The Great Panjandrum

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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An interesting if not comical bit of war history.

...Then one day an Air Force officer, a Group Captain Finch-Noyes, came from Combined Operations with a rough sketch of what was to become the Great Panjandrum. It was a bold concept: two 10-ft wheels with 1 ft-wide steel treads joined by a wide drum.The centre section would be packed with 4000 lbs of high explosive and round the circumference of each wheel there would be a number of cordite rockets which would propel the whole thing at 60 mph off a landing craft, through the surf and, indifferent to obstacles and mines, up the beach to the wall. There the wheels would collapse and the explosive would be detonated. Within a month the prototype had been constructed in great secrecy at Leytonstone in north-east London. With equal secrecy it was transported under cover of darkness to Appledore.

...It hit a line of small craters in the sand and began to turn to starboard, careering towards Klemantaski, who, viewing events through a telescopic lens, misjudged the distance and continued filming. Hearing the approaching roar he looked up from his viewfinder to see Panjandrum, shedding live rockets in all directions, heading straight for him. As he ran for his life, he glimpsed the assembled admirals and generals diving for cover behind the pebble ridge into barbed-wire entanglements...[continued]
http://johnfowles.org.uk/nevilshute/thesecretwar/
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Astronuc
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Well, there is a lot to be said for adequately testing a concept - particularly separate components - before testing a system! :rofl:

Perhaps they should have mounted the wheels on something immovable first to see if the rockets and the resulting angular momentum would provide a stable trajectory. :rolleyes:

But then again - “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
 
  • #3
Evo
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That's hilarious, thanks Ivan!
 
  • #4
Danger
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“To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

As I always say (being blatantly plageristic), 'The best laid plans, and vice versa, never work out.' :devil:
One of my favourite street-fighting weapons that I invented several decades ago luckily falls into the 'unused' category. It was a chainsaw blade attached to the end of a VW torsion bar with a Heim joint. Simple whiplash stroke to wrap it around someone's neck, and give it a pull... (Well, those of you who somehow think that I'm a nice guy despite my name are overdue for a reality check. :tongue:)
 
  • #5
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I very nearly spat coffee all over my monitor :rofl:
 
  • #6
Alfi
Humans

Leave a bunch of em in a room with a button marked "DO NOT PUSH" and you would have to run to get a stop watch in time.

Learn from others mistakes. Who has time to make them all yourself.
 

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