History AwesomeButImpractical / Military

16th Apr '17 1:04:42 PM nombretomado
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*** Later it turned out that the guidance system ''design'' was basically pretty sound the missiles lack of accuracy were largely the result of [[HeroicSacrifice the deliberate sabotage of the concentration camp prisoners]] that built them. Boris Chertok, a Soviet rocket scientist and influential chronicler of the SpaceRace, who worked at their Mittelwerke production site shortly after the war, noted that the workers learned to make unreliable solder joints and similarly cripple other parts so that they looked and worked fine on the initial inspection, but basically shook themselves apart due to stresses and vibrations during the flight. Another issue was that the German spy network in Britain had ''all'' been converted to double agents by the British, so when V-2s would land accurately, they would often send back false reports to Germany that the missiles weren't aimed far enough, causing the Germans to "correct" the problem and end up overshooting.

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*** Later it turned out that the guidance system ''design'' was basically pretty sound the missiles lack of accuracy were largely the result of [[HeroicSacrifice the deliberate sabotage of the concentration camp prisoners]] that built them. Boris Chertok, a Soviet rocket scientist and influential chronicler of the SpaceRace, UsefulNotes/TheSpaceRace, who worked at their Mittelwerke production site shortly after the war, noted that the workers learned to make unreliable solder joints and similarly cripple other parts so that they looked and worked fine on the initial inspection, but basically shook themselves apart due to stresses and vibrations during the flight. Another issue was that the German spy network in Britain had ''all'' been converted to double agents by the British, so when V-2s would land accurately, they would often send back false reports to Germany that the missiles weren't aimed far enough, causing the Germans to "correct" the problem and end up overshooting.
13th Apr '17 9:39:37 AM Khathi
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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_class_submarine The USSR's "Alfa" class submarine]]. It set the record (still held to this day) for the second fastest and deepest diving military submarine in the world[[note]]after the preceding ''Papa'' class, itself too AwesomeButImpractical to produce beyond one prototype[[/note]], and knowledge of its production greatly alarmed the West, to the point that the US and Britain both designed torpedoes for the specific purpose of hunting down Alfas[[note]]As for standard torpedoes, an Alfa could just turn around and outrun them. The Soviets specifically tested this by firing torpedoes at their own subs![[/note]]. Unfortunately the Alfa had small and powerful but ''very'' maintenance-intensive ''liquid sodium''-cooled nuclear reactors that ''couldn't normally be turned off'', as doing so would let the sodium solidify and essentially turn the whole thing into a solid inert lump. Entire maintenance facilities had to be constructed at Alfa homeports simply to keep the reactors hot when they weren't being used - but, in typical Soviet fashion, the facilities themselves weren't properly maintained and often didn't work. As a result Alfa reactors had to be kept running at all times, which they hadn't been designed for and which resulted in several expensive failures. While the reactors could remain active for 15 years they also could never be refueled and were intended to be replaced at the end of their life, like a battery is; despite this the Alfa hadn't been designed with quick reactor replacement in mind, so the process would have been expensive and slow, potentially more than refueling a traditional submarine. In addition, while the Alfa reportedly had a crush depth of over 1300 meters, deep dives did permanent damage to the submarine's onboard equipment, so that impressive diving ability was largely wasted in practice.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_class_submarine The USSR's "Alfa" class submarine]]. It set the record (still held to this day) for the second fastest and deepest diving military submarine in the world[[note]]after the preceding ''Papa'' class, itself too AwesomeButImpractical to produce beyond one prototype[[/note]], and knowledge of its production greatly alarmed the West, to the point that the US and Britain both designed torpedoes for the specific purpose of hunting down Alfas[[note]]As for standard torpedoes, an Alfa could just turn around and outrun them. The Soviets specifically tested this by firing torpedoes at their own subs![[/note]]. Unfortunately the Alfa had small and powerful but ''very'' maintenance-intensive ''liquid sodium''-cooled ''lead-bismuth''-cooled nuclear reactors that ''couldn't normally be turned off'', as doing so would let the sodium metal solidify and essentially turn the whole thing into a solid inert lump. Entire maintenance facilities had to be constructed at Alfa homeports simply to keep the reactors hot when they weren't being used - but, in typical Soviet fashion, the facilities themselves weren't properly maintained and often didn't work. As a result Alfa reactors had to be kept running at all times, which they hadn't been designed for and which resulted in several expensive failures. While the reactors could remain active for 15 years they also could never be refueled and were intended to be replaced at the end of their life, like a battery is; despite this the Alfa hadn't been designed with quick reactor replacement in mind, so the process would have been expensive and slow, potentially more than refueling a traditional submarine. In addition, while the Alfa reportedly had a crush depth of over 1300 meters, deep dives did permanent damage to the submarine's onboard equipment, so that impressive diving ability was largely wasted in practice.
11th Mar '17 11:10:54 PM TairaMai
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* Aircraft speed increased and helicopters became a viable threat to armor so the US Army decided to make a mobile SAM system for Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD). The M113 based vehicle would have a radar to track any aircaft so that the fire control would shine a radar beam on the target. The missile would follow the beam and then use IR to finish the job. The operator just had to press a button so the system would do the rest, this peaked the interest of the US Navy and the British Army. The problem? This was ''[[TheSixties 1960]]''. Computers filled rooms back then. The radar barely worked, missile would fly off course. There were issues with the missiles falling apart or bad rocket casings. The missiles (mounted in a 3 x 3 box launcher) would shake their launcher apart.
In the end, the both the Navy and the British Army bailed and the US Army canceled the project. The concept would have to wait 20 years: the Bradley Linebacker was the same idea only scaled down.

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* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-46_Mauler Mauler]] was ahead of it's time. Aircraft speed increased and helicopters became a viable threat to armor so the US Army decided to make a mobile SAM system for Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD). The M113 based vehicle Mauler would have a radar to track any aircaft so that the fire control would shine a radar beam on the target. The missile would follow the beam and then use IR to finish the job. The operator just had to press a button so the system would do the rest, this peaked the interest of the US Navy and the British Army. The problem? This was ''[[TheSixties 1960]]''. Computers filled rooms back then. The radar barely worked, missile would fly off course. There were issues with the missiles falling apart or bad rocket casings. The missiles (mounted in a 3 x 3 box launcher) would shake their launcher apart. \n In the end, the both the Navy and the British Army bailed and the US Army canceled the project. The concept would have to wait 20 years: the Bradley Linebacker was the same idea only scaled down.
11th Mar '17 11:08:34 PM TairaMai
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Added DiffLines:

* Aircraft speed increased and helicopters became a viable threat to armor so the US Army decided to make a mobile SAM system for Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD). The M113 based vehicle would have a radar to track any aircaft so that the fire control would shine a radar beam on the target. The missile would follow the beam and then use IR to finish the job. The operator just had to press a button so the system would do the rest, this peaked the interest of the US Navy and the British Army. The problem? This was ''[[TheSixties 1960]]''. Computers filled rooms back then. The radar barely worked, missile would fly off course. There were issues with the missiles falling apart or bad rocket casings. The missiles (mounted in a 3 x 3 box launcher) would shake their launcher apart.
In the end, the both the Navy and the British Army bailed and the US Army canceled the project. The concept would have to wait 20 years: the Bradley Linebacker was the same idea only scaled down.
**That system didn't survive the end of the ColdWar. It had the 25mm gun in addition to four Stinger Missiles. The Army finally had a FAAD system that could keep up with the M2 Bradley and the M1 Abrams. It cost the same as a regular Bradley, but with the Soviet Air Force gone, it was easier just to use it as a regular Bradley. All were converted by 2004.
2nd Mar '17 3:57:37 AM morane
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* Combat Helicopters in general. True, they can carry awesome firepower, are more versatile than fixed-wing aircraft and can fly low and slow where fixed-wing planes cannot, but they have two fatal fault points: engine and rotors. Alike all aircraft, helicopters need to be light to fly, and any additional armour means weight, compromising performance, and engine and rotors cannot be protected. Moreover, to be effective. the helicopter must hover low, slow and close to enemy, leaving it vulnerable to infantry small arms fire, anti-aircraft artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and ''even to [[ImprobableWeaponUse shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets]]'' such as Bazooka or RPG! US forces lost roughly 50% of its helicopter strength as battle casualties in VietnamWar, and the USSR helicopter casualties in Afghanistan and Syria have been heavy.

to:

* Combat Helicopters in general. True, they can carry awesome firepower, are more versatile than fixed-wing aircraft and can fly low and slow where fixed-wing planes cannot, but they have two fatal fault points: engine and rotors. Alike all aircraft, helicopters need to be light to fly, and any additional armour means weight, compromising performance, and engine and rotors cannot be protected. Moreover, to be effective. the helicopter must hover low, slow and close to enemy, leaving it vulnerable to infantry small arms fire, anti-aircraft artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and ''even to [[ImprobableWeaponUse [[ImprobableWeaponUsage shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets]]'' such as Bazooka or RPG! US forces lost roughly 50% of its helicopter strength as battle casualties in VietnamWar, and the USSR helicopter casualties in Afghanistan and Syria have been heavy.
2nd Mar '17 3:53:12 AM morane
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* In the 1980s, the Kamov Ka-50 competed with the Mil Mi-28 to become the next Attack Helicopter of the Russian Army. Although the Kamov was chosen as the winner, budget cutbacks following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of asymmetric low-intensity warfare (Lack of massed armor to target) meant developing a dedicated tank killer wasn't feasible, allowing the Mi-28 to make a come back as the Russian army's secondary Attack Helicopter.

to:

* Combat Helicopters in general. True, they can carry awesome firepower, are more versatile than fixed-wing aircraft and can fly low and slow where fixed-wing planes cannot, but they have two fatal fault points: engine and rotors. Alike all aircraft, helicopters need to be light to fly, and any additional armour means weight, compromising performance, and engine and rotors cannot be protected. Moreover, to be effective. the helicopter must hover low, slow and close to enemy, leaving it vulnerable to infantry small arms fire, anti-aircraft artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and ''even to [[ImprobableWeaponUse shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets]]'' such as Bazooka or RPG! US forces lost roughly 50% of its helicopter strength as battle casualties in VietnamWar, and the USSR helicopter casualties in Afghanistan and Syria have been heavy.
**
In the 1980s, the Kamov Ka-50 competed with the Mil Mi-28 to become the next Attack Helicopter of the Russian Army. Although the Kamov was chosen as the winner, budget cutbacks following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of asymmetric low-intensity warfare (Lack of massed armor to target) meant developing a dedicated tank killer wasn't feasible, allowing the Mi-28 to make a come back as the Russian army's secondary Attack Helicopter.
12th Feb '17 3:01:47 PM Alceister
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* [[FirebreathingWeapon Flamethrowers]]. It was a weapon of WWI and WWII that could quickly torch infantry, bunkers, and vehicles. Not to also mention it had enormous psychological potential of producing the hellish images of burning people screaming in pain. However, the weapon was eventually phased out since the Vietnam War for several reasons. First, it was a heavy weapon that weighed down the user and turned them into a highly visible target, especially for enemy snipers. Second, while its range isn't as atrociously short as depicted in the media, it still wasn't effective for long range engagements. Third, the weapon couldn't be safely stored in such a way that it would not explode if hit by an explosive or incendiary projectile. Even its psychological advantage has its own downside; since flamethrower users were so terrifying, they ''always'' get executed if captured.
* The Nock Volley Gun, a smoothbore flintlock small arm with ''seven barrels'', designed to be fired from the rigging of Royal Navy warships during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars. Unfortunately, it turned out most men weren't big or strong enough to fire it without a) being thrown violently backwards by the recoil, b) falling off whatever high place they were firing it from, c) having their shoulder shattered, or d) all of the above. It also took freaking ages to reload, even by the standards of the period.
** Because of the enormous muzzle blast it also had a tendency to set the rigging on fire.
* The Japanese Type 97 20mm Anti-Tank Rifle. Fielded by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII, and operated by nobody that was sane. The recoil on the Mk-97 was likely to produce the same self-inflicted injuries as the Nock Volley Gun.

to:

* [[FirebreathingWeapon Flamethrowers]]. It was a weapon of WWI and WWII that could quickly torch infantry, bunkers, and vehicles. Not to also mention it had enormous psychological potential of producing the hellish images of burning people screaming in pain. However, the weapon was eventually phased out since the Vietnam War for several reasons. First, it was a heavy weapon that weighed down the user and turned them into a highly visible target, especially for enemy snipers. Second, while its range isn't as atrociously short as depicted in the media, it still wasn't effective for long range engagements. Third, the weapon couldn't be safely stored in such a way that it would not explode if hit by an explosive or incendiary projectile. Even its psychological advantage has its own downside; downside: since flamethrower users flamethrowers were so terrifying, they their users ''always'' get executed if captured.
* The Nock Volley Gun, a smoothbore flintlock small arm with ''seven barrels'', designed to be fired from the rigging of Royal Navy warships during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars. Unfortunately, it turned out most men weren't big or strong enough to fire it without a) being thrown violently backwards by the recoil, b) falling off whatever high place they were firing it from, c) having their shoulder shattered, or d) all of the above. It also took freaking ages to reload, even by the standards of the period.
** Because
period. Moreover, because of the its enormous muzzle blast blast, it also had a tendency to set the rigging on fire.
nearby ropes and sails aflame.
* The Imperial Japanese Type 97 20mm Anti-Tank Rifle. Fielded by automatic cannon, despite its name, was actually a semi-automatic anti-tank rifle. Relatively powerful for a weapon of its class and possessing a high rate of fire to boot, it was also one of the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII, heaviest anti-tank rifles ever made, weighing an unwieldy 50 kilograms unloaded, requiring at least two people to carry it around. This went up to as much as 68 kilos when fully loaded and operated by nobody equipped with accessories. Despite its weight, it also produced severe recoil, such that was sane. The recoil on the Mk-97 was likely it would have been impossible to produce the same self-inflicted injuries as the Nock Volley Gun.fire it in repetition.
12th Feb '17 2:27:30 PM Alceister
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** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d'Infanterie_de_37_modele_1916_TRP France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.

to:

** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d'Infanterie_de_37_modele_1916_TRP org/w/index.php?title=37mm_M1916 France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.
12th Feb '17 2:23:14 PM Alceister
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** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d%27Infanterie_de_37_mod%C3%A8le_1916_TRP France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.

to:

** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d%27Infanterie_de_37_mod%C3%A8le_1916_TRP org/wiki/Canon_d'Infanterie_de_37_modele_1916_TRP France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.
12th Feb '17 2:18:52 PM Alceister
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** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d%27Infanterie_de_37_mod%C3%A8le_1916_TRP France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.

to:

** Cannoncino Semiautomatic Fiat Modello 1916: a portable automatic cannon for infantry and aircraft use, firing 25.4mm-caliber high-explosive or AP rounds, with an higher rate of fire than its counterparts from Austria-Hungary and [[http://en.[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_d%27Infanterie_de_37_mod%C3%A8le_1916_TRP France]]. As an aircraft gun it failed due excessive weight and the rounds being too slow to hit late war airplanes, and production ended up being cut short when the British (by now allies) noticed it was suspiciously similar to their [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom Pom-pom]] and threatened to sue.
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