From stone to sword, from longbow to gunpowder cannons, and atomic bombs, from earliest days of human history to present day Men – Human’s have developed and used some of the deadliest weapons to fight and destroy their enemies. The following list highlights the 10 deadliest weapons ever created in human history:
10. Greek Fire
Greek fire is one of the earliest known weapons developed in human history to fight large armies of heavily armed soldiers. Used as weapons to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using fire, Greek fire was used extensively by the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 672 BC.
Roman empire typically this weapon in its naval battles to great effect, as it could continue burning while floating on water. The exact composition of Greek fire composition is unknown – however, historical reference suggests that Roman obtained this weapon technology from Greeks and perfected it as a weapon for war.
For Romans, It provided a significant technological advantage in naval battles and was responsible for many key Byzantine military victories, most notably the salvation of Constantinople from two Arab sieges, thus securing the Empire’s survival in years to come.
9. 13th Century – Hassan Al-Rammah First Torpedo
In the 13th century a Syrian scientist and scholar, Hassan Al-Rammah, documented about first practical “rocket torpedo” to be used as a weapon in his book called “The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices”.
The first documented “weaponized rocket” is included in the book, a model of which is exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Hassan Al-Rammah, considered by many as the father of medieval rocket technology, is also an expert in making the ideal mixture of gunpowder as a weapon.
His book included more than 100 recipes for gunpowder, as 22 of them could be used as rocket fuel. Experts state that at least one of these recipes is extremely close to the modern ideal mix for gunpowder.
Moreover, Al Rammah also designed an early torpedo, probably the first of its kind – however, little evidence suggests such a weapon was actually used in a war as a modern-day Torpedo – but his remarkable book on military technology and weapon designs became very famous in the west and eventually led towards the creation of modern-day Rockets and Torpedo.
8. Pumhart von Steyr
The Pumhart von Steyr is a medieval supergun developed in Medieval Austria, and the largest known wrought-iron bombard by calibre.
It weighs around 8 tons and has a length of more than 2.5 meters. It was produced in the early 15th century and could fire, according to modern calculations, an 80 cm stone ball weighing 690 kg to a distance of roughly 600 m after being loaded with 15 kg of gunpowder and set at an elevation of 10°.
Used effectively by House of Habsburg in a number of European wars in the late 15th century, the Pumhart von Steyr has been employed primarily in siege warfare and created numerous decisive victories in many of these wars.
7. British Mark-I Tank
The Mark I was the world’s first tank, tracked and armed armoured vehicle, to enter combat. Developed in the year 1915 to break the stalemate of trench warfare. The Mark 1 tank was designed to survive the machine gun and small-arms fire and travel over difficult terrain, crush barbed wire and cross trenches to assault fortified enemy positions with powerful armament.
With a crew of 8, the Mark I was equipped with two Quick-Firing anti-tank 6-pounder guns and three Hotchkiss M1909 light machine guns.
Used by the Royal British armies in the first world-war, eight Mark 1 tanks were first used against Turkish forces in the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. With numerous variants developed over the years, ranging from Mark II, III, IV, and V, tanks, all bear a strong resemblance to Mark 1.
6. Nazi Germany – Schwerer Gustav – Gun – Biggest Gun Ever Used
Schwerer Gustav was the largest and the deadliest railway gun ever created by Nazi Germany during the second world war.
With a length of 80 cm, this railway gun was developed in the late 1930s by Krupp in Darłowo as siege artillery for the explicit purpose of destroying the main forts of the French Maginot Line, the strongest fortifications in existence at the time.
It was the largest-calibre rifled weapon ever used in combat, the heaviest mobile artillery piece built in terms of overall weight, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece. With a maximum range of 48 Km (30 mi), it can carry a massive explosive weight of 700 Kg (1,500 lb).
With a crew of 250 to assemble the gun in 3 days, 2,500 crew members to lay railway track and dig embankments and 2 German Flak battalions (anti-aircraft (AA) artillery formation) to protect the gun from air attack. The Nazi needed a gun that could punch through one meter of the reinforced steel wall, or seven meters of reinforced concrete walls, and be beyond the reach of the French artillery at the same time.
5. The Trident II D5 SLBM
The Trident II D5 is United States submarine-launched ballistic missile that can effectively hit the target to a distance of 7,456 miles (12,000 km) with an accuracy of just 90m or less.
Deployed both the American and the British navies, this extremely dangerous weapon system could travel at a speed of (29,020 km/h) or (Mach 24) and can carry 8–12 thermonuclear MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle) – having a payload of W88 and W76 Thermonuclear weapons.
The Trident II is considered to be a durable sea-based system capable of engaging many targets. It’s increased payload allows nuclear deterrence to be accomplished with fewer submarines and its high accuracy and range – approaching that of land-based missiles – enables it to be used as a first strike weapon of choice by the United States military.
4. Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy.
With an Overall length of 1,092 feet (332.8 m) and the cruising speed of 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph) – having a crew of 5,000+ sailors – the Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier can carry 85–90 fixed wing and helicopters, numerous tactical mission missiles, electronic warfare equipment and anti-aircraft, reconnaissance, and submarine warfare weapon systems.
With a massive amount of firepower available onboard, it can effectively engage, destroy enemies mid-size navy and airforce without the need of any external support. Powered by 2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors, 4 × steam turbines, and 4 × shafts – it has an unlimited operational range with a service life of 25 years.
The two most significant deployments the Nimitz class was involved in during the 1990s were the Gulf War and its aftermath, and Operation Southern Watch in southern Iraq.
3. The American MOAB and Russian FOAB Bombs
The GBU-43 B or commonly known as MOAB – Mother of All Bombs – is the world’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb developed by the United States. The bomb is designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules and was first dropped in combat in the 13 April 2017 airstrike against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Afghanistan.
The MOAB is the most powerful conventional bomb ever used in combat as measured by the weight of its explosive material.
With a combined weight of 9,800 kg and a length of 9.1885 m, this massive bomb produces a combined blast yield of 11 tons TNT – which is equivalent to a smallest tactical nuclear weapon (without releasing any radiation).
In 2007, the Russian military announced that they had tested a thermobaric weapon nicknamed the “Father of All Bombs” (“FOAB”). The weapon is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB with a combined weight of 7,100 Kg.
Dropped from a Tupolev 160 strategic bomber – the FOAB created a massive aviation vacuum bomb also known as a fuel-air bomb – with yields equivalent to 44 tons of TNT equivalent to a small nuclear device (without releasing any radiation).
The blast radius of the FOAB is 300 meters, almost double that of the MOAB, and the temperature produced is twice as high with more damage is inflicted by a supersonic shockwave and extremely high temperatures – as the bomb-detonate in mid-air.
2. Little Boy and Fat Man
Although numerous atomic and thermonuclear devices were created and tested with greater yield since the dropping of first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
But nothing can be compared to the huge devastation inflicted by the use of the first nuclear bombs on Humans in a War – The Little Boy (dropped on Hiroshima) and Fat Man (dropped on Nagasaki).
According to figures published in 1945 – after the detonation of these two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
Hiroshima: 66,000 people were killed as a direct result of the Hiroshima blast, and 69,000 were injured to varying degrees.
Nagasaki: An estimated 35,000–40,000 people were killed outright by the bombing at Nagasaki. A total of 60,000–80,000 fatalities resulted, including from long-term health effects, the strongest of which was leukaemia, with an attributable risk of 46% for bomb victims.
The Little boy with a blast yield of 15 kilotons of TNT and Fat Man with a blast yield of 20 kilotons were detonated in mid-air on both the cities.
The Fat Man is the more powerful bomb than the Little boy but the damage and the number of victims at Hiroshima were much higher, as Hiroshima was on flat terrain, while the hypocenter of Nagasaki lay in a small valley.
1. Tsar Bomba
The Soviet Union Tsar Bomba is the world’s most powerful thermonuclear bomb ever detonated, the most powerful bomb ever created in Human History. It’s tested on 30 October 1961 remains the most powerful man-made explosion in history.
The bomb had a yield of 50 megaton TNT. In theory, it had a maximum yield of 100 megatons if it were to have included a U-238 tamper, but because only one bomb was built, this was never demonstrated. The single bomb was detonated at the Sukhoy Nos (Severny Islands – in the northernmost part of Russia Arctic Sea).
After its detonation, the Tsar Bomba’s fireball was about 8 km (5.0 mi) in diameter and reached nearly 10.5-kilometre (6.5 mi) altitude of the deploying Tu-95 bomber.
The Tsar bomba mushroom cloud was about 64 km (40 mi) high (over seven times the height of Mount Everest), which meant that the cloud was above the stratosphere and well inside the mesosphere when it peaked. The cap of the mushroom cloud had a peak width of 95 km (59 mi) and its base was 40 km (25 mi) wide.
All buildings in the village of Severny (both wooden and brick), located 55 km (34 mi) from ground zero within the Sukhoy Nos test range, were destroyed.
In districts hundreds of kilometres from ground zero wooden houses were destroyed, stone ones lost their roofs, windows, doors, and radio communications were interrupted for almost one hour.
One participant in the test saw a bright flash through dark goggles and felt the effects of a thermal pulse even at a distance of 270 kilometres (170 mi). Its immense yield, a large weight, and bulky dimensions made the Tsar Bomba impractical for use as a military weapon. In particular, it could not be delivered via ballistic missile or fighter jet. The Tsar Bomba was therefore never deployed and remained a one-time display of superiority by the USSR.