War is like a hellish meat grinder that takes a steady stream of humans in one end and pushes a misery shower of blood, guts, and despair out the other. As it turns out, it is also a recipe for wacky pictures. We've already told you about some of the strangest war images ever captured, and now we bring you even more real photographs that are almost too ridiculous for words.
11 "Special Delivery!"
Imperial War Museum
It comes with a little flag labeled "bang!"
OK, this is clearly a screenshot from a Marx brothers movie. There's no way air raids have ever been as imprecise as a game of beer pong, even back when airplanes had to be pedaled into the sky and could only be flown by pilots weighing less than 130 pounds. Also, who is taking the picture? World War I flying aces didn't have dashboard cams, and unless a helpful gremlin stowed away with the entire trunkful of equipment required to take a photograph 100 years ago, this photo is obviously staged.
Actually, it turns out that during World War I, bombing enemy targets was basically like playing darts with explosives, because the bombs had to be aimed and dropped by hand. Correction: a badly shaking and sweating hand.
However, that's not exactly what's happening in that picture, because that picture wasn't taken on an airplane. It was taken on a SSZ-class blimp, a setup so desperately primitive it was essentially a boat dangling beneath a giant balloon.
Early Aviation Image Archive
They were supposed to kill people, but they kept going on whimsical adventures instead.
A small team of soldiers could sit inside this airborne canoe as it spit in the face of God and drop satchels of bombs on the populace below like a bunch of disgruntled Christmas elves, because as this article demonstrates, old-timey war frequently set the benchmark for unintentional comedy.
10 World War II Was Fought with Action Figures
Wojciech K/Dark Roasted Blend
Its mother was a tank. No one can identify the father.
Apparently, COBRA was instrumental in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
The nefarious contraption in that photo is most likely the Soviet Progvev-T, a gas-dynamic minesweeper. Weighing in at 37 tons, it consisted of a tank with a MiG-15 jet engine strapped to its roof, which would superheat a kerosene flame that, when pointed at the ground, would ignite and detonate any mines lying in wait. Yes, the Soviets built a tank for the specific purpose of shambling across the countryside and blasting superheated jet flame at the ground until it exploded.
Really, though, this was far from the most ridiculous-looking vehicle on tank treads. Take the German SdKfz 2, for example:
2nd Armored Productions
"Did someone weld two bikes back to back? HOGAN!!"
The SdKfz 2, or Kettenkrad, was an armored motorcycle that saw extensive use on the Eastern front, because it was one of the few things that didn't sink into the gray oceans of mud the Russians called roads. However, this probably didn't stop the Russians from making fun of the Germans for riding around on golf carts like a bunch of assholes.
German Federal Archives
"Ignore them. They're just jealous."