Weird weapons of Vietnam: Combat tree houses, a nuclear rifle and more

August 19, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matt Gault, Joe Trevithick

The army that went into the Vietnam War didn’t look that different from the force that fought in Korea, or even World War Two. But defense contractors and military leaders were intent on making sure it didn’t stay that way.

The war, which killed more than 50,000 Americans and many more Vietnamese, was also a proving ground for the M16 rifle, Agent Orange and many other tools of war. All with varying degrees of success and danger to the troops who used them.

This week, War College looks at some of the weirdest weapons that the U.S. military came up with for use during the Vietnam War. While the nuclear rifle didn’t go anywhere, another invention can be found at raves around the world.

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For more on this subject, check out:

The U.S. Army tested a combat tree house

U.S. commandos hunted the Viet Cong with silent revolvers

You can thank the U.S. Navy for your glow sticks

To blind its enemies, the U.S. Army once built a giant flashlight

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