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Shared by Bletchley Park
 Lieutenant) October 22, 2016

Soldiers, sailosr and aviators are an inventive lot & often come up with amusing, even witty nick-names for weapons and stuff (artillery, tanks, planes, ships, ...) They are cool names for military equipment. Nickname a enemy gives a weapon is very interesting and helps define the weapon in a unique way. On this post we'll try give you some of the craziest weapon's nicknames that appeared throughout World War II. Enjoy with them!!

  • Smelly was the SMLE's nickname. The Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) was first introduced in 1904 but wasn't official introduced until 1907. The barrel length was between that of its predecessor (the MLE) and the traditional carbine. It was openly criticised when first introduced as people felt it wouldn't fulfill any roll within the military as was too short to be as accurate as the MLE and too long to be used by the calvalry. However, as history as shown, the SMLE was not a failure.

  • Honey was the M3 Stuart tank's nickname. Someone was overheard saying, 'that tank's a real honey'. The name stuck.

  • Easy Eight was the M4A3E8 Sherman tank's nickname given by the Americans. The M4A3E8 was the late-war variant of the Sherman tank. It was given a more powerful high velocity 76mm gun, along with a muzzle break to dampen recoil, and a better suspension for a smoother ride.

  • Charley the Bastard was the Boyes .55 anti-tank rifle's nickname. The Boyes rifle could penetrate 1 inch of armour at 100m, although at the time tanks usually had an armour thickness of about 1.5-2 inches, and infantry hardly ever got within 100m of tanks. It was called "Charley the Bastard" due to its enourmous recoil that was hated by infantry.

  • Screaming Mimi was the infamous German Nebelwerfer rocket launcher's nickname given by U.S. GIs. The sound of the stationary rocket launcher was one of the strangest sounds heard by many U.S. soldiers, and they nicknamed is "Screaming Mimi". THe Nebelwerfers were quite accurate for a rocket artillery piece of that time, and were quite terrorizing to Allied troops. The Nebelwerfer was like a conventional field artillery piece, able to be towed and usually stationary. The Walking Stuka was an SdKfz 251 halftrack out-fitted with Wuhrframen 40 rockets, and the noise it made sounded like a Stuka, therefore the nickname Walking Stuka or Ground Stuka

  • Stalin's Organ was the infamous Russian Katyusha rocket launcher's nickname. The Katyusha was a rocket launcher mounted on a truck. This simple weapon struck fear into the Axis hearts, as it should have. The Katyusha was a terrifying barrage to live through, if it hit its target, which it wasn't very good at. The German response was the Nebelwerfer, called the Screaming Mimi by the Allies. The nickname Steel Rain was applied half a century later to the US MRLS systems, which launched large accurate barrages of rockets over long ranges.

  • Wind Indicator was the SB2Us planes's nickname given by their pilots. SB2U's were already deemed obsolete by the beginning of World War II, but those were among the only available planes on Midway Island, so the pilots had to use them. The obsolete planes were nicknamed "wind indicators" by their Marine pilots who had experience with the newer planes of the military.

  • Lady Lex was the much-loved U.S.S. Lexington carrier's nickname given by her crew. The Lexington was one of the few major aircraft carriers before the onset of World War II. It participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, where Japanese dive and torpedo bombers sank it. Highly loved by her crew members, she was called Lady Lex by the American sailors.

  • Big Mamie was the USS Massachusetts battleship's nickname. The USS Massachusetts fought in 35 battles in WWII and lost not a single man.

  • Ruperts was the paradummies used on D-day's nickname. The first known use of paradummies was during the German invasion of the Netherlands and Belgium in 1940.

  • Hellcat was the highly effective M18 tank destroyer's nickname. Built by Buick, the M18 Gun Motor Carriage had the fastest speed of any armored vehicle in World War II. Its speed could be utilized in huge flanking maneuvers that would expose the flank of the lumbering German tanks. The 76mm gun had enough penetration and power to disable even the most powerful German tanks from behind, even at long ranges.

  • Little Friend was the Allied Mustang plane's nickname given by bomber crews. The Mustang was the longest range fighter escort that saw action during the war.

  • Hitler's Buzzsaw was the MG-42's nickname. One of the best machine-guns of all time, a modified version of the MG-42 is still used today in several versions such as the MG-3 used by the Spanish and Germans with the main difference being a lowered rate of fire and chambered with the 7.62 NATO round.

  • Ronson (cigarette lighter) was the M4 Sherman tank's nickname. The British called it this because it "lights up the first time, every time" when hit. Other nicknames included "the burning grave" and "Tommycooker" (Germans referred to British soldiers as "Tommys"). The United States mass produced the cheaper Shermans rather than more expensive tanks.

  • The Stinger was the twin .30cal machine guns in the rear cockpit of an SBD Dauntless's nickname. Sometimes the Marines removed these .30s from damaged Dauntlesses for an extra punch on the battlefield.

  • The Flying Tank was the Soviet Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik aircraft's nickname. German infantry also referred to the "Flying Tank" as the "Schwarzer Tod" or "Black Death". The nickname "Flying Tank" arose from the fact that the IL-2 could absorb a tremendous amount of damage and still complete a mission. It was, arguably, the most respected aircraft in the Soviet Air arsenal.

  • The Wooden Wonder was the Mosquito's nickname. The Mosquito got its nickname, "The Wooden Wonder", because its wings and fuselage were constructed from wood, not metal. Another nickname for the Mosquito was "The Timer Terror".

  • Fury Monoplane was the first Hawker Hurricane's nickname. The first prototype of the Hurricane was given this nickname because the body of the plane looked very much like that of the Hawker Fury I, which was succeeded by the Hurricane.

  • Komet was the Messcherschmitt Me163's nickname. It had this nickname because it was the fastest fighter of that era. However it was unstable and required an experienced pilot.

  • Stinger was the tail gun position's nickname given by the United States aviators. The tail gun position housed two 50 caliber machine guns.

  • Buffalo was the F2A's nickname. The F2A buffalo was no match for the A6M Zero. The Buffalo was a failure in the Pacific because of its low power. The Buffalo was used with some success with Finland who used it against soviet fighters in the early stages of the war.

  • 15-ton flying fortress was the B-17's nickname coined by reporter Richard L. Williams. He was one of the reports that witnessed the unvailing of the B-17. Its design, offensive payload, and defensive weaponry prompted him to name it the "15-ton flying fortress".

  • The Flying Clog was the Blohm und Voss Bv.138 flying boat's unflattering unofficial nickname. Named after the distinctive 'clog-shaped' profile of its main fuselage.

  • Shiny Sheff was the Sheffield Royal Navy cruiser's nickname. HMS Sheffield, a light cruiser of the Southhampton class,  was nicknamed Shiny Sheff because of the multitude of stainless steel parts supplied by the city.

  • Big Ben was the USS Franklin carrier's nickname given by her crew. She was one of the most damaged carriers to survive the war.





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