Monday, February 20, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Germans planned to build 'sun gun' weapon


Posted on Tuesday, 2 April, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 
Back in 1945 it was revealed that German scientists had been planning to build a giant space mirror.

The claim originated with US army experts and was reported in an issue of Life magazine. According to the report, German scientists had devised plans to construct a huge mirror in space that could act as a devastating weapon by focusing the Sun's rays. Originally proposed by Hermann Oberth in 1923, the device could be ultimately used to attack enemy cities or to boil off areas of the ocean.

"My space mirror is like the hand mirrors that schoolboys use to flash circles of sunlight on the ceiling of their classroom," wrote Oberth. "A sudden beam flashed on the teacher’s face may bring unpleasant reactions...I was a schoolteacher long enough to have collected certain data on the subject."

Despite the potential for such a weapon, the limited technology of the time meant that there was little hope of actually building it and the plan was ultimately scrapped.

"Back in 1945, Life magazine revealed to its readers how “US Army technical experts came up with the astonishing fact that German scientists had seriously planned to build a ‘sun gun’."

  View: Full article |  Source: io9.com

  Discuss: View comments (21)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by redhen on 3 April, 2013, 4:06
All this admiration of Third Reich technologies reminds me of a Werner von Braun quote; "We aimed for the stars, but sometimes we hit London."
Comment icon #13 Posted by skookum on 3 April, 2013, 8:05
I think it needs to be kept in perspective. The nearly 5000-square-mile mirror, he said, would create a bright, heated “spot” on the earth’s surface about 2000 square miles in area. We couldn't build that today, let alone in the 1930's/1940's when the V2 was the only rocket available. It mentions astronauts who I assume would be doing space walks, it would have need re-entry capsules and something capable of carrying the weight each launch. It is a lovely idea but as realistic with the technology of the time as building the Death Star with todays.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Zaphod222 on 3 April, 2013, 8:21
The Nazis sponsored all sorts of hare-brained schemes, nothing ever came of them. The few projects that actually produced useful weapons (like the ME262 jet fighter) were underfunded, delayed, and sometimes spoilt the Fuehrer himself with idiotic meddling.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Zaphod222 on 3 April, 2013, 8:24
If i was making a death ray i wouldnt use mirrors, I would use a series of magnified glass starting with low magnification working my way up to super high magnification so the uv rays that are put into one end are outputed and focused at what ever needs too be destroyed. I think it would be a brilliant way to stop asteroid"s and meteor's without having to use nuke's in space. And I am sure you would add lots of apostrophe`ssic to your giant magnifying glass, LOL
Comment icon #16 Posted by Mr Right Wing on 3 April, 2013, 14:27
Back in 1945 it was revealed that German scientists had been planning to build a giant space mirror. How did they not win?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri on 3 April, 2013, 15:07
How did they not win? Because all these experiments came too late in the war and they were running out of various raw materials to continue production of even "old" technology. For instance, Tiger tanks often broke down because they did not have the right metals to construct final drive bearings capable of taking the strain of such a heavy tank. This brings to mind the old saying "For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost" etc etc. Besides, the vast majority of German equipment was not any better than that used by allies, and in some cases was worse, for insta... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by Collateral Damage on 3 April, 2013, 19:45
All this admiration of Third Reich technologies reminds me of a Werner von Braun quote; "We aimed for the stars, but sometimes we hit London." Don't confuse my acknowledgement for admiration; they're two very different things.
Comment icon #19 Posted by ChewiesArmy on 3 April, 2013, 21:10
If i was making a death ray i wouldnt use mirrors, I would use a series of magnified glass starting with low magnification working my way up to super high magnification so the uv rays that are put into one end are outputed and focused at what ever needs too be destroyed. I think it would be a brilliant way to stop asteroid"s and meteor's without having to use nuke's in space. You could also help the next time my yard gets infested with ants!
Comment icon #20 Posted by redhen on 4 April, 2013, 1:35
Don't confuse my acknowledgement for admiration; they're two very different things. True, sometimes it hard to discern subtle nuances on forums. That said, I do admire the WWII MG42, still being used today in the form of the German MG3 and the American M60. Meanwhile, as far I know, the BundesWehr still does not have winter boots, you'd think they would learn.
Comment icon #21 Posted by skookum on 4 April, 2013, 6:50
How did they not win? Because they focused on quality not fully understanding quantity needs. Although the M6 Sherman was no match for practically any German Panzer or Tiger the Americans could replace about 10 for every 1 lost. They also had no reliable fuel source, towards the end they were relying on petrol and diesel manufactured from coal which was complicated and didn't produce their requirements in quantity. They had opened up too many war fronts. Their equipment was pretty hopeless in Russian winters, over confidence led them to think they could finish off Russia before the weather set... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5886032
265676
165658

 
'Tully monster' mystery continues to endure
2-20-2017
A peculiar prehistoric discovery has left scientists scratching their heads for more than five decades.
Ship set to be deliberately trapped in ice
2-20-2017
Scientists are planning to sail a research vessel to the Arctic so it can get stuck in the ice on purpose.
NASA proposes redefining the word 'planet'
2-20-2017
The move, if successful, could mean that our own solar system actually has more than 100 planets in it.
SpaceX Cape Canaveral launch is a success
2-19-2017
The private space firm has successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Other news in this category
Ship set to be deliberately trapped in ice
Posted 2-20-2017 | 2 comments
Scientists are planning to sail a research vessel to the Arctic so it can get stuck in the ice on purpose....
 
Scientists aim to harness power of volcanoes
Posted 2-18-2017 | 2 comments
Efforts are underway in Iceland to find ways of turning the heat from volcanoes in to usable electricity....
 
Is Zealandia the world's eighth continent ?
Posted 2-18-2017 | 39 comments
Despite being almost entirely submerged by the sea, Zealandia could soon be recognized as a continent....
 
Scientists revive 10,000-year-old life forms
Posted 2-18-2017 | 13 comments
In a remarkable breakthrough, microbes trapped inside cave crystals have been brought back to life....
 
Woolly mammoth 'on the verge of resurrection'
Posted 2-16-2017 | 15 comments
Scientists believe that an elephant-mammoth hybrid embryo could be created within as little as two years....
 
Amazing bipedal robot could deliver your mail
Posted 2-11-2017 | 9 comments
Agility Robotics has developed an incredible new robot called Cassie that can walk just like a human....
 
Smog is more toxic in Europe than in China
Posted 2-10-2017 | 11 comments
Air pollution in Europe and North America may be 27 times more toxic than the smog over Chinese cities....
 
Blue tarantulas lead to color breakthrough
Posted 2-9-2017 | 2 comments
The unusual hue of certain tarantulas has been helping scientists develop vibrant new 3D-printed colors....
 
New device turns pollution in to printing ink
Posted 2-8-2017 | 8 comments
Known as Kaalink, the remarkable invention is designed to help tackle air pollution problems in Asia....
 
Sleep may help us forget, claim scientists
Posted 2-7-2017 | 13 comments
The pruning of synaptic connections in the brain may be one of the primary reasons that we need sleep....
 
Scientists develop flying 'Bat Bot' drone
Posted 2-6-2017 | 7 comments
The novel design takes its inspiration from the way bats fly rather than relying on spinning rotors....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ