There are too many "top-tens" in today's pill poppin', cocaine snorting, Z-list celebrity world of tomorrow, this is why I've taken it upon myself to create a top ten that's educational, upholds family values, a top ten that has value and something that everyone can enjoy. Naturally, I thought of the Nazis.
Wunderwaffen (or Wonder Weapons), were the Nazi's attempt to try to turn an already strategically lost war, these inventions were highly advanced for their time, and thankfully the Nazis still lost.
At Number 10: Fliegerfaust
The first anti-aircraft defense system that could be carried by the common soldier. The Fliegerfaust was credited of having a random scatter of its projectiles and thus never reached its 500 meter range.
In the words of Comic-book guy: "Worst. Man-portable air-defense system. Ever."
At Number 9: Zielgerät 1229 "The Vampire"
The Nazi's first infa-red for night-time fighting. A blocky thing made of wood and powered by a battery inside the gas-mask, this machine worked in too high a spectrum of infa-red and therefore couldn't detect body heat. Russians on the eastern front talked of huge scopes that emitted no light balanced on top of Nazi rifles.
Infa-red that can't detect body heat seems kind'a useless to me, but hey I'm not a war general...yet.
At Number 8: Silbervogel
How awesome do the words “rocket-powered sub-orbital bomber aircraft" sound? Pretty damn awesome until you add Nazi to it - but hey it does bring to mind an Indiana Jones fight scene in space!
Unfortunately the Silbervogel is not a manned aircraft, and sadly was never created, but was an interesting idea in concept. It would have been a large plane that would be thrust down a ramp by rockets, and flown above the stratosphere, where as it came further down into the air would "bounce" on the stratosphere, all the way to Japan across America!
Sadly the mathematical concepts involved in this design were flawed, and the plane would have broken up on re-entry. This plane gets bonus-points though because the scientists who created it were nearly kidnapped by Stalin's soviet spies in France! More Indiana Jones, me thinks.
At Number 7: Panzer VIII Maus
One of the largest and heaviest tanks ever to see development near the end of WWII, the Maus was so large and heavy (steel amour at a maximum thickness of a possible 240 mm) that it would have been a problem to cross most bridges, and would have needed a snorkel to cross deep rivers.
When first shown a wooden prototype of the Maus, Hitler saw the 120 mm gun as a "toy", and had it upgraded to 150 mm. This did little for its success rate though, as it saw little success against the Russians, the crew had to burn it to stop it falling into enemy hands, but the Russians nicked it anyway.
Thick, cramped, slow, the Maus's specifications were probably ported over to be used in public transport.
At number 6: XXI U-boats
Now we're coming to some more successful weapons. These were the first submarines ever to be able to completely submerge themselves underwater for several days. If there were more of them the Nazis could well have ruled the waves...or the ocean currents, whatever the hell Neptune has, they'd take, in short. Nazi swashbuckling pirates, anyone?
These things were plagued by flaws, sadly. Despite all the modern luxuries such as a freezer, an ability to shave, and a hell-of'a-lot-of torpedoes, only 4 of the 118 made were ever fit for use. Why? For some reason all the pre-made parts were made in separate inland factories by people with no experience whatsoever in making things that float on water. Imagine asking a Jeweler to make amour, you'd only be able to dazzle your opponent with shiny plating before he skewered through you like tinfoil.
At number 5: Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster
The Maus may have been the largest tank developed at 188 tones; this monster would have weighed no less that 1500 tones if the project was not cancelled.
Huge, ungainly, impossible to steer, yet it would take a huge amount of firepower to destroy and in theory could fire 23 miles at heavily fortified targets. The Landrekzer doesn't really deserve position 6, yet as must be done with all the Nazi weapons, one must take the concept over the operation, and let’s face it, no one tells a 1500 tone tank where to park.
At number 4: Messerschmitt Me 163
This is the one and ONLY rocket-propelled fighter aircraft in existence. Normal planes were completely flummoxed by these incredibly fast aircraft that would fly through their formations and fire madly at them.
It may be the problems of the 163 that give it its best value. A huge amount of fuel in-take at high-speeds meant that if air-battles were waited out that these planes effectively became fast-turning gliders. Pilots also had to contend with unpressurised cabins, meaning that they could only spend so long at high altitudes before being knocked unconscious, meaning they had to be "hardened" in altitude training.
These poor pilots also had to undergo low-fiber diets, lest the "gas" inside them expanded while flying. It is because of this, I wish to coin a new phrase: "In a Messerschmitt Me 163, the last thing you want to do is hold it in."
At number 3: StG44
The assault rifle is an iconic weapon in war games; war movies; coasters; mouse pads; and magazines of women in thin clothes carrying dangerous guns, so it may be a surprise to some that the Nazis may well have made the first assault rifle, certainly the first one of its type to see mass production.
It's no doubt that post-war, that Soviets, Americans and many other armies up to the modern day have adopted the assault rifle for their infantry.
Can anyone imagine Eva Braun in a bikini holding one? Does anyone want to? Probably wouldn't have been an assault rifle anyway, the German's were still very much machine-gun heavy.
Well I had the first two ready, but I managed to close the page and lose the draft. Stay tuned for the top two wunderwaffen soon!