Some of mankind’s amazing talents and most creative efforts have been poured into creating new and more effective ways of killing humans. Here are the 25 most powerful weapons ever created in history.
1. Maxim Machine Gun
Invented by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884, this is the first recoil-operated machine gun that altered our world history forever. It could fire 600 rounds per minute inflicting thousands of deaths upon the terrified enemies. It was famously used during the Battle of Shangani, in which 700 British soldiers fought off 3,000 warriors with only four Maxim guns.
2. Pumhart von Steyr
This was the largest weapon ever used in 15th century Austria. It has a ball diameter of 80 cm and was known as the monstrous super gun that incited fear in the hearts of the enemies. You can see one of these today in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum at Vienna.
3. Mortier Monstre or Monster Mortar
This was produced in 1832 by France. A French artillery officer named Henri-Joseph Paixhans invented the Monster Mortar that could unleash 500 kg bombs and was used to terrible devastating effect in the Siege of Antwerp in 1832.
4. Tsar Cannon
Built in 1586, this is the largest howitzer ever made in history. It weighs 38 tonnes and is 5.34 meters long. You can see this massive weapon displayed at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.
5. Mark I
Mark I is first war vehicle to be called a tank. It could carry 5 machine guns and 8 soldiers. Over the course of its history, the tank had several upgrades up to X. The tank and its variants were utilized during the First World War by several countries.
6. Karl Gerat
This is the largest self-propelled weapon used during World War II. This monstrous machine was created by Rheinmetall for the Nazis.
7. Schwerer Gustav and Dora
These two humongous German 80 cm railway siege guns are the largest caliber-rifled weapons in the world, which were used in live combat during World War II. Their shells are the heaviest of any ammunition ever in history.
The RPG (Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot) or hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher is the most widely used today as an anti-armor weapon. Both militaries and insurgent groups used the RPGs to even out the battlefield especially against opponents with more heavy artillery.
9. B41 (MK-41)
The B41, a thermonuclear weapon, is the most powerful nuclear warhead ever developed by the US. It’s a gravity bomb with a mass of 4800 kg, 3.76 m in length, with a diameter of 1.32 m and a weight of 4,850 kg. It was carried only by the B-52 Stratofortress and B-47 Stratojet. The bomb was retired in 1957.
10. P-270 Moskit
This missile has a top speed of Mach 3. It’s a Russian supersonic ramjet powered cruise missile that’s hard for enemies to counter attack. Due to its active military weapons’ secrecy, very little is known about the weapon’s background except for bits and pieces of very basic information.
11. P-800 Onyx
This weapon recorded stunning top speeds between Mach 2.9 up to Mach 5.7. The P-800 is a Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that’s capable to sink a US carrier. Whew.
12. Shabab missiles
These long range Iranian missiles could potentially reach up to 5,000 kilometers. The Shahab missile upgrades are shrouded in secrecy.
13. The Agni missile
Developed by India, the Agni missile belongs to the category of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles. The missile is named after one of the five elements of nature.
14. Fat Man and Little Boy
These two infamous nuclear bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII, changing the course of our history. Named after film characters, these horrifying nuclear bombs gave us the most shocking memory of what a nuclear warfare can do to the world.
The B53 has nine megatons of TNT and is one of the last very high-yield thermonuclear bombs in the United States. This weapon is no longer used actively.
16. MOAB/GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast
Dubbed as the Mother of all Bombs, or officially named GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast, this weapon is a large-yield conventional bomb, which was considered the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever developed for the US military. Its blast can destroy 9 city blocks with a radius of 137.61 m. A larger version of the bomb was reportedly developed.
17. FOAB or Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP)
Dubbed as the “Father of All Bombs” or FOAB, this Russian-made air-delivered/land-activated thermobaric weapon is said to have such a tremendous devastating effect that “all that is alive merely evaporates.”
18. Tsar Bomba or “King of Bombs” or simply called Ivan
This is called the “King of Bombs.” It has a mass of 27 tons and would create a fireball with a radius of 3.5 kilometers, stretching 60 kilometers into the sky. You’ve probably seen those enormous mushroom cloud explosions in your history book. Those were caused by this enormous bomb when Russia tested it in 1961.
19. Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
This carrier is both massive in size and highly destructive in power. It has twin nuclear reactors that don’t need refueling for 23 years. Its bays are capable of holding 130 F/A-18 Hornets. This carrier is so scary that just its mere appearance in a region is often enough to influence global politics and deter aggressors.
20. The Airborne Laser/Boeing YAL-1
Star Wars fans will surely like this one. The YAL-1 Airborne Laser is a 747 with a huge laser mounted on the front. It’s designed with a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) and to shoot down enemy ICBMs from hundreds of miles away. It’s a revolutionary weapon with the ability to destroy high speed moving targets at a great distance instantly.
21. The Predator and Predator B (aka The Reaper)
Simply known as drones, they are commonly used by the US, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force for both combat and recon operations.
22. The Trident II D5 SLBM
This missile contains 8 thermonuclear warheads and can be launched from a submarine.
23. R-36 ICBM
This terrifying ICBM would not have much trouble initiating a nuclear holocaust with its massive payload.
24. Dead Bodies
Okay, nuclear bombs and lasers are tremendously powerful. But if some maniac wants a slow, mentally devastating destruction, launching the diseased riddled bodies of fallen warriors back over the city walls is the most sadistic way to decimate an entire population.
25. Chimera Viruses
Destroying an entire city today is just a push of a button. But the most unconventionally brutal and horrifying way to slowly annihilate an entire population is by using chimera viruses.