This is a discussion on WW2 abandoned projects within the Intros & Off Topic forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Looking a bit more detailed into WW2 projects which were abandoned during WW2 - personally looking more into WW2 German ...
Looking a bit more detailed into WW2 projects which were abandoned during WW2 - personally looking more into WW2 German projects - there seems to be some pretty interesting stuff in there in terms of experimental defence technology or just defence concepts in general.
Personally, one of my favourite concepts of the time being the idea to tow a water-tight launch canister behind a U-boat containing a V-2, i've attached some images of the sort of layout they would have had. The idea was that it would allow Germany to launch attacks on the United States, each U-boat would tow the containers along horizontally then when they were going to be launched then they would be rotated vertically using certain methods to alter the buoyancy of the top, the hatch opened and away they go.
The first image being the general idea of what the whole setup would look like and then a more detailed look at the actual launch canister. One of the more interesting points - bar the fact that the launching technician apparently is containd in the canister itself too - was that it's designed to release the exhaust gases up and outwards of the container, like what we see on modern hot-launch VLS.
The closest the Germans actually got to launching rockets from submarines were firing Wurfgerat 41's submerged up to a depth of 15 meters, this was actually acheived with test firings from U-511 in mid-1942.
Then there's things like the V-3 cannon which would involve firing a projectile and as it was travelling down the barrel, alternate sub-chambers along the barrel would detonate charges to accelerate the projectile faster and faster, you need a mahoosive barrel to do this. Come to think of it, it's similar in concept to the railgun where each individual element is electrified in turn & creates the field as the metal projectile down the barrel riding the EM forces.
EDIT: The following multi-charge diagrams i've added aren't the actual V-3 cannon (they're actually earlier examples of the theory), but they adequately demonstrate the concept of the gun.
They would need to inspect and prep the missile after shifting the launcher to the vertical position.
Then the ‘fun’ of loading liquid oxygen and hydrogen peroxide (to power the fuel pumps) in an enclosed space.
The high percentage of V-2s that failed on takeoff.
The recoil during launch from the missile and exhaust gases forces the launcher down.
Then the sudden loss of weight as the missile leaves the launcher cause the launcher to rapidly rise out of the water.
The wide open hatch that will cause it to swiftly sink if water comes in.
And you are sitting in a command center under the missile. Can’t get out quickly if it starts to sink. Probably can’t get out at all after launching until it has cooled.
Figure at least an hour to set it up for launch (probably more), on the surface, in calm weather, in an area heavily patrolled by aircraft. Then announce your presence by launching the missile, which leaves a clearly visible trail. Sounds like a suicide mission for the launch crew.
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
One of my conceptually favorites, though technically pre-WWII, the airborne aircraft carrier.
The ZRS 4 and 5 USS Akron and USS Macon. Technically they were long-range recon platforms, each carrying 5 airplanes that could be launched and recovered in flight. The aircraft were meant to provide longer range recon. Both eventually crashed and the whole thing never went anywhere.
The next shot at flying aircraft carriers were the Soviet composite bomber projects, and they were ground-attack platforms almost entirely unrelated. Too bad. The idea of a giant blimp carrying aircraft for recon purposes seems really cool.
My2Cents, limitations aside, the subject matter is interesting enough not to be discounted - nobody's proposing it as a solution to a problem. It isn't about the practicality of the system but rather the interesting nature of the development and vision of those involved, given the technical limitations at hand. One could list off practical limitations of scores of military systems throughout history, but it doesn't mean they aren't interesting in their own right.
Although that might not have been clear from the thread - it's a carry over from a discussion elsewhere that Rob thought might be interesting for the forums.