The Nazi Germany was a full-fledged war machine. With the extensive use of the blitzkrieg war strategy, the Nazis managed to conquer a huge part of Europe with the minimum loss of manpower. But they were able to do this because of their advanced weaponry. Many of their weapons were later adopted and developed by other countries. But, luckily for us, the allied forces were able to crush the Nazi army before some of these inventions were able to see the light of day in battle. Here are 10 weapons invented by the Nazis. Stay tuned to number 1 to find out which one could have single handedly changed the course of the war!
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Number 10: The Horten 229.
The Horten 229 became famous as the first stealth bomber ever. The prototype for this Nazi weapon was created by Hermann Göring, who wanted to make a lighter aircraft powered purely by jet engines. Göring had the famous 3×1000 plan – an aircraft to carry 1,000 kg of bombs, to travel 1,000 km/h and to reach the distance of 1,000 km. Horten 229 was allegedly equipped with stealth technology, it had a sleek design and, apparently, it was very hard to detect via radar. The initial tests proved very successful, but there were some problems that the Germans needed to fix. They spent the entire year of 1944 to come up with a better design and operational features for this aircraft. When a model took off in February 1945, disaster struck: one of the jet engines caught fire and stopped working. The pilot initially survived the crash, but died a couple of weeks later, of his injuries.
At this point, the Nazi forces were working against the clock, because the Allies were closing in on them, and they didn’t have enough time to further develop the Horten aircraft. However, they continued working on it…until the Allies forces were able to confiscated it. It finally into the hands of US Armed Forces, who used it in developmental research for their own stealth aircraft.
Number 9: Zielgerät 1229.
This military device, which was also known as “Vampir Scope”, was an infrared attachment for the Sturmgewehr. The main purpose for this device was to be used during the night, when visibility is very low. With it attached to their, German soldiers were practically able to see in the dark. Considering the time it was created, this was one of the most advanced pieces of military equipment ever invented.
The Vampir night vision was first used pretty late in the war, in the winter of 1945. There were some experiments a couple of months prior to this, but it wasn’t anything serious. When it was introduced full-time, 310 German units received this device. If it had been introduced some time earlier, it might have had more impact on German military success, because it enabled a soldier to move around in pitch-dark places, such as caves, but also in forests, mountain ranges – with or without the moonlight.
However, because it came into being in the early days of 1945, it was luckily too late for any type of mass production. Nevertheless, the device definitely worked well.
Number 8: Kugelblitz.
Kugelblitz, or “Ball Lightning”, as it could be translated, was an anti-aircraft with a rotating turret. By 1943, it was clear to the German commanders that they had to come up with an effective anti-aircraft weapon. The reason was simple: by that time, the German Air Force simply didn’t have enough power to stand against increasing attacks of the Allied bombers. The Allies were gaining supremacy in the air, and the only way to fight them was from the ground. Thus, the Germans started building several types of self-propelled for anti-aircraft warfare, which could be mounted on a Panzer IV chassis. That is how the Kugelblitz came into being.
It had the basic structure of the Panzer IV tank; the chassis was the same, and a turret was mounted on it. A highly effective aspect of the Kugelblitz was that it could go around its axis 360°. Again, the problems with frequent Allied attacks, combined with the need to defend on several fronts, prevented the Germans from placing the Kugelblitz into mass production. There were only five prototypes, and allegedly – they were used in the Battle for Berlin.
Number 7: Fallschirmjäger.
Fallschirmjäger (Folshirmyeger), or “parachute hunter,” is the name of German paratroopers. Although the idea for using paratroopers didn’t originally come from the Germans, they are responsible for introducing them to combat. This is because the German paratroopers were the first such military units to be used in airborne operations on a large scale. They were very effective, so much so that the Allied soldiers referred to them as the “green devils”.