This is a collection of weapons and other wonderments of warfare. Some are odd, some common place. Many are well known and some you may have never heard of. They fascinate me but could very well bore you. One of the stranger aspects of these wonderments, is many of them will be small or compact. While many people are fascinated by the behoovments of war, I've always been more interested in the smaller weapons and vehicles. Many of these weapons and vehicles date from World War II or before WWII

Ther is no rhyme or reason to the order. I've also made little effort to get all the details on the wonderment. There are plenty of web pages out there that offer full detail and dozens of images on all of these wonderments. Google'em if you want to learn more about them!


Kleines Kettenkraftrad (small tracked motorcycle)

The Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 often called the Kettenkrad was tracked motorcycle developed by the Germans during World War II. It was small enough to be transported in the JU52, the work horse airplane and the German Fallschirmjagers or paratroopers.

Given the nomenclature SdKfz2, the vehcile was intially to be used with the paratroopers as a light tractor. After the high casualty rates suffered by the paratroopers in the Crete invasion the paratroopers became elite light infantry and no longer were used in airborne operations and the need of an airborne tractor vanished.

However the Kettenkrad proved to be reliable and rugged and wnet on to serve no only with German airborne forces but with the Army and SS units as well.

While most of the vehicles saw service on the Eastern Front they were also widely employed in North Africa and to soem extenet on the Western Front.

Kettenkrad
  • Length: 300 cm (118")
  • Width: 100 xm (39")
  • Height: 120 cm (47")
  • Engine: Opel Watercooled four cylinder in-line
  • Top Speed: 70 km/h (44 mph)
  • Crew: 3 (Driver + 2 passengers)

Tankettes

During the 1920s and 1930s several nations explored the notion of a small light combat vehcile commonly refered to as a tankette or "small tank". The tankette was to be a small, light weight, fast tracked vehcile used to support advancing infantry and to exploit breaks in the line. It soem aspects the tankettes would replace the horse cavalry which became obsolete with the introduction of the machine gun and trench warfare of World War I.

Tankettes were typically one or two man armored tracked vehicles weighing only a few tons. They were normally not much larger than the average automobile of the day. Many were based ont he Cardon Lloyd tractor produced in England.

Probalby the two best known tankettes were the Polish TKS and the Italian L3/L5. Japan also used tankettes during World War II.

l33
L3 or CV33 tankette (Italy)
Tk-S
TKS Tankette (Poland)

Ontos (Greek for "The Thing")

Intially designed to kill tanks, this oddity of warfare was used extensively by the Marins in Vietnam for anti-personnel work and bunker busting. Armed with 6 106mm recoiless rifles and an M2HB .50 MG, this light weight "tankette" could pack a wallop.

The main disadvantage to the Ontos is the recoless rifles had to be loaded from outside the vehicle.

 

Ontos


The M29 Weasel

The M29 Weasel was developed during World War II as a tracked cargo hauler. It was produced by Studebaker, which produced several wheeled trucks for the Army. The weasel was designed for use in snow. It was used in the Aleutian campaign as well as other theaters of war. It proved remarkably suited for operations in snow and mud due to the very wide tracks which helped it to float over soft ground. An amphibious version was also built by adding large compartments to the front and back. This was the M29c The Weasel served for many years after WWII and saw action in all theaters of operation.

Weasel
M29 Weasel (United States)
m29c
M29c Amphibious Weasel (United States)

 

 
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