kay, first thing – don’t ask me to explain the title. I never did understand it.
So what this is is a book on the more incredible (and idiotic) weapons systems that had been cooked up on the drawing boards of the military designers of World War Two. Of course, it could have been called Wacky Wehrmacht Weapons since only the flying tank (you gotta be kidding) and the trans-Atlantic iceberg base were allied ideas. Everything else, the super-gigantic tanks, the London guns, the helicopter packs, all that crazy stuff, it was all German. I was hoping for some mention of the Japanese (what with their balloon bombs and crazy suicide missiles) but no, mostly German.
So remember that nutty plane in Captain America, the one with all the little suicide buzz-bombs? It was based on the Daimler-Benz carrier. So, yes, all of these ideas saw a limited form of development. How effective they would have been? No very, in most cases.
What makes the book a great deal of fun is that the author, Zack Parsons, doesn’t just get dusty on us. After explaining what actually happens, he also provides us a look at what could have happened, often using repeating characters. We have a hypothetical deployment and the likely result (usually bad). And then a little fictional story with the weapon system in use.
Further, the author is under no qualms about being impartial or even polite. About the Type XI-B U-Cruiser (a Uboat with turreted guns), he writes: To put it delicately, the Type XI-B was an appalling mistake dredged from the septic brainpans of syphilitic mongoloids. And about Project Loeedinge: Seetueful (a tracked submarined armed with a single machine gun): The seetueful could follow behind an advancing armored force on its tank treads and then go for a dip in a nearby lake to put torpedoes into geese or trout or something. It’s not your usual dusty history book
So I enjoyed it. A jogging partner suggested it – even loaned it to me. I’m sure its available on Amazon (like, what the hell isn’t these days?). But for all you WW2 fanatics, the ones who like arguing about hull armor thickness and the Battle of Midway, this one’s right up your alley.