Wunderwaffen – Conclusion

A-bomb

  1. During World War II, Nazi Germany developed and deployed twenty-four revolutionary weapons – three times more than all Allies combined
  2. These revolutionary weapons included assault rifles, jet fighters and bombers, cruise and ballistic missiles, smart bombs, wire-guided anti-tank missiles and others that now are the backbone of just about every modern army
  3. Nazi engineers created these weapons because they sincerely (and correctly) believed that Germany was fighting an existential war and that after the failure of blitzkrieg on the Eastern front the only way to win the ensuing war of attrition was to develop and deploy a true Wunderwaffe that will force its enemies either to surrender or to sue for peace on Germany’s terms
  4. However, none of the weapons developed by Nazi Germany managed to achieve this vital objective so precious resources spent on development, manufacturing and deployment of these weapons were essentially wasted
  5. To win the war of attrition, Nazi Germany needed to develop and deploy just three Wunderwaffen – atomic (fission) bomb; high-speed, high-altitude intercontinental jet-bomber of Horten XVIII class and thousands of Enzian-class guided surface-to-air missiles
  6. To develop and deploy these weapons, Nazi Germany had to focus all its R&D efforts and resources on just these three projects as early as from 1939 – from the very beginning of World War II (as a “plan B” in case that “plan A” – the blitzkrieg – fails)
  7. Unfortunately for Nazi Germany, its Führer Adolf Hitler failed to foresee that in just ten years the keys to world domination would be nuclear weapons and their unstoppable delivery systems – strategic intercontinental bombers and ballistic missiles
  8. Consequently, even if Nazi Germany had won World War II (which was a very real possibility), it would have been forced to surrender and return to the 1937 borders and the terms of the Versailles treaty by the US-British alliance under the threat of being completely and quickly destroyed by strategic bombers carrying nuclear bombs

 

Useless: H-Class Battleships and Plan Z

H

H-Class battleships (and the whole Plan Z that stipulated the construction of six of these beasts) were a perfect example of what a colossal waste of resources happens when weapons systems are designed to achieve a totally wrong objective. Especially when this objective is totally unrealistic.

H-class battleships (super-battleships, actually) were real monsters. The first variation (H-39) was essentially an enlarged Bismark-class battleships (56,444 vs 41,700 tons standard displacement and 406mm vs 381-mm main guns).

The next variations (H-41 to H-44) were bigger and bigger and bigger with standard displacement of 68,800, 90,000, 111,000 and a whopping 131,000 tons respectively. H-41 was supposed to be armed with 420mm main guns, H-42 and H-43 – with 480mm (bigger than the guns of Japanese Yamato-class super-battleships) and H-44 – with unbelievable 508mm (20-inch) guns, having almost the same caliber as the submarine- and destroyer-launched torpedoes.

Fortunately for the Kriegsmarine, its commander-in-chief Erich Raeder made the decision to stick to the initial H-39 design. Even more fortunately, right after the outbreak of World War II, he had the common sense (and the courage) to convince Hitler to cancel the whole Plan Z altogether as in the wartime Germany simply could not afford it.

Only two H-39 hulls were laid down and material for the other four ships had started to be assembled in preparation to begin construction but no work had been done.

Plan Z called for the construction of ten battleships (four were actually constructed), three battle cruisers (0), four aircraft carriers (0), twenty heavy cruisers of two different designs (0), thirteen light cruisers (6), twenty-two scout ships – essentially large destroyers (0), sixty-eight destroyers (30) and ninety torpedo boats (36).

This armada (planned to be completed by 1948), had two key objectives – (1) attack and destroy British merchant ships thus effectively enforcing the blockade of Britain – sort of a delayed revenge for the Blockade of Germany during World War I; and (2) engage and destroy the military ships of the Royal Navy thus preventing the latter from establishing and enforcing the Blockade 2.0.

There were several problems with these objectives that rendered them both completely wrong and totally unrealistic.

First, Plan Z was intended to close the gap between Kriegsmarine and the Royal navy and thus had an implicit assumption that the British will do nothing while the Nazi Germany was closing this gap. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, Royal Navy engineering and shipbuilding facilities were so far superior to the German ones that it would have guaranteed that this gap would widen, not shrink.

Second, Hitler and his Kriegsmarine were preparing for the previous war. Consequently, they believed that both abovementioned objectives would be achieved primarily by artillery ships (battleships and cruisers) only supported by aircraft carriers.

However, the battles in the Pacific proved beyond the reasonable doubt that the naval battles of WW2 will be fought between aircraft carrier groups at a distance of dozens (if not hundreds) miles away from each other with the only weapons used being carrier-based aircraft (fighters, level- and dive-bombers, torpedo bombers and recon aircraft) and AA guns (of which ships carried hundreds).

Every carrier group obviously centered around one or more carriers and included cruisers and destroyers that protected the carriers from enemy aircraft and surface ships. Battleships thus were rapidly becoming a thing of the past used mostly to support amphibian assault operations.

And given that merchant convoys would be inevitably protected by escort carriers, the carrier group was the only efficient weapon against these targets as well.

Third, World War II proved beyond the reasonable doubt that both U-boats and surface raiders were highly inefficient against Allied convoys and that life expectancy of a surface raider was not very long.

One of such proofs was delivered by the Battle of the Barents Sea – a naval engagement on 31 December 1942 between warships of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine and British ships escorting convoy JW 51B to Kola Inlet in the USSR.

The action took place (obviously) in the Barents Sea north of North Cape, Norway. The German raiders’ failure to inflict significant losses on the convoy infuriated Hitler, who ordered that German naval strategy would concentrate on the U-boat fleet rather than surface ships.

Other surface raiders fared not much better with just about all of them sunk or forced to return to their home ports where they were subsequently destroyed by air raids or acts of sabotage committed by Allied special forces.

Fourth, much hyped “Battle of Atlantic” between Kriegsmarine U-boats and Allied escort ships and aircraft, in reality, had practically no effect on the course of the Second World War.

At no time during the campaign were supply lines to Britain interrupted; even during the “Bismarck crisis”, convoys sailed as usual (although with heavier escorts). Severe losses incurred by the infamous PQ-17 convoy (two thirds of the total cargo were lost to German aircraft and subs) were only one success that the Kriegsmarine managed to achieve.

In all, during the Atlantic Campaign only 10% of transatlantic convoys that sailed were attacked, and of those attacked only 10% on average of the ships were lost. Overall, more than 99% of all ships sailing to and from the British Isles during World War II did so successfully.

Despite their efforts (and loss of three out of its submariners), the Kriegsmarine failed to prevent the build-up of Allied invasion forces for the invasion of Europe. In November 1942, at the height of the Atlantic campaign, the US Navy escorted the Operation Torch invasion fleet 4,800 km across the Atlantic without hindrance, or even being detected. In 1943 and 1944 the Allies transported some three million American and Allied servicemen across the Atlantic without any significant loss.

Which means that even if Kriegsmarine sunk ten times more ships than it actually did (e.g. by constructing U-boats instead of surface ships, using more long range recon and bomber aircraft such as FW-200 or deploying Type XXI submarines in 1942 instead of 1945), it still would not have produced any significant impact on the course of the war.

And, finally, neither of the two abovementioned objectives (destruction of the merchant convoys and victory over the Royal Navy) was the correct one. The correct objective was to force Britain to either surrender or at least to accept peace terms dictated by Adolf Hitler.

Which could not have been possible to achieve by winning the war at sea (Royal Navy always was and always would have been far superior to Kriegsmarine) or in the air as Luftwaffe simply did not have aircraft (strategic bombers) capable of inflicting a devastating damage on British military and civilian targets.

Even after the defeat of the Soviet Union it would not have had sufficient number of these aircraft for many years. For these two reasons successful amphibious assault (Seelöwe) was simply not possible.

Consequently, the only way to force Britain to surrender was to develop a nuclear bomb and the delivery system (Ho-XVIII – type high-altitude jet bomber undetectable and invincible by British air defenses). And to drop it on London – with the threat of doing the same damage to all British cities in a very short time.

Consequently, the H-Class battleship program, the whole Plan Z (and the whole Nazi Kriegsmarine ship construction program) was a colossal waste of precious resources. Cut and dry, plain and simple, loud and clear.

 

German Nuclear Weapons Project (2)

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Obviously, man-made disasters – the oxygen explosion in June 1942 that destroyed the German nuclear reactor and the destruction of Norsk Hydro commercial plant capable of producing heavy water (together with the whole half-ton inventory of heavy water) by British commandos of Norwegian origin in February of 1943 (as well as subsequent air raids) – did contribute to the ultimate failure of the German nuclear weapons program.

However, Rainer Karlsch, a German historian and author, claimed in his 2005 purpotedly non-fiction book “Hitler’s Bomb” that the Nazis conducted the first successful nuclear weapon test of some type of nuclear-related device in Ohrdruf, Thuringia on March 4th, 1945.

Other sources cited by Karlsch assert that the Nazi nuclear bomb has been successfully tested even earlier – in the fall of 1944 on the northeastern German coastal island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, just offshore from the town of Stralsund in Pomerania.

Predictably, in 2006 the German Federal Institute for Physics Technology” concluded tests of soil samples from the area of the alleged test. And (also predictably) found precisely no trace of an explosion of an atomic or even a “dirty” bomb. Consequently, the abovementioned book must be regarded as a complete and utter fiction.

Karlsh’s was not the only claim that the Nazis have successfully detonated a nuclear device (not necessarily a deliverable bomb). On February 23rd, 2017, German-speaking British journalist Allan Hall published an article in the Daily Mirror entitled “Secret files reveal Nazis ‘tested nuclear bomb’ before end of WW2 as Adolf Hitler plotted to decimate Britain”.

Hall quotes the German newspaper Bild and cites U.S. National Archives intelligence reports file, APO 696, which, he says, contains two eyewitness accounts of a Nazi atomic bomb test in ‘early October 1944’.

The interviewees describe seeing a ‘mushroom cloud’ near the North German town of Ludwigslust, close to the Lüneburger Heide (Luneburg Heath) near the city of Hamburg.

This report was corroborated in January 2018 in a BCFM radio interview with Argentinian born blogger, son of a Nazi scientist and former Swiss banker, Manfred Petritsch.

He cited conversations with an unnamed former Nazi scientist who said two German wartime atomic bomb tests took place, one at the ‘Lüneburger Heide’ and one ‘on a North Sea Island’, possibly Heligoland, which is well away from the mainland.

Petritsch also suggested that Nazi expertise was essential for the Manhattan Project’s Trinity test to be successful, which, he says, is why the first test didn’t take place until Nazi scientists had been captured and debriefed by the Allies.

This is all very interesting, but, alas, there is no evidence – physical, documentary or even circumstantial – that these tests have, indeed, taken place (or that the Manhattan project used the expertise of captured Nazi nuclear physicists).

Which would have been impossible had these tests taken place, because such gargantuan projects generate enormous amounts of paperwork (especially in paperwork-obsessed Nazi bureaucracy) and significant amounts of physical objects. Amounts simply impossible to have been destroyed in the chaos of the last weeks of World War II.

Consequently, it will be safe to consider this claim pure fiction as well – either an honest mistake on the part of witnesses, or (more likely) a deliberate hoax.

Failure of the Uranprojekt proved beyond the reasonable doubt that Adolf Hitler was not a “sufficiently visionary leader” because he failed to accurately envision the weapons that would be needed to guarantee the security and prosperity of the Third Reich in the next decade (i.e., in the 1950s), let alone in the next hundred years.

He failed to predict that the wars of the future could not and should not be fought – due to inevitably devastating consequences for all belligerent nations. These wars must be prevented by developing nuclear (and thermonuclear) weapons and unstoppable delivery systems – medium-, intermediate- and intercontinental ballistic missiles resulting in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) paradigm.

He correctly predicted that his victory on the Eastern front would have forced Britain (and its allies) to sue for peace, kept the United States out of the war in Europe and transform the Soviet Union into essentially a German satellite nation. Thus winning the war on the Western front as well.

However, he did not realize that this victory would not be final, because the USA, Great Britain and even what was left of the Soviet Union still had the potential for development of revolutionary weapons – nuclear bombs and missile warheads – and their delivery systems (high-altitude intercontinental jet bombers and ballistic missiles) that could be used to either destroy Germany or force it to surrender and submit to the humiliation of Treaty of Versailles 2.0.

And that the only way to prevent this from happening was to beat the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union – his key adversaries – in the nuclear arms race (i.e. by developing the abovementioned weapons in sufficient quantities to force his opponents to accept his peace terms).

Including the solemn promise to never develop such weapons, making the Third Reich the global nuclear monopoly. The promise that will be enforced the same way Israel prevented Iraq from becoming a nuclear power (only with nuclear weapons).

Which gives another support for a conclusion that had Hitler won the Second World War (which was very much possible) and prevented his enemies in Germany from overthrowing him (which was not), he would have been forced (most likely, by the USA) to surrender (i.e. return to the 1937 borders and to the terms of the Versailles treaty) under the threat of the destruction of Germany by intercontinental bombers and/or ballistic missiles armed with nuclear bombs and warheads.

 

German Nuclear Weapons Project (1)

A-bomb

I have already stated on many occasions that the Allies did not win the Second World War. Nazi Germany (actually, its’ almighty Führer Adolf Hitler) lost it. He lost it by making a long series horrendous strategic mistakes (monumental blunders, actually) which ultimately cost him his war, his Reich and his life.

One of such blunders was his decision to ignore the Uranprojekt – the German nuclear weapons project – which was commenced in April 1939, just four months after the discovery of nuclear fission in December 1938 and three years (!) before the start of the Manhattan Project – the American nuclear weapons effort.

Without crucial support from the top, the project ended after just five months – in September 1939 when many notable physicists were… drafted into the Wehrmacht after the start of World War II.

However, even before it ended (actually, on the very first day of the Second World War), the Heereswaffenamt – the German Army Weapons Agency – commenced the alternative Uranprojekt. Which in a matter of weeks became the only nuclear weapons project in the Third Reich.

The program eventually expanded into three main efforts: the Uranmaschine (nuclear reactor), uranium and heavy water production, and uranium isotope separation.

However, four factors ultimately doomed this project and prevented the Nazis from building an atom bomb ahead of the Americans. First, the project was ignored (not opposed, just ignored) by Adolf Hitler. Which made it a low priority – too low to be successfully completed in wartime.

Second, the Uranprojekt did not have a “tsar” with dictatorial powers (for some reason, Nazis did not apply the seemingly omnipresent Führerprinciple to this project).

Although Abraham Esau – a highly talented German physicist and a co-founder of the first nuclear weapons effort – was appointed as Hermann Göring’s plenipotentiary for nuclear physics research in December 1942, he was not given sufficient executive power.

Uranprojekt was split up among nine major institutes where the directors dominated the research and set their own objectives. Which often conflicted with the ultimate objective – building an aircraft-deliverable nuclear bomb.

Third, it was (incorrectly) assessed that nuclear fission would not contribute significantly to winning the war (the reality was exactly the opposite), and in January 1942, the Heereswaffenamt turned the program over to the Reich Research Council (Reichsforschungsrat) while continuing to fund the program. Which obviously pushed the Uranprojekt further down the priority chain.

Not surprisingly, the number of scientists working on applied nuclear fission began to diminish, with many applying their talents to more pressing war-time demands. Which further depleted human capital necessary for the successful development of a nuclear weapon.

Depletion of the human capital was exacerbated by the fourth factor – the political and ideological one. Politicization of the German academia under the National Socialist regime had driven many physicists, engineers, and mathematicians out of Germany as early as 1933. Those of Jewish blood who did not leave were quickly purged from German institutions, further thinning the ranks of qualified physicists and engineers.

 

Nazi UFOs – Another Urban Legend

UFO

Arguably the most common Nazi-related urban legend is the myth of Nazi UFOs (although Nazi Flying Saucers would have been a more accurate term). This legend became so influential that it found its way even into the “mainstream” Ufology (not to mention dozens of “conspiracy theories”).

According to this legend, at the end of the World War II, Nazi engineers developed and produced a number (some say dozens) of saucer-shaped fast-flying (some say at Mach 2+ speed), long-range (some say intercontinental range) aircraft that they tested in the European skies and even in outer space.

After the war, Nazi pilots allegedly flew these aircraft to secret Nazi underground bases in Antarctica or South America (or even on the Moon). Some say that the US Army got hold of these aircraft and their creators, stored them in secret air bases (e.g. Area 51) and use Nazi technologies to win the space race, create stealth fighters and in other top-secret project such as rumored Aurora hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft.

This legend is, of course, pure fiction as there is not a shred of evidence – physical, documentary or even circumstantial – that such aircraft (let alone underground bases in such far-off places as South America or Antarctica) have been constructed (let alone tested or deployed).

Given the Nazi bureaucracy obsession with paperwork, it is simply inconceivable that all of it would have been destroyed or taken away. In addition, such gargantuan projects required enormous amounts of resources that in 1944-45 Nazi Germany simply did not have.

This myth was a result (a combination and subsequent fictionalization) of a number of events that actually happened and projects that have, indeed, been pursued by the Nazis (some even to the prototype stage).

First, Nazi Germany did claimed the territory of New Swabia in Antarctica, sent an expedition there in 1938, and planned others (to set up a whaling station to increase supplies of whale oil – then a strategic material and to establish a naval base to support surface raiders operating in South American waters).

Second, Rear Admiral Richard Byrd – commander of a 1947 US Antarctic expedition codenamed “Highjump” did issue a statement warning that

the United States should adopt measures of protection against the possibility of an invasion of the country by hostile planes coming from the polar regions. I am not trying to scare anyone, but the cruel reality is that in case of a new war, the United States could be attacked by planes flying over one or both poles.”

Obviously, he did not mention any UFOs (let alone Nazi UFOs).

Third, Nazi engineers did produce a number of incredibly advanced (even otherworldly) Wunderwaffen and developed plans and prototypes for even more advanced weapons.

Fourth, Nazis did (unsuccessfully) develop the circular-wing aircraft (namely Sack AS-6). However, it was built privately (i.e. received no RLM or other government funding) and managed little more than a hop off the ground due to aerodynamic unsuitability of a circular wing for an aircraft. Ultimately, it was destroyed (most likely, by an Allied air raid).

Fifth, Nazi engineers did (also unsuccessfully) experiment with “Repulsine” engines developed by an Austrian inventor Victor Schauberger (who spent some time in a mental institution and then some time in a Mauthausen concentration camp).

Despite these setbacks, in March 1940 Schauberger did patent the Repulsine engine in Austria under patent# 146,141. This engine was a “discoid motor” that ultimately was to power rotating flying disks. Which were never constructed (except for small-scale models), let alone flown.

Finally, numerous UFO sightings by Allied pilots (called “foo fighters” at that time) could not have been explained by natural phenomena and thus were (understandably) suspected to be prototype Luftwaffe aircraft as some of them reportedly damaged the Allied airplanes.

Similar sentiments regarding German technology resurfaced in 1947 with the first wave of flying saucer reports after Kenneth Arnold’s widely reported close encounter with nine crescent-shaped objects moving at a high velocity.

Personnel of Project Sign, the first U.S. Air Force UFO investigation group, noted that the advanced flying wing aeronautical designs of the German Horten brothers (Ho 229 and Ho XVIII) were similar to some UFO reports.

 

Nazi Urban Legend – Die Glocke Weapon

Glocke

Die Glocke (“The Bell”) was a purported top secret Nazi scientific technological device (Wunderwaffe). First described by Polish journalist and author Igor Witkowski in his 2000 book Prawda o Wunderwaffe (Truth about Wunderwaffe), it was later popularized by military journalist and author Nick Cook as well as by writers such as Joseph P. Farrell (fr) and others who associate it with Nazi occultism and antigravity or free energy research.

Die Glocke has become a popular subject of speculation and a following similar to science fiction fandom exists around it and other alleged Nazi “miracle weapons”. Unfortunately for these followers, there is not a shred of evidence that such a device was ever proposed, let alone developed or deployed. In short, it has never existed. Consequently, the following rumors about this device are fairy tales – plain and simple.

Reportedly this project’s code name was Chronos and it was assigned the highest security category. It was said to resemble a giant metallic bell, approximately 2.7m wide and 4m high.

It was composed of an unknown metal and based out of Der Riese, a facility near the Wenceslaus mine in Poland, near the Czech border. The Bell contained two counter-rotating cylinders said to contain a metallic liquid called Zerum-525.

Through an unknown process, when activated, The Bell would emit an effect zone of approximately 200 meters. Within this zone, crystals would form in animal tissue; blood would coagulate and separate, while plants would rapidly decompose.

Reportedly, many of the original scientists died horribly during the initial tests. The weapon was also able to rise off the ground and hover in the air and was meant to be launched over the Northern Hemisphere, detonating in the jet stream releasing its deadly radioisotopes causing the death of millions.

The only physical trace of the project is the ruins of a concrete framework, called “The Henge,” about 3 km from the main complex of Der Riese, that may (most likely not) have been a test rig for anti-gravity and propulsion experiments with The Bell.

 

Bizarre Nazi Projects – Sun Gun

Sonnengewehr

The sun gun or heliobeam is a (still) theoretical orbital weapon, which makes use of a concave mirror mounted on a satellite, to concentrate rays from the sun on to a small area of the Earth’s surface, destroying targets or killing through heat.

In 1929, the German physicist Hermann Oberth developed plans for a space station from which a 100m-wide concave mirror could be used to reflect sunlight onto a concentrated point on the earth.

Later during World War II, a group of German scientists at the German Army Artillery proving grounds at Hillersleben began to expand on Oberth’s idea of creating a superweapon that could utilize the sun’s energy.

This so-called “sun gun” (Sonnengewehr) would be part of a space station 8,200 km above Earth. The scientists calculated that a huge reflector, made of metallic sodium and with an area of nine square km, could produce enough focused heat to make an ocean boil or burn a city.

Scientists themselves acknowledge that this idea was about 100 years ahead of its time. Which begs the question – how on Earth their bosses allowed them to spend precious time and effort on such fairy-tale projects?