Making fun of hilariously ill-conceived military weapons has become one of our favorite pastimes. Especially when, on the surface, the weapon appears to be badass bordering on invincible.
Here are the weapons that almost worked, in a world where "almost working" might as well be "hilarious failure."
6The Only Thing a Saint-Chamond Tank Couldn't Conquer Was Potholes
When the French realized that World War I was going to turn on who had the better tanks, they were quick to jump onto the bandwagon with what was probably the most adorable and charming hunk of steel you could imagine, called the Schneider. Unfortunately, being cute isn't enough to win wars, and their tank was being ripped to shreds on the battlefield. In response, they created a replacement called the Saint-Chamond tank, which had everything the previous iteration lacked, except functionality on a battlefield.
How to be nonchalantly run over by a tank: Paris edition.
The Saint-Chamond tank could travel at about 7.5 miles per hour, which was surprisingly fast back then, but the hitch was that it could only do it over flat terrain. So what happened when the ground got rough?
The Achilles Heel:
Take a look at that tank for a moment. Even though you are not a master tank engineer, you may have noticed that, "Hey, the nose of that tank is awfully long. What happens when that tank has to ford rivers or trenches?"
"Look, I'll get out and wave you back a bit. No, no, you don't fucking blame me for this."
Since most WWI battles weren't fought in parking lots, this tank was only slightly more ineffectual than the tank it replaced, thanks largely in part to that massive appendage on the front, which had a tendency to dig straight into the ground and get the whole tank stuck.
Whenever the tanks surged across the battlefield, they would quickly and comically stumble over craters, mounds or just about any slight change in elevation, and since the gun couldn't rotate or elevate at all, the only thing it could do was shoot at the ground. So while it may have been useless against other vehicles and humans, the tank was very dangerous against enemies like dirt and mud.
"Shit. It's a hill -- get out the white flags."
If they ever did make it all the way across, they got stuck when their noses dug into German trenches, because they had slightly widened them specifically to fuck with these tanks. Yeah, that's it. No super gun, no giant antitank flamethrower, no giant-ass mines, just a little extra digging and this massive weapon became obsolete.