5 Crazy Inventions of War

During the mid-20th century, the US Army and Navy developed new ways to transport troops and gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield. One idea was to use torpedo shells as sleds to pull soldiers behind tanks, known as Battle Sleds. Although used in battle during World War II, they were unsuccessful due to terrain, reliability issues, and the introduction of Armored Personnel Carriers. Another idea was to create a flying machine for reconnaissance and shooting at the enemy. This resulted in the development of the VZ-1 Pawnee, which had counter-rotating propellers and could be steered by the pilot’s body movements. However, the platform was considered impractical for combat use due to its limited speed and vulnerability to enemy fire.

The US Navy also developed the XFY Pogo, a delta-wing propeller plane powered by a turboprop engine that could take off and land vertically. Although considered an unusual experimental airplane, it was the first fighter plane to take off vertically and convert from vertical to horizontal flight. Skeets Coleman, a Convair engineering test pilot and Marine reserve officer volunteered to fly the Pogo and successfully accomplished the first free vertical take-off and flight in history. The most challenging part was landing the plane back in a vertical position.

Although these inventions were innovative, they ultimately became obsolete due to practical limitations and advancements in military technology. However, they serve as a reminder of the creative ways military strategists have sought to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.

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