German “Wonder Weapons” of world war II – They were called Wunderwaffe, which is German for “Wonder Weapons.” In World War II, the Nazi Germany propaganda ministry coined the term to basically refer to their super weapons, which were technologically advanced and revolutionary in terms of warfare. Most of these weapons never got out of the prototype phase.
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Those weapons that did either never reached combat or were implemented too late or too small in numbers to have a significant impact on the war.
As the war began to deteriorate for Germany after about 1942, claims about these Wunderwaffe became a prominent part of the propaganda ministry’s efforts. However, in reality, developing advanced weaponry, barring any unforeseen technological leap, would require many years of testing and development. There was no pragmatic hope of Germany being able to perfect these weapons before the end of the war. Those that were rushed into production at the first hint of success proved disappointing to the German military.
What is remarkable, and terrifying, is that the Nazis actually had the technological know-how to develop many of their Wunderwaffe! If the war had drawn out much longer, it is entirely possible that more of these weapons would either be perfected and or put into production, changing the course of the war. The Axis powers could have won the war. Luckily for the Allies, Germany wasn’t able to capitalize on their technological advancements. Here, we take a look at the top twelve of Hitler’s most fearsome “Wonder Weapons” of World War II.
13. The Goliath Tracked Mine
They were nicknamed “doodlebugs” by the Allies. Officially, they were designated SdKfz 302 Sonderkraftfahrzeug, “Special-purpose Vehicle,” but they were mostly referred to as the Goliath Tracked Mine. They began to see action about 1942, and were used in all fronts. Basically a remote-controlled demolition device; a remote-controlled car with a bomb strapped to it.
They were rather small and carried 165 lbs of high explosives at a top speed of about 6 miles per hour; not bad considering the load they carried. Their weakness was that they were controlled by a joystick control, connected by 2000 feet of triple-strand cable. The Allies quickly realized all they had to do to neutralize these things was to cut the wire. This rendered the Goliath useless.
Prior to that Allied revelation, the Germans utilized the Goliath to attack tanks, infantry formations, bridges, buildings, and encampments. Over 4,600 of these were produced, including a slightly larger model that carried a 200 lb explosive charge. Though way ahead of its time, they were too slow and too hard to control to be an effective weapon for the Germans. Many examples of these demolition vehicles survived the war and today can be found in museum exhibits throughout Europe, Scandinavia, as well as the United States.