Using Science to Fight War

To fight World War II, America leveraged its industrial might, Britain its stoic resolve and Russia its endless supply of manpower. Their Nazi enemies, on the other hand, turned to science to fight their war. But even as the Third Reich threw new weapons like cruise missiles, jet aircraft and assault rifles against the Allies, some of their craziest killing machines never made it onto the battlefield. These 10 secret weapons of Nazi Germany failed to make an impact on the war, but still exemplify the outrageous machines that typified how Hitler wished to wage war. <br><br> Follow InnovationNewsDaily on twitter @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/#!/news_innovation">News_Innovation</a>, or on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/innovationnewsdaily">Facebook</a>. <br><br> <li><a href="http://www.innovationnewsdaily.com/375-military-aircraft-test-phase-failures.html">Ten Military Aircraft that Never Made it Past the Test Phase</a></li> <li><a href="www.innovationnewsdaily.com/377-test-pilot-unmanned-drones.html">Human Test Pilots Still Rule in Age of Drones</a></li> <li><a href="www.innovationnewsdaily.com/448-satellite-navigation-transoceanic-flights.html">New Satellite Service Makes Safer Skies for Oceanic Flights</a></li>

Sun Gun

While it sounds more like something a movie villain would think up, the Sun Gun was one of the many weapons being developed by scientists of the Third Reich.<br><br> The hope was that by putting what was basically giant mirror into orbit, they could harness the power of the sun and use it as a weapon against their enemies. According to their scientists the heat the mirror would be able to project could boil oceans and burn cities to ash.<br><br> The physicists who were part of the project had the calculations done for the size of the mirror, what would be made of and how far up it would have to be placed. Luckily, the technology for the Sun Gun was still 50 to 100 years out of reach, so the world's cities were safe from destruction by sun.

Horton Ho 229

The Horton Ho 229, developed by Germany's Horton brothers, was the first flying wing plane powered by a jet engine a tailless aircraft with fixed wings, that resembles a glider. <br><br> In addition to being the first flying win plane, the Horton Ho was also the first aircraft that incorporated stealth technology. Its design ensured that it would be much harder to detect with radar than the planes that came before it.<br><br> The Horton Ho was developed closer to the end of the war, so they were only used to fly a few missions.

Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte

Often referred to as Hitler's super tank, the Landkreuzer weighed in at around 4,000,000 pounds, a little over 114 feet long and as tall as some church steeples. In addition, it would have required 17,000 horsepower engine just to get it moving.<br><br> The Landkreuzer never actually made it into the production phase; its size, rendered it almost impossible to build and maneuver. Both building the parts and assembling the tank's components would have required transportation and handling equipment that is usually found in shipyards. <br><br> Had it actually been built though, it would have carried guns that had previously only been seen on warships. It would have had to destroy cities to maneuver through them and would have cracked any pavement it rolled over. It was too heavy for bridges, but its six feet of ground clearance and snorkel would have made it possible to ford most rivers.

Vampir ZG 1229 Infrared System

It may not have been Germany's first infrared system, but the Vampir ZG 1229 system was the one use most effectively toward the end of the War, and the first of its kind. It was also the first system that could be carried by a single individual.<br><br> <iframe width="590" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1IcWpHjpQO4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <br><br> The Vampir system consisted of a 'black' spot light, fixed atop an assault rifle. Below this infrared light was a range finder that could detect the light emitted from the infrared lamp. <br><br> As this light was invisible to anyone not equipped with a Vampir system, it gave those using it an alternative to relying on flashlights and flares for illumination. This technology made it possible for a normal soldier to be able to fight in complete darkness without revealing his position.

Fritz X Bomb

Considered the grandfather of the modern smart bomb, the Fritz X was one of Hitler's most top-secret bombs. The warhead carried over 700 pounds of explosives and was so strong it could rip through a battleship.<br><br> As one of the first radio-controlled bombs, the Fritz X had a success rate 80 times higher than that of conventional free-falling bombs of the time. Flares in the bomb's tail, enabled its controller to follow its fall after release and let them send radio signals, which moved the control surfaces and produced minor changes in the bomb's course.<br><br> <iframe width="590" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YJ_VdnQ5a7I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br><br> The Frtiz was a weapon capable of causing devastating amounts of damage. One hit by a Fritz X rendered the USS Savannah out of commission for an entire year and killed 200 crewmembers.

V-3 (Vergeltungswaffen) Cannon

Placed on the shore in northern France, the V-3 cannons were going to be used to lob explosives across the English Channel directly at London. Luckily for London, Allied bombing raids destroyed them before they ever had the chance to be used.<br><br> The cannons were technically a series of 25 underground tunnels, which were supposedly capable of launching 300 rockets in an hour. The roughly 459 foot long cannon was able to deliver explosives over 103 miles. <br><br> <iframe width="590" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/69Bcce-ogQQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br><br> In order to get enough boost to send shells that far, the gun used multiple propellant charges placed along the barrel's length and timed to fire as soon as the projectile passed them, to provide an additional boost. These charges were arranged in symmetrical pairs along the length of the barrel, angled to project their thrust against the base of the projectile as it passed.

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

The Komet is often considered one of the most unique aircraft designs of World War 2, the rocket powered aircraft, the only one to ever be operational, featured swept back wings and a single rudder plane at the rear. <br><br> Capable of reaching speeds of 623 miles per hour, the Komet was impossible for Allied aircraft to even come close to catching.<br><br> Despite the advantages the Komet offered, flying one was often incredibly dangerous. The special fuels used to propel the plane, known only as T-Stoff and Z-Stoff were incredibly volatile and was known to self-combust.<br><br> <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wnwQcr8tnAw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br><br> Because the fuel mixture was only enough for seven and a half minutes of flight, the plane was also expected to glide back down to earth after a mission was complete. Once again though, this proved to be quite detrimental to pilots. Without fuel and momentum, the airplane became and easy target when it was in glide mode.

Arado Ar 234 Blitz Bomber

Like the Komet, the Arado Ar was also the first of its kind. The airplane was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber. <br><br> Though it was mostly used for reconnaissance missions, it proved nearly impossible to intercept when it did go on bombing missions. The Arado Ar also led to the inclusion of standard ejection seating in planes. Early ejection systems were still quite dangerous, but the ones in the bomber led to further development of the system and widespread use.

WRONG PHOTO - Wasserfall Remote-Controlled A-A Rocket

The Wasserfall was a surface to air missile designed in 1943. It was similar to the V-2 rocket, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, but unlike the V-2, the Wasserfall was designed to stand ready for periods of up to a month, waiting to be fired on command.<br><br> In order to operate Wasserfall at night, a special system known as Rheinland was being developed. Rheinland used radar to track the target and a transponder in the missile for locating it in flight. An analog computer guided the missile into the tracking radar beam as soon as possible after launch, using the transponder to locate it. This would enable the operator to see both the target and the missile on a single display, and guide the missile onto the target as easily as it would in delight.

Amerika Bomber

Intended to reach the continental United States, the bombers of the Amerika Bomber project, were designed to carry 3 to 6.5 ton payloads from the Azore Islands to targets like New York City.<br><br> The program encompassed multiple airplane proposals and was mainly concerned with developing any kind of aircraft that could make the flight from Germany to the U.S. while also carrying enough explosives to do serious damage.<br><br> Most of the targets the project had in mind were aluminum and aeronautical companies in the United States. Hitler's forces hoped that carrying out aerial attacks from a land base against the United States, would force the U.S. to build up a large antiaircraft defense. This would also require the country use more of its antiaircraft capabilities for its own defense rather than for that of Great Britain.

Secret Weapons of the Third Reich