25 Dumbest Weapons You Won’t Believe Were Actually Created

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

Humans are, in general, a pretty violent bunch. You may have noticed this on your own, but please don’t think it’s a new phenomenon. We’ve been thinking up creative ways to harm each other for a really long time. while most of these ideas are somewhat horrific (looking at you, atom bomb), a lot of them are just stupid. Here are 25 Dumbest Weapons You Won’t Believe Were Actually Created.



The "Sticky Bomb" was exactly what it sounds like - an exploding device covered in stickiness. Developed by Britain during WWII, Sticky Bombs were supposed to stick on enemy tanks and blow them up. Except that tanks are usually covered in dirt, or mud, or something else gross and anti-sticky, and so...they didn't stick. They did, however, occasionally stick to a soldier's uniform.

Sticky_bomb_diagramSource: http://www.smash.com/

Before self-loading or semi-automatic pistols became standard, a company called Mars attempted to make a self-loading pistol. The problem with the Mars is that they ejected the used cartridges directly into the face of the shooter. Thankfully, only 80 of these were made, and the Colt M1911 became standard.

MarsAutomaticPistolSource: http://www.businessinsider.com/

To clear up a common misconception, the term “semi-automatic” refers to a pistol with a magazine. The next round automatically advances into the position for firing, so you don’t load each individual bullet each time you take a shot. What people usually think of is a short burst of bullets, but that’s actually fully automatic. They’re different.


The LED Incapacitator (aka the puke ray) "fires" a strobe of LED lights to give the target a headache and make them feel disoriented so badly that they instantly start vomiting and possibly have a seizure if they have epilepsy. It cost the US $800,000 in development and supposedly works from a block away. Just making people vomit and have seizures. That's both stupid and awful.

LED_Dazzler_cross-sectSource: http://www.oddhistorian.com

In 1939, before fighting actually broke out on the Western Front, Churchill was, apparently, a little bored. He wanted to take the fight to the Nazis by tunneling under the German defensive line, and thus the Cultivator No. 6 was born. It weighed 130 TONS and literally just dug. No defense, just...dug under the battlefield. It was scrapped after the German Blitzkrieg tactic went through France. Because duh.

the CultivatorSource: http://www.oddhistorian.com

The French Resistance during WWII received some weapons from the United States to help hold back the Nazis. Except..they were horrible. The FP45 Liberator was designed to be cheaply mass produced, and it worked about as well as cheaply mass produced things work. It's range was a whopping 25 feet, meaning that if you couldn't shoot the guy, you could probably throw it if you had decent aim and knock the dude out. Secondly, it was only good for one shot. In order to reload, you first had to fish around the barrel of the gun to get out the spent casing. Great job, guys.

FP-45_LiberatorSource: http://www.cracked.com

Apparently, dead men CAN tell tales...at least they could during WWII. The body of a homeless Welsh man named Glyndwr Michael, who had committed suicide, was used to deliver false information to the Germans. The body was dressed up as an officer and planted at sea with false intel documents on him and photos of a fake family. Oddly enough, it worked, and the Germans moved troops based on the info found on the body. It was still stupid and awful.

Ervik_Graveyard_MidnightSource: http://whatculture.com

The Tauchpanzers were created by the Nazi's to invade Britain. The idea was that tanks would drive across the seafloor. Not subs, tanks. That went across the seafloor. Over 200 tanks were "waterproofed" with sealant and tape and long hoses were added for breathing. Redneck engineering, not just for rednecks. This actually worked surprisingly well - in that it worked at all, even a little bit. The problems came with the fact that the seafloor is not, much to the surprise of the Nazis, completely flat, and the tanks couldn't go over the large rocks. Additionally, once the tanks stopped, they sank into the sand, and the soldiers had to swim for it.

old tankSource: http://www.businessinsider.com

So...let's talk about flamethrowers. You can see the wartime appeal from certain angles. However, it takes trial and error to perfect many things in life. Apparently, flamethrowers were no exception. During WWI, the German army came up with the Grossflammenwerfer, a flamethrower that took at least 2 men to carry. Other unfortunate aspects of this weapon included becoming an easy target and loss of stealth. Oh, and uh they easily exploded if even slightly bumped the wrong way. 

GrossflammenwerferSource: owlcation.com

The Apache Pistol, made in the United States in 1880, attempts to combine a revolver, a knife, and brass knuckles. And combine them it does, but sadly in doing so, it renders each item nearly useless. The knife is flimsy and unstable, the revolver is about as inaccurate and under powered as it could get, and the brass knuckles seem to work okay, assuming you don't accidentally stab or shoot yourself while using them because there's no trigger guard. So accidental firings...they happen. Pass.

Apache_revolverSource: http://www.businessinsider.com

When Japan was beating up any British in the East Indies, New Zealand decided, having a picture of a tank on an American Postcard, to make themselves a tank to protect themselves from Japan. This is how the Bob Semple Tank was born. It was basically a metal box, mounted on a tractor, equipped with machine guns. The Army rejected the Bob Semple for official use.

Bob Semple TankSource: http://www.oddhistorian.com

During the American Civil War, a dentist named John Gilleland decided that having a double barreled cannon, whose cannon balls were connected by a large chain, would be a good way to slice through several enemy troops at once. It didn't work very well. The shots never went off at *exactly* the same time, so who knows where they'd end up. Test shots killed a poor cow before the project was abandoned. The double barreled cannon sits as a monument in Athens, Georgia. Not sure what it's a monument to, but it's there.

DoublebarreledcannonathensgeorgiaSource: http://militaryhistorynow.com

The Ross Rifle is what happens when Great Britian tells a country (Canada) to send Troops into battle for WWI but refuses to outfit them with weaponry. Canada has given the world many gifts - Poutine, Celine Dion, Maple Syrup, Nathan Fillion - but they aren't as well known for their rifle production, particularly around WWI. The Ross Rifle was a basic rifle that didn't work at all once it got dirty or wet. Wars are often not fought in clean, sterile environments. Also, there was a problem with the bolt not re-locking when the rifle was reassembled, and then firing the bolt - at the same speed as a bullet - back towards the shooter when they fired. It should be noted that snipers did like them for their accuracy.

Ross_rifleSource: http://www.cracked.com

Here's an idea: instead of a gun that fires bullets, how about a gun that fires mini-rockets instead? The Gyrojet series of guns were good in theory, but in application, they didn't quite work so well. Not only did they consistently jam in the chamber, but they were also inaccurate. The real kicker was that the pistol models couldn't be used close-range due to the long amount of time and distance needed for the rockets to pick up speed. And why do people use pistols? For close range. 

Gyrojet_at_National_Firearms_Museum_(460776909)Source: popularmechanics.com, guns.com

A longarm rifle called the Krummlauf had a extra long barrel curved somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees. It was designed to shoot around corners. Nazis, man.

KrummlaufSource: http://www.businessinsider.com

The 60's were a weird time for everyone, including cats...specifically, cats with microphones used to spy on Russia. That was a thing. They operated on the poor kitties - United Stated Military, mind you - and implanted microphones, batteries for said microphones, and antenna in them. In one situation, they set it loose to spy on two Soviets staying in DC. The cat, being a cat who does cat things, got ran over by a taxi.

spy-catSource: http://whatculture.com

Bat Bombs. Yep. So a dentist from Pennsylvania named Lytle Adams and the guy who invented napalm, Louis Fieser, thought that strapping bombs to bats and releasing them over Japan was a good idea. Bats, just FYI, are not easily controlled and do not always go where you want them to. For instance, some were accidentally released and decided to roost under a fuel tank...with bombs strapped on them.

Southern_bentwing_batSource: http://whatculture.com

In the 1500's, an Italian gunsmith invented a round shield with a gun in the middle. It was cleverly named The Gun Shield. You could shoot, but they could not shoot you back. A pretty clever idea, so King Henry VIII ordered 100 of them to outfit his personal bodyguards. The problem was that they were too heavy to actually use. As in hold, aim and fire. So....yeah. They're just a derpy little footnote in history now. Which is probably more than most of us will be remembered by.

Gun-shield_perhaps_Italy_circa_1540_-_Higgins_Armory_MuseumSource: http://www.cracked.com

The Duck Foot Pistol was a pistol with four spread out barrels that somewhat resembled a duck's foot. It allowed the shooter to aim for four targets at once. Probably not hit even one, but attempt four. There was a slight problem with the design, in that not one of the four barrels of the gun faced...forward. As in, towards the person likely attacking you. It did, however, look pretty cool (if you didn't realize it was a hot mess in regards to functionality).

duck foot pistolSource: http://www.oddhistorian.com

The Nazis devised and actually built a 35 foot long "wind cannon" that would "shoot" a gust of air at enemies. It worked both in theory and in testing, but in battle, it literally did nothing but make an easy target. After all, it was a 35 ft long cannon that farted at things.

windcannonSource: http://www.smash.com

The Puckle Gun was an early attempt at a machine gun, back in the days when men still used muskets and took forever to reload each individual shot (1700's, guys). It was mounted on a tripod and had several cylinders to load ammunition into. It had separate cylinders for the round bullets and the square ones, obviously. The square bullets supposedly hurt more, and were designed for use against the Muslim Turks...to teach them that Christianity was civilized. There are too many things wrong with this to pick apart, actually. Do you ever look back at history and feel like it's a miracle that the human race has survived this long?

Puckle_gun_advertisementSource: http://www.cracked.com




There was a stink weapon designed during WWII called the "Who, Me?" Made for the European Resistance, it wasn't a bomb you threw, but rather sprayed. The idea was that it would make the Nazis feel...humiliated. It smelled like rotten eggs and poop. The goal was to shatter the morale of the Nazis. Problem was, the person who sprayed "Who, Me?" ended up just as stinky for just as long as the person they sprayed on. Maybe not the most well thought out idea.

fartSource: http://militaryhistorynow.com

Russia made a circular warship to use during the Russo-Turkish war called Monitor Novgorod. It wasn't a *terrible* idea, as the ship acted like a turntable, and two huge guns mounted at the top could spin and fire. The problem? The ship was so small the recoil literally sent it spinning out of control.

The_deck_of_the_Novgorod_circular_ironcladSource: http://www.smash.com/

Fire Balloons sound cool, but in reality, they were terrible. Incendiary bombs tied to hydrogen balloons, the bombs would start burning on impact and light anything in the vicinity on fire. Japan developed them during WWII to bomb North America, but it turns out you can't really control where a giant balloon goes, and of the over 9,000 launched, 357 made it to their targets, most of those failed to detonate, and uh...two ended up back in Japan. A toddler who's lost their balloon on a windy day could have explained to you the flaws in this plan, guys.

Japanese_fire_balloon_MoffettSource: http://www.smash.com

When people think about Tanks, one of the first things they thing tends to be "heavy." That didn't stop people from trying to build a "flying" 6 ton tank (among other flying tank experiments) in the 1930's. The Soviets tried to deploy tanks from the air. Sadly, nothing could pull a tank fast enough to get it off the ground, so all the countries that had attempted to strap wings on tanks and get them airborne - Russia, Japan, and Great Britain - gave up on the idea.

FlyingTankSource: http://militaryhistorynow.com

The Nuka Launcher is not a Fallout weapon, but that's not for lack of trying. Someone, somewhere, thought that having a gun that would shoot nuclear warheads was a good idea. Particularly when you add in that its range could be as little as 1.7 miles with a max of 2.5 miles. It was named the M65 Davy Crockett, and just to add to the wild fun, it had no safety.

DavyCrockettBombSource: http://www.oddhistorian.com/

Photo Credits: 25. ja.wikipedia.org (public domain), 24. Horst Held, MarsAutomaticPistolCC BY-SA 3.0, 23-22. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 21. Rama., FP-45 LiberatorCC BY-SA 2.0 FR, 20. Gunnvor KaritaErvik Graveyard MidnightCC BY-SA 2.0, 19. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-5674-33 / Engelmeier / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MW-5674-33, Kanalküste, Verladen von Tauchpanzer IIICC BY-SA 3.0 DE, 18. Image via mrowl.com, 17. Latente FlickrApache revolverCC BY-SA 2.0, 16. armor.kiev.ua via en.wikimedia.org, (fair use: no free image available; necessary for illustrative purposes), 15. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 14. No machine-readable author provided. Balcer~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., Ross rifle RCRMM 1CC BY-SA 3.0, 13 Joe Loong from Reston, USA, Gyrojet at National Firearms Museum (460776909)CC BY-SA 2.0, 12. Joe LoongG3 and StG44CC BY-SA 2.0, 11. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 10. Steve Bourne, Southern bentwing batCC BY-SA 4.0, 9. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 8. Huxley 유튜브 via youtube, youtube creative commons license, 7. greyfalcon.us (fair use: no free image available; necessary for illustrative purposes), 6. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 5. No machine-readable author provided. Towsonu2003~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., FartCC BY-SA 3.0, 4-1. Wikimedia commons (public domain)

Photo: 19. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-5674-33 / Engelmeier / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Link