February 18, 1957
MUNICH, West Germany, Feb. 17 - Nazi Germany developed flying saucers that flew more than 1000 miles an hour and a bomber that could attack the United States and return without refueling, it was revealed today.
These and other details of Hitler's efforts to achieve a "wonder weapon" that would turn the tide of World War II in its closing stages are revealed authoritatively in a book called "The German Weapons and Secret Weapons of World War II and Their Development," by Rudolf Lusar, who during the war was head of the Technical Arms Department of the German War Ministry.
The flying saucers, designed by three German engineers and an Italian, were 138 feet in diameter. The first one flew February. 14, 1945, at Prague, and reached a height of more than 40,000 feet and a speed of 1250 miles per hour.
Germany, the book says, was also building the Heinkel 343, a bomber capable of reaching the United States and returning without refuelling. Several of the planes were ready at the end of the war. The book also said it was originally planned to stage the first air raid on the United States in May, 1945.
The Germans also were busy at work on the super V-Nine rocket, an outgrowth of the V-One and V-529 rockets which Germany aimed at England after the Allied landings in France in 1944.
Had they been completed, the book said, the V-Nine's would have been able to carry a one-ton warhead across the Atlantic to the United States in 35 minutes. The rocket was actually to have been guided by a pilot, who would jump out at the last moment with a parachute, to be rescued. If possible, by a German Submarine at sea.
Other weapons described in the book include the Viper, the world's first vertical take-off plane. Ten of these were ready for action at Kircheim Unter Tech in southwest Germany during 1945, but were never used against the enemy.
The book also described an acoustic cannon, which was supposed to be able to kill men with sound waves at a range of 70 yards but which turned out to be a failure and was scrapped.
But the Germans did turn out a wind cannon, which could shatter wooden boards at a distance of 200 yards with jets of compressed air, the book said. The wind cannon was ready for action at a bridge over the Elbe in 1945 but was never used.
Another weapon was the soundless electric cannon, which was to have expelled a conventional shell by electricity but was still in the experimental stage at the end of the war.
Lastly, the book described an automatic rifle that would fire around corners - to be used principally in house-to-house fighting. Lusar said the weapons was reported to be accurate up to 100 yards.
In his book, Lusar said the weapons helped bolster Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Göbbels in his fanatical belief that a "wonder weapon" would turn the tide at the last minute.