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What were the various "super weapons programs" of World War II???

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by DiegoMaxwell, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. DiegoMaxwell

    DiegoMaxwell New Member

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    When we think of Super Weapons, we often think of the Atomic Bomb in World War II. There were other programs, like the US B-29 or the German V Rocket program that cost significantly more money and were serious technological advancements. Let's consider a "superweapon" a program that cost over 2 Billion (USD) and represented a major increase in weapons capabilities (nukes, rockets, pressurized aircraft, etc...). What were the major superweapons developed in WWII?
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..when I think of WW2 super weapons I think A-Bombs ,not airplanes ..maybe it was a wonder weapon like the ME-262 and the V-2
    ...another way of thinking about it is the A-Bomb produced a war ending shock, where as the V weapons and B29s did not
    ..the A-Bomb program only produced 2 weapons by the end of the war....the B29 program produced thousands
    ...a quick search and I found the M4 Shermans cost 1.6 billion$--and did they not produce a ''more significant'' contribution than the B29? especially in the European Theater?
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Essex class aircraft carrier program would come close too or slightly surpass 2 billion. Definately would surpass that Mark if the cost of their aircraft were added in.
     
  4. Otto

    Otto Spambot Nemesis Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    This thread was started by a spam account operated by a human from India. However, based upon the quality of the responses, I'm leaving this in place in case anyone wants to continue the conversation.
     
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  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  6. tom!

    tom! recruit

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    Hi.

    Japan also had some more or lesss advanced special weapon programs like

    - Yamato and Super Yamato Class BBs,
    - Taiho and Improved Taiho Class Fleet Carriers,
    - A 64 Class Large Cruisers,
    - Sensuikan Taka and Sensuikan Taka Sho Class Fast Submarines
    - Sensuikan Toku Class Aircraft-carrying Submarines
    - Hyoteki and Kaiten-Class Mini-Submarines
    - Shinyo-Class Special Operation Motorboats
    - Okha Guided Bomb Program
    - A7M Carrier-Borne Fighter Program
    - J8M Rocket Interceptor Program (Me-163 derivate)
    - J8N Jetfighter Program (Me-262 derivate)
    - Kikka Jet-propelled Light Bomber Program (Me-262 derivate, too)
    - Army and Navy ground-based guided and unguided AA-Missile Programs
    - Army and Navy airborne guided and unguided AA-Misssile Programs
    - Superheavy Tank O-I Program
    - Ki-45 Twin-engined Fighter Program
    - Ki-46 Twin-engined Reconnaissance Plane Program
    - Ki-102 Twin-engined Multi-purpose Aircraft Program
    - Ki-73 Twin-Engined Fighter Program and successors
    - Ki-200 and Ki-202 Rocket Interceptor Programs (army version of the navy J8M and improved version)
    - Ki-201 Jetfighter Program (army version of the J8N navy jetfighter)
    - Ki-148 Unmanned Guided Bomb
    - Transpacific Bomber Program
    - Fu-Go Balloon Bomb Program
    - 15 cm AAA-Guns
    - Army Kogekitei (Suicide motorboats) Program
    - Biological and Chemical Weapons Program
    - Atomic Bomb Program

    I don´t really know the costs of each program but you can guess they were all quite high.But all of them were more or less significant improvements in technology. And regarding the money, Japan wan´t able to invest the amounts, Germany or the Allies were able to pay.

    Some of them were rated as "super" weapons by the japanese military even if they weren´t necessary by western standards (Kaiten, Shinyu, Sensuikan Toku, Fu-Go, all Me-163 and Me-262 derivates....)

    But there were also some quite advanced research in electronic support items like
    - infrared and ultraviolet communication devices and spotlights
    - infrared target finders for aircraft and ships
    - proximity fuzes for AAA
    .....

    A lot of these did not really leave the projct or research phase but some became prototypes or even combat-ready before surrender.

    Yours

    tom! ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Tall boy exluding the a bomb. Massive bomb for anything.

    Sorry had to laugh about the Spitting image of green value people watching "dam busters' and they were mad about the water power losses created...
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    I don't think you can use cost as a basis for defining a super weapon, many fairly basic projects/designs cost a ton of money to produce either because the technology is not mature enough, designers/builders are incompetent, working against the regime or the needed resources are in short supply.

    Conversely a weapon must be cost effective for the result achieved, it doesn't matter how innovative it may appear to be if it can't be used in any meaningful way.

    In my mind there is only one super weapon, the atomics. Chem's and bio's might have been, but were not developed or used in any strategic manner.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I roughly remember a line from the Gene Berry "War of the Worlds" where the announcer says humans will fight back with the weapons of SUPER SCIENCE!" It was the atomic bomb.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Terrible weapons of super science...

    They did not work then, or in the much later "Independence Day".

    Hollywood never learns.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The military, on the gripping hand, has had 100% success in destroying marauding alien invaders with our terrible weapons of super science. As evidence I invite you to show where any marauding alien invaders are currently harvesting humans.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    We live in the Matrix...I'll let you know when I find Neo.
     
  14. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I would suggest that whole suicide/kamakazi effort by Japan could be considered a super weapon.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    How so?
     
  16. harolds

    harolds Member

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    They were designed to change the course of the war.
    They significantly increased the casualties of the Allies (primarily the USA) over what they would have been had the Japanese just used conventional weapons.
    Allied planners were very worried over future casualty rates if we invaded Japan.
    Admittedly, I have no idea what the monetary cost were in U.S. dollars, but it doesn't matter. They were staking all on it and for them it was a super weapon.
    Of course, they insured that we would use our "super weapon" on them.
    They were at least as effective as the German's V-programs.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If the Machines had used cows there wouldn't have been a problem. If they'd used science they wouldn't have needed cows. That movie sucked so badly.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Umm...No. They were not designed to change the course of the war. Japan was losing, the Kamikaze was designed to make an American victory as costly as possible - in the hope of getting better surrender terms(as opposed to unconditional surrender).

    Actually, conventional weapons were more effectual. What changed was the quality of the Japanese pilots - the inexperienced Japanese pilots could not cope with the more experienced Allied pilots or the handle the "hotter" new Japanese aircraft.

    Yes, but the casualty rates expected were not due, in whole, to the Kamikaze, only a small part - IIRC, Kamikazes inflicted, total, less than 20,000 casualties). Indeed, a massive US air assault was expected to neutralize many of the kamikaze.

    What was being staked is immaterial...The US staked nothing on the Atomic Bomb - If it did not work, the US & it's allies would invade, and continue to blockade and conventionally bomb Japan.

    The Kamikaze were more cost effective than the V-Weapons...Kamikaze were cheap, the V-Weapons were expensive. However, the V-Weapons did not require the death of a German to be effective. Also, the V-Weapons killed and wounded more than the Kamikaze.
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  20. tom!

    tom! recruit

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    Hi.

    In war sometimes desparate situations lead to suicidal actions but that´s a part of war.

    To me considering the use of distinct suicide weapons or using them shows a massive lack of morale within the leadership. This includes wartime and terroristic use. It´s simply inhumane and shows that the leaders give a sh** on its people (or believers or whatever). Most of the time these measures were and are taken if the preasure on the leadership makes it impossible to hold their power (or to gain more) with "civilised" means.

    Kamikaze use of aircraft and subs is not really cheap. You lose the (mostly) young pilots and valuable raw materials you can recycle instead of throwing them away. Both is needed in wartime.
    And the results of the japanese Tokkotai air attacks were more or less disappointing: some 40 mainly smaller ships sunk, some 370 damaged at the cost of several thousand pilots and aircraft plus fuel. This was even far below expectation of the japanese military. And it had no real strategical impact on the allied operations which made it a failure. The results of the mini and midget submarines were not that much better.

    Neither Germany nor Japan should have continued fighting after 1943 but the regimes weren´t able to accept this in favor of their people. Instead they did everything to send them to hell. And both people did more or less nothing against it so most of them deserved it after all (btw I´m german, hope my english is not that bad...).

    Yours

    tom! ;)
     

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