Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Sewing Needle Bomb...!

The human mind can come up with some strange and wonderful inventions at times. Then, at other times, we can create some really scary weapons and torture devices!

I don't know what twisted individual came up with this one, but it scares me to think the allies actually considered using this contraption on people. How evil can we be?

The Bizarre Sewing Needle Bomb Of World War II
By Nolan Moore on Friday, April 18, 2014

The military scientists of World War II were quite creative . . . in a scary sort of way. One of their weirdest inventions was the deadly sewing needle bomb, a device meant to drop poisonous darts on Nazi troops. And while the bomb never saw any action, it did kill quite a few sheep.

World War II was an exciting time . . . if you were a military scientist. In their quest to defeat the Axis Powers, Allied researchers had a field day dreaming up weird weapons to kill and maim the enemy. Of course, not all their plans made it past the prototype phase, but that was probably a good thing. Take the deadly sewing needle bomb for example.

Developed by British researchers at the Porton Down base in Wiltshire, the idea was simple enough: Make a bomb that would spray the Nazis with thousands of poisonous needles. Teaming up with American and Canadian scientists, the Brits created hollowed-out needles just perfect for holding small amounts of poison. At one end was a knife-like blade, sealed off with cotton and wax. On the other end was a paper tail that would guide the needle as it fell at 76 meters (250 ft) per second. Once the needle hit its victim, a special “inertia ball” would slam forward, driving the poison into the bloodstream.

The sewing needle bomb actually had a successful trial run in Suffield, Alberta, Canada. Several patriotic sheep were drafted to serve as Nazi stand-ins. Quite a few of the ewes were wrapped in double layers of clothing, and some were even placed in actual trenches. When everything was ready, a plane dropped a canister holding up to 30,000 needles. While sources disagree on the kind of poison they were carrying (it might’ve been mustard gas compounds, sarin, or ricin), they all agree it had its intended effects. The sheep keeled over, their blood pressure dropped, their muscles started twitching, and then they went to the great big pasture in the sky. After the tests, the scientists concluded it’d take just one poison-filled dart about five minutes to drop a man and a further 30 minutes to kill him.

However, there were some glaring problems with the sewing needle bomb. First, the needles themselves weren’t that strong. Once the Nazis figured out how the weapons worked, they only needed to duck under a tree or jump inside a car, and they’d be safe. And then there was the problem of finding enough pins. For the bombs to work effectively, scientists needed 30 million needles, so they asked the Singer Sewing Machine Company for a few specialty items. But when they received a request for knife-tipped, hollow needles, the business responded with a letter saying, “We are afraid we do not quite understand your requirements. From your remarks, it would seem the needles are required for some other purpose, other than sewing machines.”

Eventually, the entire program was scrapped for being “highly uneconomical” which is just as well. The world has enough insane weapons without a sewing needle bomb. And as it turns out, the Allies didn’t need all 30 million needles anyway. They went on to win the war without any powerful poisons or wacky weapons. Of course, they ended up inventing something even worse.

We can only wonder what kind of weapons will be created in the future. On second though, I don't want to know!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.OK?


Linda said...

I wonder if the needles that did not kill would still be lethal. They would be like land mines left behind. I am glad Singer had no part in this scheme. Sewing machines used for evil? How bizarre.

Sixbears said...

Kinda makes one wonder what weird stuff they are working on now.

Chickenmom said...

Only humans can think up different ways to kill each other. Remember the underwear bomber? Underpants - now that is really something.
I'll bring some Lorna Doone's for all.

linda m said...

It amazes me that people will put that much time and energy into think up ways to kill each other. If they would only channel all that effort into curing diseases or wiping out hunger. It creeps me out when I even think of what they might develop next to kill people. I have some chocolate cookies I can bring along for the group.

texasann said...

Bubba -
The only way sewing needles should be used on human skin is to remove the splinter that one acquired from honest work - weeding, chopping firewood, building a boat (that's for you Sixbears). Bombs with poison? I'm with Linda - where are those now? In some field still attacking sheep?
Lorna Doones sound great, Chickenmom - haven't had them in years!
Big hugs -
Baby Sis

Mamahen said...

It just never ceases to amaze me what lengths humans will go to, in order to kill or harm one another! Patio sounds good and i'll have a cookie please CM :))

JO said...

That is scary. This world is so awful when it comes to ending human life. Sad to think that this goes on.

Pass the pot please.

Dizzy-Dick said...

This is one time I don't want you to keep us "on pins and needles".