Most wasteful weapons project after 1900

I did a thread about this a year ago and wanted to try it again; there where some really interesting projects and discussions brought up, and since we get new members and are doing reading and research I figure there is more to learn and laugh at

copy of first OP

Post here your gold silver bronze and dishonorable mention for the most wasteful weapons project after 1900

Things to take into account that should influence your choice

1. Mega cost/labor overruns
2. Limited or zero real life use or cancellation prior to deployment due to failures or cost of the weapon
3. Safety issues
4. Total impracticality or not serving any function at all (bonus points of enemy nation's think the system or weapon is a joke)

My new list

Gold: (Still remaining) The V3/Paris Gun/Babylon Gun... all of these super guns proved of no tactical or strategic value and could be rightly regarded as enormous wastes of precious money and resources
Silver: (new) The MIM-46 Mauler anti aircraft weapon which went through a horrendously expensive totally failed decade long development process with the army that left it still without any credible air defense
Bronze: (new) The B-2 Spirit program... not just the horrendous costs for the bombers themselves; but the service to keep them flying is completely ass hat insane in terms of resources and dollars needed

Dishonorable mention: (new) The German G-41 rifle (a rare miss for them in the world of small arms)... the feeding, reloading and other mechanisms from this weapon where awful, and the user had an extremely high chance of getting himself killed as the weapon jammed when engaging armed people
 
The Ratte Tank, which would only work in a world like that of Warhammer 40K where the power of magical thinking is a valid energy source to be tapped.
 
The entire V Weapons programme, billions of Reichsmarks wasted on two weapons systems that carried roughly the same payload but were far less accurate than Allied heavy bombers.

Others must include the RAH-66 Comanche, Nimrod AEW3 and MRA4, Sergeant York gun, A-12 and the Yamato Class.
 

miketr

Gone Fishin'
I will stick with 3rd Reich for the moment

Gold: V2 while technical marvels they amount of money and effort that went into them could have been much better spent on any number of other projects.

Silver: The entire all bombers need to be dive bombers madness. How many aircraft became needlessly more expensive to build? Ju-88, He-177, etc.

Bronze: King Tiger Tanks and King Tiger Tank Destroyers. The ultimate in terms of defense and combat power. Massively expensive to build in terms of man hours, resources, costs etc. How many Panthers / Jadg Panthers could have been made for the same effort / resources? Or even Mark IV's?

Michael
 
I will stick with 3rd Reich for the moment

Gold: V2 while technical marvels they amount of money and effort that went into them could have been much better spent on any number of other projects.

Silver: The entire all bombers need to be dive bombers madness. How many aircraft became needlessly more expensive to build? Ju-88, He-177, etc.

Bronze: King Tiger Tanks and King Tiger Tank Destroyers. The ultimate in terms of defense and combat power. Massively expensive to build in terms of man hours, resources, costs etc. How many Panthers / Jadg Panthers could have been made for the same effort / resources? Or even Mark IV's?

Michael
I guess I am the one to defend the tiger(s)

All of the major war making powers in Europe thought it was a good idea to produce heavy tanks that could serve in independent battalions; if anything this idea was pioneered by the British with their division of cruiser and infantry tanks and heavily refined and copied by everyone else (especially the Russians and Germans)

The Tiger I's contemporaries where the KV series tanks, Matilda's/Valentines etc... it was superior to those tanks in armor, firepower and competitive in terms of manueverability

The Tiger II was a contemporary of the IS, late KV, and Pershings... it was superior to those tanks in armor and firepower and somewhat less competitive in terms of manueverability than it's previous version

The Tiger II and Jagdtiger influenced western tank design for a generation; and it's fair to argue that NATO didn't have a better AFV than the jagdtiger till 1960

I could make a compelling argument that the Panzer II was a bigger waste of resources than any of the tiger incarnations
 
What about that gigantic Soviet plane that looked like the destroyer and the Hindenburg airship cross bred together? That certainly looked ugly.
 
The Ratte Tank, which would only work in a world like that of Warhammer 40K where the power of magical thinking is a valid energy source to be tapped.
The ratte was little more than a thought exercise, it didn't actually waste much compared to something like the v-3 which they actually tried to build
 
A lot of the schemes for the Peacekeeper missile qualify. For example, MX Racetrack would have turned a chunk of Nevada the size of Rhodes Island into a gargantuan game of nuclear whack-a-mole and cost tens of billions of dollars, only to end up with a system more expensive and less effective than just building more ballistic missile submarines.

But that was pretty tame compared to some of the stuff discussed. How about we schlep the missiles on C-5 cargo aircraft? To make sure the Soviets can't get them all, we'll build an airfield every twenty miles across the entire country, and they'll shuttle between them. Seriously. And don't worry about accidents, airplanes hardly ever crash. And it will only cost about twice as much as the racetrack, definitely worth it.

Or we could put them underwater, so the Soviets can't find them! On some kind of mobile platform, an underwater vehicle. That was seriously suggested in one report, but for some reason the writers could not bring themselves to use the word "submarine." Possibly for fear that the Navy might be listening. Needless to say, that proposal never got anywhere. Too sensible, presumably.
 
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miketr

Gone Fishin'
I guess I am the one to defend the tiger(s)

All of the major war making powers in Europe thought it was a good idea to produce heavy tanks that could serve in independent battalions; if anything this idea was pioneered by the British with their division of cruiser and infantry tanks and heavily refined and copied by everyone else (especially the Russians and Germans)

The Tiger I's contemporaries where the KV series tanks, Matilda's/Valentines etc... it was superior to those tanks in armor, firepower and competitive in terms of manueverability

The Tiger II was a contemporary of the IS, late KV, and Pershings... it was superior to those tanks in armor and firepower and somewhat less competitive in terms of manueverability than it's previous version

The Tiger II and Jagdtiger influenced western tank design for a generation; and it's fair to argue that NATO didn't have a better AFV than the jagdtiger till 1960

I could make a compelling argument that the Panzer II was a bigger waste of resources than any of the tiger incarnations
I really can't think of much that a Jagdpanther or Panther couldn't do that a Tiger / Tiger II / JagdTiger could. Especially when you factor in the negatives of Tiger series in terms of cost and reliability. Having two Panthers for every Tiger is a powerful negative in my book. Especially when combined with the Tiger's worse reliability. Only advantage the Tiger had was it was ready before the Panther. Phasing it made sense, replacing it with the Tiger II was a very foolish move.

The advantage that the Panther II has over the Tiger II is that the Germans never finished the prototype while they actually built over 500 Tiger II's and JagdTiger's. When you factor in that the bulk of Tiger II production went west its even worse. Panther's and Mark IV were more than enough to face US / UK tanks.

Michael
 

miketr

Gone Fishin'
In defense, sorta, of the B-2. If you are going to knock the B-2 you should knock something else first. The B-58 Hustler, massively expensive to build, horrible to upkeep and out right dangerous to fly. The B-58 had lots of accidents (about 1/4 crashed in a 10 year service life) and it was totally unsuited for the trash hauler role. Whatever the negatives are of the B-2 and they are there, the B-58 was even more of a white elephant.

Michael
 

miketr

Gone Fishin'
The JSF / F-35
Too soon to tell.

The B version is hugely complex and having problems. C version is having some issues but the A version looks to be doing OK.

The entire thing was and is needlessly complex building 3 different aircraft would have made way more sense. If 4,000 do get built then it will turn out OK. If it gets a really short production run like the F-22 did then its going to turn out to be a huge waste of resources.

Michael
 
I also watched Secrets of the Dead and I'm thinking that Japan's submarine carrier would have qualified as the most wasteful weapons project. The Seiran class carrier or something.
 
Better than a jagdtiger

I guess I am the one to
The Tiger II and Jagdtiger influenced western tank design for a generation; and it's fair to argue that NATO didn't have a better AFV than the jagdtiger till 1960

The Conqueror was in service in 55.
 
Wastwful

The V2. More people were killed building them than by them on target areas. Cost as much as tha US atomic program. Delivered less tons on target than a single RAF raid.
 
All of the German mega-artillery. 400mm+ artillery in WW1 and WW2 were just a waste. The Paris Gun gets honorable mention, though it was an engineering marvel. But the guns like the Gustav in WW2 (IIRC there were about 80 of them) were just a money pit that helped the Allies win the war, because they diverted critical resources from other projects.
 
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