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The Luftwaffe's Wonder Weapons

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: March 13, 2009 
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German engineers designed a number of technologically advanced aircraft in the waning months of World War II, but time ran out for the Luftwaffe before most "wonder weapons"—the Junker Ju-287 bomber, the Bachem Ba-349 Natter, the Focke Wulf Ta-183—could be produced. If Germany had focused on jet technology and other advances earlier, would it have made a difference in the war's outcome?

Give us your thoughts in the comments box below.

 


7 Responses to “The Luftwaffe's Wonder Weapons”


  1. 1
    Wladimir says:

    I am considered why if such weapons as mass manufactured for operations during lasts 1942 or first 1943 as possibly making some challenge to Allieds,if explain.

    I not refer to well know Me 262 or Ar 234 twin engined jet planes or Me 163 rocket figther.

    i refer at the massive construction in conventional or underground factories of singel jet planes as types how:

    *Henschel Hs 132 jet dive bomber
    *Henschel Hs P.135
    *Heinkel He 162 Peoples figther
    *Heinkel He P.1078C
    *Heinkel He P.1078A
    *Blohm & Voss B&V P.209.01-2,P.210, P.211.01-2,P.212 and P.215.02
    *Messerschmitt P.1101
    *Focke Wulf Ta-183
    *Focke Wulf Fw "SUPER TL"
    *Horten Ho XIIIb
    *Junkers Ju EF.128
    *BMW Strahljäger Projekts I,II,III,IV
    *Lippisch P.15 and P.20

    At my appareing as most fast and effective the manufacture
    of various single engined jets figthers in with same work time and hours-men inverted in one sole Twin engined jet figther or bomber,among as fortunate for Allieds why such designs appareing more last for your massive construction.

    Only remember the images of large amounts of Heinkel he 162 airframes found by Allieds in Mittlewerk or planeed massive enabled of Henschel Hs 132 at Henschel's Berlin-Schönefeld facilities, only stopped for entering of Soviet forces in such factories among others examples of this.

  2. 2
    Spalinger, Richard E. says:

    This is posted as a serious coomment as to the viability & deployment of any German "Wunder Waffen" in the context of real historical events.

    I must say that I have the utmost respect for Walter J. Boyne, his accurate knowledge of aviation & aviation history, and his outline of "Radical Luftwaffe Weapons" presented in May 2009's "Aviation History".

    However, I have to point out that any scenarios that postulate deployment of most of the weapons described in the article suffer from one very serious historical flaw. It's not that the weapons themselves might not have existed, nor is it that the Allies would not have been faced with radical & different aerial technology in some form. The historical fact is that Germany most likely would have been the certain recipient of the first Atomic weapons if the European segment of WW II had been prolonged past July 1945.

    It is a fact that Atomic weapons were in the arsenal of the Western Allies by the end of July 1945, and were used twice before the middle of August 1945 on Japan. A third Atomic weapon was withheld from use by Pres. Truman just prior to the Japanese surrender. Further, projections were that several more would be available for use before the end of 1945. Use of these additional bombs was contingency planned in any invasion had the Japanese not surrendered when they did.

    It is also a fact that the 509th Composite Group was originally organizd as two Bomb Groups led by Col. Paul Tibbetts. The 509th CG had the express mission of delivering Atomic weapons onto both Germany and Japan.

    Thus, only the capitulation of Germany in May 1945 insured that the European Theater was not the first place where Atomic weapons were deployed, and used.

    Any look at what the Western Allies might have faced in a prolonged European conflict must take these facts into account.

    One must think seriously about how fortunately WW II ended both in the European and Pacific Theaters for Germany and Japan. How fortunate we all are in that it was the Allies that posessed these weapons, and that they were unavailabe for use in one instance, while in the second case they materially shortened the war, and saved countless Allied and enemy combatant and non-combatant lives.

    For reference I refer those seriously interested to the following:
    1. "Downfall" by Richard B. Frank
    2. "Retribution" by Max Haistings
    3. "Truman and the Hiroshima Cult" by Robert P. Newman
    4. "MacArthur's Ultra" by Edward J. Drea

    RES

  3. 3
    Rob says:

    I think It would have made a HUGE difference. I mean take the horten ho 229 the first stealth fighter could raid England almost undetected and the Junkers ju 390 a transatlantic bomber that could hit New York City and Washington D.C. It would have gave the Luftwaffe mastery of the skies

  4. 4
    farren says:

    what about the Triebflügel

  5. 5
    grant i"anson says:

    if the germans had concentrated their efforts on jet technology earlier it would have made some difference, however the overwhelming odds against them still would have prevailed.men such as frank whittle were safe and would undoubtedly continued their work. with the great supply of equipment from north america being virtually undisrupted it would have only been a matter of time, plus the acceleration of new developments from the north american aviation industry as well as the succesfull development of an atomic weapon in the u.s. jet technology if seized earlier on would only have served to lengthen the war and the suffering.the final outcome would still have been defeat for germany and japan, possibly with more devastating results.

  6. 6
    grant i"anson says:

    i would like to add to this discusion one fact that we tend to not notice. germany itself had a shortage of raw materials, jumo 004 turbo jets only had a limited life span due to the shortages of nickle, cadmium and other exotic metals. the germans could have prolonged the war, possibly long enough to obtain some quantities of these materials. the russian reality. the possibility of being the recipiant of the first nuke .and that bletchly park was able to decode every german comunicae, leaves me thinking that if the germans made a move to obtain any strategic material on mass the allies would have thrown everything at them to prevent it. again i believe it only would have had a marginal effect on the war. further more the allies were also developing their own wonder weapons. although most were rather impotent when compared to the fabled go 229 and other aircraft, certainly better designs were coming down the pipe.
    the me 163 was withdrawn from service voluntairily because of the danger it possed to it's crew and handlers, the he 162 as cool an idea as it was was certainly not as well thought out as it should have been.
    the fw 227/ 229 could have had a majour impact but were both shelved
    even the sangar orbital bomber was realized as impractical.in short they still would have needed a miracle.

  7. 7
    Andreas Wolf says:

    Hello, i am german and some things i read here, are a little bit strange. Especially when "Spalinger Richard" wrote things like "How fortunate we all are in that it was the Allies that posessed these weapons" i think to myself, was this really good for the world? USA used this weapons against a nearly defeated Japan and at that point it was clear, that Japan have no chance to win this war. Why then killing all this people in Hiroshimna and Nagasaki? Why anybody then should be fortunate that the Allies had this weapon? Hitler would have used it against his enemies and the Allies did exactly the same. So, who can be fortunate? Only the one side, not the other.
    And the next thing is the big big hypocrisy, that the USA carries on after the second worldwar. The one part of the high nazi members was convicted in the "Nürnberger Prozesse", but the parts of the nazi which the USA could use for their own advantage, like the weapon-developer (Wernherr von Braun for example) then just go on producing weapons in the USA. this shows the typical hypocrisy and mendacity which the USA still has today. Look at NSA or look at all the wars they started which were established on lies (Irak for example).



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