Did you know many of the strange German warplanes we see in dieselpunk are based on real designs?
As World War II drew to a close in Europe, Nazi Germany rushed the development of advanced bombers and fighter jets in a final effort to stop the Allies. From the world’s first operational turbojet fighter to a flying wing, some of these technologies were so far ahead of their time that Allied commanders speculated the Germans could have turned the tide of the war if only they had managed to prolong it by a few months. Continue reading “Strange Aircraft of the Third Reich: Real and Imagined”
When you look at the projects that the Nazi government tackled, you cannot rid yourself of the feeling that they had a grandiosity fetish.
To put it in more direct terms: Megalomania was an intrinsic feature of the system. World domination, tank-battleships like the Landkreuzer Ratte and the drastic redesign of Berlin into the capital of the world — Germania. Continue reading “Hitler’s Nightmare Capital of the World”
The Axis powers in World War II never really had any plans to invade the continental United States. The Nazis hoped to keep the Americans out of the war altogether. As late as the spring of 1941, Adolf Hitler said a German invasion of the Western Hemisphere was as fantastic as an invasion of the Moon.
Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December of that year did prompt the Germans to develop long-range bombers that could reach the East Coast. But although Hitler started speaking grandly of a future contest between America and Germany, no preparations were made.
Nor did the Japanese think seriously about conquering the United States. Some advocated seizing Hawaii and Japan briefly occupied the leutian Islands in Alaska, but that was it.
Of course, that’s what we know now. Things looked very different in the winter of 1941, when America unexpectedly found itself at war with both the Empire of Japan and a Nazi Germany that controlled almost all of Europe. Continue reading “Axis Invasion Plans of the United States”
These pictures were made by Hugo Jaeger, Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer. He sold them to America’s Life magazine in 1965, but some weren’t published until 2009. Continue reading “Munich Under Nazi Rule: Color Photos”
The Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg, Bavaria were Albert Speer’s first assignment as Adolf Hitler’s chief architect. The grounds he designed — and which featured prominently in Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda masterpiece, Triumph of the Will — were based on ancient Doric architecture, magnified to an enormous scale and capable of holding over 240,000 spectators. Continue reading “Albert Speer’s Nazi Party Rally Grounds”
Discerning viewers of Amazon’s alternate-history drama The Man in the High Castle may have noticed when one of the characters made a passing reference to a German plan to drain the Mediterranean.
It sounds like just the sort of thing a megalomanic Third Reich would do, but they actually didn’t. The Nazis weren’t interested in the plan, but it was real. Continue reading “Atlantropa: The German Plan to Dam the Mediterranean”
Dieselpunk fans will be familiar with the 2012 movie Iron Sky, which shows how a group of Nazis fled to the Moon after Hitler’s defeat in 1945 and return to Earth with UFOs and huge zeppelin-like spaceship.
Not all might be aware that the fantasy of a German Moon base precedes this hilarious film. Continue reading “Nazis on the Moon”
During World War II, German scientists synthesized anabolic steriods and experimented on concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war in an attempt to treat chronic wasting. Experiments were allegedly conducted on German soldiers to increase their aggression and agility, however, there is no evidence whatsoever that something like an Übersoldier (a play on the Nazis’ idealized Übermensch) was ever in the making — let alone created.
Yet “supersoldiers” keep appearing in video games. Continue reading “Dieselpunk Games’ Obsession with Nazi Supersoldiers”
Soon after the war in Europe ended, rumors began to circulate that part of Germany’s military and scientific establishment had fled the fatherland before Soviet troops could conquer Berlin. Stories of missing U-boats and forbidden aviation technologies fueled wild theories of Nazi redoubts and the imminent resurrection of the Third Reich. A huge United States Navy operation in the Antarctic in 1946 seemed only to confirm the worst of fears — that the Nazis’ reign of terror had been able to survive underground near the South Pole. Continue reading “Nazis in Antarctica”
As the war in Europe drew to a close, the Western Allies convinced themselves that the fall of Berlin would not be the end of it. The Nazis, they believed, would hunker down in the Austrian and Bavarian Alps and continue the war from a formidable Alpenfestung in the mountains. Continue reading “The German National Redoubt That Wasn’t”