images/kidsbomb.jpg http://husbandsanddads.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/tim-toolman-taylor.jpg http://www.flyandrive.com/images/dambusters/wallis02.jpg