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Popular Mechanics The Amazing Weapons That Never Were: Robots, Flying Tanks & Other Machines of War Hardcover – November 6, 2012
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About the Author
Popular Mechanics inspires, instructs, and influences nine million curious minds that read the magazine every month. The magazine features breakthroughs in the latest innovations in science and technology.
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
After an introductory chapter on warfare and weapon development, Benford examines the topic in chapters entitled 'Future Wars with Weapons of Wonder,' 'The Control of Electric Brains,' 'Airplanes Will Replace Cavalry,' 'Atomic Power for Peace,' etc. Entries in the chapters are divided by general subject and date. Most are a paragraph or two in length; a very few run a half-page or more. For example, the 'Airplanes Will Replace Cavalry' chapter has blurbs/articles on: 'The Next War in the Air' with material from 1907, 1909, 1915 & 1931; blimp/dirigible predictions from 1929, 1942 & 1958; vertical flight predictions from 1909, 1941, 1944 & 1959; and so on.
What's especially appealing are the colorful, period illustrations from POPULAR MECHANICS of proposed planes/tanks/floating bases/subs/rifles/gas masks/etc., one-of prototypes that were actually built and so on.
Though most of the proposed ideas went nowhere - using A-bombs for strip mining!?! - some like helicopters, guided missiles, gliders, sub-launched seaplanes, LSTs and photo-recce drones actually panned out. Other books on the subject have ridiculed such predictions. Benford presents the ideas without passing judgement, a nice touch.
In summary, I greatly enjoyed THE AMAZING WEAPONS THAT NEVER WERE. It's a hoot, a fascinating, entertaining summary of what-if weaponry and technology. Recommended.
5,200 Helpful Votes!
I loved the illustrations from the various periods, and most of the commentary and articles gleaned from Popular Mechanics are entertaining. Maybe the fact that the contents were restricted to PM explains why there is nothing on the Davy Crockett, the Army's atomic grenade launcher or the artillery piece known as "Atomic Annie." Nothing appeared in the book about antiaircraft mines or sensors designed to detect Viet Cong by their smell. I think this would have made it more complete, but still a fun book!
This may seem silly, but there are a number of the inventions in here that are real. They seem to fall into a couple categories. Computer/ robot controlled vehicles/weapons. Super long range weapons, death rays,
Now I liked the book, but when so many never were weapons actually are, I have to call the book out.
OK heres one. The stratospheric missile (ICBM anyone)???
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book was nice but not what we were looking for. Not much on blimps so not to our intrest.Published 8 months ago by L. Cunningham
The premise was good, but the research was a little shoddy. The KAL 007 shootdown by the Soviet fighters in the 80's was not caused by pilots falling asleep and failing to... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Michael W. Martinez
Wife got me this for Christmas. I am an engineer, and a defense geek, and I like vintage illustrations like in this book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Charles T. Ferguson