history Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis  

Mike Rothschild
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Nazi Germany developed a huge amount of technology that was either suppressed after the war or became the stuff of conspiracy theories. Some of this Nazi technology, like guided missiles and stealth bombers, became part of today's modern military. Others, like giant tanks and Sun Guns, were purely theoretical. Still, some are just the makings of paranoid delusions - things like time travel and aspartame. What secret technologies did the Nazi party and military invent?

What's real and what's urban legend among supposed Nazi technological developments? These pieces of technology that the Nazis are linked to range from prototypes to the Internet ramblings of conspiracy theorists. But there were plenty of German military weapons developed during World War II, and theory or real, this list has all the craziest inventions, supposedly developed by the Nazis.

Nuclear Weapons


Nuclear Weapons is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

German nuclear weapons research was competitive with American research, as German physicists made important discoveries in nuclear reactor construction, isotope separation, and heavy water production.

A variety of factors kept Nazi Germany from the breakthroughs needed for a nuclear bomb, including interference from the government, the expulsion of Jewish physicists, and other doctors being drafted and sent into combat and limited resources. But their findings later became key to Allied nuclear weapons research in the Cold War.

The World's First Mass-Produced Helicopter


The World's First Mass-Produce... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis
Photo:  Public.Resource.Org/via Flickr
Both the Axis and Allies were developing helicopter technology, but Germany got there first in terms of actual production. The Flettner Fl 282 became the world's first large-scale produced helicopter, with prototypes taking off in 1941, and a full order for 1,000 machines placed in 1944. Allied bombing destroyed the Flettner factory after only 24 had come off the line, but those machines were used for artillery spotting and reconnaissance until the last days of the conflict. Three survived the war.

Space Planes


Space Planes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The German project codenamed "Silbervogel" was a theoretical design for a sub-orbital bomber aircraft that would have been able to attain 90 miles in height and bomb New York when launched from Germany. The aircraft got as far as a wind-tunnel mockup, and work done on the design continues to influence rocket and ramjet technology today.

Sophisticated Jet Fighters and Bombers


Sophisticated Jet Fighters and... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis
Photo:  Alf van Beem/via Wikimedia/CC0 1.0

While the ME-262 became famous as the first operational jet fighter, Germany had a wide range of other jet fighters and bombers in various developmental stages. Some saw limited action, and others never made it off the drawing board. The most effective was the Arado Ar-234 jet bomber, used in very limited numbers at the end of the war - and virtually impossible to intercept in flight. Other prominent designs were the Ta-283 interceptor, the P.1101 swept-wing fighter, the Ta-400 long range bomber, and the Fa-269 VTOL fighter.

If used effectively and in large numbers, these planes might have shifted the balance of power in the skies over Europe. But the war ended long before this could take place.