There are a number of amazing representatives in the world of tanks. Nuclear tank, ball tank, mountain self-propelled gun, thousand-ton Ratte tank and many other concepts of the most unusual tanks in the selection from Naked Science.
If the James Bond films began filming in 1899, then this British unit would definitely become one of the transport gadgets of agent 007. With a 1.5 horsepower engine, four wheels, a bicycle saddle and a machine gun, the armored ATV protects only the torso with armor and the driver's head. The cross-country ability of such a machine is extremely low, so it never entered mass production.
The Tsar Bell, the Tsar Cannon … and then there was the Tsar Tank, which is just as cumbersome and ineffective in practice. Developed by engineer Nikolai Lebedenko before the First World War, this unit was no longer even a tank, but a wheeled combat vehicle. The undercarriage consisted of two huge front wheels with a diameter of 9 meters, supplemented by a rear roller of one and a half meters. The central part - a stationary machine-gun wheelhouse - was suspended above the ground at a height of as much as 8 meters. The Tsar-tank was 12 meters wide, at the extreme points it was assumed the presence of machine guns; the addition of a machine-gun turret under the wheelhouse was not ruled out either. In 1915, Lebedenko presented his project to Nicholas II, and he, delighted, gave the go-ahead for the implementation and testing of the prototype. During tests in the forest, however, the rear roller of the unit got stuck in the mud so much that even the most powerful captured Maybach engines, taken from a damaged German airship, could not pull it out. As a result, the prototype was left to rust in the forest. After the revolution they forgot about it, and in 1923 the car was found and simply dismantled for scrap.
Italian self-propelled gun
Contemporary of the Tsar Tank, used during the First World War. One of the most mysterious vehicles in the world of tanks, very little information on it has survived. It is known, however, that in addition to its large size and unusual appearance, the tank had a cannon that fired shells of 305 mm caliber at 17.5 km. Presumably used during shelling of Austrian fortifications in the Alps, the further history of the vehicle is unknown.
Tracked vehicle Tracklayer Best 75
"Rail-Layer", if you translate the name of the model literally, was the American industry's response to news about the use of tanks in the First World War. It was developed by C.L. Best in 1916, which is why this car is sometimes called the Best tank. In fact, this is a tractor of the same company, on which an armored body with a turret, two machine guns and a cannon is superimposed. Most of all, this model looks like an inverted boat. The military commission, however, did not allow Best's car into mass production - they did not like the too small view, thin armor and low controllability (he could drive almost only in a straight line).
Developed in Venezuela in 1934 with a clear goal - to intimidate neighboring Colombia. Intimidation, of course, is somewhat dubious, since "tortuga" is translated from Spanish as "turtle". The armor of the tank in the form of a pyramid was attached to a four-wheel drive 6-wheel Ford truck, in the tower above there was a single weapon - a 7mm Mark 4B machine gun. A total of 7 such machines were built.
Bob Semple's Tank
New Zealand also wanted its own tank, having heard enough about the grandiose tank battles on the fields of world wars. In the 1940s, the New Zealanders, lacking a sufficient industrial base, assembled an armored vehicle in the form of a tractor covered with metal and stuffed it with seven Bren light machine guns with 7.62mm rounds.It turned out, in general, not the best tank in the world, but at least a working one. The newborn tank was named after Bob Sample, New Zealand's minister of construction at the time. The tank did not get into mass production due to multiple design problems, but it still managed to raise the morale of the New Zealanders.
Kugelpanzer, or tank ball
About this car, the only copy of which weighing 1, 8 tons is in the armored museum in Kubinka, almost nothing is known. Only a few things are clear: the tank-ball was produced in Nazi Germany by the Krupp company, and was captured by Soviet troops in 1945 - according to various versions, either in Manchuria or at a German training ground. The cockpit is equipped with a radio station, no weapons, the body is single, you can get into it through a hatch. The engine is single-cylinder, motorcycle. The purpose of the ball-tank was supposed to be to correct the course of artillery strikes.
Flying tank A-40
Created by the Soviet aircraft designer Antonov on the basis of the T-60 tank. Another name is "Tank Wings". A hybrid of a tank and a glider, the purpose of which was to deliver a combat vehicle by air to help partisans. The crew, however, could fly the glider directly from the car. After landing, the glider was separated, and the A-40 turned into a standard T-60. However, in order to lift such a colossus (almost 8 tons) into the air, it was required to deprive the tank of all ammunition, which made the design useless when used in hostilities. The prototype A-40 did not go further, and made its first and last flight on September 2, 1942.
Chrysler TV-8 atomic tank
TV-8 was created by Chrysler in 1955. It has several striking distinctive features at once. The first is a huge stationary tower rigidly mounted on a lightweight chassis as a single monolith without a single slot. The second is a solution proposed by engineers to power the tank from a compact nuclear reactor located right in the tower. And the third one is television cameras located on the tower so that the tank's crew is not blinded by the explosion of an atomic bomb.
TV-8 was designed to conduct military operations in a nuclear war, that is, in the vicinity of a nuclear explosion. The vehicle was supposed to be equipped with two machine guns with 7.62 mm cartridges and a 90 mm T208 cannon. The project, of course, impressed the US military leadership, but soon the insurmountable design problems became clear: firstly, the creation of a small nuclear reactor turned out to be difficult, and secondly, if it got into such a reactor, the consequences would be dire not only for the crew, but also for soldiers and technicians in the vicinity of TV-8. As a result, not even a prototype was created, and the project was forgotten.
Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte (Rat)
Thousand tons, 39 meters long (with the gun), 11 meters high. If the super-heavy tank Ratte had been embodied in metal in the early 1940s, it would have become the largest and most massive tank in the history of mankind, and this record would not have been broken until now. The German leadership, however, did not begin to develop the project, since a lot of resources were required, and the machine would not have provided a serious change on the battlefield, and the Rat remained at the stage of drawings and sketches.
It was supposed to equip the tank with two naval guns with a caliber of 280mm projectiles, a 128mm cannon, and almost a dozen machine guns (according to some sources - eight, but there was no clear idea of the number of weapons at the design stage; the same applies to the number and type of engines - from eight diesel up to two ships).