Wunderwaffe

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V-2

Wunderwaffe (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊndɐˌvafə]) is German for "wonder-weapon" and was a term assigned during World War II by the Third Reich propaganda ministry to a few revolutionary "superweapons". Most of these weapons however remained more or less feasible prototypes, or reached the combat theatre too late, and in too insignificant numbers (if at all) to have a military effect. A derisive abbreviation of the term emerged: Wuwa, pronounced "voo-vah".[1]

The V-weapons, which were developed earlier and saw considerable deployment (especially against London and Antwerp), trace back to the same pool of highly inventive armament concepts. Therefore, they are also included here.

Naval vessels[edit]

Aircraft carriers[edit]

Battleships[edit]

U-boats[edit]

Oceangoing U-boats[edit]

Littoral U-boats[edit]

Submarine aircraft carrier[edit]

Armored vehicles[edit]

Anti-aircraft weapons[edit]

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Super-heavy tanks[edit]

Gliders[edit]

Piston engine aircraft[edit]

Jets and rocket-propelled aircraft[edit]

Helicopters[edit]

Bombs and explosives[edit]

Artillery[edit]

Missiles[edit]

Orbital[edit]

Rifles[edit]

Directed-energy weapons[edit]

Rheotron/betatron[edit]

Among the directed-energy weapons the Nazis investigated were x-ray beam weapons developed under Heinz Schmellenmeier, Richard Gans and Fritz Houtermans. They built an electron accelerator called Rheotron (invented by Max Steenbeck at Siemens-Schuckert in the 1930s, these were later called betatrons by the Americans) to generate hard x-ray synchrotron beams for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM). The intent was to pre-ionize ignition in aircraft engines and hence serve as anti-aircraft DEW and bring planes down into the reach of flak.[clarification needed] The rheotron was captured by the Americans in Burggrub on April 14, 1945.

Röntgenkanone[edit]

Another approach was Ernst Schiebolds 'Röntgenkanone' developed from 1943 in Großostheim near Aschaffenburg. The Company Richert Seifert & Co from Hamburg delivered parts.

Mission equipment[edit]

Fictitious[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Willy Ley, "V-2: Rocket Cargo Ship" Astounding Science Fiction, May 1945, repr. Famous Science-Fiction Stories: Adventures in Time and Space, (ed. J. Francis McComas, Raymond J. Healy, [1946], 1957), p. 359.