Thousands of new weapons are designed every year, and chances are most of them are profoundly stupid. That's OK, though, because there are people whose entire job is to make sure the ridiculous weapons don't get built. However, every once in a while someone manages to sneak one past the reality checkers, and right onto the production line. Weapons such as ...
6The Bob Semple Tank
Back in World War II, New Zealand and Australia found themselves in an awkward position: They were technically part of the British Empire -- which meant they were at war with Japan. But they were also far enough away from England that the British couldn't afford to send them any tanks. With the Japanese advancing and conquering island after island across the Pacific, New Zealand decided to take matters into its own hands and build its own damn tanks. Thus, the Bob Semple tank was born.
Via Wikipedia Commons
We've seen more menacing Micro Machines.
Besides having the least-threatening name ever bestowed upon a tank, the Bob Semple barely qualified as one. It was little more than a farm tractor -- and due to several design flaws, it was about as useful as one in a war zone.
The designers based it on an American tractor tank, but the problem was that they had no blueprints, no building materials outside those found in a farm and no idea what the hell they were doing. They literally designed the Bob Semple by looking at a postcard of the original tank. By that logic, half of us should be able to reconstruct the Eiffel Tower.
Via National Library of New Zealand
Also, apparently some of the workers were under the impression that they were building a small house.
The tank was made by placing an armored box on top of a tractor -- and by "armored" we mean "made from roofing material." Supposedly, the corrugated surface would deflect bullets by virtue of its curviness. Since they also lacked artillery in any numbers, they outfitted the Bob Semple with as many machine guns as it could hold. Six to be exact.
Unfortunately, that last part meant having to cram at least six people into that piece of junk. One of the machine gunners had to lie on a mattress in the belly of the tank, right on top of the burning hot engine. The other five had to stand on the first one's back, presumably. And then they needed someone else to drive the damn thing. According to Wikipedia, the total crew consisted of eight people.
In other words, New Zealand had all the military acumen of Hobbiton.
The Bob Semple was also extremely top heavy and slow -- it couldn't even change gears without coming to a full stop. Also, the vibrations from the tractor rumbling down the grassy plain caused the machine guns to jam, and when someone managed to squeeze off some shots, they tended to be horribly inaccurate. Though it made up for all that by looking ridiculous.
The New Zealand Army rejected the Bob Semple tank for use in their forces, and the units that had already been built were dismantled ... but not before they were paraded in the streets of New Zealand as a way to boost morale.
The Japanese canceled the invasion when they realized that the island had already been taken by their oldest, and dearest ally: ridiculous robots.