Was der Militarismus für merkwürdige Blüten schon vor 60 Jahren zu treiben wusste, zeigt diese kuriose Idee des Kugelpanzers aus dem Jahre 1936.
ROLLING over the ground like a giant ball, a high-speed “tumbleweed tank” proposed by a Texas inventor is a new addition to modern war machines. A spherical hollow steel driving cab is inclosed by a rotating outer shell consisting of two cup-shaped halves fitted with circular traction cleats. Motor-driven gears, mounted on the inner sphere, rotate the outer shells to roll the tank along the ground. Steering is effected by varying the speed of either of the rotating traction shells. Machine guns are fired from the stationary cab through central firing slots and armored turrets at the sides. The heavy driving motor, centrally placed on the cab floor, gives the tank stability and prevents it from rolling sidewise. The inner shell can be sealed against poison gas, while the power plant is completely inclosed to minimize the danger from exhaust fumes. The inventor states that the tank’s spherical shape presents the smallest possible target for enemy bombs or shells, and all but direct hits would glance off its curved sides. Missiles penetrating the outer shells would have expended most of their force.