The Definitive Collection Of Secret Nazi Weapons

Underwater missiles capable of hitting New York, jet-powered bombers that were nearly impossible to intercept, sub-orbital bombers, vertical launch rocket fighters, infrared visors, assault rifles with curved barrels — they sound like weapons out of the latest Wolfenstein game but they are actually authentic armaments developed by Germany during W.W.2. This definitive collection of incredible Nazi weaponry breaks down all these and more. Just be happy that those bastards never got to mass produce them.

Secret weapons of the Luftwaffe

“The Rocket U-boat was an abandoned military project to create the first ballistic missile submarine. It was conceived of by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Plans for the rocket U-boat involved an attack on New York City with newly invented V-2 rockets.”

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons/Deutsches U-Boot-Museum

“The Henschel Hs 117 Schmetterling (German for Butterfly) was a TV guided German surface-to-air missile project developed during World War II. There was also an air-to-air version. The operator used a telescopic sight and a joystick to guide the missile by radio control.”

Image source: Lorax/Wikimedia Commons

“The Henschel Hs 293 was a World War II German anti-ship guided missile: a radio-controlled glide bomb with a rocket engine slung underneath it.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“Rheintochter was a German surface-to-air missile developed during World War II. Its name comes from the mythical Rheintöchter (Rhinemaidens) of Richard Wagner’s opera series Der Ring des Nibelungen.”

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“The Ruhrstahl X-4 was a wire guided air-to-air missile designed by Germany during World War II. The X-4 did not see operational service and thus was not proven in combat. The X-4 was the basis for the development of experimental, ground-launched anti-tank missiles that became the basis for considerable post-war work around the world, including the Malkara missile.”

Image source: ILMO JOE

“Silbervogel, German for silver bird, was a design for a rocket-powered sub-orbital bomber aircraft produced by Eugen Sänger and Irene Bredt in the late 1930s for The Third Reich/Nazi Germany. It is also known as the RaBo (Raketenbomber or rocket bomber).”

Image source:

“The Arado Ar 234 was the world’s first operational jet-powered bomber, built by the German Arado company in the closing stages of World War II. Produced in very limited numbers, it was used almost entirely in the reconnaissance role, but in its few uses as a bomber it proved to be nearly impossible to intercept. It was the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over England during the war, in April 1945.”

Image source: Ronnie Bell

“The Junkers Ju 287 was a Nazi Germany aerodynamic testbed built to develop the technology required for a multi-engine jet bomber. It was powered by four Junkers Jumo 004 engines, featured a revolutionary forward-swept wing, and apart from said wing was assembled largely from components scavenged from other aircraft.”

Image source: JuergenKlueser/Wikimedia Commons

“The Bachem Ba 349 Natter(English: Viper, Adder) was a World War II German point-defence rocket powered interceptor, which was to be used in a very similar way to a manned surface-to-air missile. After a vertical take-off, the majority of the flight to the Allied bombers was to be controlled by an autopilot. The primary mission of the relatively untrained pilot, was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets. The pilot and the fuselage containing the rocket motor would then land under separate parachutes, while the nose section was disposable.”

Image sources: Lone Sentry/San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The DFS 346 (Samolyot 346) was a German rocket-powered swept-wing vehicle subsequently completed and flown (with indifferent success) in the Soviet Union after World War II. The prototype was still unfinished by the end of the war and was taken to the Soviet Union where it was rebuilt, tested and flown.”

Image source: Stewart Callan

“The Fieseler Fi 103R, code-named Reichenberg, was a late-World War II German manned version of the V-1 flying bomb produced for attacks in which the pilot was likely to be killed or at best to parachute down at the attack site.”

Image source: PHLAIRLINE.COM

“The Focke-Wulf Ta 283 was a German low-wing jet interceptor designed during World War II.”

Image source: Alf van Beem/Wikimedia Commons

“The Focke-Achgelis Fa 269 was a tiltrotor VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) fighter project designed by Heinrich Focke.”

Image source: Prototypes

“The Junkers Ju 322 Mammut (Mammoth) was a heavy transport military glider, resembling a giant flying wing, proposed for use by the Luftwaffe in World War II.”

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons/LuftArchiv

“The Focke-Wulf Ta 400 was a large six-engined bomber design developed in Nazi Germany in 1943 […] Designed as a bomber and long-range reconnaissance plane by Kurt Tank […] one of the most striking features was the six BMW 801D radial engines, to which two Jumo 004 jet engines were later added.”

Image source: kitchener.lord

“The Junkers Ju 390 was a German aircraft intended to be used as a heavy transport, maritime patrol aircraft, and long-range bomber, a long-range derivative of the Ju 290.”

Image sources: Panzer DB/kitchener.lord

“The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant (“Giant”) was a German military transport aircraft of World War II. It was a powered variant of the Me 321 military glider and was the largest land-based transport aircraft of the war. A total of 213 are recorded as having been made, a few being converted from the Me 321.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger (German, “People’s Fighter”), made primarily of wood as metals were in very short supply and prioritised for other aircraft, the He 162 was nevertheless the fastest of the first generation of Axis and Allied jets.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Heinkel He 176 was a German rocket-powered aircraft. It was the world’s first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket, making its first powered flight on 20 June 1939 with Erich Warsitz at the controls.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Heinkel He 178 was the world’s first aircraft to fly under turbojet power, and the first practical jet aircraft.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Heinkel He 280 was the first turbojet-powered fighter aircraft in the world. It was inspired by Ernst Heinkel’s emphasis on research into high-speed flight and built on the company’s experience with the He 178 jet prototype. A combination of technical and political factors led to it being passed over in favour of the Messerschmitt Me 262.[citation needed] Only nine were built and none reached operational status.”

Image source: Panzer DB

“Henschel’s Hs 132 was a World War II dive bomber and interceptor aircraft […] The unorthodox design featured a top-mounted BMW 003 jet engine (identical in terms of make and position to the powerplant used by the Heinkel He 162) and the pilot in a prone position. The Soviet Army occupied the factory just as the Hs 132 V1 was nearing flight testing, the V2 and V3 being 80% and 75% completed.”

Image source:

“The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 was a German prototype fighter/bomber. It was the first pure flying wing powered by jet engines. It was the only aircraft to come close to meeting German Luftwaffen Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s “3×1000″ performance requirements, namely to carry 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) of bombs a distance of 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) with a speed of 1,000 kilometres per hour (620 mph). Its ceiling was 15,000 metres (49,000 ft).”

Image source: Panzer DB

“The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivalled at the time. German test pilot Heini Dittmar in early July 1944 reached 1,130 km/h (700 mph), not broken in terms of absolute speed until November 1947. Over 300 aircraft were built;[2] however, the Komet proved ineffective as a fighter, having been responsible for the destruction of only about nine Allied aircraft[2] (16 air victories for 10 losses, according to other sources).”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (English: “Swallow”) was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Messerschmitt P.1101 was a single-seat, single-jet fighter project […] A characteristic feature of the P.1101 prototype was that the sweep of the wings could be changed before flight, a feature further developed in later variable-sweep aircraft such as the Bell X-5 and Grumman XF10F Jaguar.”

Image source: San Diego Air & Space Museum

“The Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri (“Hummingbird”) is a single-seat open cockpit intermeshing rotor helicopter, or synchropter, produced by Anton Flettner of Germany. According to Yves Le Bec, the Flettner Fl 282 was the world’s first series production helicopter.”

Image sources:

“The Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drache (“Dragon” in English) was a helicopter developed by Germany during World War II. A single 750 kilowatt (1,000 horsepower) Bramo 323 radial engine powered two three-bladed 11.9 metre (39 feet) rotors mounted on twin booms on either side of the 12.2 metre (40 ft) long cylindrical fuselage.”

Image source: Panzer DB

“The Aggregat series was a set of rocket designs developed in 1933 — 45 by a research program of Nazi Germany’s army. Its greatest success was the A4, more commonly known as the V-2. The German word Aggregat refers to a group of machines working together. A9/A10 was proposed to use an advanced version of the A9 to attack targets on the US mainland from launch sites in Europe, for which it would need to be launched atop a booster stage, the A10. The A12 design was a true orbital rocket. It was proposed as a four-stage vehicle, comprising A12, A11, A10 and A9 stages. Calculations suggested it could place as much as 10 tonnes payload in low Earth orbit.”

Image source: Spike78/Wikimedia Commons

“The Enzian was a German WWII surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile that was the first to use an infrared guidance system. During the missile’s development in the late stages of the war, it was plagued by organisational problems and was cancelled before becoming operational.”

Image source: Nick-D/Wikimedia Commons

“The V-1 flying bomb was an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile. The first of the so-called Vergeltungswaffen series designed for terror bombing of London, the V-1 was fired from launch sites along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts. At its peak, more than one hundred V-1s a day were fired at south-east England, 9,521 in total, decreasing in number as sites were overrun until October 1944, when the last V-1 site in range of Britain was overrun by Allied forces.”

Image source: Keystone/Getty Images

“Fritz X was the most common name for a German guided anti-ship glide bomb used during World War II. Along with the USAAF’s similar Azon weapon of the same period in World War II, it is one of the precursors of today’s anti-ship missiles and precision-guided weapons.”

Image source: Mark Pellegrini/Wikimedia Commons

Orbital weapons

“The sun gun or heliobeam was a theoretical orbital weapon that was researched by Nazi Germany during World War II.”

Image source: Life Magazine. July 23, 1945.

Secret weapons of the Wehrmacht

“The V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) was a German World War II supergun working on the multi-charge principle whereby secondary propellant charges are fired to add velocity to a projectile.”

Image sources: Aleksander Piotr Laskowski/Wikimedia Commons/German Federal Archive/Wikimedia Commons

“The Fliegerfaust (lit. “pilot fist” or “plane fist”), also known as the “Luftfaust” (lit. “air fist”), was a prototype unguided, man-portable, German multi-barreled ground-to-air rocket launcher, designed to destroy enemy ground attack planes.”

Image source: Plbcr/Wikimedia Commons

“The Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz (“lightning ball”) was a German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed during World War II. Unlike earlier self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, it had a fully enclosed, rotating turret.”

Image source: KFS/Wikimedia Commons

“The 12.8 cm Selbstfahrlafette auf VK3001(H) “Sturer Emil” (German for “Stubborn Emil”) was an experimental World War II German self-propelled anti-tank gun.”

Image source: Alexpl/Wikimedia Commons

“Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (Mouse) was a German World War II super-heavy tank completed in late 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armoured fighting vehicle ever built.”

Image source: Superewer/Wikimedia Commons

“Schwerer Gustav and Dora were the names of two German 80 cm K (E) railway guns. The fully assembled guns weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, and could fire shells weighing seven tonnes to a range of 47 kilometres (29 mi).”

Image source: Third Reich Colour Pictures

“The StG 44 (Sturmgewehr 44, literally “storm [or assault] rifle [model of 19]44″) was an assault rifle developed in Nazi Germany during World War II that was the first of its kind to see major deployment and is considered by many historians to be the first modern assault rifle.”

Image source: Digital Museum/Wikimedia Commons

“The StG 45(M)(Sturmgewehr 45 literally “storm rifle” or “assault rifle 1945”) sometimes referred to as the MP 45(M), was a prototype assault rifle developed by Mauser for the Wehrmacht at the end of World War II, using an innovative roller-delayed blowback operating system. It fired the 7.92×33mm Kurz (or “Pistolenpatrone 7.9mm) intermediate cartridge at a cyclic rate of around 450 rounds per minute.”

Image source: Mikesonline2011/Wikimedia Commons

“The Krummlauf (English: Curved barrel) is a bent barrel attachment for the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle developed by Germany in World War II. The curved barrel included a periscope sighting device for shooting around corners from a safe position.”

Image sources:

“The Zielgerät 1229 (ZG 1229), also known in its code name Vampir, was an active infrared device developed for the Wehrmacht for the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle, intended primarily for night use.”

Image source:

Secret weapons of the Kriegsmarine

“German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the lead ship in a class of two carriers ordered by the Kriegsmarine. […] The carrier would have had a complement of 42 fighters and dive bombers. […] Graf Zeppelin was not completed and was never operational, due to shifting construction priorities necessitated by the war.

Image source: U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

“Type XXI U-boats, also known as “Elektroboote” (German: “electric boats”), were the first submarines designed to operate primarily submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a means to escape detection or launch an attack.”

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Atomic research

“The German nuclear energy project, was an attempted clandestine scientific effort led by Germany to develop and produce atomic weapons during World War II. The program eventually expanded into three main efforts: the Uranmaschine (nuclear reactor), uranium and heavy water production, and uranium isotope separation.”

Image source: Felix König/Wikimedia Commons

Know of other secret Nazi weapons? Please ad them in the comments with links to the Wikipedia page.

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