The second World War was devastating, but also plenty of technical advancements were made possible by the combatants’ desire to win. Despite being defeated in the end, the German war machine had impressive weaponry at its disposal, including sophisticated creations that could have helped it win.
However, Hitler’s army was never able to produce these advanced weapons in quantities that would have had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the war, and it also had trouble ironing out various kinks in the early designs.
Weapons of WWII magazine looked at some of Hitler’s advanced weaponry in its fall issue, on the 76th anniversary of the start of the second World War.
Germany had some incredible weapons for that day and age, including a flying stealth bomber, a rocket-powered fighter, a remote-controlled mini-tank and a radio-guided bomb.
The Horten Ho 229 was a stealth bomber capable of carrying 2,000 pounds of firepower at 49,000 feet, and it could reach speeds topping 600mph. The aircraft in the image above had twin turbojet engines, two cannons and R4M rockets. However, the craft was also plagued with problems.
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was the Luftwaffe’s rocket-powered jet capable of reaching speeds of up to 700mph. The airplane was created in the late 1930s, at a time when the P-51 Mustang fighter could only reach 440mph in combat. The German’s plane was both a “gift and a curse,” as Business Insider notes, as it helped pilots escape Allied gunfire, but also prevented them from shooting down enemies. More than 300 of these planes were used during the war.
The Goliath tracked mine is a radio-controlled unmanned small tank that was used to destroy enemy vehicles such as tanks. Over 7,000 units were deployed in combat, each able to carry up to 220 pounds of high explosives.
Finally, the Fritz X radio-guided bomb could penetrate 28 inches of armor after being dropped from 20,000 feet, way above the reach of antiaircraft equipment at the time. The smart bomb carried 3,450 pounds of explosives, featuring a radio receiver and tail controls that helped it navigate to the target. The weapon was used in September 1943 to sink battleship Roma, but not many aircraft were able to carry it due to design incompatibilities.