W. Churchill

These technologies are more than 70 years old, and they can cause us to have an ironic smile. But once upon their creation, the best engineering minds worked in a laboratory specially created at the initiative of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the most dramatic days of the Second World War.

This cumbersome structure, resembling a bay for a cable, is in fact a means for destroying the concrete defensive structures of the Atlantic Wall.

Destroyer Fortresses

According to the idea of ​​its creators, it had to drive up to the object with the help of rocket engines mounted on wheels at a speed of about 100 km / h and carry out a detonation of a charge of about 2 tons that was between the wheels. The tests ended unsuccessfully: the “chariot” now and then folded in the wrong direction, or simply disintegrated into the sea.

A hidden detonator designed to delay the explosion from 10 minutes to a day was like a pencil. To activate it, it was necessary to crush the capsule with copper chloride, which began to dissolve the metal wire. The broken wire released a tube that struck the capsule and caused an explosion.


Such devices were used usually during secret operations of SAS, and in particular, with the unsuccessful attempt on Hitler in June 1944.

The idea of ​​installing a charge on the bottom of the enemy ship with the help of specially trained divers appeared at the end of the First World War. Churchill developed this idea. Combat swimmers armed with powerful magnetic mines weighing 2 kg.

Combat swimmer with magnetic mines

Attached to the bottom of the ship, she under a blasting did a big hole. With their help, 7 Japanese ships were sunk in Singapore in 1943.

The author of another never realized project, the inventor Jeffrey Pike, who proposed to manufacture, or rather cut, aircraft carriers to protect the Atlantic convoys from … icebergs. True Pike did not take into account the fact that icebergs are inverted as they thaw. The project was finally closed with the appearance on the aircraft of additional tanks and a base in the Azores.

Iceberg-aircraft carrier

Grenades-stickers according to the plan of the developers had to be glued to the hull of the tank for a few moments after the throw before the moment of explosion. The charge consisted of 500 grams of glycerin, and the shell – from a glass sphere covered with a sticky substance. The developers’ calculation consisted in the fact that this substance was glued only to an ideal metal surface, and German tanks were usually wet or dirty.

Assembling grenade-stickers

Artificial temporary harbors “mulberry” were developed specifically for the landing of the Allied assault on Day D. They included almost all port infrastructure, including piers, cranes and roads. “Silkworms” were collected off the coast of France and provided great assistance in the landing operation in June 1944.

Harbor "mulberry"

As you know, the German “Tigers” for a long time were too tough for the anti-tank artillery of the Allies. In 1943, the British developed their own variant of panzerfausta – Anti-Tank (PIAT). The new weapon fired at 100 meters with a 1.1-kilogram shaped charge with this being considered unreliable. However, in the case of a successful shot, the target was amazed.

British soldier with Anti-Tank
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