Almost every country has at least one cool weapon in it’s military arsenal. However, for every cool new weapon there is one that was equally a bad idea or failed horribly before it went into production. These are some hilarious military projects that countries have tried to get off the ground with little or no success.
The Project: Exploding Anti-Tank Dogs
Created by: The Russians
During World War II the Soviets strapped explosives to dogs and trained them to run toward and crawl under enemy tanks where they would then be detonated.
This had several problems. No matter how well they were trained, some of the dogs were often spooked on the battle field and refused to dive under tanks. However, that wasn’t the biggest problem. Instead of diving under German tanks, the dogs ended up diving under Soviet tanks instead! Why was this happening? Were the dogs retaliating against the very people that trained them? Was this a way of the dogs saying “fuck you for doing this to me! I’m gonna help the Germans instead”? The real reason was because German tanks used a different kind of fuel & the dogs were trained using Soviet tanks. So when the dogs recognized the fuel scent coming from the Soviet tanks on the battle field, they did exactly what they were trained to do which was run under a Soviet tank and explode.
The Project: Operation Accoustic Kitty
Attempted by: The Americans
In the 60’s, the CIA thought it would be a good idea to surgically implant a cat with both an internal microphone and antenna that would run up it’s tail. They would then train this cyborg cat to spy. Who would suspect a cat right!?
Ya lets make a spy out of an animal that does whatever it wants to do whenever it wants to do it. Perfect! Actually, things were looking very good. The cat survived the surgery. Training the cat to eavesdrop didn’t seem to be a problem. It was time to take the cat out for it’s first official test in the park where it would listen in on two people having a conversation at a park bench. Unfortunately, the cat never arrived at it’s destination. It got run over by a taxi crossing the street. As a result, the $10 million dollars invested in the project went down the drain. If this was today, PETA would throw a fit. On a side note, I always wondered why the picked a cat for this operation. Why not a dog? In my experience, it’s easier to train a dog. Plus, doesn’t a dog walking along in the park seem more common than a cat?
The Project: Project Habakkuk
Built by: The British
Steel and Aluminum was starting to become in short supply during WWII and the British were getting pissed off that there ships were taking a beating from the Nazis so they decided to build a massive aircraft carrier made of ice and wood chips that could withstand a torpedo strike.
No doubt. The idea was ridiculous, but not in the way you might think. They found that the structure was easy to repair and as strong as concrete but melting and refreezing caused structure issues. The maintenance and money it would take to keep this thing operational (especially during the summer months) wasn’t worth it. In the end only a small prototype was made and it took three summers for it to melt.
The Project: The Tsar Tank
Built by: The Russians
Russia wanted to build a mammoth badass tank during WWI. It was a backwards facing tricycle design. The giant two front wheels were 30 feet in diameter and the back wheel for steering was only 5 feet in diameter. It had cannons and machine guns. A crew of ten people would operate this thing. The weight of it was 60 tons.
The Russians actually went ahead and built one of these things. During testing, things seemed fine at first. It rolled along in the Russian forest plowing through trees like they were nothing! Nothing could stop the Tsar Tank! Then the smaller rear wheel ran over the equivalent of a small pot hole and it would never move from that spot ever again! So what the hell happened? Well, most of the 60 ton weight was supported on the back side single wheel. When the wheel hit the hole, there was no way the giant two wheels in front could pull it out. Great job design team. I think a 5th grader could have told you that. The tank remained in the same spot for several years collecting rust and serving as nothing more than a jungle gym for wild life. It was eventually taken apart for scrap metal.
The Project: The Bob Semple Tank
Built by: New Zealand
During World War II, New Zealand and Australia needed some sort of firepower. They were technically at war since they were part of the British Empire. However, the British pretty much said “Your on your own. We have our own problems. Make your own damn stuff!” So New Zealand built there own tanks…well sorta.
Everything about this was a disaster. This horrible thing looked like what you would get if a tractor and tank exploded next to each other and you then tried to put the pieces back together to create a single vehicle. They had no blue prints. (common England you could have at least sent those!) The material they rounded up to build these came from farms. Furthermore, they literally designed it by simply looking at a post card. (‘A’ for effort I suppose) Once put together, you literally had a tractor with a giant box on top of it with six machine guns poking out. Due to the vibrations of the tractor engine, the guns would constantly jam. I can’t even call this thing armored. Bullets could pierce through it like paper. It was noisy and slow. Inside the tank is where all the “magic” was taking place. Around 8 people needed to cram into this thing and be in some of the most uncomfortable positions possible. The Japanese never did attack them. If they did New Zealand might have won because the Japanese would have laughed themselves to death when they came to shore and saw this thing.
The Project: The Novgorod Ship
Created by: The Russians
In the late 1800’s, Russia thought it would be a good idea to go against the traditional model of how you build a ship and attempted to build a 100 feet in diameter circular one with two 26 ton 11 inch guns!
Right off the bat the thing was slow as hell and needed to be toed into position by other ships. The aiming sucked. However, all that shittieness aside, there was one major flaw to this design that you would think would have been thought out before production. When you put big guns on a circular ship don’t you think it would be a good idea to make sure that firing the guns doesn’t cause the ship to rotate like a table top!? That’s exactly what happened.
The Project: The Gay Bomb
Created by: The Americans
In 1994, the US defense department was looking to create some non-lethal chemical weapons that could disrupt an army. The Ohio based Wright Lab felt they were up to the challenge and requested a $7 million dollar grant to create a chemical bomb that would disrupt enemy troop morale by making troops sexually irresistible to each other. I’m not kidding.
The government pondered it, but it was never pursued. I personally think the project might have made it to the testing phase if it was in the 40’s or 50’s when homosexuality was more taboo. In the 90’s though, things were starting to change. This would have looked bad!