WW2 Weapons and Technology

Who Invented

WW2 Weapons and Technology:  WW2 (1914 - 1918) witnessed the emergence of new technology and inventions and the development of awesome new weapons including the Atomic Bomb under the WW2 Manhattan Project headed by J. Robert Oppenheimer. Other WW2 weapons included RADAR, SONAR, the aircraft carrier, the Higgins boat (a primary troop landing craft) and the drop tank (auxiliary fuel tanks for aircraft)

WW2 Weapons and Technology: Additional WW2 weapons and technology included the Hedgehog (an anti-submarine weapon), glide bombs, Rocketry such as the V-1 flying bomb (the buzz bomb), the V-2 rocket were invented in Germany. The Bouncing Bomb, Ballistic missiles and self-guiding weapons were also introduced and new technology resulted in improved assault rifles.


List of WW2 Weapons and Technology


 Inventions and Inventors Index


WW2 Weapons and Technology: The weapons of WW2 dominate this dark  period in history but there were many other advances in technology.  The Enigma code machine and the first electronic digital computers were developed to break the secret codes used during WW2. John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly invented the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) to make military calculations. Other inventions and new technology in WW2 included the pressurized cabin, Radio navigation,  Jerrycans and duct tape. 

List of WW2 Weapons and Technology: WW2 Weapons and Technology List: Atomic Bomb *** Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) *** Enigma code machine *** Radio navigation *** RADAR *** SONAR *** Aircraft carriers *** Pressurized cabins *** Boeing B-29 Superfortress *** Higgins boat *** List of WW2 Weapons and Technology *** Drop Tanks *** The Hedgehog *** V-1 flying bomb (the buzz bomb) *** V-2 rocket *** Bouncing Bomb *** Cluster bombs *** Barrel bombs *** Blockbuster bombs *** Bunker busters *** Self-guiding weapons *** Assault rifles *** Nerve Agents *** Napalm *** Plastic explosives *** Jerrycans *** Duct tape *** Electronic digital computers *** List of WW2 Weapons and Technology ***

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Atomic Bomb: The Atomic Bomb was developed in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project under the leadership of J. Robert Oppenheimer and made by possible by splitting an atom. The Boeing B-29 Super-fortress called the 'Enola Gay' dropped the  "Little Boy" Atomic Bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan on August 6, 1945 killing over 60,000 people.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - ENIAC: The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)  was invented by John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly in order to make military calculations.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Turing Machine: The Enigma code machine was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I to protect secret German military and diplomatic communications. The British computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing invented the electromechanical Turing Machine that broke the secret code of the German series of Enigma machines during WW2.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Radio navigation: The development of new military technology and equipment revolutionized radio navigation and flight navigation systems, that worked when out of sight of the ground and the sky, decreased the need for professional navigators.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - RADAR: RADAR (Radio-based detection and ranging), an electronic system for locating objects by means of radio waves, was invented by British physicist Sir Robert Watson-Watt in 1935 . Leading up to WW2 a chain of radar stations were established on the South coast of England and proved vital to the RAF during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - SONAR: An apparatus for detection underwater vessels such as submarines, was invented by Canadian physicists Robert William Boyle in 1917 however SONAR (Sound navigation ranging), a similar underwater active sound detection system, was developed by American scientists during WW2 and widely used for anti-submarine warfare.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - RADAR and SONAR: The technology used in the development of both RADAR and SONAR was similar as both technologies were able to locate enemy ships or airplanes at a distance by sending out invisible waves that struck and bounce off a target and return to a wave detector. 

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Aircraft carriers: WW2 witnessed the first large scale use of Aircraft carriers for fleet defence and bomber escort duties and technology enabled the introduction of the armored flight deck on Aircraft carriers in WW2 protecting the hangar deck, and the aircraft stored there, from most bombs.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Pressurized cabins: The first airplane with a pressurized cabin was the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, built in 1938, just before the outbreak of WW2 for flying at high altitudes.  Before the invention of pressurized cabins pilots relied on oxygen masks but this was impractical with the development of large bomber aircraft in WW2 when aircraft crew had to move about the cabin. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the first bomber with cabin pressurization.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Boeing B-29 Superfortress: The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was developed as a strategic bomber by the United States during WW2 between 1943 and 1946 and featured state of the art technology including cabin pressurization and a step-less cockpit design, without a separate windscreen for the pilots. The development of the B-29 Superfortress was the most expensive weapons project undertaken by the US during WW2, exceeding the cost of the Manhattan Project by over 1 billion dollars.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Higgins boat (LCVP): The Higgins boat, or LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), was a primary troop landing craft that was developed and designed by Andrew Higgins at Higgins Industries during WW2 from 1941 to 1945. The Higgins boat, or LCVP, enabled troops to be landed over an open beach.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Drop Tanks: Auxiliary fuel tank for airplanes, nicknamed 'Drop Tanks', were introduced to enable aircraft to jettison fuel tanks when they were empty. Drop tanks allowed bomber fighters increased range and patrol time during WW2.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - The Hedgehog: The Hedgehog was the nickname given to an anti-submarine weapon that was developed by the Royal Navy and used during the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Self-guiding weapons: The latest technology was used to develop different self-guiding weapons in WW2. The Germans developed guidance systems in the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" and the V-2 stratospheric rocket. The glide bomb and the U.S. Navy’s first tactical precision guided weapon, the Interstate TDR-1 Assault Drone and the remote controlled B-17 were all used in the war zones of the Pacific.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - V-1 flying bomb (the buzz bomb): The German V-1 flying bomb (nicknamed the buzz bomb or the or doodlebug) was a small jet-propelled winged missile that carried a bomb. The V-1 buzz bomb was an early type of guided missile whose flight path was controlled either by radio signals or by internal homing devices.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - V-2 rocket: The V-2 rocket, the first single stage ballistic missile, was developed by the Germans in 1942 and this liquid-propellant rocket used until the end of WW2.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Bouncing Bomb: The Bouncing Bomb was invented by the British scientist Barnes Wallis in 1942 and was critical to the success of the famous Dambuster Raid by the Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron who became known as the Dambusters.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Cluster bombs: Cluster bombs were developed to release explosive fragments over a wide area.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Barrel bombs: Barrel bombs, also known as Drum bombs, were developed using an improvised container, such as an oil drum or gas cylinder, that was filled with explosive, incendiary devices and dropped from an aircraft and brought warfare over a large area.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Blockbuster bombs: Blockbuster bombs was the name given to describe a range of bombs during WW2 that, when used in conjunction with incendiary bombs, had enough explosive power to destroy an entire street or large building.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Bunker busters: New technology was used to develop Bunker busters which were types of bomb that were designed to penetrate targets buried deep underground, such as military bunkers.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Assault rifles: New Assault rifles were developed as the most widely used weapon used during WW2. Assault rifles were semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines, a folding stock, a pistol grip and a bayonet mount.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Nerve Agents: Nerve Agents, known as the G-Series, including  the Tabun nerve agent, were discovered by a German research team headed by Gerhard Schrader in 1936 and the lethal Sarin was discovered by Gerhard Schrader and his team in 1938. Tabun nerve agent was manufactured by the Nazis to produce shells and aerial bombs.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Napalm: Napalm was a lethal, burning gel that was invented in 1942 by American chemist Julius Fieser and its use resulted in the deaths of more Japanese in WW2 than the two atomic bomb blasts.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Plastic explosives: Plastic explosives, a soft, hand-moldable solid form of explosive, was first developed by Alfred Noble in the form of gelignite in 1875 but was further developed during WW2 for sabotage and explosive demolition operations.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Jerrycans: Jerrycans flat-sided cans with a capacity of up to 5 gallons, were originally designed by the Germans (hence the name) and used for storing or transporting liquids, especially motor fuel.

WW2 Weapons and Technology - Duct tape: Duct tape, a type of strong waterproof adhesive typically made of silver-colored, mesh coated cloth, was originally invented in 1942 to keep moisture out of the ammunition cases.

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