Let us take a look at ten of the world’s most dangerous and deadly weapons that have been created by mankind. It will not surprise you that all of these weapons are 20th-century inventions though of some the ancestry can be traced back thousands of years.
We will start off with three weapons that can be used by a single soldier before moving over the big stuff.
10. RPG – Rocket Propelled Grenade
With the RPG you can fire anti-tank rockets from the shoulder. Based on the Nazi Germany’s Panzerfaust it was developed into feared anti-tank weapon. A soldier with limited training and a cheap and simple rocket-propelled grenade can destroy a multi-million dollar tank.
It was widely used against the Americans in the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong and the People’s Army. When the Soviet Army invaded Afganistan, they faced the Mujahideen who quickly became very adept in the use of it against tanks and military vehicles.
In the middle of the 1950s, the American army developed their version of the RPG, which became known as the LAW, lightweight antitank weapon.
RPG’s remain the menace of armored vehicles and tanks since their inception.
9. DSR-50 The .50 cal Sniper Rifle
The DSR-50 is bolt-action sniper rifle chambered to fire the massive .50 cal BMG round. It is based on the DSR-1, a specialized sniper rifle for police sharpshooters. The DSR-50 has an integrated hydraulic recoil damping system in the buttstock and an integral muzzle brake which reduces the perceived muzzle blast.
Designed to punch holes in (lightly) armored military vehicles, we’ll leave what happens when you shoot a person to your imagination.
What is a flamethrower? A flamethrower is classed as an incendiary device, that is specifically designed to project fire in a stream that is long and controllable.
Flamethrowers were used first by ancient Greeks, as far back as the 1st Century AD. In more modern times flamethrowers were utilized throughout the First World War, by the Germans, and more commonly used in the Second World War.
Not all flamethrowers are the same; some are designed to project a stream of fire that is caused by flammable liquid that has been ignited. Others are designed to project a long flame of gas. Liquids are the most common type used in military flamethrowers. Commercial devices opt to use propane and natural gasses; high-pressure ones, as they are generally considered safer to use.
Military uses for flamethrowers were mainly centered around attacking fortifications, bunkers, etc. Civilian uses for flamethrowers tend to be more agricultural in nature; they are useful for clearing fields, for example.
Flamethrowers come in many forms; portable ones tend to be two-part devices (a backpack for the fuel and a tube for the output), they can also be vehicle mounted for easy use.
Simple to operate and maintain, you certainly do not want to be on the receiving end of them, making them number 8 on our list.
7. Schwerer Gustav
Schwerer Gustav – This was the name given to a German 80 cm railway gun, a huge piece of artillery designed to be shot from a railway wagon. It was developed in the late 1930s by Krupp of Essen as artillery for the explicit purpose of destroying the main forts of the French Maginot Line during a siege. At the time, these were the strongest fortifications in existence.
‘Gustav’ could fire shells weighing seven tons to a distance 47 kilometers. When fully assembled the ‘Schwerer Gustav’ weighed nearly 1,350 tons. The Germans designed this piece of artillery to prepare for the Battle of France. The biggest gun of WW II was not ready to do battle when the battle began. But it didn’t really matter because the Wehrmacht’s Blitzkrieg aggression through Belgium rapidly outflanked and isolated the Maginot Line’s static defenses, forcing them to surrender without any major losses and making the destruction of the fortifications unwarranted.
‘Schwerer Gustav’ was deployed later during the war to the Soviet Union. During the artillery bombardment of Sevastopol, which was part of Operation Barbarossa, among other things, the large gun destroyed an ammunition warehouse buried in layers of rock under a bay.
Leningrad was the next stop for the 80 cm gun and probably was planned to be used in the Warsaw Uprising like other German heavy artillery weapons, but the rebellion was crushed before the heavy artillery was needed. The Germans demolished ‘Schwerer Gustav’in 1945, near the very end of WWII, so it wouldn’t be confiscated by the Soviet Army.
It was the largest-caliber artillery weapon ever used in combat; the heaviest mobile artillery weapon ever built, considering the total weight, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery gun.
There are only two weapons that have larger caliber weaponry – the British Mallet’s Mortar and the American Little David mortar (both 90 cm).
6. Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
US Nimitz Class – at over 1000 feet, the Nimitz Class aircraft carriers are the world’s biggest warships. Costing around US$4.5 billion each, they are also the most expensive. The 100,000-tonne carriers can hold up to 90 aircraft and are fitted with anti-aircraft guns and missiles.
They are expected to serve for 50 years. However, the US is already developing its successor in the Gerald R. Ford Class, which will be even bigger and is expected to cost around US$12 billion.
Currently, there are ten Nimitz Class aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. The lead ship of the class is named after the World War II United States Pacific Fleet commander Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the U.S. Navy’s last fleet admiral.
Instead of the gas turbines or diesel-electric systems which are used for propulsion on most modern warships, the carriers use two nuclear reactors which drive the four propeller shafts and can achieve a maximum speed of over 30 knots. Because they use nuclear power, these massive ships can operate for over 20 years without refueling!
The ability to project power anywhere on the planet with the ability to defend itself means a high place on our list.
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