Wonder Weapons of the Third Reich
|A V-2 vengeance weapon in flight.|
This page is devoted to coloring pages of German superweapons of World War II. While insufficient to win the war for Germany, the superweapons were extremely important in maintaining morale within the Third Reich even as growing Allied military superiority became an inescapable fact.
It is common for people now to conclude that the superweapons were a waste of time and money. However, that ignores the fact that they gave the German government a beacon of hope that kept soldiers fighting and civilians producing weapons of war. That may have been counterproductive for the German state in the long run, but in the short run, it served as very effective propaganda that worked right up until the end of the war.
|The RAF Gloster Meteor jet, an advanced Allied plane that flew and was used defensively against Luftwaffe V-1 flying missiles.|
Make no mistake, the Allies had cutting-edge weapons of their own such as the atomic bomb that helped them to win the war. They also had jet planes in various stages of development and so forth. With their country being overrun, though, the Germans were desperate and flung as many of these advanced weapons into service as they could while the Allies had the luxury of relying on their conventional weapons that, after all, were winning the war for them.
Let's look at some of these "wonder weapons" (Wunderwaffe) in no particular order.
|Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drache.|
|Arado AR-234 bomber.|
|ME 163 Komet rocket plane.|
|U-2540 "Wilhelm Bauer."|
These submarines foreshadowed modern electric automobiles that also run off of batteries and only need to be recharged when the batteries run down. The most amazing thing about the Type XXI submarines was that, unlike all other submarines of World War II, they actually sailed faster underwater than on the surface due to their electric motors. U-2540, shown in the image, was one of the last Type XXI submarines built and was used by the post-war German Navy for decades after being refloated in the late 1950s. It literally was decades ahead of its time and remains on display at the Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Let's talk about really, really big guns. The image above shows German leader Adolf Hitler inspecting a massive artillery piece known as the Schwerer Gustav cannon. The German Army developed many huge cannons that were useful for destroying enemy bunkers. It moved on rail tracks and fired 7-ton shells from its 31.5-inch (80 cm) barrel to a distance of 29 miles (47 km). the Schwerer Gustav helped to win the battle of Sevastopol for the Germans and also was used against Leningrad.
|Panzer VIII Maus tank.|
|V-1 flying bomb.|