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Letting you out of skool - the Whatziss revealed.

For the record - Og got it on the second day.

Jap-Fordson.jpgDuring the '20s and '30s the Japanese experimented with radio-controlled agricultural tractors and later, vehicles with a military purpose. The Whatziss is reputedly one that was developed for mine-clearing duties.  No, I don't know what that contraption is on the side, above the tracks.  I'm assuming it was an attachment point or something similar, for a tool of some sort that isn't pictured.  As-is, that thing isn't clearing any mines except by committing mechanical seppuku.  This particular version was built on the chassis of a Fordson tractor, which, of course, I had to keep hidden so you all would sprint down the Zeppelin-hole... 


Well I'll be dipped -- it *does* look like a banana, Saker...

...a squatty, truncated, trapezoidal, oddly-protruberated, cubistic rendering of a matte-green, self-propelled, riveted, metal banana.
Could it be a laucher of small rockets to detonate the mines? Put a little sighting system on it and fire a small rocket at any mines seen or suspected? A launcher on the other side would be logical, so a total of twelve rockets could be carried externally and it could be reloaded by the crew when possible. The mounted weapon up top would give cover fire for the reloading process. Seems possible and the Orient had lots of experience with pyrotechnics.
It could be.  It could just as likely be a rotary-magazine fed airgun that fired pellets to try to detonate mines.

Or a muffler.

But we could drag this out a long time speculating!
The thingy on the side is a hydraulic actuator and the pole sticking our from it is the attach point for whatever you want to actuate (bet there is one on the other side); as in those hedgehog looking thingies the US Army used in Europe attached to M-47s to clear mines during WWII.
drag this out a long time speculating!
Aye aye sir. Dragging out the speculations as ordered.

My speculation is that the thingy on the side is meant to hold a mess of protrudy thingies in the rotary drum. Said thingies, ims, are then fired into the ground to serve as gideons, since I also speculate that the protrudy thingies in the speculated rotary drum of protrudy thingies have flags on the end of them that is stuck inside the speculated rotary drum of ...

Is this considered  a secondary or a collateral whatziz? Gots to have the nomenclature set proper, donchu know.

RE:  Og got it on the second day.

Once again the supreior Hoosier Intelect  comes to the forefront, even if he is from Lake County!!

I didn't have a clue, the last one I had a shot at was the Huey water pressure guage.........but I was out of town and it was over when I got here.
I want to launch small rockets at mines. That sounds like excellent entertainment. I even have a nearby minefield. Anybody have some spare rockets?

Bill- I calls 'em like I sees 'em.
Given the Japanese penchant for AirSoft....
it was very common practice then and today to mark the edges of minefields with small flags.

I wonder if the launcher was for shooting "follow me" flags. if the vehicle makde it all the way through the minefield, any vehicle of the same width could simply follow the flags to replicate the path of the remoe-controlled tank?

now, how about the japanese robot tanks that used what looked like an phonograph record to program them?

i've read about them, but have no idea what they looked like!