Thursday, October 01, 2015

WW1 - One Man Tanks

Last year, I posted on the drone from WW1. It was never used in combat, but it was designed and manufactured. There are curious inventions and creations from WW1. One thing that should embarrass the steampunk aficionados is how legit creations from the Victorian and Edwardian era make cutesy little steampunk creations look lame and unimaginative. An interesting example are the one man tanks of the Great War.

I have no clue what this is

These are interesting little designs as the demands were unique and high priority. A bit of the joys of a smaller bureaucracy are seen in the speed of creating these machines and their deployment. The American Jeep in WW2 is another example (70 prototypes to meet specs in 75 days). The lack of an entrenched system and the corporate contract padding interests were not horrendous then as they are now.

Want to see it in Action?
A friend in DoD works in chem. When he first started around 2002, it was all focused on anti-chem warfare measures and projects. Then as Iraq started and the chem weapons were not used but IEDs became the weapon of choice by the insurgency, the leviathan DoD moved to respond. Chemical sniffers and purely meeting the demands of ever bigger IEDs were the need now programs. Still, how many whistle blowers on problems with Humvees were there before the military moved to MRAPs? Two (1, 2). Terrible.

Absolutely strange


peterike said...

The outburst of mechanical creativity during the Industrial Revolution / Victorian Age was really quite stunning. White people just built and created, built and created. And then it all went to hell in that stupid war.

Of course, white people continued to be creative and are still creative. But now we're expected to carry the weight of the world, and so many powerful white minds are sucked into culturally worthless activities like law and finance.

Oh well. It was a good old world once.

JumpinJackFash said...

Allow me to autist for a moment.

The first one looks like some kind of construction equipment, not a weapon, unless that's a flamethrower in the front (I can't tell). There's no armor and and no visible obvious weapons on it. The actual tanks are pretty cool though.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Hilarious comment. I think the first was used to cut barb wire. I had another pic but it did not save well and it was a tank that had a rear wheel to help with steering.

Chris W said...

During the second world war, whites also came up with a lot of amazing things within a very short period of time ( computers, jet planes etc etc ).

Now our best brains are working on making your iphone cooler and on "apps" to make your facebook experience even more fun.

Sad isn't it?

Alpha Skua said...

Such intersting and unsiual little things kind of like the electric cars that look kind of shrunken down

craig said...

Bureaucracy and its rules cost lives and treasure:
"Favoritism is the secret of efficiency" Adm. John Fisher father of the Dreadnought

sysadmn said...

@JumpingJack -
See this version of the pic: According to Google translate, the caption says, "This Monster did not offer a benefit its tracks. The long scissors that would cut iron barb wire soon proved useless, the driver has discovered".

nightboat2cairo said...

The first sentence would be "This monster offered but one advantage - it's caterpillar tracks."

So they liked the tracks.

Big Bill said...

The "I don't know what it is" device is made for ripping out barbed wire. Notice the thingie sticking out of the front. You drive it into barbed wire, gather up a clump of wire by the two-pronged hooks, and then back up.

There doesn't appear to be a mechanical scissoring device to make the twp prongs actually cut something, so it looks like all it could do is grab onto the wire and then back up pulling the wire with it.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Thanks Bill. I knew it was barbed wire related as I grabbed the pic from an anti-trench picture search

Anonymous said...

It's a Killen-Strait agricultural tractor, made in the USA. The photo in question is probably from a 1915 demonstration near London, England. It was fitted with a barbed-wire cutter (the pronged affair up front) with the thought that barbed wire on the Western Front looked like a simple cattle fence which could easily be cut by channeling it into a cutter and driving forward. Obviously impractical. Although the tracks were a step in the right direction, its short base led to a lack of cross-country maneuverability and the proposal went nowhere. A later experiment had the tractor covered in armour plating, which was no more successful.