Monday, February 24, 2014

12 Weapons That Changed Everything

Just as there is a through line that stretches from the Sears catalog to, there is an equally clear line from the sword to the predator drone.
"Why, this is so simple even a hobbit could use it."


Dakota said...

I guess I was enjoying the slide show until it got to the AK 47. That is a bullshit line from top to bottom. To dismiss the STG 44 and skip ahead to the AK is a little much. I know all the arguments alright, yes it is rugged, dependable, and all the other stuff. It is wrong, and I had to say it.

Longbow said...

Whadda ya mean...?

AJ said...

Don't forget; Panzers ran on diesel. The Germans called the gas powered 4355Sherman tanks "Ronsons" 'cause they lit up on the first shot like a Ronson cigarette lighter.

Andrew E. said...

AJ, that's quite untrue.

German tanks ran on gasoline just like ours. Even the Panther and Tiger were gasoline-fueled.

Early model Shermans that burned did so because of ammunition stored inside the hull, at a vulnerable point--there's a reason you see a lot of Shermans with applique plates on the hull sides. It's over the ammo storage, to try and prevent a brew-up.

Later model Shermans (notably the M4A3 series) used so-called "Wet storage" in the floor of the hull, beneath the turret basket. Each round was in a storage tube, and surrounding the storage tubes was a non-flammable glycol mix.
The idea was, if the ammunition storage were penetrated by hostile fire (which would be more difficult to begin with, since the shells were stored in a much safer place), any holes into shell slots would also allow the "wet" chemical mix to flow into the pierced rounds, thus preventing any fires and cook-offs.

Russians (Soviets, in the interest of honesty) had some diesel-powered tanks, and in fact a lot of the M4 tanks we sent them via Lend-Lease were the diesel-powered M4A2 models. As an aside, they loved the Lend-Lease tanks, or at least their crews did, because they were so much more comfortable than the T-34 series, and more refined in most ways including mechanical reliability.

I was a volunteer at the Littlefield Collection museum, the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation. I dislike seeing "common knowledge" that's actually pure myth being spread.

Back on topic, agreed with Dakota's point about the StG. Can't skip that; it was the intellectual basis for all modern military rifles and carbines.

SWIFT said...

From the picture, it looks like all
Englishmen with a long bow, had to be left-handed. Interesting piece of history, that.

AJ said...

Andrew E.--Upon further research, I stand corrected. The German tanks were indeed mostly gasoline powered, aside from the Tiger tanks. Still, the Sherman tanks were very inferior to the Panzers.