Thursday, July 20, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in
This news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.

For the most recent stories, please visit either the site's home page or main news section.

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
Australia find 'rewrites the history books'
7-20-2017
Archaeologists now believe that Australia was colonized 18,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Top US general warns against killer robots
7-19-2017
General Paul Selva has spoken out about the dangers of creating fully autonomous weapon systems.
Frozen sausages land on house roof in Florida
7-19-2017
A family in South Florida were left perplexed this week after their house was hit by bags of frozen meat.
Ancient Roman sarcophagus found in London
7-19-2017
Archaeologists working near Borough Market have discovered a coffin dating back over 1,600 years.
Other news in this category
Top US general warns against killer robots
Posted 7-19-2017 | 6 comments
General Paul Selva has spoken out about the dangers of creating fully autonomous weapon systems....
 
Why do some people have a fear of holes ?
Posted 7-13-2017 | 13 comments
Scientists have come up with a new theory to explain what causes trypophobia - the fear of small holes....
 
Monster-sized iceberg splits from Antarctica
Posted 7-12-2017 | 6 comments
One of the largest icebergs in recorded history has broken away from the world's southernmost continent....
 
China has 'teleported' a photon in to orbit
Posted 7-12-2017 | 30 comments
In a world-first, China has succeeded in using quantum entanglement to send data to a satellite....
 
Researchers invent battery-free mobile phone
Posted 7-11-2017 | 5 comments
Boffins at the University of Washington have come up with a way to remove the need for charging entirely....
 
Scientists have recreated an extinct virus
Posted 7-11-2017 | 23 comments
Scientists at the University of Alberta have managed to recreate a relative of the deadly smallpox virus....
 
How ethical should a self-driving car be ?
Posted 7-9-2017 | 26 comments
When faced with an unavoidable accident, whose life should an autonomous vehicle attempt to prioritize ?...
 
Russia is developing a 'Stormtrooper' exosuit
Posted 7-9-2017 | 11 comments
The futuristic exoskeleton combat suit looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie....
 
'Fusion power on grid by 2030', says scientist
Posted 7-8-2017 | 10 comments
MIT scientist Earl Marmar believes that we could all be benefiting from nuclear fusion energy before too long....
 
World's first whisky-based car fuel invented
Posted 7-7-2017 | 7 comments
A company in Edinburgh has developed a new type of car biofuel that is made from whisky residue....
 
Hero robot 'saves girl from being crushed'
Posted 7-6-2017 | 11 comments
The makers of Promobot maintain that their creation acted autonomously to prevent a nasty accident....
 

 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