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"Best humorous vehicle description?" Topic

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Ascent19 Aug 2011 8:31 a.m. PST

I was on another forum today (not wargaming) and they were talking about the best descriptions for aircraft.

Some good examples were the F4 Phantom, 'A triumph of thrust over aerodynamics', the Beaufighter 'Proof that you can get the kitchen table to fly if you stick enough power on the front' and the Shackleton '8,000 rivets flying in close formation'.

Do people have any good description for other stuff? doesn't have to be aviation related.

Griefbringer19 Aug 2011 8:36 a.m. PST

* Bob Siemple tank: when a bull dozer meets a garden shed full of machine guns.

* M3 Grant: grave for seven brothers (nickname in Soviet usage).

NoLongerAMember19 Aug 2011 8:48 a.m. PST

English Electric Lightning, 2 Engines with a pilot strapped on top.

hurrahbro19 Aug 2011 9:04 a.m. PST

Carden lloyd/Bren/Universal carriers.

A method of transporting a weapons and its crew across shell torn/bullet swept country in extreme discomfort!

Tachikoma19 Aug 2011 9:12 a.m. PST

The Vought SB2U Vindicator was so underpowered that its crews refered to it as the 'Wind Indicator'.

Plynkes19 Aug 2011 9:21 a.m. PST

According to Ludovic Kennedy, the Bismarck crew reportedly found the "World War One biplanes" that were attacking them rather amusing.

At first.

ashill219 Aug 2011 9:25 a.m. PST

IIRC the following comment was made about various bits of kit used by the BEF in France, 1940 'the best thing about this vehicle is that we had to leave most of them behind on the beach at Dunkirk'.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2011 9:43 a.m. PST

The F014 Starfighter – a plane with the grace and aerodynamics of a brick (spoken by an ex-Starfighter jock)

Gary Kennedy19 Aug 2011 10:02 a.m. PST

I seem to recall one F-4 Phantom pilot, on viewing the aircraft for the first time, asking whether it had been delivered upside down.

wehrmacht19 Aug 2011 10:06 a.m. PST

Sherman… known as "Tommy cooker" by the Germans, or as the "Ronson" – "lights first time every time".


Cpt Arexu19 Aug 2011 10:34 a.m. PST

CH-46 – the Boeing bodybag… a bigger load of passengers just means a bigger death toll for the inevitable failures.

Harriers were sometimes described as lawn darts around their homebase at MCAS Cherry Point, becuase of a series of local crashes…

OldGrenadier at work19 Aug 2011 10:45 a.m. PST

The B-26 was known as "The Baltimore Wh0re" (edited to bypass the Bleep-o-matic) since it had no visible means of support.

Off topic (post war) the F-105 was nicknamed the "Thud" because of the noise it supposedly made when hitting the ground. The F-104 was also described as "a rocket with a man on it". The T-37 was described as the only aircraft to convert JP-4 jet fuel directly into noise.

emckinney19 Aug 2011 12:17 p.m. PST

<quote>The F-104 was also described as "a rocket with a man on it". </quote>

The missile with the man in it.

<quote>Off topic (post war) the F-105 was nicknamed the "Thud" because of the noise it supposedly made when hitting the ground. </quote>

The official name of the F-105 was this "Thunderchief." On the very popular "Howdy-Doody Show," there was a character named "Chief Thunderthud."

Mister X19 Aug 2011 12:28 p.m. PST

A OV-2 Cessna pilot (who flew out of Thailand over Laos) called it, a weird tiny plane with engines that sounded like two lawnmowers.

skippy000119 Aug 2011 12:28 p.m. PST

BT-7: 'cardboard armor'-soviet
T-34: 'caviar cans' -(?)
M16 Quad 'fifty: 'meatchopper'-Burt Gummer:"The right tool for the job!"
God:sniper with a .50 'anti-material' rifle
Early model of M16 assault rifle:"FRI#*#&^%#!!!!"
P38 canopener:"OW-OW-OW-OW-OW!!!"

more, I can't remember..

Frontovik19 Aug 2011 1:03 p.m. PST

T-34: 'caviar cans' -(?)

Do you really need this explained? :)

To illustrate their sense of humour some Red Army Slang…

Tushonka = 1. A tinned stew supplied under Lend lease or 2. Tank Crew.

Podsnezhnik/i(Snowdrop/s) = Axis soldier/s because they appear on the ground when the snow melts. ;)

BT's, T26's etc. were known as Sparrow Shooters.

SU76 – Suka (Bitch)

Fonthill Hoser19 Aug 2011 1:52 p.m. PST

M3 Lee tank- "Coffin for Seven brothers"

Timbo W19 Aug 2011 2:56 p.m. PST

M3 Stuart in UK service was the "Honey" I think due to easier servicing, better reliability and ride than the old Light Tanks.

F104 Lawn Darts, wasn't there a band called Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters?

SU-152 'Zveroboy' meaning 'Beast Killer'

JS-III 'Shchuka' 'Pike' due to its pointy nose

Beaufighter 'whispering death'

Mosquito 'wooden wonder'

RE8 'Harry Tate' (just because it rhymes I think)

B52 'aluminium overcast' or 'BUFF'

GeoffQRF19 Aug 2011 3:18 p.m. PST

While the B-52 was the BUFF, I always liked the A-7 Corsair, aka SLUF :-)

kreoseus219 Aug 2011 3:20 p.m. PST

Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters was an albulm by Bob Calvert, from Hawkwind. Quality stuff.

"Anybody want to buy a starfighter ? Buy an acre of ground and wait……"

John D Salt19 Aug 2011 4:05 p.m. PST

I always liked the Gloster Javelin's epithet, "The Harmonious Dragmaster".

But the best aircraft name of all is the one given to the Blackburn (later Hawker-Siddeley) Buccaneer. When the project was begun, in the 1950s, British defence projects used "colour" names. Some, such as Red Top, Yellow Sun, Blue Steel, Green Archer, Yellow Veil, Red Shrimp, Orange Putter and White Sifter made it into service, but others, like Orange William, Indigo Hammer, Blue Boar, Brown Bunny, Blue Water and Blue Streak fell by the wayside. Now, the name Buccaneer had not yet been assigned to the aircraft; Blackburn had a project for an aircraft for the Royal Navy. So they called it A Royal Naval Aircraft, hence, the Blackburn ARNA. It must have taken about three seconds for someone to change that into the Black Banana.

All the best,


helmet10119 Aug 2011 4:09 p.m. PST

We had a light truck that was so awful in design and so awkward to drive that we'd describe it as:

"Engineered by drivers to be driven by engineers"

Etranger19 Aug 2011 4:14 p.m. PST

The Supermarine Walrus, known as the Shagbat…

Sundance19 Aug 2011 4:17 p.m. PST

The F4U Corsair was called Whistling Death by the Japanese.

Battle Phlox19 Aug 2011 5:14 p.m. PST

The St. Chamanond tank's poor power train was described as an elephant on the legs of a gazelle.

Cattle Dog19 Aug 2011 9:15 p.m. PST

The M113A1 APC Fleet was refered to as a "Butter Box" or a "Aluminium Coke Can". The Unimog truck was a "Mog". single syllables made it easier for infantry types to pronounce!

Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2011 9:58 p.m. PST

"The T-37 was described as the only aircraft to convert JP-4 jet fuel directly into noise"

Also called the x thousand pound dog whistle.

The F105 was also called the "Polish Glider"


badger2219 Aug 2011 10:50 p.m. PST

we always called the M113s the Spam can.

Gamma Goats got called a lot of things, none of which will get through the filter.


Griefbringer20 Aug 2011 1:35 a.m. PST

The M113A1 APC Fleet was refered to as a "Butter Box" or a "Aluminium Coke Can".

I think I have heard it also described as an "Aluminium box on tracks" and less flatteringly as "Aluminium coffin on tracks".

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP20 Aug 2011 3:18 a.m. PST

The biggest problem with the 104 was while decent enough in its primary role of intercepting bombers it was overburdened when Lockheed convinced several NATO countries it was perfectly capable of ground support.

The old joke with the 104 was:
"How do you get your own F-104?"
"Buy some land in Germany and wait."

Canuckistan Commander20 Aug 2011 5:12 a.m. PST

"How do you get your own F-104?"
"Buy some land in Germany and wait."

I remember a fellow in Germany, who in trouble, decided to punch out over the runway. Trouble was he was upside down. Took two days for the airfield engineers to repair the hole in the runway!

capncarp20 Aug 2011 9:50 a.m. PST

I remember a fellow in Germany, who in trouble, decided to punch out over the runway. Trouble was he was upside down. Took two days for the airfield engineers to repair the hole in the runway!--Canuckistan Commander


tuscaloosa20 Aug 2011 9:52 a.m. PST

Being upside down and ejecting wouldn't be a problem in the F-104's (initially, anyway). The seats ejected down, not up. They changed it later.

Toaster20 Aug 2011 1:01 p.m. PST

Bristol Freighter, 50,000 rivets in loose formation.

Bristol Belfast known as the Bristol Belslow, they said its payload range (from the UK) was a concrete truck to Cyprus or eggs to Austrailia, as long as you didn't mind hard concrete or rotten eggs.


Cke1st20 Aug 2011 3:13 p.m. PST

When the first TBF Avengers were flying out to Midway, the captain of the AA troops there wanted to prevent his crews shooting at these unfamiliar planes, but the only point of reference he had was the F4F Wildcat. So he told his men that the TBF "looks like a pregnant F4F." They got the idea.

A B-29 pilot said its cockpit made him feel like he was sitting on the front porch and flying a house.

B36 Peacemaker = "the aluminum overcast" (due to its size)

MiG-21 = "the go-nowhere, do-nothing fighter" (due to its short range and light armament)

Lion in the Stars20 Aug 2011 7:40 p.m. PST

Any given helicopter: 10,000 parts flying in loose formation around an oil leak, held together by safety wire.

Trierarch20 Aug 2011 9:54 p.m. PST

Bristol Freighter Bristol Vibrator (because they did)

F105 Squash bomber(because they could take out the target by taxiing over it)

F16 Bingo is my namo (fuel issues)

John D Salt21 Aug 2011 1:30 a.m. PST

For 1960s RAF transports, I quite like "Whistling Wheelbarrow" for the Argosy.

As a generic nickname for any helo, there's "shuddering Bleeped texthouse", "angry palm-tree", or, reputedly, from PNG Pidgin "Bloody Great Mixmaster Blong Jesus Christ".

All the best,


Weasel21 Aug 2011 7:21 a.m. PST

Definately heard the "aluminum can on tracks" for the M113.

essayons721 Aug 2011 12:25 p.m. PST

My Dad used to recall the B-26 Marauder being called the "flying coffin".

There were many, many funny (but, unfortunately vulgar) nicknames my fellow soldiers used to call the Gamma Goat – that boon to military design….

The flat-bed tractor trailers my engineer unit had were called "low boys". While that is hardly a funny nickname, they did have the distinction of setting the unit's record for number of days being marked as "unavailable due to machanical issues" on the unit's maintenance report. Next up were both of our AVLBs.

Martin Rapier21 Aug 2011 1:14 p.m. PST

" wasn't there a band called Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters?"

There was indeed.

badger2221 Aug 2011 10:26 p.m. PST

CH-47 Chinook call Bleeped texthhooks. Hope the bleeper gets that.

carne6822 Aug 2011 1:22 a.m. PST


Most of us called it a pop gun since most other USN ships had a larger 5"/54 gun.

Of course the Sonar techs used to call our SQS-56 Sonar Helen Keller.

ScoutJock22 Aug 2011 8:09 a.m. PST

Chinook Two palm trees having sex in a dumpster. One of the few aircraft in the world capable of having a mid-air with itself.

Murvihill22 Aug 2011 8:58 a.m. PST

CIWS-We called it R2D2…

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2011 3:39 a.m. PST

A British infantryman upon seeing an M-3 Lee tank for the first time: "It looks like a bloody cathedral driving down the road!"

Mako1123 Aug 2011 8:28 p.m. PST

F-16, also known as a "lawn-dart", for obvious reasons.

chronoglide26 Aug 2011 8:09 a.m. PST

"Yes, Herr Minister……G for Germany……."

1234567826 Aug 2011 8:43 a.m. PST

Nice to see my old mate Bob Calvert getting a few mentions here; a great, if totally loopy, guy who is still missed.

RedSalmon26 Aug 2011 1:51 p.m. PST

The A-10 Warthog. Known in German as the 'panzerknacker'

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