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Most Stupid Weapon of WWII


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#1 Doktor D 1313

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:22 AM

Gentlemen, I present to you the most stupid weapon ever developed in WWII... The only other weapon that could be worse is a nuclear handgrenade.

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The M-388 or "Davy Crocket" is pretty much a short range (as far as nuclear weapons go) nuclear RPG. I had the pleasure of seeing one of these bad boys when I visited the Aberdeen Proving Ground Ordinance Museum in Maryland. It has a maximum range of 1.24 miles or 2.29 miles, depending on what version is in use. The bad part about this thing is the two man crew that fired it were well within the blast radiation range. They were hit with 350rem of radiation. A man can be exposed to roughly 700rem of radiation in his lifetime before fatal results. The crew couldn't shoot it twice. I don't know if they were ever used in the war, but they were planned to be used against the Soviets.

All this information that was taught to me by... man I wish I could remember his name... a WWII weapons expert who is frequently asked to appear in shows for the discovery channel. Anyway, he makes his home at the Aberdeen Proving grounds Ordinance Museum.

If anybody lives near DC or Aberdeen, I highly suggest you go to see the Ordinance Museun. They have almost every weapon in use during WWII. Everything from the Davy Crockett to the bent barrel MP40 for shooting into tanks.
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#2 Za Rodinu

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:05 AM

Are you sure this is WW2? It was deployed in 1961, but it certainly fulfills the 'stupid' requirement :D

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#3 Doktor D 1313

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

Ahh, your right. I looked into it and it was beginning to be developed in 1944 but was never completed or put into production until 1956.
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#4 Seadog

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 05:18 PM

Actually, the Davy Crocket was not bad for its intended use. Only the most inept crew would not be able to fire it far enough to be outside its radiation range. It was inaccurate enough not to be useful as a direct hit weapon, but then it was only designed as a last ditch weapon to stop Soviet tanks from swarming into Europe.

I do not think that a weapon can be stupid, as much as a total waste of effort. The Amiot 143 comes to mind, as does the Heinkel He177. A lot of good ideas do not work out well. Mounting the 120mm British gun on the 155mm American chassis was a big mistake.
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#5 TA152

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 05:39 PM

That thing rates up there with the neutron bomb.
Kill the people and leave the buildings. :rolleyes:

Perhaps you could get that nice guy in Aberdeen to aim his example at Washington DC. :D
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#6 Seadog

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:58 PM

Now see, I do not believe that the neutron bomb was a really bad idea. It sounds horrific, but from a logical point of view, it would be better than conventional nukes. They not only will kill, but will leave residuals that will hurt future generations.
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#7 SVT-40

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:58 PM

i actualy live about 45 minutes to the ordance muesum and i have seen that there. and the bent barrel was for the Strumgewher 44 not the MP-40. its very riduclous.

#8 Joe

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:34 PM

actually it was a good idea. It was the only way a tank crew could kill the swarms of soviet infantry climbing on the body of the tank.
By the way, what is a neutron bomb?
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#9 Von Poop

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:51 PM

Stupid weapon?
I nominate the Puppchen.
All the advantages of a man-portable recoilless weapon apparently utterly negated by mounting onto a carriage...:bastid: :adolf: :rolleyes:

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#10 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:16 AM

A few possible candidates:

The Me 163 Komet.
The British "Sticky bomb" hand grenade
That pistol the Japanese issued....don't have the designation right off.
The Chauchat machinegun
The UP projectile launcher
The Niger human torpedo

Davy Crockett is definitely post war.

#11 Kai-Petri

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:31 AM

Ahh...found it...

Northover projector with No 76 SIP glass bottle grenade

http://www.home-guar.../hg/gren76.html

"It was not unknown for the grenade to burst either in or as it left the Northover Projector barrel."
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#12 Joe

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:55 AM

ugh! I would hate to have that land on me! I would hate to have to throw it!
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#13 Martin Bull

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:13 PM

A few possible candidates:

That pistol the Japanese issued....don't have the designation right off.


Possibly the Pistol, automatic, Type 94 ?

The normally restrained Ian V Hogg referred to this one as ' Astonishing....a monstrosity....capable of being fired by simply grasping it carelessly.....the Type 94 is, in my estimation, a prominent contender for the title of worst military pistol ever issued'.....( 'Encyclopedia Of Infantry Wepons Of WWII'. ):eek:
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#14 Stefan

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:21 PM

actually it was a good idea. It was the only way a tank crew could kill the swarms of soviet infantry climbing on the body of the tank.
By the way, what is a neutron bomb?


Not sure that is what it was intended for. Apparently it was designed to enable troops to fire around corners in urban fighting scenarios. It's an interesting piece of kit and seemed to work ok, though it didn't really make it in combat. Keep in mind tank crews weren't issued MP44's as it is too big to be used in an armoured vehicle and numerous German armoured vehicles had pistol ports to enable the crew to fire out. Finally, remember if your own supporting infantry had allowed soviet troops to get onto your vehicle, the last thing you would want to do is open the hatches.
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#15 chocapic

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 01:42 PM

A few possible candidates:

The Chauchat machinegun

Davy Crockett is definitely post war.


Chauchat is definitely pre war.

It's a WWI machine gun, last orders placed in 1918, production was stopped in the '20s, and it was no more used in significant numbers during WWII (French, Finns and...Germans - why the hell ? - used some).

#16 FramerT

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:14 PM

Not sure that is what it was intended for. Apparently it was designed to enable troops to fire around corners in urban fighting scenarios. It's an interesting piece of kit and seemed to work ok, though it didn't really make it in combat. Keep in mind tank crews weren't issued MP44's as it is too big to be used in an armoured vehicle and numerous German armoured vehicles had pistol ports to enable the crew to fire out. Finally, remember if your own supporting infantry had allowed soviet troops to get onto your vehicle, the last thing you would want to do is open the hatches.


There used to be a picture floating around here of that. I thought it came about during Stalingrad. From the inability to fight without getting shot by a sniper.

#17 Sloniksp

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:49 PM

The Japanese midget subs. Not sure if I am brave enough to call them stupid, but the word useless comes to mind.
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#18 Von Poop

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:07 PM

Not sure that is what it was intended for. Apparently it was designed to enable troops to fire around corners in urban fighting scenarios. It's an interesting piece of kit and seemed to work ok, though it didn't really make it in combat. Keep in mind tank crews weren't issued MP44's as it is too big to be used in an armoured vehicle and numerous German armoured vehicles had pistol ports to enable the crew to fire out. Finally, remember if your own supporting infantry had allowed soviet troops to get onto your vehicle, the last thing you would want to do is open the hatches.

If I remember right the Krumlauf attachment was produced in 2 types, one at about 40 degrees and another that's damn near 90, the sharply bent one was initially intended to provide some extra crew protection for the open topped SPGs . The lesser curve for streetfighting.
(I've got a feeling the MG-less Elefant may have had something to do with it's development too, I'll have to check.)

How about that hand grenade (Japanese?) that required hitting on something hard to prime...:confused:

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#19 Joe

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:40 PM

Yes, I was talking about the one used by SPG crews. and The Elephant was one of the main reasons for it coming about.
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#20 Stefan

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:40 PM

Ahh, I'll happily bow out on that one, ;)

How about the Soviet dog mine? Inventive but badly executed.

Boulton Paul Defiant? Great idea sticking a 4 gun turrent on a fighter but without giving it any forward firing guns? Bonkers.
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#21 PzJgr

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 01:35 AM

Boulton Paul Defiant? Great idea sticking a 4 gun turrent on a fighter but without giving it any forward firing guns? Bonkers.


I was going to post the Defiant and then I saw your post................great minds always thinking alike. Cheers

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I guess they did not expect to chase any planes. Just play sittin duck.
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#22 wilconqr

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:23 AM

Japanese Balloon Bombs:rolleyes:
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#23 Slipdigit

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:45 AM

By the way, what is a neutron bomb?


It was a nuclear weapon developed in the 1960-70s. It's deployment was opposed by then president Jimmy Carter but deployed later by Ronaldus Magnus.

It had a smaller blast effect but generated a large amount of radiation that affected an area much larger than the damage caused by the explosion for longer period of time and had better penetration by radioactive particles of buildings and AFVs. I remember the Soviets had a caniption fit over it (but then, they did over just about everything back then) but I don't think they ever fielded one. It was mostly considered a tactical weapon but could be delivered by ICBMs.

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#24 TA152

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:25 AM

The Boulton Paul Defiant made me think of the Fairey Battle used during the Battle of France. What a death trap for the crews. :(
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#25 Stefan

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:21 AM

Japanese Balloon Bombs:rolleyes:
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Why is that a stupid weapon? It's pure genius from a design point of view, required hardly any resources and whilst it wasn't used much it did work. I've always thought it was pretty smart. The panic the first (and only) casualties it caused brought about at least justify the expense of several pads of paper and a small bomb.
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