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How The Humble Potato Cannon Served The Allies In World War Two

As World War II progressed, shipboard anti-aircraft guns were reprioritized from commercial freighters to warships. Finding themselves unprotected against German aircraft, the sailors onboard these merchant ships desperately wanted some way of defending themselves. They needed something that would be much simpler and far less expensive than complex anti-aircraft guns. They didn't have military budgets, after all.

So the Wheezers and Dodgers invented a gun called the Holman Projector, the world's first true potato launcher. The Holman was a smooth bore, muzzle-loading gun connected by pipes to the ship's steam boiler instead of relying on gunpowder, which was always in short supply during the early days of World War II.

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