War has been around for as long as borders have been in existence. Some people are just not happy with what they have and they need more. One can’t just invade another country though and expect them to roll over and give up what they have willingly. Of course they are going to fight back to keep what’s theirs. So when you want to scare another country you have to come up with a big weapon.
It never ends there, however, as once a country sees that an opponent has a giant weapon, they have to make a bigger one themselves. Throughout the course of time there have been some absolutely gigantic and devastating weapons created in the world. Some of them were not even used, but the point was made to other countries.
Today you will read about some of the most powerful military weapons ever made, and what you will learn might surprise you. We all know that weapons are made to be destructive but what some of these things can do might still be surprising.
When a missile can travel up to speeds faster than Mach five it’s a definite attention grabber. Or maybe you are partial to the weapon they say is designed to cause a level of destruction where “all that is alive merely evaporates.” Either way, today you will learn about some really destructive devices.
20. Shabab Missiles
The Shabab missiles are a long-range class of weapons that can travel more than 3,000 miles to devastate an opponent. They were built by Iran and under complete secrecy. For that reason not a lot is known about them, but anything that can travel that far can surely cause a great amount of damage. They didn’t give them such a long range just to make a little boom.
19. Pumhart von Steyr
During the 15th century in Austria, any approaching enemies had one major fear. They did not want to come across the Pumhart von Steyr super gun. If they did get unlucky enough to end up in its firing range the approaching attack was all but over. It was the largest weapon used during that time period and it featured an 80 centimeter ball that would tear apart anything that it hit. Those who faced it called it the “Monstrous Super Gun” and they did so with very good reason.
18. P-270 Moskit
Not much is known about this Russian supersonic ramjet-powered cruise missile. We know what size it is from pictures and some other pretty basic information. We also know that it is fast as hell. With a top speed of Mach 3 there isn’t much a country can do to stop them if they are launched their way.
When something moves this fast it makes virtually any anti-missile system worthless as it would be long gone before the anti-air strike was launched. These things are enough to strike fear in countries close by for a long time. The good news is that it only has a range of about 155 miles.
17. Tsar Cannon
The incredible Tsar Cannon was never actually used in battle and that’s a good thing for any enemies that it would have completely torn up. It was made out of bronze in 1586 and weighs 38 tons. It also measures in at over nineteen feet long.
It’s the largest howitzer ever made and it was designed to fire gigantic balls that would have ripped apart anything they ever hit. It has actually only been fired one time and is currently on display at the Kremlin in Moscow. Can you imagine the damage that this thing would have caused? It’s a good thing it weighed so much that it was nearly impossible to move.
16. P-800 Onyx
If you think the P-270 that you just read about is fast coming in at Mach 3, you need to check out the P-800 Onyx. This thing can reach speeds of Mach 5.7, making it twice as scary as the first edition Russia created. It’s an anti-ship missile and can take out an entire United States carrier. That is one powerful weapon and nobody wants to be on the other end when this is launched.
With speeds like that it can reach its destination in a matter of minutes and will cause certain total devastation when it reaches its destination. Anything that can take out a carrier should be feared and respected.
15. Schwerer Gustav and Dora
This thing is just gigantic. The WWII-era German railway siege guns are the biggest ever used in combat. They had the biggest caliber ever and the shells that it fired were also the heaviest ammunition ever. One look at this thing and you can only imagine the damage that in inflicted on opponents.
It was created in the 1930s mainly to blast the main forts used on the French Maginot Line during battle. This thing could fire its shells, that weighed seven tons each, a distance of 29 miles. That’s just insane and now you know why it’s one of the most powerful ever.
14. B41 (MK-41)
This is a gravity bomb that was the United States’ most powerful nuclear warhead ever. It was retired in 1957 and the only planes that carried it were the B-47 Stratojet and the B-52 Stratofortress.
It weighed over 10,600 pounds and was nearly ten feet long. The level of devastation it could render was amazing. When people heard those planes roaring in they knew that nothing good was going to happen in a very short time. It was retired as better technology was made that could be used from further distances, but to date nothing as powerful has been made again by the country.
Everyone knows what an RPG is. If you play Grand Theft Auto it’s probably one of your favorite weapons to use. That’s because it is so destructive that there isn’t much that can stand up to it. The RPG-71 is a handheld anti-tank (or anti-anything) weapon and it’s used by pretty much every military group in the world.
RPG stands for Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot but who has time to say that? You only need to know one thing about the RPG and that’s the fact that you never want to find yourself on the other end of one. The rockets are devastating and can be fired from just about anywhere.
12. Mark I
The Mark I was the very first vehicle to be called a tank. This giant vehicle could carry up to five machine guns and eight soldiers to fire them. Even though the vehicle received several upgrades and name additions, it always had a very strong resemblance to the initial beast. It received upgrades that had it named all the way up to the Mark X.
During the First World War this vehicle was used by several countries and that is why there were so many upgrades made to it. Everyone was trying to come up with a better version than what everyone else was using at the time.
11. Monster Mortar
This was the largest cannon ever in the world. The Monster Mortar is aptly named and had a 975 millimeter caliber piece that it could fire to inflict total devastation on whatever it was aimed at. French artillery officer Henri-Joseph Paixhans created this beast in 1832 and it could also send 500 kg bombs at unlucky enemies.
The weapon was brought great notoriety during the Siege of Antwerp in 1832 when it totally devastated everything in its path. When the battle was over everyone in the world knew about the Monster Mortar and wanted nothing to do with it, and with good reason.
10. Maxim Machine Gun
This self-powered machine gun was capable of firing 600 rounds per minute and led to several victories for the British. It was invented in 1884 by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim and was the first ever recoil operated machine gun in the world. The creation of this weapon changed the way wars were fought around the world. It brought a devastating amount of death to any enemy that dared to come within its firing range.
9. The Agni Missile
India created the Agni missile group and named it after one of the five elements of nature. You can bet that wasn’t an accidental naming either. The class is a medium to intercontinental-ranged ballistic missile that will certainly cause plenty of damage.
Similar to the Shabab missiles, this one wasn’t designed to go so far and cause just a little bit of damage. One look at it should be enough to strike fear into anyone with a heartbeat. You can only imagine what it can do once it reaches its target. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of this weapon.
8. Karl Gerat
The Karl Great was also known as Morset Karl and it was the largest self-propelled weapon that was used during World War II. Seven of these were built for the Germans by Rheinmetall and six of them saw action from 1941 until 1945.
It wasn’t a very easy weapon to use as each one needed to have a crane, several modified tanks and a heavy transport trailer with it. The 4,780 pound shell could be fired a distance of just over six miles. It was obviously a lot of work to use but the damage it caused when fired was immense. The ones that were used in combat were dismantled after the war and the other one is still available for viewing.
7. R-36 ICBM
This Russian missile could easily start a nuclear world war and if fired first it could give them a very good head start on things. The R-36 ICBM holds more nuclear warheads than the others in its class and this one is fired from dry land.
The ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) is fired and then guided to its target destination. It can go much farther than 3,000 miles and is something that opposing countries should always be aware of. As the technology continued to progress it was realized that it could be launched from several places including planes, submarines and vehicles.
6. Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
This massive carrier is enough to change the thinking of any possible opponents just by showing up on the scene. There are ten of these in service and they each have twin nuclear reactors that can go more than twenty years without refueling. They are also the home to 130 F/A-18 Hornets.
They can move at a rate of more than 30 knots and with the nuclear power driving the propellers it never needs to come back to shore. Something that can go more than twenty years without stopping is certainly something to be afraid of. Thankfully they are ours and not someone else’s.
5. The Trident II D5 SLBM
This missile is devastating to anyone that may find themselves in its path. It’s launched from a submarine so it can pretty much be fired from anywhere in the world and easily reach its target. It holds eight thermonuclear warheads so you can believe that all of the major politicians in the world want to know where these things are at all times.
It certainly makes for a conversation topic changer when it’s mentioned as a threat. You can bet there is plenty of backing down going on when it’s talked about. What world leader would want this to head their way? Not many that I can think of.
The B53 was one of the final very high yielding thermonuclear bombs in the United States military. It was the most powerful warhead in history as it held nine megatons of TNT. Thankfully for anyone not on our side, it’s not used anymore.
There were 340 of these monsters built and they each weighed more than 8,000 pounds. The original designs were done from 1958 until 1961 and they were built between 1961 and 1965. The final devices were retired in 1976 but they weren’t totally dismantled until 2011.
The effects of this bomb would have been devastating to any area that it was dropped on. The fireball blast area alone was said to be over three miles wide with immediate death and destruction taking place in a nine mile radius. The damage would have extended much further than nine miles however.
3. Fat Man and Little Boy
These two notorious bombs were named after film characters, but what they did was far from fiction. The nuclear bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II and that changed the world as it was known then. It showed the world exactly what a nuclear bomb can do and believe me, everyone paid very close attention.
The bombings on August 6th and 9th of 1945 ultimately brought an end to the war. More than 200,000 people were killed (most right away, thousands in the following months from effects of the bomb) in the only nuclear attack the world has ever seen.
2. MOAB/GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast
The official name of this is the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast but many just called it MOAB for the Mother of all Bombs. It was a conventional high yield bomb that is considered to be the most powerful weapon that the United States military ever created that wasn’t a nuke.
When this beast is dropped it can completely wipe out a nine block area without warning. It renders complete destruction to any opponents in that range. There are reports that the United States made an even bigger version of this one but it was never used. Then again, if it was, there wouldn’t be anyone left to tell their story would there?
1. Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power
This one is known by the shorter name of ATBIP and was made by Russia. It’s considered to be the scariest weapon ever made. It’s an air delivered but land activated thermobaric bomb that is referred to simply as the FOAB (Father of all Bombs). This one is said to cause an unbelievable amount of destruction when it’s dropped.
Reports say that what it does is pretty simple. When it’s dropped on an opponent “all that is alive merely evaporates.” The report alone of what it can do is enough to scare any opponent in the world and put them on high alert at all times. Nobody wants to be on the wrong end of this one. It was developed in 2007 and it weighs more than 15,500 pounds.
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