42 Responses

  1. sbunting108
    sbunting108 at |

    Great list my two favourites were the corkscrew tank and the scooter mounted canon lol.

  2. Raanan Avidor
    Raanan Avidor at |

    Actually the Scooter-mounted Cannon is in use. It is a motorbike with an Anti-tank guided missile on it but it is the same idea.

    1. AFP
      AFP at |

      According to Wikipedia, you didn’t fire the gun from the scooter anyways. The Scooter was just a method for quickly moving it around. You’d remove it from the bike and mount it on a tripod.

    2. marco
      marco at |

      yes i believe the vehicle you are on about is a crummy chinese moped with two taliban blokes on it one carrying a rocket propelled grenade

  3. Rob Chant
    Rob Chant at |

    Now that looks a lot like a recent list from cracked…

  4. Bert
    Bert at |

    Re: number 7 – ramjet engines are not rockets. They are entirely different methods of propulsion.

    1. frank
      frank at |

      Focke-Wulf Triebfluegel or i would call it a space craft could u “imagine a internal engine for the blades aka the middle propeller and then would add 3 brace’s like this < and ad stage 4 or 3 space engines amount of engines total on craft (4) and or use different methods of propulsion …. ect…..

  5. vince087
    vince087 at |

    number 4 is sick

  6. NavyVet
    NavyVet at |

    On #3 the propulsion method used for a nuclear powered ship is STEAM, the only difference is how the steam is generated, a reactor powered steam generator VS a conventional fuel boiler. You should have said the Charles de Gaulle was slower than the earlier boiler powered Aircraft Carriers.

    1. Anonymous
      Anonymous at |

      Um it is a boiler powered aircraft carrier they should have said conventional power plant

  7. Jim
    Jim at |

    Number 8 is crazy – need to put that on my bike! lol.

  8. Scott
    Scott at |

    I think that the British concept of a massive aircraft carrier made of ice would have to be on this list. It was tested in small scal during WWII but lost its funding. The walls of the ship would have been forty feet thick of Pikecrete, which is water frozen with sawdust in it. It would have been nearly torpedo and bomb proof. The Americans also invented a bat bomb to be used against Japan. Thousands of bats with tiny incendiary bombs would be released over the wooded cities. They fly into homes and boom the whol place is on fire. They tested it and it worked.

    1. James
      James at |

      Actually I’ve heard of the Bat bomb idea. It used a very early version of Napalm. Like you said it did actually function, which was found out when some armed bats escaped and set one of our own bases on fire. It was meant to be the weapon that was to end the war. But the Nuclear bombs were ready and used just before preparation of the bat bomb idea could be finished. At which point further effort into operation bat bomb was kinda pointless. Yeah the Russians had a similar idea which unlike the American Version failed miserably. Google “Russian mine dogs” I’m surprised that didn’t make the list. Russia trained dogs to be armed with explosives to suicide bomb German tanks in WW2. However because of a the fact the Russians used “Russian” Tanks to train the dogs, the dogs often turned tail at the advancing Germans and instead blew up their own tanks.

  9. Jon
    Jon at |

    Hi Scott, that’s interesting!

    The bat bombs reminded me of the pigeon bombs they also used. And actually Japan used weather balloon with bombs attached that floated high enough to catch the Gulf Stream and travel to the US. I think a few exploded? But the gov. covered it up during the war so there won’t be mass panic. Another good thing about the cover up was that Japan thought it didn’t work so they stopped using it.

    1. Arik
      Arik at |


      This is correct. One even made it as far east as the Oregon Coast. It exploded in an unpopulated area and created a small forest fire (which was what it was designed to do) which was quickly extinguished.

    2. marco
      marco at |

      in world war one the aussies trained budgies to roll small grenades towards german infantry but they used to get pissed off (the bugies that is)and just fly off leaving these tiny bomblets about 4 yards away from hte allied trenches

  10. Scott
    Scott at |

    The one wheel tank looks like some thing you’d see in a science fiction movie, did you see men in black three?

  11. Bob Jones
    Bob Jones at |

    WTF are you talking about? The Charles de Gaulle is a GREAT warship and launched more air sorties in Bosnia than the Brits. Worse, your sentence “The deck was also designed wrong and was not usable as a means to defend the ship” makes no sense — decks don’t defend ships, and if you are talking about armor then you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about! The armoring scheme is classified, as with any navy. Remove the Charles de Gaulle from your “worst” list and put it on your “10 best list” immediatley.

    1. davv
      davv at |

      what he meant with the deck is probably the fuss the media made when the deck was lengthened by a few meters so they can take radar planes (awacs-like) on the ship, because they had no idea they would be having those planes back when they made the ship 20 years before

      and yeah the charles de gaulle is slower than the previous one. of course. it’s a lot more heavy.

      some people need to get their facts straight before posting stuff.

    2. Tortue
      Tortue at |

      Désolé mon vieux, mais le CDG n’est en aucun cas un “GREAT warship”

      The CGD was mis-designed in multiple way.
      I don’t have the time to write them all here.

      The most significant error of that ship is the very bad design of drive shaft and the propeller.
      It give tremendous vibrations at about 60% of the max power.
      They tried once to push over that limit and it highly damaged the rudder.
      The ship started to circle in the ocean near Toulon. It had to be towed into the port of Toulon.

      And the list is endless.
      Let’s be serious, the CDG is the most mocked carrier in the navy world.
      But I must admit, frenchies do very good nuclear submarines, they simply rushed the carrier, and failed.
      Now the CDG is “functional”.
      But as said down here “On peut planter un clou avec une pierre, mais ca n’en fait pas un bon marteau”

  12. David
    David at |

    Yo some of these contraptions are actually in effect today such as the 4 legged robot thing, and you never know where else this stuff is being used kind of.

  13. Moe
    Moe at |

    So it’s your contention that a big flat top doesn’t defend the ship? Were that true then why did they bother armoring the deck of aircraft carriers in WWII in order to try and keep bombs and strafing runs from irrepairably damaging them after every engagement? Also being used a lot (and of course it was given it’s cost….) doesn’t make it a great warship, I can use a rock to drive nails passably but that doesn’t make it a great hammer. All of this is still nitpicking up until you contend it should be considered one of the “10 best” military inventions, that’s a gripe too far.

  14. Alex
    Alex at |

    Just because a word passes spell-check doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT word.. in the corkscrew tank entirely is used instead of extremely… TWICE.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Thanks, Alex. Both mistakes have been corrected. This list was written in 2009, before we could afford editors. 😉

      Oh, I also replaced the the Corkscrew Tank video on Youtube that had been removed. You can now see the Corkscrew Tank in action once again!

      1. Alex
        Alex at |

        wow.. kind of forgot I’d made that comment.. certainly reads like I was violating Wheaton’s Law.. didn’t mean to come off like that, sorry!.. 😀

        1. Louis Alexandre Simard
          Louis Alexandre Simard at |

          Wow you forgot you made that comment a big whole whooping 4 days ago. And you freely admit it. Life in your head must be though bro.

  15. lsk
    lsk at |

    The Charles de Gaulle is fully operational. The beginning of this ship was quiet difficult because the french government change the plane that was originaly designed for ths ship, but the deck has been rebuilt and evrything is working fine. During the last conflicts, this boat has been the most efficient of all Europe…

  16. marc
    marc at |

    One other major problem with the Puckle Gun was that it was designed to fire SQUARE bullets. Making barrels for the gun was a nightmare alone as was making the actual bullets.

  17. marc
    marc at |

    Oh, and the Corkscrew tank and the Tsar tank make appearances in Toy Soldiers: Cold War and Toy Soldiers respectively on the XBOX 360.

  18. Todd Smitts
    Todd Smitts at |

    Sharp eyed viewers will notice that the Red Skull’s getaway vehicle in “Captain America: The First Avenger” was a Triebfluegel.

  19. Clifton Sothoron
    Clifton Sothoron at |

    You left out the US Navy Mark 14 torpedo. As originally deployed in WWII it had a 70% failure rate. Foot-dragging by the Bureau of Ordnance delayed a proper fix until September 1943. It’s early failures had a huge effect on the Pacific campaign.


  20. Brian S. Anderson
    Brian S. Anderson at |

    Re: Picture no. 1:

    The Akron and Macon are not “blimp-like”; they are dirigibles. Blimps are non-rigid airships, similar to large rubber balloons, but shaped similarly to the airships. Dirigibles have a rigid skeleton, usually made of aluminum. You can see the form of the skeleton in the phot as lines running from the bow to the stern just under the skin.

    Both dirigibles and blimps were used by the Navy at that airbase.

  21. Brian S. Anderson
    Brian S. Anderson at |

    Re: No. 5 — Walking machine

    Here’s YouTube footage of one developed by John Deere:

    And here’s one from Boston Dynamics that I believe is intended to be a pack animal for the military:

  22. Keith
    Keith at |

    Only the French would put a friggin a cannon on a scooter and wonder why Germany has kicked thier ass in every war LMAO
    All French rifles should come with a White flag that goes up when the selecter switch goes from Safe to Semi

  23. DawgBoy
    DawgBoy at |

    The “cannon” mounted on the scooter in number 8 is not really a cannon, after all. It’s a recoiless rifle (like a big bazooka, basically). They were commonly mounted on jeeps (even 105mm, instead of 75mm, per the pic’s info) in that era by the U.S. Army and, since they were recoiless, a scooter would seem to be a pretty good substitute, given the situation.

  24. Dave
    Dave at |

    Lol very good list. really like the scooter cannon 😀

  25. Schmotz
    Schmotz at |

    hmmm why didn’t they put ACUs on this list?

  26. Louis Alexandre Simard
    Louis Alexandre Simard at |

    Number 9 is stated as a German invention but the article pictured clearly states that it was invented by a man from New-York. I hate to point out details like this but each and every mistake like this makes it hard to believe whatever else is written here. This particular example shows a lack of research that is disturbing for a site such as yours. Is it just a slip or are all the articles this poorly researched.

  27. Louis Alexandre Simard
    Louis Alexandre Simard at |

    Number 8 states that the scooter mounted cannon was used by the french during Vietnam. First of all what dies Vietnam mean here? The Vietnam war? This is how it is understood anyways. Little history lesson. What the author is probably talking about although I can’t know for sure cuz this is the second mistake in the first 3 entries is the Indochinese independence war when Indochina (now called Vietnam) fought for its independence from France. To refer to this conflict as simply Vietnam is highly misleading and shows again a lack of thorough research or even basic historical knowledge and since this list has a rather important historical aspect it makes it even more disturbing. I won’t even read the rest of the list as it is now impossible for me to trust anything written by this author. All I can say is that it a list from 2009 and you guys have made a huge progress in quality and reliability.

  28. Marcel
    Marcel at |

    What qualifies the U.S.S. Macon as a failed military invention? It was piloted by an idiot and crashed. Based on the video, the design itself was an asteounding success. they should have mass produced these!

  29. Anne N Emous
    Anne N Emous at |

    Love the article, some great inspiration for me here. One thing I think you should have mentioned though was that the Puckle gun had two interchangeable rounds, one with ordinary round bullets, and one with square bullets. “Round bullets for Christians, square bullets for Turks”. The idea was that square bullets would do more damage, while round ones would allow you to kill the Christians more humanely.

    This was flawed though, as the square bullets were aerodynamically flawed, and moved slower, thus being in fact, less damaging.

  30. Eric Smith
    Eric Smith at |

    The Macon (Akron and Shenandoah) were successful as early aircraft carriers. Dirigibles as a whole, though, were too weather vulnerable.


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