25 Most Powerful Weapons In History

Posted by on July 29, 2013

What makes a weapon powerful? The word powerful can be very subjective in this case. Causing massive annihilation is powerful but so is inciting fear in a prolonged and painful manner. Anything that can destroy lives and properties is powerful, conversely anything that can protect lives and properties from these 25 most powerful weapons in history is also equally powerful. There is no stopping any country or institution from proving to the world how powerful they can be whether by destroying their enemy or protecting their own.


Maxim Machine Gun

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A self powered machine gun that could fire 600 rounds per minute which is equivalent to the firepower of 30 contemporary bolt action rifles. It has mostly been associated with British conquests and was famously used when 700 British soldiers fought off 3,000 warriors with just four Maxim guns in the Battle of Shangani.


Pumhart von Steyr

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With a ball diameter of 80 cm, this super gun was the largest weapon used in 15th century Austria. Heeresgeschichtliches Museum at Vienna houses this monstrous bombard today.


Monster Mortar

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The world’s largest cannon ever has a caliber of 975 mm. Created by Joseph Paixhans, this monster weapon staked its notoriety during the Siege of Antwerp in 1832.


Tsar Cannon

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This engraved cannon is the largest howitzer ever made. It weighs 38 tonnes and is 5.34 meters long. Built in 1586, this massive weapon is now being displayed at the Kremlin in Moscow Russia.


Mark I

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The first war vehicle to be called a tank could carry 5 machine guns and 8 soldiers. Mark I had several upgrades numbered II to X but all bore the same resemblance to their “Mother”. This massive tank and its variants were used by several countries throughout the First World War.


Karl Gerat

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This mean machine created by Rheinmetall for the Nazi war machine was the largest self-propelled weapon to be used in actual attacks during World War II.


Schwerer Gustav and Dora

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These two humongous World War II era German 80 cm railway siege guns are the largest caliber rifled weapons in history used in live combat and its shells are the heaviest of any ammunition ever.



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The Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot or hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher or simply the RPG is the most widely used anti-armor weapon in the world. Used by both militaries and insurgent groups, RPG’s even the battlefield out against opponents with more heavy artillery.


B41 (MK-41)

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This gravity bomb is the United States’ most powerful nuclear warhead ever but has already been retired in 1957. The only 2 bombers that carried it were the B-52 Stratofortress and B-47 Stratojet.


P-270 Moskit

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With a top speed of Mach 3, this Russian supersonic ramjet powered cruise missile makes it hard for enemies to counter attack. Not only that, because of the active military weapons’ secrecy, little is known about it’s background except for some measurements, calculated speed and a few other bits of very basic information.


P-800 Onyx

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Other than the fact that its recorded speeds are between Mach 2.9 up to a whopping Mach 5.7 making it way faster than the previous item on this list, this Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile can also effectively sink a US carrier. That’s powerful.


Shabab missiles



A class of long range Iranian missiles that could potentially reach up to 5,000 km, Shahab missile upgrades are shrouded in secrecy but the assumption is that they would be used during a possible invasion by Israel.


Agni Missile III

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The Agni missile is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by India, named after one of the five elements of nature.


Fat Man and Little Boy

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We all are familiar with the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings that changed the course of history during the last World War. Named after film characters, these two infamous nuclear bombs gave humanity a shocking memory of what warfare can do to a nation and its future generation.



11 B53_tn


The 9 megatons of TNT in B53 staked their claim as the most powerful warhead ever. It is one of the last very high yield thermonuclear bombs in the U.S. service but is no longer used actively.

David Pegg


After helping found the United Nations, the United States, and United Airlines, David consigned himself to a transient life of writing lists and sleeping on park benches.

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  • Che Parkinson-Sprenger

    fortunately for us, chimera viruses, biological weopans and chemical weopans are not allowed to be used in warfare EVER

  • AK

    Whoever compiled this list clearly has some sort of hard-on for Arab/Muslim nations, as none of the technology ever developed by ANY of them should be anywhere near a list containing the R-36, the Nimitz or the Carl Gustav cannon. Their ballistic missiles are not unique by any stretch, and are far utterly outclassed by any number of already obsolete designs of US or Russian/Soviet origin. Add to it the fact that the IDF would likely wipe these threats out in a single attack, and the only list these inferior offerings should rank on would be ‘most popular target for precision attack’.

  • Jesse

    I would of guessed the maxim would be famously known for killing in the First World War.

  • Justin Rieder

    In the last 2, you’re using the term decimate incorrectly. To decimate something means to kill every 10th member of a big population – annihilate might be a better word to use.

  • jer Davis

    Rail gun was a thought. Nice list