A. Plan of Investigation
Despite its defeat in World War II, many historians continue to debate the cause of downfall for Nazi Germany and argue that the factor at hand was the key to stopping a surely unstoppable force. While many say that the defeat is due primarily to poor strategy, was the limited development of advanced military technology by Nazi Germany the flaw that led to its defeat in World War II? In this investigation, the overall implications in limited development of technologically advanced weapons that were designed and planned to be massed produced in order to help Germany win the war in Europe will be assessed. This will analyze the potential capabilities of the Germans in the development of these weapons throughout World War II, the limitations placed on these weapon projects that inhibited their production and use during the war, as well as the change in the outcome these weapons could have offered based off of current day information from historians and military strategists.
B. Summary of Evidence
Artillery and Missiles
Throughout the war, new designs and advanced military technology were highly sought after by Hitler to maintain military superiority over the Allies. To utilize the potential of its scientists, Hitler sought out German scientists to create effective missiles to bombard the British and Soviet forces from significant distances. “The first of these developments, the V1 “Buzzbomb” was created in early 1942. This was the first missile capable of hitting targets at long distances such as London and Moscow. However the effectiveness of these missiles was short-lived as methods were developed by the Allies were developed to handle these projectiles.” (Farrell 97) In late 1942, the growth of the rocket industry had led to the development of the A-4, known as the V-2, and Fi-103 rockets were developed and utilized against the Soviets in early 1943. “While these proved effective in fighting and bombing of their enemies, the production and effectiveness of these rockets were greatly effected by the overall cost to produce the rockets.” (Kroener 705)
Similarly to rockets, the development of new armaments such as tanks and guns were also common before and during the war. The Stg. 52 or Sturmgewehr was a full-automatic assault rifle that modeled the design for many present-day assault rifles. “Similar to the FG-42 already manufactured (with limited use) by Germany, the layout of the Stg. 52 included a straight-line profile and side-mounted magazine.” (McNab 52) While significantly advanced compared to that of the conventional weaponry of the Allies, Hitler’s previous reluctance and prevention in expanding the weapon’s project along with funding killed the mass production and use of this revolutionary weapon.
Likewise, the ambitions of engineers to create new tanks and armor were potential projects developed throughout the war. “In order to confront both the Red Army and the British, the...