Wunderwaffe

Wunderwaffe

Wunderwaffe (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊndɐˌvafə]) is German for "wonder-weapon" and was a term assigned during World War II by the German propaganda ministry to a few revolutionary "superweapons". Most of these weapons however remained more or less feasible prototypes, or reached the combat theatre too late, and in too insignificant numbers (if at all) to have a military effect. A derisive abbreviation of the term emerged: Wuwa, pronounced "voo-vah".[1]

The V-weapons, which were developed earlier and saw considerable deployment (especially against London and Antwerp), trace back to the same pool of highly inventive armament concepts. Therefore, they are also included here.

Although the Wunderwaffen failed to meet their strategic objective of turning the tides of World War II in Nazi Germany's favor at a time when the war was already strategically lost, they represented designs and prototypes that were extremely advanced for their time.

Contents

Naval vessels

Aircraft carriers

  • Graf Zeppelin - a 33,550 ton aircraft carrier laid down in 1936, never completed
  • Flugzeugträger B - planned sister ship to the Graf Zeppelin
  • German aircraft carrier I - a planned 56,500 ton aircraft carrier, converted from a transport

Battleships

  • H class battleship - a series of proposals for battleships, culminating in the H-44, a 140,000 ton battleship with eight 20 inch guns

U-boats

Oceangoing U-boats

Littoral U-boats

  • Type XXII U-boat - a U-boat designed to use air-independent propulsion; two were under construction
  • Type XXIII U-boat - a U-boat designed for littoral missions
  • Type XXV U-boat - a planned all-electric U-Boat designed for littoral missions

Submarine aircraft carrier

  • Type XI - a U-boat designed to carry the Arado Ar 231 collapsible floatplane; four were laid down but canceled at the outbreak of World War II

Armored vehicles

Anti-aircraft weapons

Anti-tank weapons

Tanks

  • Panzer IX and Panzer X - planned tanks

Super-heavy tanks

  • Landkreuzer P. 1000 "Ratte" (Rat) - a planned super-heavy tank, weighing 1000 metric tons and armed with two 280mm cannons, 128mm anti-tank gun, 8 20mm flak guns and 2 15mm heavy machine guns
  • Landkreuzer P. 1500 "Monster" - a proposed super-heavy self propelled gun, weighing 1500 metric tons and armed with the 800mm Schwerer Gustav/Dora gun
  • Panzer VII "Löwe" (Lion) - a planned super-heavy tank, weighing 90 metric tons and armed with a 105mm cannon
  • Panzer VIII "Maus" (Mouse) - a super-heavy tank, weighing 180 metric tons and armed with two cannons of 128mm & 75mm calibre, two operable prototypes completed
  • Panzerkampfwagen E-100 - a planned super-heavy tank, weighing 140 metric tons and armed with either 128, 149 or 170mm cannon

Gliders

Piston engine aircraft

Jets and rocket-propelled aircraft

Helicopters

Bombs and explosives

Artillery

Missiles

Orbital

  • Sun gun - a parabolic mirror in orbit designed to focus sunlight onto specific locations on the Earth's surface

Rifles

Mission equipment

  • Zielgerät 1229 "Vampir" - active infrared for the Sturmgewehr 44
  • FG 1250 Tank Mounted night-vision equipment

Conspiracies

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Willy Ley, "V-2: Rocket Cargo Ship" Astounding Science Fiction, May 1945, repr. Famous Science-Fiction Stories: Adventures in Time and Space, (ed. J. Francis McComas, Raymond J. Healy, [1946], 1957), p.359).
  • Reiner Merkel: Hans Kammler - Manager des Todes, 2010 August von Goethe Literaturverlag, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 978-3-8372-0817-7.

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