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Panzer VIII MausPanzerkampfwagen VIII Maus was a German World War II super-heavy tank completed in late 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armoured fighting vehicle ever built. Only two hulls and one turret were completed before the testing grounds were captured by the advancing Soviet forces.
These two prototypes (one with, one without turret) underwent trials in late 1944. The complete vehicle was 10.2 metres (33 ft 6 in) long, 3.71 metres (12 ft 2 in) wide and 3.63 metres (11.9 ft) tall. Weighing 200 metric tons, the Maus's main armament was a 128 mm KwK 44 gun (55 calibers long barrel), based on the 12.8 cm Pak 44 anti-tank artillery piece already in use in the casemate-style Jagdtiger tank destroyer, with a coaxial 75 mm gun. The 128 mm gun was powerful enough to destroy all enemy armored fighting vehicles at close or medium ranges, and even some at ranges exceeding 3500 meters.
The principal problem in development of the Maus was finding a powerful enough engine for its weight that could be carried in the tank. Though the design called for a maximum speed of 20 kilometres per hour (12 mph), no engine was found that could power the prototype to more than 13 kilometres per hour (8.1 mph) under ideal conditions. The weight also made it impossible to cross most bridges; it was intended to ford or submerge and use a snorkel to cross rivers.
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Arado Ar 234Like the Komet, the Arado Ar was also the first of its kind. The airplane was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber.
Though it was mostly used for reconnaissance missions, it proved nearly impossible to intercept when it did go on bombing missions. The Arado Ar also led to the inclusion of standard ejection seating in planes. Early ejection systems were still quite dangerous, but the ones in the bomber led to further development of the system and widespread use.
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Flettner Fl 282Like the Vortex Gun, the Wind Cannon was also developed by a factory in Stuttgart during the war. It was a type of gun that would eject a jet of compressed air against enemy aircraft. It was a strange device consisted of a large angled barrel like a bent arm resting in an immense cradle like some enormous broken pea-shooter lying askew. The cannon worked by the ignition of critical mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen in molecular proportions as near as possible. The powerful explosion triggered off a rapidly-ejected projectile of compressed air and water vapor, which, like a solid "shot" of air, was as effective as a small shell. Experimental trials of the cannon at Hillersleben demonstrated that a 25mm-thick wooden board could be broken at a distance of 200m. Nitrogen peroxide was deployed in some of the experiments so that the brown color would allow the path and destination of the otherwise transparent projectile to be observed and photographed. The tests proved that a powerful region of compressed and high-velocity air could be deployed with sufficient force to inflict some damage. However, the aerodynamics of a flying aircraft would almost surely neutralized the effectiveness of this cannon. In addition the effects of the cannon on a fast-flying aircraft was quite different from that on a fixed ground target. Still, the cannon was installed on a bridge over the Elbe, but with no significant results -- either because there were no aircrafft or simply no successes (as one might suspect). The wind cannon was an interesting experiment but a practical failure.
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Messerschmitt Me 163The Komet is often considered one of the most unique aircraft designs of World War 2, the rocket powered aircraft, the only one to ever be operational, featured swept back wings and a single rudder plane at the rear.
Capable of reaching speeds of 623 miles per hour, the Komet was impossible for Allied aircraft to even come close to catching.
Despite the advantages the Komet offered, flying one was often incredibly dangerous. The special fuels used to propel the plane, known only as T-Stoff and Z-Stoff were incredibly volatile and was known to self-combust.
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Horton Ho 229The Horton Ho 229, developed by Germany’s Horton brothers, was the first flying wing plane powered by a jet engine – a tailless aircraft with fixed wings, that resembles a glider.
In addition to being the first flying win plane, the Horton Ho was also the first aircraft that incorporated stealth technology. Its design ensured that it would be much harder to detect with radar than the planes that came before it.
The Horton Ho was developed closer to the end of the war, so they were only used to fly a few missions.
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