German Military Technology During World War II
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German Military Technology During World War II

German military technology during World War II increased in terms of sophistication, but also cost, mechanical unreliability, and time to manufacture. Nazi Germany put effort into developing weapons; particularly aircraft, rockets, submarines and tanks during the war.

Land systems

Infantry weapons

Germany developed numerous new weapons during the war although was unable to field many of these weapons in any meaningful number, including the first mass produced assault rifle in the world.

Beginning in 1940, Germany solicited developmental prototypes for a semi-automatic rifle to replace the commonly used Karabiner 98k, a bolt-action rifle, for better performance in infantry. Two rifle manufacturers, Walther and Mauser submitted competing designs. These would be known as the Gewehr 41, with the entry by Mauser being designated G41M and Walther's being designated G41W.

In 1944, Germany developed the first mass-produced assault rifle, the Sturmgewehr 44 which proved to be widely successful against the allies. However, the late production and usage of the gun was not enough to turn the allies near the end of the war.

German soldiers used the more common MP40 which was an easy to operate submachine gun.

Armoured vehicles

Germany, like the Soviet Union, France, and the United Kingdom; recognized the importance of tanks at the beginning of the war. Heinz Guderian largely helped the development of Panzer forces and the organization of tanks into divisions. Though starting out with training and interim vehicles like the Panzer I and the Panzer II respectively, Germany eventually developed medium tank such as the Panzer III and Panzer IV, both tanks that Heinz Guderian specified for since 11 January 1934. An important feature both of these tanks presented at the time was a three-man turret with a commander, gunner, and loader. Compared to contemporary tanks of the time that used one or two-man turrets, the three-man turrets proved valuable in freeing the commander from other duties in the tank, allowing him to survey the battlefield with ease from his cupola.[1]

Aircraft

Germany produced the first jet powered plane to see combat, the Messerschmitt Me 262. Developed after the British Gloster Meteor in 1944, it was too late to make an impact against the allied air forces.

The Germans also experimented with the first operational flying wing aircraft. The Horten Ho 229 was designed as a tailless jet engine attack aircraft using the same engines as the ME 262. The project never gained any serious momentum and the Allied push into Germany in early 1945 proved to be too great. With the defeat of Nazi Germany on the brink, testing was incomplete and mass production had yet to start. None of the existing airframes were made operational, and what was left of the project was overrun and captured by American forces.

Missiles

Germany also developed a cruise missile (V-1) and the first rocket-powered ballistic missiles (V-2). Though their impact on the course of the war was minimal, after the war, the Allied powers, particularly the United States, used some elements of captured German technology and expertise in the development of their own missile programs

See also

References

  1. ^ Steve, Zaloga (2015). Armored champion: the top tanks of World War II. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811714372. 

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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