The Weird Nazi Tiny Tanks You Never Learned About In School

The Weird Nazi Tiny Tanks You Never Learned About In School

Remember the famous line from the movie Ant-Man: "Small things can be important too, and also deadly, so, y'know, look out for them." Maybe that's a line in the movie? We're paraphrasing. We saw it on a plane and don't totally remember, but enjoyed it.

During World War II, the Germans put this principle to the test and experimented with a small tank-like vehicle known as the "Goliath tracked mine." It's the closest that any tank has ever come to getting the response of "Awww, adorable!"

The Weird Nazi Tiny Tanks You Never Learned About In School
U.S. Army Signal Corp
"Who's a widdle death merchant? You are! Yes, you are!"

Created in 1942 by German automaker Carl F.W. Borgward, and fashioned after an earlier French vehicle, the Goliath tracked mine carried an explosive over to a target. The first few incarnations proved to be either too costly, too slow (they couldn't go faster than 6 mph), or too limited, as they could not be operated without a long cable attached to them. However, later models received longer and longer cables, and eventually, they were able to travel over seven miles and carry up to 220 pounds, all controlled by joystick.

Despite the tiny tanks' powerful explosive capabilities, they still proved to be unfeasible for one major reason: Opposing soldiers were fairly quick to figure out that disabling one required simply getting behind it and cutting the cord. This fairly obvious revelation would spell the unfortunate end of the all too brief "Almost Adorable" period of land artillery.

For more on actually-effective German tanks, check out Panzer Aces.

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