Monday, July 24, 2017

My Tank is Fight

World War II lead to many great technological innovations. However, with all innovations, there are a string of failures along the way. My Tank is Fight covers the failures. The author uses a humor to describe many of the innovations that never saw the light of day (or that did appear but were never very useful.) For each invention, he provides the factual details of the process and the contraption itself. He then provides a possible history of what would have happened if the invention was actually produced and used on the battlefield. (Usually, this part ended with a catastrophic failure.) A lot of the inventions were "gigantic" or "combination" vehicles. A huge tank may seem great, but it would be very slow. A submarine/tank combo would go anywhere, but would be neither a good submarine nor a good tank. A ship made out of ice mixed with sawdust would be difficult to break, but would also consume a huge amount of resources to build. The book included the narrative with a reporter and the "combatants" from each of the major powers, with the story reaching its humorous end in the post script. If the German's had not spent so much effort in search of the super weapon, would they have won the war? (On the other hand, would they have not made the useful advances if they were not searching so hard for the "big win".) The important thing is to know when to fail fast. Luckily, we can enjoy the humorous story of some of these "failures" that lasted a little longer than they should have.

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