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Weird weapons of World War I

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  • Weird weapons of World War I

    Having seen weird weapons in World War II (batbombs come to mind). I thought I'd ask if there were any weird World War I projects? Stuff from 1900 or later that never made it to the battlefield or were ahead of their time. IN my Damnable Book, the setting is 'post-steampunk' and as such anything that was really planned for might prove useful. In particular, I've been thinking about a 'roly-poly' which in that universe is a German armored car that looks a lot like the Wehrmacht's later recon vehicles. They get shot up real bad by French field guns at the Somme, and I was wondering if there was something like it historically. Therein I have two challenges: to introduce the new toys without them altering the basic flow of WWI (which I need to go as historical on the western and eastern fronts).

    Biggest challenge of all might be the fact EVERYONE has lots of Zeppelins and large airborne forces. Since I hold the value of airborne to be questionable at best (unsupplied soldiers are POWs who don't know it yet), I can see them being shot to pieces as they try and land in the enemies rear. But early in the war, both Allied and German Zeppelins can bomb each others cities with immunity, unless there's a way for Zeppelins to shoot each other down.

    Anyway, if this topic interests you I'd love to learn more, so fire away!
    Last edited by Wolery; 10 Jun 10, 22:35.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

  • #2
    Weird Weapons?

    Both sides often used sharpened spades to slice each other to death..

    The French had a grenade that looked like a ping pong paddle..

    The Germans had a cut-down version of a water cooled Maxim machinegun..

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    • #3
      Do you have any names or links?
      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

      Comment


      • #4


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        • #5
          Oh! Tatersmasher grenades! The Germans used those until 1945. I beleive they were more accurate but also more cumbersome than pineapple grenades. Cool picks!
          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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          • #6
            Actually, those french grenades were different- I believe there was a wire with a fuse somewhere and they had to be lit.

            potato masher:

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            • #7
              How about the trench mortars. The French "crapouillot":

              58 mm

              55 mm

              The Germans would counter with things like the 76 mm Minenwerfer:

              Or the 170 mm:

              Then there was the 37 mm French Hotchkiss revolver canon:

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              • #8
                JB-
                I don't see how these are weired, I don't actually know them but just from looking at them I'd think that the trench mortar is the ancestor of a rifle grenade and that the revolver cannon directly influenced AAA and probably automatic grenade launchers (Such as the Mk.19)

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                • #9
                  What about the Tsar Tank?
                  Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                  Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                  USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Golani View Post
                    JB-
                    I don't see how these are weired, I don't actually know them but just from looking at them I'd think that the trench mortar is the ancestor of a rifle grenade and that the revolver cannon directly influenced AAA and probably automatic grenade launchers (Such as the Mk.19)
                    Good point! From a historical perspective, all of the primitive weapons used in WWI look weird compared to their current counterparts. I think the purpose of this thread is to highlight weapons that were (1) experimental, (2) looked funny, and (3) did not see actual combat. Hence the French and German hand grenades for example, do not fit this description but the Tsar tank does.

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                    • #11
                      That French 37mm Gatling was a Naval weapon from the 1890s. I doubt it saw much use in the war.

                      How about the German bomber wrapped in clear cellophane, to make it harder to spot?

                      Speaking of the Germans, what about the square-rigger they armed and sent out to raid Merchant traffic?

                      The RN had torpedo boats that fired the torpedoes backwards, out over the fantail.

                      The Italians... well, they came up with all kinds of weird stuff. One-man armored shields with wheels, as if they were laying siege to a castle or something... and they took a good sub-machine gun and turned it into a twin-MG for some reason.

                      And the US had the Pedersen Device.

                      Have fun with those!

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                      • #12
                        A French catapult to throw hand grenades on opposing trenches. This appliance would have been familiar to Julius Caesar.


                        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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                        • #13
                          Hey this is all cool, but I was thinking there might be other things like:

                          Gas designed to incapacitate by causing halusination or make people crap all over themselves or something.

                          Real life Zeppelin Airborne forces

                          Amored car variants

                          Any outlandish, mad scienist devices that might have worked or never would have

                          Tesla Coils ala Red Alert (AKA Human Bug Zappers)

                          Portable radios

                          Experimental assualt rifles (I know Italy was first and the Russians sometime thereafter).

                          Biological agents

                          Even medical technology that could have been used but wasn't.

                          Anything like that even heard of?
                          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                            Gas designed to incapacitate by causing halusination or make people crap all over themselves or something.
                            Does it have to be WWI era weapons?

                            I mean there was that Chem/Bio weapon that was designed to stir homosexuality...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Golani View Post
                              Does it have to be WWI era weapons?

                              I mean there was that Chem/Bio weapon that was designed to stir homosexuality...
                              Tell me more...
                              How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                              275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                              Comment

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