Here at TopTenz, we have a strict no-swearing policy, which is why if you wish to learn our actual opinion of the Nazis, you’d have to piece together a bunch of NWA songs. For people unwilling to do that, we don’t like them very much.
That said, the Nazis did give the world some of its most hilariously badass and awesome inventions of war. Since they basically gave scientists free reign to do whatever they wanted in the name of invent new ways to kill people, we’ve been blessed with things like …
10. The Landkreuzer P 1500 Monster
The Landkreuzer P 1500 is, without a doubt, one of the largest man-made vehicles ever proposed. With a proposed length of 150 feet, this mobile artillery barrage would have been able to reduce, well anything, to a smear on the map of history.
It’s the mobile part you should be amazed at though since this thing, if built, would have been fully capable of movement, despite the fact it literally fired shells as big as tanks. That’s right, the Nazis actually tried to build an artillery gun that fired tanks. Shockingly, it went nowhere, which is often the case when you design something based entirely on what an 8-year-old boy would find “awesome.”
9. The Junkers Ju 322 Mammut
This 200 foot-wide monstrosity of engineering was commissioned to carry troops or transport, in the event of an invasion of Britain. To clarify, the Mammut was a glider, as in it had no means of propulsion; it literally had to be dragged by another plane just to get into the air. Oh, and it was also made of wood, despite the company responsible for building it (Junkers) being supposed pioneers in the field of metal work.
Only two were ever built, and the first and only test flight supposedly ended with the Mammut crash-landing in a field. You have to give the Nazis a point for trying, though.
8. The Sun Gun
The sun gun, in a nutshell, was an idea proposed by Nazi scientists to harness the very power of the Sun itself, to destroy anyone who dared give the Nazis the middle finger. In post-war interrogations, it was revealed that Nazi scientists were not only working on this idea, but fully believed such a device could be operational within 50 years.
When asked to comment on what they thought, American officers simply said “fantastic.” Though the lack of a giant gun in space right now would hint that they weren’t that impressed. Their 8-year-old sons probably though the idea was awesome though.
7. The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant
The Me323 Gigant (Giant) was the bigger, badder, actually-capable-of-functioning brother of the Mammut. Boasting a 181-foot wingspan, the Gigant was literally one of the biggest things in the skies at the time, and was notably difficult to shoot down. Presumably due to Allied pilots thinking that God had taken his own personal jet out for a boogie in the clouds.
The Gigant could easily seat 120 men, though this number could be have been increased to over 200, if said men didn’t mind sitting on each others knees. And they still got shot down. Proof that size doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.
6. The Arodo, Komet and Schwalbe
The above planes were a bomber/reconnaissance, a fighter and a bomber/fighter respectively. They hold the distinction of being three of the first jet-powered aircraft to ever fly in combat, with the exception of the Komet, which is the only rocket-powered aircraft in history.
Though the Komet sucked the fat one, and scored only 9 kills in its operational history, the fact remains that all 3 planes were literally untouchable once in the sky, as they were simply too fast. The Arado in particular, when used as a bomber, was unstoppable and the Schwalbe, when used as a fighter, was so fast Allies were forced to attack them on the run way.
5. The Zielgerät 1229
The Zielgerät 1229, also known as the Vampir Scope, was a revolutionary night vision attachment, designed to be fitted to the Nazis’ equally-as-revolutionary STG44 assault rifle. This basically gave soldiers equipped with the system the ability to see in the dark. Please note, again, that the Nazis had all of this stuff during a time when stabbing a guy with a knife fastened to your gun was still considered high-tech.
The Vampir Scope basically turned the solider into a unseen reaper of the battlefield: an invisible, faceless enemy capable of killing people before they even knew he was there. And now we know where the idea for the Predator came from.
4. Fieseler Fi 103R
From one of the most technologically advanced things, to one of the most stupid, the Fieseler Fi 103R was, for all intents and purposes, a flying bomb. In fact, that was its nickname.
Pilots were literally strapped onto a missile they could steer, and told to have at ’em. In fact, even if said pilot was able to climb out of the “plane” (a word we use in the loosest possible sense,) he’d invariably be sucked into the plane’s engine. And that’s not even taking into account the fact he’d have to somehow maneuver his balls out of the way first.
The Fieseler scored a grand total of zero kills on the allies, though many Nazi pilots died during its test phase. That’s right, the Fieseler was so ineffective as a weapon of war, it actually had an infinite negative kill/death ratio.
3. Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri
The Kolibri (Hummingbird) was somehow brought to you by the same geniuses who thought strapping their pilots to missiles was a good idea. It was essentially a precursor to all modern military helicopters, and it actually worked.
Though other helicopters were invented during WWII, the Kolibri was operational way before most of them even got off the ground. It was also far superior to virtually anything the Allies had in the skies at the time; it’s noted that, even during incredibly bad weather, pilots were able to fly the Kolibri with no trouble. They were so effective that the Nazis actually ordered hundreds of the things, however an Allied bombing run destroyed virtually all of them. Which, when you think about, is really the best wartime strategy of them all: no overly-detailed mapping, no intricate spy games — just blow everything up until nothing’s left to be blown up.
2. The Vortex Cannon
Nazis building giant superweapons is pretty much a trope now; if it was insane and destined to fail, the Nazis probably tried to kill someone with it. This is summed up no better than with the “Vortex Cannon,” the Nazis’ supposed attempts to shoot down planes with tornadoes. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
Though stories are confused about exactly how far along with the project the Nazis were, the fact remains that they did indeed have the technology to potentially rip airplanes out of the damned sky, using tornadoes and explosions. No photos exist of the machine, as far as we know. It’s entirely possible that they do exist, but gazing at them would cause your face to melt like the Nazis in Indiana Jones.
1. The Ruhrstahl X-4
When compared to a gun that harnesses the power of Iron Maiden albums to explode planes, a missile may seem like an odd choice for the top spot of this list. But it’s not the technology behind the X-4 that’s impressive, it’s what it represents.
Basically, the X-4 was a TOW missile. It was a controllable missile tuned to the vibrations of a bomber’s engine; in the right hands it could have literally changed the course of the war. Just imagine if they’d fitted this thing on one of those planes they had that were too fast to catch. Though it was never used by the Nazis, the technology is the basis of what we use to take out enemy planes today. We should probably be thankful that the Nazis never did get this thing to work, otherwise you’d probably be reading this article in German.
Karl Smallwood has a Twitter. If you don’t follow him, the Nazis win! To find more from Karl, he’s heading up new section of TopTenz where you can find bite size nuggets of awesome information.