German WW 2 Sonic Cannon

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During the early 1940s Axis engineers developed a sonic cannon that could literally shake a person apart from the inside. A methane gas combustion chamber leading to two parabolic dishes pulse-detonated at roughly 44hz.

Health effects[edit]

This infrasound, magnified by the dish reflectors, caused vertigo and nausea at 200–400 metres (220–440 yd) by vibrating the middle ear bones and shaking the cochlear fluid within the inner ear. At distances of 50–200 metres (160–660 ft) the sound waves could act on organ tissues and fluids by repeatedly compressing and releasing compressive resistant organs such as the kidneys, spleen, and liver. (It had little detectable effect on malleable organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines.) Lung tissue was affected at only the closest ranges as atmospheric air is highly compensable and only the blood rich alveoli resist compression.

Usefulness[edit]

In practice, the weapon system was highly vulnerable to enemy fire. Rifle, bazooka and mortar rounds easily deformed the parabolic reflectors, rendering the wave amplification ineffective.

References[edit]

  • History Channel, Weird Weapons of World War II: Axis, part 3