Wars always demand a rapid growth of technological advancements, as you always need to try and stay ahead of your enemy if you want a good chance of winning. It’s not known to all that Germany had a massive technological lead over the rest of the world in WWII, though most of their inventions came too late to have a dramatic effect on the war, and couldn’t save them from a two-fronted invasion. With almost unlimited resources from occupied countries like Czechoslovakia and Hungary, combined with a seemingly infinite supply of gold, Hitler had no trouble funding his scientists, which makes it not exactly surprising that they managed to design and actually use these weapons of war.
- The V2 Rocket was the world’s first ballistic missile, developed to bomb allied cities. Hitler didn’t choose to use them on military targets, which seems strange considering they were unmanned, guided missiles that could have been used to actually destroy enemy units rather than innocent civilians. Either way, the V2 was an incredible invention that sparked a global race to build the largest ballistic missiles.
- Tanks. German armoured vehicles were completely superior to almost any allied equivalent. They were significantly larger than allied tanks, with larger guns and thicker armour, making them a challenge to destroy. The Tiger II or ‘King Tiger’ as it was known was one of the largest, with an 88mm gun, which incidentally was the same gun used on German anti-tank cannons which shows just how big these machines were.
King Tiger tank
These are in my mind some of Nazi Germany’s most significant military inventions, and, although none of them ultimately shaped the war, they might very well have done had they been developed earlier and in appreciably larger numbers.