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The 6 Most Ill-Conceived Weapons Ever Built

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Baggers, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Baggers

    Baggers Practically Family

    This was posted by the "humor" web site Cracked.com earlier today. Evidently the writers are mostly young, slacker/hipster types who, with very little historical background, love to make fun of things they see but do not understand. Since most of the weapons "detailed" in the article were from WW2 I figured I'd post it here in the hopes of generating some discussion. From the tone of my post you might suppose I don't think much of their version of humor...and you'd be right.

    At any rate, enjoy.

  2. To be fair, the basics of the criticism are sound - none of these items could be called successful. The Ross rifle was in fact hated in the field, though technically a good rifle (as noted, when clean and used properly). Marksmen used it in competitions, and it could be fired more quickly given its unique straight-back cocking technique, but it was abandoned by the Canadian army favour of the Lee Enfield essentially for the reasons given. Not what you'd call an "academic" critique of the weapons, but not far off the mark (pun intended)...
  3. I have been watching a Ross Sporting rifle (Calibre .303, of course!) at the local Cabela's store here for the last several months. It was still there yesterday. However I feel it's priced a bit too high. I'll continue to watch. They may want to dump it right one of these days. Overall it's in dandy shape.

  4. There is some liberty with some of the facts for humour purposes (for example, the reason the Ross rifle was kept wasn't because the British wouldn't let them have SMLE's, but rather because the Canadian government wanted to maintain some sort of separateness from the UK)...but for a humour site, yeah, I enjoyed the article (bit of a fan of the websites humour - indeed recently won $50 on one of their contests)
  5. Sgt Brown

    Sgt Brown One of the Regulars

    As far as I know, the sticky grenade worked OK and the fact of the matter is the Liberator was a whopping success. It did exactly what it was intended to do, get a simple close-quarter firearm into the hands of the resistance at absolute minimum cost.

    Now how about the Japanese balloon bombs? Hundreds launched. A few inconsequential fires started and one picnicking family killed.

  6. Baggers

    Baggers Practically Family

    I've read Cracked before and I know the snarky attitude they take. My issue is that they don't bother to put things in context. I took major issue with the Bob Semple Tank, Sticky Bombs, and the Liberator. Sgt. Brown hit the high points on both the Liberator and Sticky Bomb. As for the Bob Semple Tank, certainly in retrospect it was a failure. But for a country facing imminent invasion by the Japanese and with no domestic tank manufacturing program, the Australians were desperate to field anything that could possibly counter the expected threat. They knew the Japanese had lousy armor in small numbers, so it would have mainly been used against infantry and thin skinned vehicles, hence being armed only with machine guns. So it didn't work out. I still have to give the Aussies an A for ingenuity and working with what they had.

    And, like Sgt Brown stated, how 'bout them axis weapons? Everything they tried worked perfectly? Anyone remember the curved barrel designed to let the MP44 shoot around corners? How did that work out? What about the German rocket plane with the leaky fuel system that would melt the pilot?
  7. "But for a country facing imminent invasion by the Japanese ......"

    Spot on Baggers!

    I always thought the Owen SMG and the Charlton LMG were works of pure mechanical genius in light of what was being faced down under!!!!!!

  8. Rookie1

    Rookie1 New in Town

    Its funny how they think. Desperate times call for desperate measures,right? Thanks for sharing.
  9. JohnnyLoco

    JohnnyLoco Familiar Face

    I was a little disappointed that the gun shield was ranked #1. I don't think you could blame the people of the Renaissance for thinking a shield was suitable for defense purposes, especially during the advent of firearms. The Ross and Liberator do not belong on the list at all for they were both able to be used with a modicum of success, as the article said, the Ross rifle was extremely accurate and favored by snipers. I'm sure the Germans that got their heads blown off by that weapon of war would surely disagree with this article.

    "Ill-conceived" to me means: completely inane with absolutely no foresight or sense of practicality, e.g., bat bombs, microwave weapons, etc..
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  10. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

    One writer, all of 19 years old. Here's his bio and email. http://www.cracked.com/members/yankeecrazy9/
  11. I'm with you Baggers.................this kid is a real piece of work. Probably has not nor will he ever put his buttocks on the line for nothing or no one. Hates the 2nd Amendment, wants mind altering drugs legalized and will vote for President the candidate that most closely aligns his platform with socialism.

    Boy, you'd think America had its fill with clowns like this back in the 1960s.............guess not because there's even more of 'em today.

    too much coffee
  12. RHY

    RHY One of the Regulars

    That's one problem with the internet, there is no way of knowing if the information is accurate or the writer is knowledgeable on the topic. As my old college professor said, "Garbage in, Garbage out".
  13. Chas

    Chas One Too Many

    That, and the rate of cheating and plagiarism in College tests and essays is at a level that pretty much renders a Bachelor's certificate into a glorified G.E.D.

    The writer of this article likes to use the "F" word. A lot. Now, I happen to like the "F" word and have a great deal of respect for it, but to sling it around like he does is ridiculous. It is the work of a lazy mind.

    Also, the Stick Bomb was far from useless. It was so effective, and so feared by the Germans that they developed the antimagnetic coating "Zimmerit" for use on their tanks to keep the darned things from working. If the Germans were afraid of it, then was it useless?

    As far as ill-conceived weapons, my vote goes to the Yamato and Musashi, the two IJN super BB's that were essentially big floating targets. For the amount of steel, oil and men they consumed the Japanese would have been far better off building their excellent Kaibokan (Destroyer Escorts) that gave the USN submarines such a hard time.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  15. Chas

    Chas One Too Many

    The CEF had something called the McAdam Shield Shovel that was supposed to double as an entrenching tool. The Gov't spent bags of money on them, then when they found out it was useless, had to sell the lot off for scrap. One of Minister of Militia & Defence Sam Hughes' pet projects. He liked handing out gov't contracts to his friends.
  16. I like the Bob Semple Tank it is more psychological deterrant. Imagine a spy seeing and or reading about a nation armoring up thier tractors to stop a possible invasion. Very simular to the ideas back in the 1980's. The reason Russia would never invade the United States was that the T72 tank with mechinized infantry could not contend with an American populace that is armed with 30-30 Winchsters and driving pickup trucks around and round making shots at them. I believe it is a sound concept.
  17. MPicciotto

    MPicciotto Practically Family

    Ala the movie "Red Dawn"??

  18. Yeah, something like.
  19. Baggers

    Baggers Practically Family

    I prefer to roll with Yamamoto's caution against invading the United States: "there will be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
  20. Your so right Baggers. Was just thinking about that "a rifle behind every blade of grass." We were a nation of competent marksmen. Marksmanship was taught in public schools. Many even had competition rifle teams. My youngest son is in scouts now and they teach the very basics and move on as quick as possible.

    Getting back to the armored tractors, rifle shields, ross rifles, commando pistols, stinkey bombs, and such. I think all would work if applied at the right time and place. but beyond their basic intended use they could fail you quickly. Just like doing a magic trick or telling a joke timing is everything.

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