Whenever you think of war, ask yourself, what is war good for? The answer will most probably be “War causes destruction and mayhem for all.” This conclusion is partly true. Now, think of it like this. What did we achieve from the wars of our past? It turns out we owe a lot of our modern-day technology to the research and development during war times.
Here are some examples. The jet engine was first invented by the Germans. The first-ever operational Jet-Engined aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me-262, was the result of the Second World War. This technology is crucial to our current society, as it allows everyone to travel all over the world quickly. The technology from the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is currently being used to power our homes. Rockets and missiles were pioneered in World War 2, and current rockets, which are used to send satellites to space, is a direct result of that technology.
Propaganda played quite a major role to scare the enemy during both World Wars. One aspect of this propaganda was to manufacture huge, massive vehicles to spread terror. Currently, the idea of “bigger is better” has been scrapped, but the capabilities of these modern vehicles are beyond amazing. We've compiled a list of 20 beasts that are surely some of the most massive war machines of their times. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.
The Punisher is currently being developed and tested by the Russian military. Currently, the only information available about this machine is that it's both bullet and bomb resistant. It can transport 10 soldiers with windows all around to the sides so that the soldiers can keep a lookout for any potential ambushers. The armor is capable of sustaining impacts from 7.62 mm rounds. The Russians have decided to not use foreign machines for their troops and use the ones that are domestically made. The Moscow Times declared that the Punisher is the fastest armored vehicle in existence. That might be true since the engine is 730 hp, more than enough for adequate speed and mobility. There are rumors that the Punisher can achieve a top speed of 95 mph.
19 Oshkosh LVSR
The Oshkosh LVSR looks like something out of a Mad Max movie (great movie btw). The LVSR stands for Logistic Vehicle System Replacement. It's used by the military for logistics support; in short, it's used to transport supplies and provide logistics to the troops on the frontline. This monster has 10 wheels, and all 10 of them are powered by a Caterpillar 6-cylinder diesel engine. The 600 hp engine produces nearly 1843 ft-lb of torque, which is justified since the Oshkosh has to perform three roles in the army, As a tractor, as a cargo carrier, and as a wrecker. You must be thinking that it must be a hassle to steer a vehicle with 10 wheels, and you would be right. The steering controls the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th axle by power steering while the 4th and 5th axle are mechanically controlled, and they move in the opposite direction of the former.
Marauder means "to raid.” This modern armored trojan horse is the closest thing to a castle on wheels you can have. Developed in South Africa, the Marauder can house 10 people, including the driver and the side passenger. This beast weighs close to 10 tons, and fully loaded, ready for combat, the beast is a whopping 15 tons. The Marauder can sustain a direct blast from 3 pounds of C4. This indestructibility is attributed to the STANAG 4569 Level 3 protection armor, meaning, the hull can withstand a direct hit from a 155 mm High-Explosive artillery shell. All this weight and protection needs to be moved around. The movement is provided by a Cummins Diesel 300 hp engine with nearly 1000 lb-ft of torque. The Marauder comes with either 4 wheels or 6 wheels. Depending on the tires, this mammoth can reach speeds of 100-120 km/h.
17 Force Protection Ocelot
Trust me when I say this: “You have to see it to believe it.” I saw this vehicle with my own two eyes, and I was astounded by the scale of this beast. The Force Protection Ocelot is an armored car specially designed to be used in nearly every situation a soldier finds himself in. The Ocelot was designed in such a way that each part is removable and replaced according to the role the Ocelot might be used for. The Ocelot is specially designed to be resistant to mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The vehicle is powered by a Steyr, 6-cylinder diesel engine merged with a 6-speed auto transmission allowing the Ocelot to reach a top speed of 82 mph. The Ocelot has multiple protection measures such as independently powered wheels so that if one is blown off, the other remaining wheels can transport the soldiers to safety.
16 BMPT Terminator
The BMPT is an armored vehicle that was developed after the Cold War by a Russian manufacturer. The role of the BMPT was to engage in urban combat. The role was needed as the conflict in the Middle East mostly involved urban warfare. The BMPT came into being after the Russians faced defeat in the Soviet-Afghan War. The chassis of the tank is based on the T-72 tank. The turret hosts multiple types of weapons that are useful in Urban warfares. The main armament is 2 30 mm cannons with 4,130 mm rocket launchers. The Terminator weighed in at 48 tons with the front armor consisting of composite and reactive armor. This greatly improved protection from attacks. The Terminator protects its occupants from anti-tank fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Terminator can be a perfect holocaust-survival machine.
15 Metal Ball Of Death
During the Second World War, the Germans were doing all sorts of experiments to produce the next best weapon. Sometimes, the Germans were successful in developing a machine that would revolutionize the modern world like the Jet engine. But sometimes, things didn’t go according to plan, and something strange was developed.
Introducing the Kuglepanzer! This weird little ball of metal was actually supposed to be a tank for one person. This strange contraption doesn't have a lot of details due to lack of any record of its operation. All we know is that it was used for reconnaissance. It was captured by the Russians in 1945, and it had a single cylinder engine used for propulsion. The armor was only 5mm thick, and the viewing slit is so small that it's doubtful that the driver could see anything, let alone conduct recon operations. This might not be a beast, but it surely is one strange weapon.
14 Flyer 72
The Flyer is the creation of the United States, specifically, by the Flyer Defense LLS. The Advanced Light Strike Vehicle is used for quick-reaction situations, such as rescuing downed men or harassing the enemy. There are two variants of the Flyer, one being the Flyer 72, and the other one being the Flyer 60. The 72 is wider in comparison to the 60. This lightweight and fast-acting vehicle can carry 9 soldiers. The combat load of the Flyer 72 is 2,500 kg. The Flyer was designed in such a way that it can be modified easily according to the situation. Furthermore, its comparatively light weight allows it to be airlifted by nearly every transport plane or helicopter the US military has. It can reach a top speed of 160 km/h. It has a Turbocharged Diesel engine that produces 195 hp and 295 ft-lb of torque with an automatic gearbox.
13 IMI CombatGuard
The Israel Military Industries Combat Guard is an armored vehicle with some of the latest means of defense against threats that exist today. The 4*4 vehicle has an armored monocoque that can accommodate a crew of 6-8 people. The CombatGuard uses applique armor, meaning that armor plates can be latched onto the already-existing armor to provide additional protection against threats. The CombatGuard is additionally protected by the Israeli-developed “Iron Fist.” This countermeasure system is used to protect from incoming missile fire. The way it does that is it fires an interceptor missile that destroys the incoming missile before it gets a chance to impact the vehicle. The engine of the CombatGuard is a 6.5-liter General Motor diesel engine that allows the vehicle to reach an offroad speed of 120km/h offroad.
12 BC Customs Search and Rescue Tactical Vehicle
The BC CSRTV or, in short, the SRTV-5, is an all-terrain, all-purpose vehicle developed by BC Customs. This vehicle doesn't mess around when it comes to being all-terrain. It can reportedly go 100+ mph and can tackle 65+ degree gradient hills. The vehicle has a 7.62 mm NATO Gatling Gun attached to the roof for when things get rough and you want to make sure that you take care of the enemy. The vehicle is modular in design, meaning that it can be configured for any situation that it might face. The curb weight of the SRTV-5 is only 1,600 kg. This lightweight construction is due to the use of aircraft grade tubing, which is extremely light and extremely strong. It has a diesel engine mounted in the middle, which produces 430 hp and nearly 425 ft-lb of torque.
11 IAV Stryker
The IAV Stryker is an 8x8, Light Armored Vehicle which was developed by the Canadian military. A vehicle that would fill the gap between a heavy vehicle and those that can be deployed quickly was the requirement. The armament is dependent on the type of vehicle used. There are two variants. The first one is an IAV (Interim Armored Vehicle), and the other is an MGS (Mobile Gun System). The IAV has a 50-caliber machine gun system with a grenade launcher. The total weight of the IAV is 18 tons with a crew of 2 and a 9-passenger capacity. The frontal armor is 14.5 mm thick, that can withstand small arms fire and explosives. There are sensors present in the engine compartment and the crew hold if a fire was to break out, and fire extinguishers are automatically engaged to put it out. This beast is capable of handling any threat it faces.
10 PL-01 Stealth Tank
The PL-01 is being developed by Poland, and it's based on the currently used light tank, the Swedish CV90120-T. This tank looks futuristic, and it surely is. The armor on the PL-01 Stealth Tank has specialized wafers with clever sensors to track the current radiation level of the tank armor and then check the radiation of its surroundings. Using this method, the tank's computer can determine how much radiation should be absorbed so that the tank can blend into the background. This advanced feature earns this tank the title of being a stealth tank. With all the clever gizmos, the tank also packs a mighty punch. The main gun is a 120mm cannon capable of taking out targets at long range. The tank can also fire guided missiles that can be used against the enemy, especially other tanks. The tank is scheduled to be produced in 2018.
The Merkava is an Israeli-developed main battle tank. “Merkava” means “Chariot,” and this battle chariot was developed in 1972. It's still currently being used in the Israeli military. The tank weighs 65 tons with a 4-man crew. Two more passengers can be accompanied by the crew. The main armament is a 120 mm gun with a 12.7 mm turret-mounted MG. The armored plating on the tank is placed at a low angle relative to the tank. The steep angle of the plates provides additional protection from anti-tank rounds and RPGs. On the rear of the turret, there are massive metallic balls hanged with chains to act as the initial impact for incoming rounds or rockets. Powering the tank is a 1,500 hp diesel engine that's charged by a massive turbo. The maximum speed achieved by this beast is 64 km/h. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to come face to face with this giant beast.
8 Lun-class ekranoplan
Nicknamed the “Duck,” this massive plane was used by the Russians in 1987s. The Lun, which means “Harrier” in Russian, was huge and weird at the same time. It was a vehicle in a class of its own. The concept for the Lun was basically the same as that for the hydroplane. The plane-ship hybrid used to skim over the water due to the lift provided by the massive wings, attaining speeds of 550 km/h. The plane was powered by 8 turbojet engines producing a combined thrust of 28,600 lb-f. This vehicle could carry 100 tons of cargo. The crew consisted of 6 officers and 9 regular soldiers who monitored and controlled this craft. The Lun had a whole armament capable of taking care of threats, ranging from surface-to-air missiles to anti-ship launchers. The Russians didn’t joke around when making giant war machines.
7 Antonov AN-124 Ruslan
The Ruslan, which was nicknamed the "Condor,’ is the largest military aircraft used for transportation in the world. The Antonov weighs 390 tons when taking off. It can also carry a cargo load of 120 tons. Most of the large military machinery is transported using this giant behemoth. The power needed to lift this craft from the ground is monumental. The Condor is powered by 4 D-18T engines producing a combined thrust of 51,600 lb-ft. This massive power by the turbojet engines allows the Condor to achieve a top speed of 865 km/h (fully loaded). Being the largest-ever aircraft to have ever flown, the Condor has broken multiple world records. One of the records was traveling the longest distance without refueling. As the Condor is the largest flying bird, the aircraft was named after it.
6 Gasdynamic trawler "Progvev-T"
This beast looks like something from a Transformers movie. During the Second World War, industries manufacturing tanks and aircraft were in overdrive. So, it was expected that there would be a surplus of spare parts around the workshop. Spare jet engines were used in this case. The Russians decided to strap on a MiG-15 engine onto a tank for mine-clearing purposes. So, the Progvev-T was born. This tank weighed in at 37 tons, but there was one small problem - during a war, it's not wise to give your location to the enemy. Since the Progvev-T had a fighter jet engine attached to it, stealth was non-existent. Also, the blastwave of the jet engine wasn't effective in clearing mines reliably. A modified version of the Progvev-T was also made. It had two MiG-21 engines but still, these weren't sufficient. Thus, while this tank looks badass, it’s just not practical.
This cute little tank might look like an RC hobbyist's dream, but this thing was a high explosive mine on tracks. This vehicle was supposed to carry nearly 100 kg of high explosive charge. It was a one-time use vehicle since the explosive charge would blow the tank itself to bits. It weighed a total of 370 kg and was only 2 feet high and 4 feet in length. The power came from 2 electric motors powering either track on the side. Records show that the Goliath wasn't very effective in combat since artillery strikes would snap the cable controlling the tank, rendering it useless. Also, there was a problem with it being extremely slow. With a top speed of 10 km/h, it was taken out by the enemy before reaching its target. However, if it came close to its target, the explosion was massive enough to deal heavy damage.
Yamato was a Japanese battleship that was used in the Second World War. Yamato had a displacement of 65,000 tons. To give an idea of how large the Yamato was, imagine a smaller version of the Empire State Building that could float on water. The development on the Yamato started in 1937, and it was battle ready in 1941, a week after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The main armament comprised of the largest-caliber guns ever mounted on a ship. This monster could take out nearly any threat. The 18-inch guns fired high explosive rounds 42 kilometers away. The armor on the ship was nearly 9 inches thick on the deck and the gun turrets armor was nearly 27 inches thick. An equally massive engine was needed to move this massive beast. It was powered by 4 steam turbine engines that could propel the ship at nearly 27 knots or 50 km/h.
3 Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus ("Mouse")
The Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus was the most powerful tank of the Second World War. The Germans were in the process of making these behemoths, but only two prototypes were completed, one of which was missing a turret. The tank weighs 188 tons. In comparison, The tiger tank is 58 tons. The Maus had to carry all this weight around, so it needed a powerful engine. That was easily available since Porsche and Volkswagen were producing some really powerful engines for tanks and other vehicles, but the problem was the transmission. All that weight required an extremely strong transmission, which wasn't available at that time. So, they decided to use two electric motors that powered either side of the track. Each track had its own separate suspension system. The main armament was a 122 mm anti-tank KwK 44 gun with a separate 75 mm Kwk 44 gun. The name "Maus" doesn't do justice to this mammoth.
2 Typhoon-class submarine
A submarine is a naval vehicle that can dive into the water and remain there for a certain period of time. The Typhoon-class submarines were the largest submarines ever built. Starting life in Soviet Russia, the production started in 1976, and a total of 7 were planned, but only 6 were ever completed. These submarines use 2 nuclear reactors and 2 steam turbines to drive 2 shafts. This massive power plant propels the sub to 50 km/h while submerged. In addition to having nuclear capabilities, these submarines also house torpedoes that can take out a battleship. The hull is divided into sections that provide a better chance of surviving if the hull is breached. These submarines are large enough for the crew to live comfortably while submerged. Sadly, the Typhoon-class submarines are reaching the end of their lives, so they're being decommissioned.
1 The Gustav
The Gustav was a German railway artillery gun that was developed in the Second World War. This gun is the largest and heaviest mobile artillery that's ever been built. I mean, you needed two Flak battalions just to protect it from air raids. The weapon was supposed to destroy the French fortifications. The shell fired by this monster weighed close to 7 tons, meaning that it would be hurling shells that weighed about as much as a large SUV. The gun was assembled after the tracks were laid out at the firing position. It took three days to assemble this beast. The maximum range of the gun was 47 km. However, the gun was sadly destroyed by the German forces as they were retreating to avoid capture. Only two guns exist: Gustav and its sister Dora.