WW2 to Cold War era military innovations

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NAZI Germany Military Innovations

The World's First Mass-Produced Helicopter

Both the Axis and Allies were developing helicopter technology, but Germany got there first in terms of actual production. The Flettner Fl 282 became the world's first large-scale produced helicopter, with prototypes taking off in 1941, and a full order for 1,000 machines placed in 1944. Allied bombing destroyed the Flettner factory after only 24 had come off the line, but those machines were used for artillery spotting and reconnaissance until the last days of the conflict. Three survived the war.

Sophisticated Jet Fighters and Bombers


While the ME-262 became famous as the first operational jet fighter, Germany had a wide range of other jet fighters and bombers in various developmental stages. Some saw limited action, and others never made it off the drawing board. The most effective was the Arado Ar-234 jet bomber, used in very limited numbers at the end of the war - and virtually impossible to intercept in flight. Other prominent designs were the Ta-283 interceptor, the P.1101 swept-wing fighter, the Ta-400 long range bomber, and the Fa-269 VTOL fighter.


Fa-269 (first vertical
takeoff fighter)


Ta-400 (First strategic bomber)


If used effectively and in large numbers, these planes might have shifted the balance of power in the skies over Europe. But the war ended long before this could take place.

Stealth Bombers




The Arado E.555 and Horton HO 229 jet bombers were Germany's prime candidates to fly from Europe to New York for the purposes of dropping an atomic bomb. They used the same flying wing designs and low radar profile that the B-2 bomber would later adapt.

If the war had dragged on and Germany had the resources to complete the bomber and nuclear projects, they could have destroyed Manhattan without anyone seeing it coming.


Space Planes

The German project codenamed "Silbervogel" was a theoretical design for a sub-orbital bomber aircraft that would have been able to attain 90 miles in height and bomb New York when launched from Germany. The aircraft got as far as a wind-tunnel mockup, and work done on the design continues to influence rocket and ramjet technology today.

Guided Missile Submarines



German researchers attempted on several occasions to mount rockets on U-Boats for the purposes of missile attacks on the East Coast of the US. The first was simply mounting a six-barreled rocket launcher on the deck of a sub, which was done in 1941 with U-511. The rockets both on the surface and up to 12 meters underwater, but without a guidance system, the rockets wouldn't be effective.

Other attempts were made to mount both V1 and V2 rockets on submarines, but the experiments didn't get far, due to technical limitations and inter-service rivalry. Allied war planners did create contingency plans to stop a large force of these missile subs, and intercepted a fleet of subs they incorrectly thought were on their way to attack the US.

Man-Portable Anti-Aircraft Rockets



Long before such weapons became commonly issued, Nazi Germany developed a man-portable air defense weapon - the Fliegerfaust(literally "plane fist" in German). The multi-barreled air-to-ground rocket launcher was designed to fire between 4 and 9 20 millimeter unguided rockets up to 500 meters, though this range was never achieved. The rockets tended to disperse poorly and showed little stopping power against a moving plane, so of the 10,000 launchers ordered, only about 80 were made.

Their eventual usage history is unknown, though one photograph of the ruins of Berlin clearly shows fired and discarded Fliegerfaustlaunchers.

Guided Missiles



Beyond using guided V1 and V2 rockets to terrorize civilians, the Germans made use of guided anti-ship glide bombs (the "Fritz X") and guided air-dropped anti-ship missiles. They also had prototypes for man-portable guided missiles, television-guided surface to air missiles, and wire-guided air to air missiles.

None of these weapons had any appreciable impact on the war effort, and most never advanced beyond the testing stages. But they pioneered technology that would form the core of modern armies for decades to come.
 

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Why the U.S. Government Brought Nazi Scientists to America After World War II
As the war came to a close, the U.S. government was itching to get ahold of the German wartime technology

Wernher von Braun, one of the architects of the Apollo program, was a Nazi scientist brought to the U.S. in secret in 1945. (NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center)
By Danny Lewis
smithsonian.com

The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have put an end to World War II, but they weren’t the only destructive weaponry developed during the war. From nerve and disease agents to the feared and coveted V-1 and V-2 rockets, Nazi scientists worked on an impressive arsenal. As the war came to a close in 1945, both American and Russian officials began scheming to get that technology for themselves. So it came to pass that 71 years ago today, 88 Nazi scientists arrived in the United States and were promptly put to work for Uncle Sam.

In the days and weeks after Germany’s surrender, American troops combed the European countryside in search of hidden caches of weaponry to collect. They came across facets of the Nazi war machine that the top brass were shocked to see, writer Annie Jacobsen told NPR’s All Things Considered in 2014. Jacobson wrote about both the mission and the scientists in her book, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists To America.

“One example was they had no idea that Hitler had created this whole arsenal of nerve agents,” Jacobsen says. “They had no idea that Hitler was working on a bubonic plague weapon. That is really where Paperclip began, which was suddenly the Pentagon realizing, ‘Wait a minute, we need these weapons for ourselves.’"

But just studying the weapons wasn't enough, and the U.S. military wasn’t the only country eyeing Nazi scientists—their one-time allies in the Soviet Union were doing the same thing. If the Soviets were going to press their former enemies into service, American military officials didn't want to be left behind.So the U.S. government hatched a plan to bring 88 Nazi scientists captured during the fall of the Nazi Germany back to America and get them back on the job. Only this time, according to History.com, they were working for the U.S. under a project known as “Operation Paperclip.”

While the military did what they could to whitewash the pasts of their “prisoners of peace,” as some of the scientists called themselves, many had serious skeletons in their closets. For example, Wernher von Braun was not just one of the brains behind the V-2 rocket program, but had intimate knowledge of what was going on in the concentration camps. Von Braun himself hand-picked people from horrific places, including Buchenwald concentration camp, to work to the bone building his rockets, Jacobsen tells NPR.

Operation Paperclip was top secret at the time. After all, the devices these men helped design killed many people throughout Europe, not to mention the deaths their government was responsible for on the battlefield and in the concentration camps. Even agents with the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which the U.S. government tasked with hunting down top Nazi officers who went on the lam after the war, were unaware for decades of the extent to which government officials were collaborating with their quarry, Toby Harnden reported for The Telegraph in 2010.

While many of the men who were brought to the U.S. under the program were undoubtedly instrumental in scientific advancements like the Apollo program, they were also supportive and responsible for some of the horrors experienced by victims of the Holocaust. Operation Paperclip has certainly left a questionable legacy.

 

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Night Vision

The Zielgerät ZG 1229 Vampir displayed by a British soldier.
As early as 1939, the first night vision devices were introduced by the German army. The first devices were being developed by AEG starting in 1935. By the end of World War II, the German army had equipped approximately 50 Mark V Panther tanks, which saw combat on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. The “Vampir” man-portable system for infantrymen was being used with STG-44 Sturmgewehr assault rifles.

The ZG 1229 Vampir weighed about 5 lbs and was fitted with lugs at the weapons production facility. The soldier carrying this was known as night-hunter. As well as the sight and infrared spotlight, there was a wooden cased battery for the light, and a second battery fitted inside a gas mask container to power the image converter. This was all strapped to a Tragegestell 39.

The searchlight consisted of a conventional tungsten light source shining through a filter permitting only infrared light. The sensor was not sensitive to body heat because it operated in the upper infrared (light) spectrum rather than in the lower infrared (heat) spectrum.

The Vampir gear was used for the first time in combat in February 1945. 310 units had been delivered to the Wehrmacht in the final stages of the war. Eastern Front veteran reports consist of snipers shooting at night with the aid of ‘peculiar non-shining torches coupled with enormous optical sights’ mounted on their rifles. Similar infrared gear was fitted both to MG34 and MG42 machine guns.

Rockets

V2 Test Rocket.
After the Second World War ended, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) launched Operation Paperclip, a program in which over 1,500 German scientists, engineers, and technicians from Nazi Germany and other countries were brought to the United States for employment.

It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency and in the context of the Cold War. One of the purposes of Operation Paperclip was to deny the German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom.

Another goal was to prevent post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities. The Soviet Union had competing extraction programs known as “trophy brigades” and Operation Osoaviakhim.

The stolen V-2s and their creators like Wernher von Braun paved the way for U.S. rocket programs from the Redstone rockets to the Saturn and Apollo missions which ultimately brought US Astronauts to the moon.
 

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Airborne Units

German paratroopers on Crete – Bundesarchiv
It was the Germans who seized on the potential that paratroopers gave. Such troops fitted in perfectly with Guderian’s vision of Blitzkrieg, the lightening war.


Hermann Göring, as head of the Luftwaffe, formed the first parachute regiments in 1935. During the Spanish Civil War, the Germans had gained experience in air-landings, primarily using the Junkers Ju-52. It was this plane that was to be the workhorse of the German paratroopers during WWII. A Luftwaffe general, Kurt Student, was given charge of airborne training.

The Germans launched what can be called the first airborne ‘attack’ in history on March 12th, 1938 when German paratroopers seized and captured an airfield at Wagram in Austria during the Anschluss, the peaceful take-over of Austria.

When the Germans attacked Poland and gave the world its first glimpse of Blitzkrieg in September 1939, paratroopers played no part despite many rumors that areas of Poland had been captured by paratroopers. In the attack on Western Europe, the German paratroopers were used in the attack on Norway in April 1940 when they captured airfields at Oslo and Stavanger.

In the attack on the Netherlands, German paratroopers played a major role isolating the city of The Hague, and in Belgium, they seized vital bridges, and glider troops took the strategic fort at Eben Emael.

The Germans used paratroopers to attack Crete; this was the first time that paratroopers were given the task of attacking and defeating a complete target. At the time, it was the largest airborne attack in history.

Though the island was taken after heavy fighting, the Germans took very heavy casualties of around 25% and Hitler lost faith in this form of attack. On the orders of Hitler, German paratroopers were sent to Russia where they fought as ground troops.

Ironically enough, the use of the German paratroopers on Crete was one of the reasons why the Allies began experimenting with Airborne divisions.
 

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The B2 is related to the hortan bomber and the northrop flying wing
Out of this the Ho 228 was a german all wing bomberEngineers of the Northrop-GrummanCorporation had long been interested in the Ho 229, and several of them visited the Smithsonian Museum's facility in Silver Hill, Maryland in the early 1980s to study the V3 airframe, in the context of developing the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. A team of engineers from Northrop-Grumman ran electromagnetic tests on the V3's multilayer wooden center-section nose cones. The cones are 19 mm (0.75 in) thick and made from thin sheets of veneer. The team concluded that there was some form of conducting element in the glue, as the radar signal attenuated considerably as it passed through the cone. However, a later inspection by the museum found no trace of such material.
 

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The U.S. picked up a whole bunch of German scientists after World War II in Operation Paperclip. One of the most notable was Werner von Braun, who jump-started the American space program.

The Russians picked up a similar number of "rocket scientists" as the West, but the lesser ones. These were taken to newly-constructed but isolated scientific facilities at places like Gorodomiya Island on a lake northwest of Moscow.

They were housed with Russian scientists in relatively comfortable (by Russian standards) facilities, near their place of work. Basically, the Germans' job was to write papers on rocket technology to educate their Russian counterparts, while they received very little knowledge in return, so that their technical expertise would fall behind the Russians'. This continued for more than five years, until Stalin's death. By this time, the German scientists had "drained" of their knowledge, and having been kept in isolation, no longer represented a threat. Between this fact and the more liberal atmosphere that prevailed after Stalin's death, it was possible to send them home to West Germany.

The Germans in Russia did very little of the actual design work, but their theoretical knowledge was of some help to the Russians in understanding rocketry and designing missiles; to a lesser extent in designing rockets for the space program.

The experience of one of Germany's greatest scientists, Manfred von Ardenne, is representative. After voluntarily foregoing capture by Americans he was seized by the Red Army and moved to the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, at secret police compound of Lubyanka he was brought before a commission of Soviet scientists headed up by Lavrenty Beria. Beria made a veiled threat to kill him if he did not work for them. He agreed to work on a project to devise electromagnetic methods for the purification of Uranium 235, a subject in which he was expert. In 1954, after working on the Soviet nuclear program for nine years he was allowed to leave and settle in East Germany. See Ardenne's biography, "Mein Leben für Forschung und Fortschritt" for details.
 

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NAZI Germany innovations
  • Nerve Gas - the world's first three types of "Nerve Gas" chemical weapons were developed in Germany: Tabun (1936), Sarin (1938), Soman (1944), all many times more lethal than earlier chemical weapons. Unlike chemical weapons like Mustard Gas which injure and kill by burning skin and tissue, Nerve Agents, like the venom of Cobra snakes and scorpions, quickly causes a total and excruciating muscle paralysis that kills by paralising the muscles invloved in breathing.
    The Allies knew nothing of this horrible secret German weapon, or the fact that the German artillery was already equipped with it, until after the war's end. The Germans on the other hand, didn't know that The Allies did NOT have any nerve gases, but assumed that they did, and therefore feared massive retaliation with similar weapons if they used their nerve gases, as Winston Churchill declared that if the Germans will use chemical weapons, he will order to "rain" the entire British stockpile of chemical weapons in retaliation. It was a "Balance of Terror" like the nuclear Balance of Terror during the post-WWII Cold War.


  • Sturmgewehr 44 - the world's first assault rifle. Assault rifles (like the modern M-16 and AK-47) are an optimized compromise between the rifle and the sub-machine gun, combining the advantages of both to a superior weapon.



  • Synthetic Fuel - the world's first synthetic fuel. Before and during World War 2, Germany built many large production plants, solely for wartime purposes, as the produced fuel was much more expensive than petroleum based fuels. The synthetic fuel, produced from coal, was critically important to Germany during the entire war to overcome its dependence on imported petroleum.
  • Radio Navigation - Since the beginning of World War 2, German night bombers could efficiently navigate to their targets using systems of fixed radio transmitters, and receivers installed in the bombers. This was the forefather of GPS. In the first 2 1/2 years of the war, Allied night bombers had no equivalent systems, and were terribly inaccurate.
 

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NAZI Germany innovations
  • Nerve Gas - the world's first three types of "Nerve Gas" chemical weapons were developed in Germany: Tabun (1936), Sarin (1938), Soman (1944), all many times more lethal than earlier chemical weapons. Unlike chemical weapons like Mustard Gas which injure and kill by burning skin and tissue, Nerve Agents, like the venom of Cobra snakes and scorpions, quickly causes a total and excruciating muscle paralysis that kills by paralising the muscles invloved in breathing.
    The Allies knew nothing of this horrible secret German weapon, or the fact that the German artillery was already equipped with it, until after the war's end. The Germans on the other hand, didn't know that The Allies did NOT have any nerve gases, but assumed that they did, and therefore feared massive retaliation with similar weapons if they used their nerve gases, as Winston Churchill declared that if the Germans will use chemical weapons, he will order to "rain" the entire British stockpile of chemical weapons in retaliation. It was a "Balance of Terror" like the nuclear Balance of Terror during the post-WWII Cold War.


  • Sturmgewehr 44 - the world's first assault rifle. Assault rifles (like the modern M-16 and AK-47) are an optimized compromise between the rifle and the sub-machine gun, combining the advantages of both to a superior weapon.



  • Synthetic Fuel - the world's first synthetic fuel. Before and during World War 2, Germany built many large production plants, solely for wartime purposes, as the produced fuel was much more expensive than petroleum based fuels. The synthetic fuel, produced from coal, was critically important to Germany during the entire war to overcome its dependence on imported petroleum.
  • Radio Navigation - Since the beginning of World War 2, German night bombers could efficiently navigate to their targets using systems of fixed radio transmitters, and receivers installed in the bombers. This was the forefather of GPS. In the first 2 1/2 years of the war, Allied night bombers had no equivalent systems, and were terribly inaccurate.
Ah the Sturmgewehr!

Welp,It reminded me of this weapon whose rechambered variant is still in service,named Maschinegewehr 42 (Machine-Gun '42) or simply,MG42

Maschinegewehr 42,often nicknamed as 'Hitler's Buzzsaw'


MG3 KSW,rechambered and modernised variant of WW2 era MG42,in 7.62 x 51mm NATO


Another cool german gun that is 'technically' still in service is Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 (Paratrooper's Rifle '42),as M60 machine gun which was developed during cold war era,technically a belt fed variant of FG42 chambered in 7.62 x 51mm NATO.

FG42,Both Variants with a Sturmgewehr


T44 Machine Gun,US belt-fed variant of FG42


M60 Machine Gun,chambered in 7.62 x 51mm NATO


Like these weapons,there're numerous examples where WW2 era German weapons have evolved into something different which was later used by various countries around the globe.
e.g. Walther PP Pistol - Makarov Pistol
Walther P38 Pistol - Beretta 92
Sturmgewehr 45(M) - CETME L and various H&K guns such as G3,MP5,PSG1 etc.
Mauser Kar-98k - various 'Mauser Pattern' bolt action sniper rifles such as M24,M40 etc.
 

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M1 Bazooka. One of the more iconic weapons of the war.

This was reverse-engineered by the Germans to make the Panzerschreck.
the Panzer Fauzest or Amour Fist is the Grand dad of the M 27 LAW and the Father of the Legendry/ Notorious RPG series
 

F-14B

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  • Synthetic Fuel - the world's first synthetic fuel. Before and during World War 2, Germany built many large production plants, solely for wartime purposes, as the produced fuel was much more expensive than petroleum based fuels. The synthetic fuel, produced from coal, was critically important to Germany during the entire war to overcome its dependence on imported petroleum.
This some thing we in india should do
 

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Tracked Mines


The Nazis' Goliath tracked mine was anything but Goliath-like in stature. Known as the " Doodlebug " by American troops, the Goliath was run with a joystick operated by a controller. It had coiled within its compartments 2,145 feet of cable leading back to the controller. The mini-tank was powered by two electric motors, later replaced by gas burners, and able to carry more than 100 pounds of high explosives.

The Goliath was meant to slide under Allied tanks and deliver its explosive payload to their vulnerable undersides. However, it proved to be susceptible to cord-cutting and later on radio-controlled models were introduced. The Germans built 7,500 Goliaths during the war, which suggests that they met with some success.

However, the real success of the Goliath was that it paved the way for radio-controlled weapons, which in our modern age are becoming the new mode of warfare.
 

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Soviet military innovations

KM - the Russian "Caspian Sea Monster" Ekranoplan



"KM" was the biggest ground-effect vehicle ever designed (100 meters long, weight: 544 tons, powered by ten Dobryin VD-7 turbojet engines). It still holds the record for lifting the heaviest load off the ground (which is even more than what the largest modern cargo plane Antonov An 225 "Mriya" can handle). For a long time, it was surrounded by an air of mystery, being developed and tested in secrecy on the Caspian Sea in 1966, and only later discovered by a US spy satellite.

Although only one "KM" prototype ship has been built, there were several variations differing in length and weight. All were intimidating in size and pretty weird-looking, designed to specifically use the "wing-in-ground effect" to skim the waves at highest possible speeds, undetected by radar. According to military sources, the Soviet government had plans to built one hundred of these monsters at the height of the Cold War, but then this number fell to twenty four projected machines.











After an accidental crash (due mostly to poor visibility in fog conditions), KM was abandoned in a shallow expanse of water, thwarting all the efforts to recover it (mostly due to its significant weight); and its high tail has been sticking out of the water (like a ghastly funeral cross) for decades after that.

The next model to take its place was "Orlenok" - a medium-sized ekranoplan suitable for military transportation duties. This is the SM-8, a smaller version of KM.

 

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Soviet military innovations

KM - the Russian "Caspian Sea Monster" Ekranoplan



"KM" was the biggest ground-effect vehicle ever designed (100 meters long, weight: 544 tons, powered by ten Dobryin VD-7 turbojet engines). It still holds the record for lifting the heaviest load off the ground (which is even more than what the largest modern cargo plane Antonov An 225 "Mriya" can handle). For a long time, it was surrounded by an air of mystery, being developed and tested in secrecy on the Caspian Sea in 1966, and only later discovered by a US spy satellite.

Although only one "KM" prototype ship has been built, there were several variations differing in length and weight. All were intimidating in size and pretty weird-looking, designed to specifically use the "wing-in-ground effect" to skim the waves at highest possible speeds, undetected by radar. According to military sources, the Soviet government had plans to built one hundred of these monsters at the height of the Cold War, but then this number fell to twenty four projected machines.











After an accidental crash (due mostly to poor visibility in fog conditions), KM was abandoned in a shallow expanse of water, thwarting all the efforts to recover it (mostly due to its significant weight); and its high tail has been sticking out of the water (like a ghastly funeral cross) for decades after that.

The next model to take its place was "Orlenok" - a medium-sized ekranoplan suitable for military transportation duties. This is the SM-8, a smaller version of KM.

It is a real shame they abandoned it imagin this beast in IN service
 

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the white strips that you see on roads are actually maked the path for the army , safe from landmines in ww2.......
 

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Soviet Space Weapons

Cosmos 389



Space became a battleground between the US and USSR well before Reagan floated the Star Wars idea. In the early 1970s, Russia launched the Cosmos 389, the first of what would become known as "ferret" satellites. These small spacecraft lock on to radar and radio emissions that could identify US air defense sites and command centers, a boon to Soviet Intelligence.

Space Particle Beam



Rather than try to hit a tiny satellite zooming thousands of miles an hour miles overhead with a ground-based laser, why not just send up another satellite to shoot it out of the sky? The Soviets explored the idea of hunter-killer satellites armed with particle-beam, kinetic, and laser-based weaponry throughout the 1980s. None of the technologies were ever launched, though.
 

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Soviet military innovations

KM - the Russian "Caspian Sea Monster" Ekranoplan



"KM" was the biggest ground-effect vehicle ever designed (100 meters long, weight: 544 tons, powered by ten Dobryin VD-7 turbojet engines). It still holds the record for lifting the heaviest load off the ground (which is even more than what the largest modern cargo plane Antonov An 225 "Mriya" can handle). For a long time, it was surrounded by an air of mystery, being developed and tested in secrecy on the Caspian Sea in 1966, and only later discovered by a US spy satellite.

Although only one "KM" prototype ship has been built, there were several variations differing in length and weight. All were intimidating in size and pretty weird-looking, designed to specifically use the "wing-in-ground effect" to skim the waves at highest possible speeds, undetected by radar. According to military sources, the Soviet government had plans to built one hundred of these monsters at the height of the Cold War, but then this number fell to twenty four projected machines.











After an accidental crash (due mostly to poor visibility in fog conditions), KM was abandoned in a shallow expanse of water, thwarting all the efforts to recover it (mostly due to its significant weight); and its high tail has been sticking out of the water (like a ghastly funeral cross) for decades after that.

The next model to take its place was "Orlenok" - a medium-sized ekranoplan suitable for military transportation duties. This is the SM-8, a smaller version of KM.

There's a (Unfinished) James Bond game named 'Blood Stone 007' which has this seaplane in one level.



Here's the mission where the hero Bond (this one is based on Daniel Craig) destroys mighty water beast with AK-630 cannons mounted on some Hovercraft.


Edit: I just found out that the seaplane mentioned in the game above is not Caspian Sea Monster but similar looking Lun-Class Ekranoplan,which was in actual service of Soviet Navy back then,unlike CSM which was an experimental air/sea craft.



For more info,read the page on wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lun-class_ekranoplan
 
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Soviets had used dogs as suicide bombers to take out german tanks. In training they performed very well but in actual battle the plan backfired as the dogs were trained against diesel engine and german tanks had petrol engine.
They ended up destroying soviet tanks instead
presuming this is the american and european reading of events, how did soviets themselves read the same sequence of events?
 

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