Nazi Weapons: 23 Crazy Devices Only They Could Have Dreamed Up

Published October 18, 2016
Updated January 23, 2018

From the Vampir to the Fire Lilly to the Sun Gun, these outlandish Nazi weapons would have been devastating if they'd ever seen much action.

Nazi Weapons Karl
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Bouncing Bomb
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Nazi Weapons: 23 Crazy Devices Only They Could Have Dreamed Up
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Wunderwaffe. Even in the original German, the term (which translates to "wonder weapon") sounds positively pleasant. However, the terrifying yet often comedically ambitious weapons to which the Nazis applied this term during World War II were anything but.

From cannons to missiles to tanks, the Nazis dreamed up dozens upon dozens of weapons so outlandish, so potentially devastating that they could have come from no other group in history.

And history might have looked a lot different had the Nazis been able to actually complete these weapons, or at least reliably produce them on a large scale. But most of the time Hitler's reach far exceeded his grasp.

While these experimental wonder weapons saw little to no action, they remain fascinating what-ifs today. They're now artifacts of a time before nuclear weapons and military satellites and advanced computer circuitry, a time when guiding a missile to a target meant putting a man inside of it, a time when having the mightiest arsenal literally meant having the largest gun.

Although the Nazis didn't always succeed in having the largest gun -- literally and figuratively -- they certainly tried, and often came terrifyingly close.

From the Fire Lilly to the Vampir to the Sun Gun, above you'll find 23 of the most astounding Nazi weapons that, thankfully, never came to be.

Intrigued by this look at Nazi weapons? Next, find out what some of the most horrifying Nazi research contributed to medical science. Then, read up on four of the most devastating moments of the Nazis' reign.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Kuroski, John. "Nazi Weapons: 23 Crazy Devices Only They Could Have Dreamed Up.", October 18, 2016, Accessed May 21, 2024.