Earlier in May the world celebrated the 72th anniversary of the allied forces’ victory against Hitler’s Nazi Germany in WWII. The day the Nazi’s surrendered has com e to be known as “Victor in Europe Day”. But Hitler had come close to winning the rest of the world, as Nazi engineers, many of whom went to the US and the USSR after the end of the war, were in the process of developing an array of devastating weapons that were far ahead of their time. In the 2015 fall issue of Weapons of WWII magazine, author KM Lee detailed some of Hitler’s advanced weaponry.
Here’s a look at are some of the secret, lethal weapons the Nazis created during World War II:
Hitler’s stealth ‘flying wing’ bomber
Referred to as “Hitler’s secret weapon,” the Horten Ho 229 bomber was designed to carry 2,000 pounds of armaments while flying at 49,000 feet at speeds north of 600 mph.
Equipped with twin turbojet engines, two cannons, and R4M rockets, the Horten Ho 229 was the world’s first stealth aircraft and took its first flight in 1944.
Horten Ho 229 flying over Göttingen, Germany
According to the Smithsonian, Nazi Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring allocated half a million Reich Marks to brothers Reimar and Walter Horten to manufacture the aircraft.
Plagued with problems, the Horten didn’t last long in combat. Instead, the bomber’s engineering did inspire today’s modern stealth aircraft — like the Northrop Gruman B-2 bomber.
The Fritz X radio-guided bomb
Considered the “grandfather of smart bombs,” the Fritz X was a 3,450-pound explosive equipped with a radio receiver and sophisticated tail controls that helped guide the bomb to its target.
According to the US Air Force, the Fritz X could penetrate 28 inches of armor and could be deployed from 20,000 feet, an altitude out of reach for antiaircraft equipment at the time.
Less than a month after it was developed, the Nazis sank Italian battleship Roma off Sardinia in September 1943. However, the Fritz X’s combat use was limited since only a few Luftwaffe aircraft were designed to carry the bomb.
A remote-controlled tracked mine
The Nazis’ Goliath tracked mine was anything but Goliath-like in stature. Known as the “Doodlebug” by US troops, the mini-tank was controlled with a joystick and powered by two electric motors, later replaced by gas burners.
Goliath was designed to carry between 133 and 220 pounds of high explosives and was used to navigate minefields and deliver its explosive payload to defensive positions.
The Nazis built more than 7,000 Goliaths during the war and paved the way for radio-controlled weapons.
A rocket-powered plane that was nearly 300 mph quicker than the fastest aircraft around
By the late 1930s, the Germans were developing the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, a rocket-powered jet with speeds of up to 700 mph.
“During this time the vaunted American P-51 Mustang fighter, in comparison, topped out at less than 440 mph,” according to Weapons of WWII magazine.
More than 300 Komets were built and equipped with twin 30 mm cannons. The Komet’s speed was both a gift and a curse. The plane was fast enough to avoid Allied gunners but it was too fast to hit Allied aircraft.
source: Weapons of WWII magazine