“Top Secret Weapons Revealed” on Military Channel

Warfare brings about devastating destruction, but also tends to bring certain technological advances, often in tandem with weapons development. A new series on Military Channel will take a look at some of the great weapons of the past to see how they shaped not only the conflict at hand, but weapons technology as a whole — sometimes even changing history in the non-military sphere. Top Secret Weapons Revealed premieres with two back-to-back episodes Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 9pm and 10pm ET/PT. (The following week, Top Secret Weapons Revealed moves to its regular timeslot at 10pm.)

In the premiere episode, “In Search of the Smart Bomb,” viewers will see how the United States, brought into World War II by the attack on Pearl Harbor, struggled on how to use technology to effectively strike back with guided bombs. Initial efforts by top military and civilian minds on how to approach the problem included huge unmanned drones and bombs actually guided by animals such as pigeons, cats and bats.

Further episodes of Top Secret Weapons Revealed look at the array of engineering feats drawn up by the Allied forces in “Secret Weapons of D-Day” (Aug. 14)  — from a floating, man-made harbor to secret weapons with curious names like “The Crab” and “The Flying Dustbin” — on which thousands of men were to depend as they landed on the shores of Normandy. Jet packs actually get a going over in the episode “The Flying Soldier” (Aug. 21), as a possible solution to mobility problems on the battlefield that helicopter technology hadn’t yet been able to circumvent.

Possibly most eyebrow-raising is the episode “Nazi War Machines” (Aug. 28), which examines how some technologies developed by Hitler’s forces, in spite of coming too late to win the war for Germany, nevertheless would emerge in later years to exert their influence on the world. From a 200-ton mega tank, a flying wing with stealth capabilities, rocket power and more, this episode will show the direct path that leads from the drafting tables of the Third Reich’s engineers to the technology that would eventually land a man on the moon.