WWII
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Secret Technologies Invented by the Nazis

Updated May 18, 2020 4.7m views16 items

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.
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  • Giant Super Cannons

    Known by a variety of nicknames, including the V3 and the "London Gun," the German super-powered cannon was a gigantic artillery piece that could shell the British capital from tunnels dug into fields near the coast of France. When complete, the cannon was 130 meters long and could fire a shell at 1,500 meters per second at a target over 100 kilometers away. It fired through a series of charges igniting down the barrel, increasing the speed of the shell as it went.

    The cannon was immobile and impractical, and became an inviting target for Allied bombers, but did manage to fire a few shells.

  • Stealth Bombers

    Photo: M. Muller / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Arado E.555 and Horton HO 229 jet bombers were Germany's prime candidates to fly from Europe to the U.S. for the purposes of dropping a bomb. They used the same flying wing designs that the B-2 bomber would later adapt.

  • Guided Point-Defense Rockets

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Decades before the Patriot Missile was knocking Scuds out of the sky, German aircraft engineers developed the Bachem Ba 349 guided point-defense rocket. The manned rocket would be flown by an inexperienced pilot, launched from a vertical stand, and flown by auto-pilot to attack Allied bombers. The pilot would then fire a load of rockets, and parachute out of the vehicle, which would also fall back to earth via parachute.

    Three dozen rockets and a launch site were built, with plans to fire the first squadron. But the program was canceled on March 1, when the first manned launch ended with the rocket spinning out and exploding, killing the test pilot.
     

  • Man-Portable Anti-Aircraft Rockets

    Long before such weapons became commonly issued, Nazi Germany developed a man-portable air defense weapon - the Fliegerfaust (literally "plane fist" in German). The multi-barreled air-to-ground rocket launcher was designed to fire several 20 millimeter unguided rockets up to 500 meters, though this range was never achieved. The rockets tended to disperse poorly and showed little stopping power against a moving plane, so of the 10,000 launchers ordered, only about 80 were made. Their eventual usage history is unknown, though one photograph of the ruins of Berlin clearly shows fired and discarded Fliegerfaust launchers.