Warfare is constantly evolving, always changing into new battlefields or types of combat. Sometimes the evolution is caused by the invention of new technology and weaponry, sometimes changes in war force innovations in weaponry.
In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most innovative, unusual and weird weaponry that has ever been invented.
Please note this article is a historical (and present) view of military weapons. We do not explicitly excuse or agree with the use of these weapons but to ignore them would be to suggest that they did not exist. It’s important to remember history as it happened.
Xm25 – Heckler & Koch (2010-present)
When you think ‘unusual military weapons’, it’s hard not to be instantly drawn to the XM25. It’s Heckler & Koch’s futuristic looking cannon that would be right at home in a sci-fi movie. If you’re not familiar with what makes the XM25 so special; it features the ‘Counter Defilade Target Engagement’ system that allows the user to choose when then round explodes, making it a versatile for clearing enemy from inside buildings or behind hard cover (otherwise known as in ‘defilade’).
Military Dolphin – US Navy (1960-present)
Animals have often played a part in the military, but few as unusual as military dolphins. These military dolphins were trained in a number of tasks from rescuing lost naval swimmers to locating underwater mines. In the fiscal year of 2007, the US Navy spent $14m on further research into marine mammals as weapons and training programs in object recovery and mine detection. US Navy trained dolphins have contributed to saving more lives in open water than specifically trained life savers.
Puckle gun – England (1718-22)
The Puckle gun, invented by James Puckle in 1718, truly lives up to the ‘unusual military weapons’ title. The weapon was a crew-served manually operated flintlock revolver and is one of the earliest weapons to be called a ‘machine gun’ (although it will not be considered on by today’s standards). What makes the weapon so interesting is that the gun came in 2 variants; one version of the gun, intended for use against Christian targets, fired standard ball ammunition, and the other, for use against Muslim Turks, fired cubed ammunition. The patent claims that the cubed ammunition would “convince the Turks of the benefits of Christian civilisation”.
Bat Bomb – USA (1942-1945)
The military often used animals as weapons and in 1942, the idea of the ‘Bat Bomb’ was conceived. The Bat Bomb was an experimental weapon developed by the USA for use against Japan during WW2.
A canister filled with over 1000 hibernating bats was dropped above the target city at dawn; the canister would then release a parachute and eject hundreds of bats. The bats would spread out up to 20 miles from the drop point and head into the eaves of buildings to roost for the day-time. Then, small incendiary devices attached to each bat would detonate, causing mass fires and chaos over a large area in inaccessible parts of buildings. Tests proved a success and favourable to traditional incendiary bombs, however the atomic bomb project ended the war before the bat bomb could see use.
Vespa 150 TAP – France (1956)
Vehicles are always the first to innovate when it comes to warfare and weaponry. This is the Vespa 150 TAP, a modified scooter with a mounted M20 75mm Recoilless rifle. The scooter would be parachute dropped in pairs with a two man team. One scooter would carry the ‘rifle’ and another with ammunition. Despite initial appearances, the gun was not meant to be fired from the scooter (due to a complete inability to aim) and was actually intended to be removed and mounted on a tripod. However, it was designed in a way so that in a ‘worst case scenario’ the rifle could be fired on the scooter, even whilst riding.
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