At the end of WWII, were nazis working on anything else besides V-2? If so, what was it, how close was it to completion, and could it potentially turn the events around for them?
Wunderwaffe (literally, wonder weapons) - absolutely, they had many, many designs under way.
They were working on the A9/A10 (think of a V3 rocket), that would be a multi-stage ICBM that would be able to hit the US, although it wasn't likely to be very accurate. This was planned to be available from 1946.
The Nazi's had already tested firing V2s from submarines, the plan here was to allow them to launch at the mainland US from U-boats just off the coast of the US. They had actually manufactured three of the required launchers to do this and had conducted extensive tests by the end of the war.
No doubt you have already heard about the Amerika Bomber, there were several candidates under various stages of development. Hitler had a fascination with bombers and so this was one area of development that got a lot of funding, at the expense of other, arguably more important schemes:
There were several "super heavy tank" designs being planned, with the Maus being most advanced, they actually had built two prototypes of this by the end of the war.
However, the Maus is nothing compared to these behemoths!
The above were only at the fairly early stages of planning.
There were plans for a super-heavy battleship, the H Class that would be around 140,000 tons with 20 inch guns that would dwarf the Yamamoto, two keels were laid down but soon scrapped.
There were many other plans, guided missiles, super-guns, helicopters to name a few, it's a very interesting subject with plenty of information on the internet.
There are other more conspiracy theory types of weapons that I won't go into here, but if you search for Hitlers Bell (Die Glocke) you'll find one example.
German physicist tried to build an atomic bomb, at least there were experiments.
At end of WW2 there was a laboratory in Haigerloch. It is told, that American scientist checked everything and took the Uranium (and the German scientists) to the US. If the German scientists really tried to build an atomic bomb is not really clear.
More can be found in Physics Today - Volume 53, Issue 7, Page 34. "The German Uranium Project"
Another (more popular) article. I added a rough translation.
Stern magazine: Der Atomkeller von Haigerloch (Sorry German)
The German scientiste were astonished, when the heard about the exposion of the US-bomb in Hiroshima
The sientist say, they only wanted to build a "power machine". But newer researches give an indication of plans to build atomic bomb.
|show 1 more comment|
The Germans were working on an atomic bomb. But the effort was stymied for a couple reaons.
1) The effort was led by Werner Heisenberg (of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle), who had a less-than-perfect understanding of atomic physics. (And the Nazis had chased away the better, "Jewish" atomic scientists like Einstein and Fermi.) Some say that Heisenberg was a "bungler." But his defenders would say that he sabotaged the German atomic effort. For instance, he went to his former professor (Niels Bohr, a Danish Jew living in Copenhagen) for answers to his questions about atomic physics, and failed to get them. The Gestapo offered to torture the answers out of Bohr, but Heisenberg declined.
2) The Germans had a shortage of "heavy water," (with the chemical formula H2O2, instead of the usual H20), most of which was produced in Norway. On one occasion, Allied agents planted a time bomb to blow up a ship transported a load of "heavy water" from Norway to Germany. Finally, Allied saboteurs blew up the producing Norwegian hydroelectric plant itself.
|show 1 more comment|
The nearest and biggest threat to the allies, had it made it into combat, was the Horten Ho-229 flying wing fighter, and the 6 engine heavy bomber that was being designed for bombing campaigns against the American east coast.