World War II was a war that impacted every country across the globe. So much so, that most countries reserved every available resource for the war effort. These resources included science and technology.
Throughout WWII, each side spent tremendous amounts of money on the research and development of weapons and defenses to give themselves the upper-hand over their opponents. Over time, these secret projects were either abandoned, put into use, or still remain under a heavy veil of rumor and myth.
Germany, in particular, was pouring money into their research and development in an attempt to gain that upper-hand over the Allies. Many staples of war can trace their heritage back to German research projects of WWII. While others, such as the alleged “Nazi UFO,” were so unusual that they never made it to the production line.
The Nazi UFO (Flying Saucer)
One of these ?secret? projects that pop up immediately is the Nazi UFO of the 1940s. The trouble with this project is that if it existed, it is associated with a lot myth and rumor. Supposedly, the ?Order of the Black Sun? researched and developed this and similar projects.
These projects allegedly encompassed a series of manned and unmanned machines. Prototypes are rumored to have been built. Although a lot of details float around on the web that could make this a plausible project, there is also a lot of sketchy science that makes the idea of a Nazi UFO tough to swallow.
There may be some dispute over the name (Ho 229 or Go 229), but the design is certainly recognizable and the science is sound. This prototype ?flying wing? was designed to be a single seat bomber carrying two 1,000 kg bombs and four 30mm cannons.
During tests, it proved to have outstanding speed and handling. The 229?s speed topped out at around 607 mph and had an average range of 2,000 miles. This aircraft seemed to be a German favorite; however, it never went into production due to the fact that US troops seized the facility and stopped any further development.
German forces experimented with more than just aircraft. They were also experimenting with new styles of firearms for various uses.
One of these experimental firearms was the Fliegerfaust. Basically, the Fliegaraust was a last ditch effort to destroy Allied bombers. The goal was to have a cheap and effective weapon. The outcome was an overall ineffective weapon that put the gunner in more danger than his actual target.
Fliegaraust was a multi-barreled rocket launcher, designed to be carried and fired by one man. The ammunition to be used was standard 20MM AA rounds with a small rocket booster at the rear. Unfortunately, for the Germans, the 20MM AA rounds had no effect on Allied bombers, and the position where the gunner was required to stand made him an easy target for the Allies.
Designed to be the brute of Germany, the Panzer VIII Maus (Maus), was the heaviest tank built during World War II.
The massive weight, 200 metric tons, of the Maus allowed it to be fitted with 128mm gun able to destroy any other armored vehicle within range. Only one compete prototype was ever built for two reasons. Due to the massive weight of the vehicle, researchers could not find an engine large enough to power it to full potential, and the weight made it impossible to cross bridges.
Also, Soviet troops seized the testing grounds of the tank before another complete prototype could be built. It is rumored that research continued on the Maus through 1945 and the prototype was even used in battle to defend a facility at Kummersdorf. However, this rumor is highly disputed.
There were many other secret and unusual projects similar to the Nazi UFO or various weaponry researched by Germany during World War II. Like the ones presented here, many of them failed while others not only succeeded, but also changed the scope of the war.