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9 Amazing Discoveries Developed in Nazi Germany

Along with all the gruesome things Nazis did to the entire world, there are still some scientific discoveries developed in Nazi Germany that are worth mentioning! 

Science is science; politics is politics. Indeed, this statement isn’t something that everybody agrees with, but scientific advancements have been made as a result of several studies and surveys that were done by scientists without the influence of politics or unethical activity. In the 20th century, during and after WWII, a lot of things were discovered, and one of the best was night vision technology.

While a lot of technologies developed throughout WWII were made to win the war, some of the products can still be found in a lot of people’s homes. And medicine for example is another great invention of the century that has helped generations maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If war gives us goosebumps and bad memories, let’s start by looking at the brighter side of things because there is no point in denying that science took a huge step forward over those years. These were the great scientific discoveries developed in Nazi Germany:

discoveries developed in Nazi Germany
Photo by Africa Studio from Shutterstock

Magnetic tape

One of the most important discoveries developed in Nazi Germany was magnetic tape, which was invented in 1928. Soon after, between 1930 and 1940, the Germans developed the technology and made the magnetophon recorder.

After World War II, the magnetophonon was introduced to the country, which ultimately contributed to the tape recorder’s widespread use. The unique ability to record and playback sound would have an impact on politics, art, and the economy in Europe and the US during and after World War II.

Radio and cinema, among other new industries, were made possible by sound recording and reproduction. In the modern world, cassettes are nearly extinct, but they have just begun to resurface as musicians discover that they are far more practical and cost-effective than vinyl or CDs for the publication of their albums.

The jerrycan

Another great invention from WWII is the jerrycan, an item that’s still used today. Made of compressed steel, it was developed in 1930 for the army, but because it proved useful, it began to spread widely. It can hold 20 liters of fuel, and it was very easy to transport.

The good thing is that the jerrycans were considered super useful, which is why by 1939, the German Wehrmacht had amassed hundreds of these cans in storage in anticipation of conflict.

Anti-ship missile

These weapons were another item developed during WWII and are one of the amazing discoveries developed in Nazi Germany, and because they proved useful, they are still used today. Of course, over the years, they have improved their efficiency, which is why a lot of other countries started building their own.

The first one was radio-guided, and the following replicas used a huge variety of guidance systems, some of them laser, GPS, imaging IR, and automatic target recognition. It has been three years since Russia developed a hypersonic anti-ship missile. Should we be worried?


Which is the best substitute for Coca-Cola? Fanta of course! One of the most popular drinks it was also one of the amazing discoveries developed in Nazi Germany. To maintain the business, the German division of the American Coca-Cola Company made a new beverage that will have enormous success. The German market was immediately dominated by Fanta, which sold three million cans there in 1943.

Now, can you guess what the two main ingredients were for Fanta? Fruit leftovers and whey By the end of the war, when Germany surrendered after Hitler’s death, Fanta had also been removed from production. 12 years later, the tasty beverage was reintroduced, and the success was even greater! Interesting to point out is that what we have now being sold worldwide is based on an Italian recipe created in 1955.

Nerve agents

We are grateful for science, no matter in which period things were developed. However, not everything that was invented by scientists was beneficial to humanity. One of the worst discoveries made in Nazi Germany was the deadly Nerve agents.

Now, it may surprise you to learn that Adolf Hitler turned down requests to use the lethal nerve agent on his military rivals when his Nazi government was mass-murdering millions of people in gas chambers.

But the substance survived, and throughout the years, other people utilized sarin to lethal effect. In 1993, sarin was worldwide forbidden to use, but in 2017, despite the warnings and how badly the chemical compound can affect people, Syrians used it against a rebel town.

V2 retaliation rocket

Germany’s national socialist party announced the V1 revenge weapon in 1943, indicating that a V2 was already under construction. So, via the genius of a young man named Wernher Von Braun, engineers built the space era from the ground up in the Nazi secret base at Panamunda.

Driven by his lifetime passion, he became a famous figure in the development of one of the most devastating discoveries in Nazi Germany. Now, there is no point in denying that the Nazis’ vision of war and weapons was way ahead of other nations at that time. And the scientists who helped build them were aware of their capabilities.

Compared to other weapons, the V2 fell without warning, and it had a speed of 3300 miles per hour. The main, let’s say, the advantage of the rocket is that it couldn’t be intercepted by fighter aircraft or brought down.

However, even if Von Braun was hired by the Nazis, he wasn’t keen on winning the war. He was more interested in developing science and taking it to a higher level.

If history is your passion and you’re seeking to know more about the things that developed in Nazi Germany, we at Science in the World have a suggestion for you! Hitler’s Anti-Tank Weapons, 1939–1945 (Images of War) is a great book written by Hans Seidler in which you can find rare and unpublished pictures from WWII. You can find it on Amazon for only $21.80 for the paperback edition and $12.59 for the Kindle one. 

discoveries developed in Nazi Germany
Photo by ZEMA Tatyana from Shutterstock


One of the best discoveries developed in Nazi Germany is definitely Jagermeister. Who can party without at least two shots of this tasty mint-licorice beverage? We say, Nobody!” It was created in 1934 by the two Maste brothers, Curt and Wilhelm, sons of the German vinegar manufacturer. One year later, Jagermeister was one of the most famous alcoholic beverages sold in Nazi Germany.

Crafted from 56 herbs and spices, fruits, saffron, citrus seeds, licorice, and ginseng, it was initially a strong digestif. It was made as an after-meal digestive aid, especially if you had too much food on the plate, but slowly became the necessary ingredient for a successful party!

Volkswagen Beetle

If you were a German citizen during WWII and you were looking for a car that was affordable and small, you could have opted for the Volkswagen Beetle. In 1938, this car model was called the “people’s car,” and it had tremendous success for many years. Its inventor was Ferdinand Porsche, a member of the Nazi Party.

Manufacturing ceased in the 1970s, and it wasn’t put back on the market until 1998. Volkswagen, however, decided to permanently discontinue the Beetle in 2019 because of diminishing sales.

Night vision technology

One of the most outstanding discoveries developed in Nazi Germany was night vision technology. And the first one was called “the Vampir.”The portable night vision device required the soldier to carry a supply of batteries that fueled an infrared searchlight.

The interesting fact is that infrared light cannot be seen by humans; therefore, enemy soldiers would not notice the beam, but the scope would convert the reflected IR into visible light. And the basic principle behind how night scopes work is to change the spectrum of light that is emitted into a frequency that is visible to the human eye. The searchlight flooded the area with intense IR, turning the device into an active night scope because the Vampir’s coverage was insensitive to ambient light.

If this article about discoveries developed in Nazi Germany made your head pop, you might also enjoy reading What Happens to Your Body After a Nuclear Bomb Hits?


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