Showcases more than 200 innovative aircraft designed and tested by the Luftwaffe but never put into production.
By Manfred Griehl
From jet planes and high altitude aircraft to radar-equipped fighters configured to deliver chemical weapons, numerous Luftwaffe planes reached the prototype stage but never made it into mass production or battle. Luftwaffe X-Planes reveals the remarkable range of secret craft that the Third Reich failed to complete, including the BV 239 flying boat, the remote-controlled “Fritz X”, and variants of such famous planes as Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The 200-plus aircraft showcased here in more than 340 images represent a high point in aviation technology as envisioned by such makers as Focke-Wulf, Junkers, and Heinkel. Had these innovative projects ever been realized, the course of the World War II could have been dramatically different.
Charts the Allies’ push to the Rhine through modern aerial photography, contemporary illustrations, diagrams, and maps.
By Leo Marriott
The Allies’ campaign to wrest Western Europe from the Nazis’ grasp was one of the most complex military endeavors ever undertaken. Using a mix of powerful media, Leo Marriott and Simon Forty offer a detailed breakdown of the battles that took the Allies from Normandy to the threshold of the Reich.
Linking modern aerial photography with contemporary illustrations, Race to The Rhine provides a new interpretation of the battles, replete with maps, diagrams and photos. For those interested in visiting the sites, it also supplies a guide to the places that best represent the battles today.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, this volume reveals that there are still fresh insights to be gained from re-examining these epic clashes.
Could two treasure hunters have found a legendary Nazi train packed with gold that vanished 70 years ago? It’s a question authorities in Poland’s mountainous southwestern Walbrzych district are taking seriously.
The train reputedly went missing in 1945 at the end of World War II, when the Soviet Red Army was closing in on the forces of Nazi Germany.
As legend has it, it left Wroclaw, then part of Germany and known as Breslau, for Walbrzych — but never reached its destination.
Now two people, a German and a Pole, say they have found a 150-meter long (492 feet) train that they claim contains Nazi treasure that could be worth “well over a million dollars,” said Marika Tokarska, an official at Walbrzych district council.
Through a local law firm, they contacted the Walbrzych district council with news of their find a week ago.
However, they won’t reveal the location of the train until they are given a guarantee that they will be awarded 10% of the value of the treasure inside, she told CNN.
One of the two has a background in excavation projects and has equipment that can detect objects beneath the surface of the Earth, Tokarska said.
Gold and bombs
It’s thought the ghost train could be in one of many railway tunnels built in the area around Walbrzych, near the border with Czech Republic, during World War II and sealed off at the end of the conflict.
Authorities are taking the pair’s claim so seriously that the leader of Walbrzych district council has already met with the heads of the local military, police and fire service, as well as the prosecutor’s office, to discuss their next steps, said Tokarska.
Authorities say that before they can make any guarantees, they need to know where the train is and what’s inside it.
As a military train, it is sure to contain weapons, potentially including unexploded bombs and, according to local authorities, there is even the possibility that it could be carrying early Nazi research into nuclear technology.
To add to the potential risk, if the train has been sealed into an underground tunnel then methane could have built up, creating the risk of an explosion if it’s disturbed by excavators.
Once the authorities know the location, they’ll secure it and make sure investigations are carried out in the safest possible manner, said Tokarska.
If the treasure hunters’ claim should prove to be true, a decades-old mystery will have been solved.
And if they get the 10% share they have demanded, they stand to profit handsomely from their discovery.
Local media outlets are reporting that the train could hold up to 300 tons of gold.
With the formation of the new German armed forces in 1955, the debate about the name for the troupe began.Several names were in the game, eventually the term Bundeswehr prevailed.
Credit: Markus Tiedke
The visit of German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in the Krahnberg barracks on January 20, 1956 should show the world that the fledgling Federal Republic can contribute to the defense of Western Europe.Barely three weeks before the first recruits of the new German forces were engaged, now they stood before the assembled world press. Army soldiers from Andernach, Navy people from Wilhelmshaven and the representatives of the Air Force from Nörvenich. Around them the parts hastily procured initial – tanks and howitzers. Nearly 60 years later, hard to imagine, but true: The official name for the troops lacked as yet.
Without names for installation appeal
Logically, the Chancellor, the men in Andernach spoke first as “soldiers of the new armed forces” to. Behind the scenes, was indeed struggled for some time to the appropriate name. The traditional concepts of “imperial army” from the imperial era and “Reichswehr” of the Weimar Republic were indeed briefly in conversation, but fell through. Amazing: For the massively burdened by war and many German crimes called “Wehrmacht” could at that time according to a survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute still warm over a third of all respondents. About a quarter went against the name “Bundeswehr” before. An opinion of the then Federal President Theodor Heuss a close.
A third still voted for the Wehrmacht
The name Bundeswehr leaned conceptually one hand to the “Reichswehr” the first state-authored the German democracy of Weimar. On the other hand, the term “Bundeswehr” traced back to the year 1849, when in the Frankfurt National Assembly can discuss a joint army of the former German states.
Roots date back to 1849
Finally the decision was made in late February 1956 security committee of the Bundestag. At the request of the CSU’s Richard Hunter agreed the Panel on the name “Bundeswehr”. After Hunter’s statement the initiative for this designation was, however, made by former General of the Armored Corps and nunmehrigen FDP deputies Hasso von Manteuffel.Regardless of the issue of intellectual authorship were the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany to the “Law on the Legal Status of Soldiers” (Soldiers Act) of 20 March 1956 finally the name Bundeswehr. The “Bund” was lifted from the baptism.
Authorities seized a 45-ton Panther tank, a flak cannon and multiple other World War II-era military weapons in a raid on a 78-year-old collector’s home in northern Germany, prosecutors said Friday.
Kiel prosecutor Birgit Hess said the collector, whose name she would not release for privacy reasons, is being investigated for possibly violating German weapons laws but remains free while the probe is ongoing.
In the search Wednesday and Thursday investigators also seized a torpedo and multiple other military items in addition to the Panzer V “Panther” tank and the 88mm flak gun, Hess told The Associated Press. German military engineers were called in to haul the tank out of the underground garage of the house in Kitzeberg, near Kiel.
The collector’s attorney, Peter Gramsch, told the dpa news agency all the items were properly demilitarized and registered.
Hess said that she did not know whether the main gun on the tank could fire, but it didn’t appear to be properly registered and an independent expert said it wasn’t properly demilitarized.
The collector came to authorities’ attention in an investigation into black market Nazi-era art that in May turned up two massive bronze horse statues that once stood in front of Adolf Hitler’s chancellery. Those were in the possession of another man, who maintains he is the rightful owner.
The tank owner has made no secret of his collection, openly talking about the Panther and other items in media reports following the May revelation of the art investigation.
Neighbor Kristin Schroeder told the local Kieler Nachrichten newspaper that the man had even fired up the tank during the particularly bad winter of 1978-79 and helped plow others’ snow.
“It was well known, at least to all the older Kitzebergers, that he had a tank,” Schroeder said.
German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History