"Project Habakkuk" belongs to this list of weird projects I have somewhere in an Evernote note. A British aircraft carrier supposed to be deployed against German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic, the plan was to make it out of pykrete, a mixture of wood pulp and ice. Beyond this stunning fact, the most intriguing thing here is how this project ended. As reported by the Wikipedia:
"According to some accounts, at the Quebec Conference of 1943 Lord Mountbatten brought a block of pykrete along to demonstrate its potential to the bevy of admirals and generals who had come along with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mountbatten entered the project meeting with two blocks and placed them on the ground. One was a normal ice block and the other was pykrete. He then drew his service pistol and shot at the first block. It shattered and splintered. Next, he fired at the pykrete to give an idea of the resistance of that kind of ice to projectiles. The bullet ricocheted off the block, grazing the trouser leg of Admiral Ernest King and ended up in the wall."
Why do I blog this? It's one of these projects that may or may not find its way into a talk about innovation, technologies and failures. Besides, V2 in Rotterdam has a research project about it.