The Low-Pressure Missile Tank Age

Only a few actually made it into mass production, but around the world, there was eager development in the 1960s of low-pressure gun/missile launcher tanks, the kind best emphasized by the M551 Sheridan and M60A2. The Soviet designs have turrets that resemble”squashed” versions of the classic dome turret.

The impetus was how to extend the firing range of the tank. This arrangement was ultimately made obsolete by the development of better fire control (for western tanks) and barrel-launched ATGMs that could be used in conventional tank guns (for Soviet ones)

But they’re still an interesting footnote.


An Unusually Influential Book

One of the most influential books I’ve read has been Bobby Akart’s Axis of Evil. It was the third book I reviewed on Fuldapocalypse, the first two being the classic World War III novel Chieftains and the more modern The Red Line.

Now, Axis of Evil was not a particularly good book in my eyes. But I owe it a huge amount of gratitude nonetheless, for it turned Fuldapocalypse into a far more diverse blog. Opening the door to more than the narrow Hackett-to-Peters big WWIII spectrium I’d originally planned was a wonderful thing.

Good Offense, Terrible Defense

One of my favorite footnotes in basketball history comes from the 1990-91 NBA season. Not Michael Jordan finally winning a championship. Rather, one team, the Denver Nuggets.

See, the 1990 Nuggets applied the Loyola Run and Gun offense under former university coach Paul Westhead. They scored 119 points per game on average. The Bulls scored 110, and even this regular season’s Bucks and Warriors, in an era of fast paced high scoring basketball only managed around 118.

With this scoring boom, the Nuggets finished-worst in the entire league with a 20-62 record? How? Well, that their opponents scored an average of 130 (!) points may have something to do with it. (For reference, again in a period of high scoring, the current Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in that regard, give their opponents only 119)

The closest baseball equivalent would be the 1930 Phillies, taking place in a monster hitters year. The Phillies that year finished last in the hit-crazy NL, scoring six runs per game on average-and giving up around eight.

Extreme Sports Video Games

Who remembers SSX and 1080? The waves of Tony Hawk games that were all the rage in the 2000s? I do. I vaguely played a few of them, and watched my friends and classmates play a lot more of them.

I guess it was the “EXTREME SPORTS” trend of that period extending to video gaming. I don’t really miss it, but I can see the appeal. And I can also see how that influence extended into non-extreme sports games starring a certain Sega mascot.


Boom Boom Goes The Tank: Plotnukes

In my latest Sea Lion Press column, I finally have the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite technothriller pet peeves-“Plotnukes”.

Plotnukes are a kind of “I know it when I see it” term for the use of nuclear weapons in a highly contrived way. The Birmingham-for-Minsk “trade” in Hackett’s The Third World War and similar events in imitators is what I consider the poster child of such a thing.