It is estimated that the Romania defection to the Allies made WW2 short by 6 months. Is this little? Let us recapitulate what Germany could have in six more months in 1945:
- Develop a fleet of Messerschmitt Me 262, the first fighter jet
- Produce thousands of V2 rockets, the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missiles
- They would have enough oil (from Romania) to support the tanks in the Ardennes offensive in December 1944
- Keep functioning the extermination camps from Germany for several months
- Put in fight the prototype of Horten Ho 229, the first stealth bomber
- An entire list of ww2 German Wunderwaffe is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wunderwaffe
An interesting question to consider: would the outcome of World War II have been different if Nazi Germany had been able to carry out plans for all of their top-tiered weapons? While we’d like to think the answer is no, the truth of the matter is that Nazi Germany had its fair share of crazy contraptions and weapons – and they had the brainpower to bring them alive. As World War II drew to an end, Adolf Hitler’s best designers and scientists were employed in a frantic race to develop some of the most sophisticated and advanced military weapons during the time. Although these weapons were a part of Hitler’s desperate last attempts to salvage his empire (hence dubbed as “The Wonder Weapons” or “Wunderwaffen”), many never saw the light of day. Had these inventions come just a little earlier, the outcome of the Second World War could’ve been very different indeed.
- Fritz X. The radio guided anti-ship glide bomb was the world’s first precision guided weapon, as well as the first to sink a ship in combat.
- Also known as “The Great Gustav”, the Schwerer Gustav is the single largest cannon ever built and used in history.
- The V-3 Cannon (Vergeltungswaffe 3) was a multi-charge super gun developed by the Germans in World War II. A weapon of revenge, the V-3 employed solid-fuel rocket boosters arranged in symmetrical pairs along the length of the barrel rather than explosive charges. During trials in 1944, the V-3 reached a firing range of 55 to 58 miles.
- Silbervogel, German for silver bird, was a design for a liquid-propellant rocket-powered sub-orbital bomber produced in the late 1930s for Nazi Germany. The intercontinental space plane was intended to be used as an extreme long-distance bomber capable of carrying a 3,600 kilogram bomb to New York City from Germany. With a unique surveillance system, the Silbervogel was said to be immune from being detected and shot down and was the next best thing to spy satellites.
- The sonic cannon may sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but it was very real. In the early 1940s, the Nazis developed a sonic cannon that could literally shake a person apart from the inside. Using a methane gas combustion chamber and two large parabolic reflectors, the sonic cannon was said to be able to cause vertigo and nausea by vibrating the middle ear bones and shaking the cochlear fluid within the inner ear.
- The Sturmgewehr 44 is considered by many to be the world’s first modern assault rifle. The unique selective-fire rifle was a unique blend of a carbine, submachine gun and an automatic rifle. The StG44 also had an attachment called the Zielgerät 1229 , an infrared vision sight that allowed infantry and snipers to shoot accurately at night. But despite its sleek design and effectiveness, it arrived too late into the war to make significant impact. As far as post-war impact, many countries quickly adopted the assault rifle concept including the Soviet Union, Argentina and the U.S.
- The Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte was one of the heaviest tanks ever designed by Nazi Germany. The super tank was planned to be 1000 metric tonnes and equipped with guns that had previously only been seen on warships.
- The Goliath Tracked Mines were basically a deadly Nazi version of RC toy cars. Inspired by the prototype of a miniature tracked vehicle developed by the French, the Germans ran the first successful Goliath test in 1942. The remote controlled demolition vehicles, also known as bettle tanks, were all armored with 60 to 100 kilograms of high explosives to destroy tanks, disrupt infantry formations and demolish buildings and bridges.