The latest Call of Duty title is taking us back to World War II and puts us in the midst of Operation: Overlord and the Allied push to Berlin. This is a path we’ve traveled in games before, but one way Sledgehammer Games could distinguish Call of Duty: WW2’s campaign from the other games with that setting that came before it is to include some of these fantastical and bizarre weapons from the time.
Some of these weapons were never more than pipe dreams that never made it past the drawing board. Some of them, however, actually saw use, though they were much less effective than originally intended. Call of Duty: WW2 could postulate a little alternate history here, though, and show us what some of these frightful and perverse creations would have looked like if they were made and utilized as imagined.
Call of Duty: WW2 weapons: V-3 cannon
In 1944, the Nazis began construction on several batteries of multi-chamber cannons, designated V-3, at several sites throughout Europe. A multi-chambered cannon works off of the principle that if you can use multiple charges of propellant to speed-up one projectile, you can increase its range tremendously. At the time of the V-3 project’s execution, Germany was primarily using V-2 rockets to bombard London, which were significantly more expensive than the shells the V-3 was designed to use.
The V-3 would fit in great in Call of Duty: WW2, as they were installed in fortified locations that would work great as a set piece for a mission. Fortunately, in real life, the V-3 was much less effective than the Germans desired, and all V-3 sites were destroyed before they could deal any significant damage.
Call of Duty: WW2 weapons: Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte
The Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte (ironically named because it was colossal) was a ridiculous design by Krupp that never made it past the design phase. It was a 1,000-ton monstrosity that was meant to carry two 280mm naval cannons as a main gun. The propulsion would have required two 24-cylinder U-boat engines rated at 8,400 horsepower each, and it would have taken a crew of over 20 people to man.
While the Ratte never made it close to production, having to take it on in Call of Duty: WW2 would be visually stunning. Imagine a tank the size of a naval frigate lumbering towards Allied troops at 20mph, crushing everything in sight. That’s the view the Nazis wanted. Luckily, it never panned out.
Call of Duty: WW2 weapons: Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster
If the Ratte could be defined as "impractical," the Landkreuzer P. 1500 could be dubbed "ignorant." The Monster was another armored vehicle that made it to the design phase at Krupp, and was meant to turn the 800mm Schwerer Gustav railway gun into a tracked artillery piece. The Monster would have been propelled by four U-boat engines of the same type slated for the Ratte and would have required a whopping 100 man crew to take charge of its 1,500-ton mass.
In a way, we’ve already gotten to encounter a version of the Monster in gaming before. In Sniper Elite 4 you’re tasked with destroying a Schwerer Gustav railway gun, but I feel like watching a huge artillery piece moving on massive tracks would be a little more devastating on the psyche.
Call of Duty: WW2 weapons: Kugelpanzer
For something entirely different from the Ratte and Monster, we present the Kugelpanzer. Unlike the two vehicles above, the Kugelpanzer was actually built, though only one was ever captured and preserved. This small, one-man reconnaissance tank was captured by the Soviets during World War 2 and is housed at Kubinka Museum in Moscow.
For some reason, the Russians remain cagey about the Kugelpanzer and have withheld almost all knowledge of its purpose and construction to this day. Only a few things are known about the vehicle: It was operated by one man and powered by a two-stroke engine; the armor was reportedly 5mm thick, which is only enough to stop small-arms fire; and it was built in Germany and transferred to Japan at an unknown time. Even the alloy of which it's constructed is a mystery, as the Russian government still refuses to allow outsiders to conduct metallurgy tests. Further, the drivetrain has been removed from the vehicle, so we can also only speculate as to how exactly it moved about.
A great segment for Call of Duty: WW2 would be discovering the secrets behind the Kugelpanzer and possibly even piloting one. As far as tanks go, the Kugelpanzer is about as close to “cute” as you can get, and it would be awesome to see it in action.
Call of Duty: WW2 weapons: Krummlauf
What’s scarier than getting shot at? Getting shot at around a corner. The Krummlauf was a ridiculous attachment for the Sturmgewehr 44 that allowed soldiers using it to shoot around corners — kind of. The curved barrel would attach to the end of the rifle, and it was equipped with a periscope to enable users to see their targets.
The Krummlauf worked, but the curved barrels wore down quickly. There were two versions produced: one at a 30-degree angle and one at a 45-degree angle. The 30-degree version became unserviceable after firing about 300 rounds, and the 45-degree version could only discharge 160 or so before it was destroyed. The bullets also had a bad habit of shattering in the Krummlauf, which degraded accuracy severely.
Although this device is more a novelty than useful war material, it would make for a great multiplayer attachment — one with severe trolling potential. Every Call of Duty game needs an irritating novelty accessory for players to spam, and the Krummlauf could be that device for Call of Duty: WW2.
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