Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

First part of our journey through extreme armoured warmachines projects by soviet citizens was a success, as I see it, so we continue our path through the marvels gathered by Yuri Pasholok in the depths of Defence Ministry Central Archives.

Brutal Zorbing

November 27th,1942 

This one rolled-in from the Kanash town. The basic ideas are:

A big sphere made of thick armour, with a platform inside, fixed on ball bearings, and a tractor engine. Engine drives a wheel with a pneumatic tire, that rolls on the internal side of the sphere, so it rolls, while the internal platform and turrets keep stable. The side-turrets have machine0guns and cannons. The turning of the "sphere-tank" is executed by turning the driving wheel. The observation is carried out by means of two periscopes inside the turrets, that channel the view of the surroundings to the special display in front of the driver. The armour must be made of steel and be impenetrable be the anti-tank shells. The size is 1.5 metres in radius or more. Weight increase is not supposed to influence the capabilities of the vehicle, as the weight is destributed throughout all sphere. There are spikes on the external side, so the spheretank won't slide. All these spicifications lead to high speed, maneuvarbility, terrain handling. To destroy the tank, penetration of the sphere itself is necessary. The spheretank is capable of overpassing anti-tank fortification and, with necessary germetization, to go through water barriers.

And here is the illustration for this concept:

Night Vision Pipe


Unlike other projects, this one existed in reality, and I put it in the article basically because of its overall "look". So, I present you the "Dudka" (pipe as a musical instrument) night vision device for BT-7 light tank, tested in 1940-1941 and, generally, successful. Still, the device was too bulky, and very complicated in operation, expecially during winter, and it was never widely used. The wotks went on during the war, and were later used in the design of first post-war generation of soviet tanks.


March 8th, 1942

This awesome vehicle, that may well-suit any post-apocalyptic road-warrior, was supposed to be armoured and very well-armed. Main armament - a "fruit-mix" of RS-82 and RS-132 unguided rockets, and there was a variant with mpulomet (a version of capsule-flamethrower, capable of shooting 125-mm glass/metall spheres full of parophoric liquid   up to ~300 metres, a very diselpunk weapon itself). If the driver was bored, he could use a DT machine gun.

The design was probably based on a motorcycle with carriage (that is substituted with layers of unguided rockets). The rockets are placed in a number of layers: first layer with three RS-82, second with two RS-132 and so on about two times. 

It must be said, that armoured bikes were designed almost in every country, but our inventors had proposed overwhelming firepower.

...and now, the long-awaited 

"Apocalypse war machine"

November 13th, 1942

This project was sent directly to the Chairman of State Defence Committee of the USSR, comrade Stalin by the batallion comissar of the NKVD firefighters from Moscow.

The machine was supposed to be capable of destroying any number of tanks, airplanes, artillery, ships, fortresses, cavalry and infantry, and all this power was to be carried by armoured all-terrain vehicle operated by the crew of two people.

The idea was to create a temperature of over 20 000 degrees centigrade and transfer it on the distances of 0.001-50 km, burning everything between.

Creation of 20 000 degrees temperature: create a system of 100 special nozzles within one disk, with their flame directed at one single point, so the temperature of each nozzle (700-1000 degrees) will concentrate. 

The delivery of the temperature to 50 km distance is carried out by the metal tubem with mirror coating inside and water flowing within a special ribbed cover outside.

Unforunately, we do not know anything about the reaction from the officials...

Final project for today:

Zoot-suited flak-bearer

ZUT-37, an anti-aircraft-tank that was built, but remained experimental. A very beautiful and stylish vehicle created 67 years ago, capable of very good results agains air and ground targets (with armour-penetration even bit better than 45-mm anti-tank gun, and if we consider burst-mode...)

As an end-note for today, I want to ask everyone to keep in mind one simple, but important point: some projects may seem funny or absurd, but all of them were made with deepest dedication to create an ultimate weapon to destroy enemies, and many authors were ready to take part in testing their brainchild on the frontlines.

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Comment by Komissar Hass on February 11, 2012 at 4:53am

My friend, i believe, for the dieselpunk-era it was the same in almost every country concerned, I mean "the will to create", and, as to me, it has the same basis: increase in the numbers of educated people and obviious technological progress. Just as a small illustration (modern mechanix, 1935):

Comment by Elvisrocks59 on February 10, 2012 at 8:13pm

I feel the Russian way of thinking up these wonderful machines of warfare,is far more stranger and interesting than others from the British and Americans.

Ok the the British did use a few like the dam busting bomb,and the Americans nearly used the incendiary bomb with live bats.

Mind you Russian rocket development after the war,was only a little behind the German/Nasa

Comment by Komissar Hass on February 9, 2012 at 12:35am

Thank you, Elvisrocks59! Trust me, a lot of nice things are still yet to appear. What do you you think about assembling "type-oriented" posts I've mentioned in the previous comment?

Comment by Elvisrocks59 on February 8, 2012 at 8:12pm

Outstanding and you have left the best till last. 

Comment by Komissar Hass on February 7, 2012 at 12:31am

Cap'n Tony, as I have mentioned, data was gathered by Yuri Pasholok, a military-historical enthusiast from Moscow, and he obtained it during his research in the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation Central Archive. So I just go through his LJ blog, and, with his permission, assemble such posts. As far as I know, now he works for the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War on the Poklonnaya ("Bow-down") Hill, expecially on military vehicles of WWII. He is a part of a team that have launched "Engines of War" project, and I believe a separate post must be made on this one.

By the way, I have an idea concerning this "Red Dieselpunk" series, to systemize it: will it be more interesting for The Community, if I assemble the projects according to some "typology", like "The Leviathans", 'The Extraordinary Physical Principles", "The Death Race", "The Not-so-unreal" and I think there are enough projects to assemble "The Balls Of Doom":)

Comment by Cap'n Tony on February 6, 2012 at 3:16pm

Where do you find all these wonderful toys?  The nightvision goggles look straight out of a scene from Brazil and the Ball of Doom looks like a Modern Mechanix cover or Warhammer 40K fanboy creation.  These are proof that truth beats fiction for weirdness hands down.

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