The Third Reich could eliminate their opponents from the orbit of the Earth? But particularly space weapons you have touched in passing, and that's such an interesting topic! Could you tell us about the German superweapon in more detail?
IA Gmyrin, Mezen, the Arkhangelsk region (from a letter to the editor) meets Andrew Leshukonsky.
Early morning June 6, 1944. Allies began landing troops in Normandy. Soldiers jump from a landing craft at sea, and holding arms over his head, wander to the shore. But what is it? A loud roar, the flash — and the cool water suddenly turns into boiling water, which boiled alive by thousands of people!
Marines had time to get to shore, but did not receive reinforcements, reset the Nazis in the raging sea. Allied landings in Normandy failed, a second front was not opened … This was the way the story could go, to embody the Nazis in the life of the project a giant space gun.
Inventor of the idealist
The future star of the theory of rocket Hermann Oberth was born in 1894 in today's Romania, which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Ten years later, the boy read a novel by Jules Verne's "From guns to the Moon" and became, as we would say today, a fan of space exploration.
In high school German was considered eccentric — all his passions and actions were connected with the cosmos. For example, the young man became interested in jumping into the water from a great height — so he wanted to see how the human body works on gravitational acceleration and hard braking.
During recess at school he could eat an apple while standing on his head: he wanted to be sure that the food is kept in a person's stomach, even when it is turned upside down. In 16 years, Herman (not familiar with the writings of Tsiolkovsky) designed his first rocket and independently came to the conclusion that the solid fuel (such as gunpowder) is not suitable for its launch into orbit.
In 1914, a young man got on the Eastern Front, where he was wounded, and he dosluzhival as a nurse in the hospital. It was designed by Hermann another missile, and the chief doctor of the hospital even notified the military ministries of Austria-Hungary and its ally Germany.
Too high cost of the project is not allowed to put it into practice. However, the talented young man noticed. After the First World, he studied medicine and physics, and after graduating from university, wrote a doctoral thesis on interplanetary missions. At 29, he became a professor Herman and until 1938 he taught physics and mathematics at various educational institutions.
All this time, Herr Aubert continued to rocket science. He became acquainted with the writings of Tsiolkovsky, invent new models of missiles and fuel. First and foremost, Herman worked on the development of the space station, which can be derived on a 200-kilometer orbit and used for Earth observation.
In his bold writings Herman wrote that the station will be able to install a giant mirror, which, like a magnifying glass, will be able to focus the sun's rays to a single point. For example, a scientist hoping people will be able to change the climate of the Earth, melt the eternal ice and control the weather. However, the project's first space station (CS-1) was too costly and time consuming.
Only at the end of 1944, when the leaders of the Third Reich began to seize any idea of weapons of retaliation, they drew attention to the development of Oberth. Of course, at the time the Nazis was not interested in life in space (that is trusted by the scientist), but only the possibility to use the station as a weapon.
In particular, believed the Nazi bosses, huge, "magnifier", you behavior of the low orbit, will be able to "boil" water bodies, as well as completely burn out enemy troop concentrations, and even entire cities!
Later, U.S. researchers have considered: Germany begin implementation of the project space gun for six years earlier (1938-1939), an eerie "weapon of retaliation" would be ready by mid-1944. And, as is believed, the same experts, the Third Reich would take about five years to not only win a decisive victory in Europe, but also to conquer the world.
Reverse side of the force
Probably Hermann Oberth know what the future will try to use his idea, he would have broken with horror all the drawings of the COP-1. Romanian scientist always believed that the cosmos should serve only for peaceful affairs. His space station — an ambitious project: a set of rockets launched into high orbit and assembled into a single unit with steel cables.
The station was to rotate around its axis, creating artificial gravity (Obert sincerely believed that weightlessness is fatal to the astronauts). On special supporting structures would be placed telescopes, oriented both towards the Earth, and the deep space.
In the back rooms planned to create a livestock farm, plant them and serve as a source of food and oxygen. High-power relay stations would provide uninterrupted radio at least half of the globe. Thus, CS-1 would perform four functions: intelligence, geophysical, relay and global satellite navigation.
On the military for a word. Nazis, on the contrary, was interested in "reverse side of the force." Their station (Sonnengewehr Raumstation) actually turned into a giant cannon that had a single task — to destroy the objects on the Earth's surface. But as its creation was much more real than the COP-1. Because the cost of offspring Obert exceeded three billion marks, and space gun Nazis — not more than 15 million.
What represents the station the Third Reich? Main part of it — a huge (about 1.5 kilometers in diameter) mirror, which was to focus the sun's rays to a single point, creating a temperature of several hundred degrees Celsius — enough to melt even the stones. According to scientists of the Reich, could "boil", even large-scale land surface of the ocean.
The only cabin that served as both a chopping gun control, can accommodate up to five specialists. Extensive system of greenhouses as a source of food and oxygen scientists, however, did not give up. In contrast, CS-1, the station the Third Reich did not involve the presence of artificial gravity, but because its inhabitants had to move in special shoes with magnetic soles.
They were stopped on time
Despite all the hardships of the war, the Nazis actively took up the project. Output the goods required for the construction of a space gun, it was decided to orbit with another "weapon of retaliation" — missiles "V-2". And it was in early 1945, is considered by many experts (others say it's just a legend), the Nazis have launched several rockets into orbit from … astronauts on board.
"Pioneers of the Nazi Space" was doomed to failure. But their followers had already mounted Sonnengewehr Raumstation in orbit. Fortunately, it did not come: the fall of the Third Reich were only a few months. Further proof that the Nazis were actively working on the project — a powerful build-up of stocks of sodium metal (which is planned to produce it from the surface of the mirror).
Why the Third Reich at the end of the war were needed thousands of tons of this item? Despite the fact that in the world it is almost not usable, because due to the oxidation very quickly darkens. But in a vacuum, where there is no oxygen, sodium metal (and it confirms modern astronautics) — a very useful element.
Now, after so many years, we can only rejoice that the leaders of the Third Reich undertook the development of a "weapon of retaliation" is too late — before Hitler and his henchmen have relied solely on the military machine of the Wehrmacht capable, in their view, the army grind any opponent. And even when the idea of a fundamentally new weapons came into their heads, they chose the wrong path. After all, as subsequent events showed, missiles "Fau" and "V-2" have been extremely expensive and ineffective.
Instead of a single missile could build 2-3 aircraft. In this 2000 missiles "FAU", issued by the enemy's territory, killed "only" 2,700 people. Incredibly low cost-effectiveness! On the other hand, it is likely, take the Nazi bigwigs for the development of space weapons instead almost useless rockets, the whole history of the world would have gone the other way.
…Hermann Oberth died in 1989. Until his death, the Romanian scientist believed that the future of our planet — for the giant space stations, which will help to tame the raging elements will save millions of lives and change the climate of the planet. But at the same scientist ironically, calling himself a "forerunner Death Star", the "inventor of the ultimate weapon." The threat of cosmic war scared him the most.
Secrets of the twentieth century