Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Luftwaffe Secret Projects

I am cursed with more interests than time. I'm also possessed of a conspiratorial frame of mind, which I'm sure is a complete shock to readers.

For many years I have enjoyed speculation about the "what ifs" of World War II, especially the German air force, the Luftwaffe. They began the war with the most modern force in the air, advanced designs well ahead of any other nation in Europe or America. They also continued with experimentation right up to the end. In fact, they fielded the first jet planes in the war, to the great shock of Allied bomber pilots.

Bombers were used to spotting incoming German aircraft out on the horizon. They would then have a few minutes to prepare for the attack, since the top speeds of these planes was only 200 to 300 mph. But when the first Me-262s -- beautiful, shark-like jet fighters -- appeared on the horizon and the bomber crews looked away, they were stunned to suddenly find these vicious planes swarming in their midst, riddling them with bullets, then disappearing just as suddenly. Their speed was a horrifying surprise!

One "what if" has been to assume the war went better for the Germans and that they had a bit more time to continue their experiments and development. Plans have been found since the war for manned space ship-bombs capable of intercontinental flight, manned rockets and rocket-jets, all manner of jet driven craft including bombers, hovercraft, helicopters, even flying saucers! These speculations usually fall under the name of "Luftwaffe 1946," for the year following the war's real end.

Some fringe types believe the Reich really had UFOs and that these craft, along with conventional ships and subs, were used to ferry Germans and materiel to a massive underground base in Antarctica where they would hide out from the world and continue to plot world domination. Absurd, yes.

But it leads to sites like this. Some of the photos are real circular ships, prototypes or abandoned projects, and some of these pictures have to be photoshopped. But it's fascinating to imagine....

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