With few exceptions, pretty much everyone agrees that the Nazis were very, very bad, what with the socio-political repression, the institutionalized racist policies, the wars of aggression against their neighbours, the mass imprisonment and murder of dissidents and undesirables, and forever ruining the reputationof eugenics and social darwinism as serious academic disciplines. So, how do you make Those Wacky Nazis even more intimidating? Why, by giving them powerarmor and alien allies, of course!
While no such thing would actually happen without serious alterations to the personalities of most of the German high commandnote their Air Ministry, the RLM, in particular had roughly the same attitude towards research projects that a magpie would have in a tinfoil factory, there is some historical precedent. Nazi Germany did achieve numerous technological firsts and progressed enough in rocketry to kill/injure almost 100,000 British people, and earned a number of German scientists (such as Wernher Von Braun) free passports to the US once the war was over (along with immunity from prosecution for various morally dubious wartime activities). Many late-war experimental weapons were touted as Wunderwaffen, wonder weapons that would enable the besieged Germans to turn the tide of battle so that they could defeat the Allies or at least negotiate for peace.
Despite this reputation for advanced technology, the reality was that most Nazi super-weapons were no more advanced than comparable Allied projects and in the vast majority of cases were impractical, and behind the research curve. For example, jetpack technology itself wasn't refined until as late as 1958 (and turned out to be inherently impractical without far, far more advanced technology than was available), by which time the Cold War was in full swing. To this day, no military force in the world has ever seriously considered adopting it as a means of transport and it remains mostly a technological curiosity. Many of the super-heavy tank designs Germany came up with in the later years of the war were simply too heavy to move at more than a snail's pace with engine technology of the time, even if the enormous resources required could be spared. Weapons like the FG-42 or STG-44 made use of concepts that were ahead of their time, but their actual performance was spotty due to unreliable manufacturing circumstances and numerous flaws in the actual details of the designs, negating any advantages they actually had.
Ironically, Germany's focus on "wonder weapons" late in the war stemmed from its precarious strategic position, which was so dire (and self-inflicted) that only the notion of some crazy, weird, yet actually successful miracle of a weapon was seen as a viable hope for Nazi Germany's survival. And since the actual resources, industry, manpower, and time needed to actually produce any such wonder weapons in significant numbers was insufficient long before the writing was clearly on the wall (and getting ever worse), the diversion of precious resources and industry to these projects just made defeat even more certain. In a further twist of irony, many scientists who were driven out of Europe by the Third Reich's discriminatory policies went to work on the Manhattan Project, which produced what is arguably the only true wonder weapon of the war.
Nonetheless, if you have to pick one WWII power to give antigravity and a moonbase, the choice is obvious; after all, it's boring if the good guys have all the toys. Not to mention that Einstein (though a pacifist and a Jew, so hardly on Hitler's Christmas card list) was German (and there are a lot of rumours that the reason why America wanted nuclear power fast is because they thought Nazi Germany would develop it first), and Tesla, although actually Serbo-Croatian (a Slav, so a member of another of Hitler's exterminate-on-sight groups), is frequently confused with this due to the country being part of the Austrian Empire when he was born. Needless to say, the theme is played upon endlessly in pulp callbacks, B-movies, and modern occult works.
Contrast Nazis with Gnarly Weapons, which is about the weapons they had in Real Life. See also Ghostapo, where Nazis uses super-demonry rather than (or combined with) super-science; and Soviet Superscience, when it's the Dirty Commies showing up with giant robots and spaceships. Compare Historical Villain Upgrade. Subtrope of Weird Historical War.
Pleasedo not confuse withStupid Sexy Flanders. (Oops.)
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Anime & Manga
Spriggan, a shortlived manga here in North America/Europe, was FULL of the Fourth Reich trying to use ancient superweapons.
Seikon No Qwaser: According to this series, Hitler's wife Eva Anna Paula Braun has the ability to control Mercury at will, AND has remained alive and young for decades by creating clones of herself and then absorbing them. Seems legit.
In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stroheim is a severely maimed Nazi soldier who gets several cybernetic enhancements throughout Part 2, including a minigun with armor-piercing bullets in his chest and a laser eye. He is one of the good guys by the way. The Jojo of this generation receives a robotic hand from the Nazis as a parting gift after he loses his in battle.
Hellsing: while Millenium were primarily about using occult means to accomplish their goals during the war era (most notably the creation of a battalion of vampires) they also use advanced technology such as powerful, missile-shooting zeppelins, and microchip implants which can be used to remotely monitor (and incinerate) their soldiers.
Mazinger Z: Big Bad Dr. Hell started out as a weapons researcher for the Nazis (though he kept his best scientific breakthroughs and weaponry designs for himself. He claims -predictably- if he would handed them over to the Nazis, Germany would have won the war).
In the manga version of Space Adventure Cobra, it is eventually revealed that Salamander, the leader of the Pirate Guild, is actually Hitler.
In The Legend of Koizumi, it turns out that all the Nazis- including Menegle and Hitler- survived WWII up to the present day, and are now living on a moon base. They travel from Earth to the Moon in classic UFOs, and have a gigantic Meteor Cannon that can hit any point on Earth with the strength of a nuke. The only way to stop them? Mah-Jong.
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade has this in the form of the Protect-Gear of the titular brigade, which is capable of shrugging off bullets and close-up bomb blasts.
Trope Namer: As noted in the page quote, this title comes from an issue of The All-New Atom when the eponymous character complains about a sub-microscopic energy life-form masquerading as Hitler with a jetpack.
Blackhawk in The DCU fought a lot of bizarre Nazi superscience (with bizarre Allied superscience). The most famous was the War-Wheel, a large spiked wheel with a centre like a tank from the First World War.
Top 10's Neopolis is an entire city designed by expat Nazi Mad Scientists, complete with flying castles, huge megastructures, and teleporters. In The Forty-Niners, some of them try using a time machine to alter the course of the war.
Hellboy: The eponymous character is the result of an occult version of this and he spends most of the comic smashing and/or shooting the results of other Nazi super weapon projects.
A crossover with The Savage Dragon revealed that the brain of Brainiape, an evil gorilla with mental powers, was actually Hitler.
Though that Nazi business got done to death and now he's the rightful king of England (as well as Hell) and stuff, and has been fighting mostly eldritch horrors, cosmic beings, legends, witches, zombie armies, and destiny for a while.
One storyline in the monthly Justice Society of America comic is all about a future Nazi Fourth Reich, complete with giant heavily armed war mechs, a means to neutralize all superheroes, and their own supervillains including Captain Nazi.
I should also point out that Spider-Man once beat this guy by simply dousing his costume in Raid. Then, years later, when Ben Reilly (Spider-Man's clone, who had temporarily taken over the job) encountered Swarm, the villain remembered the encounter with the original Spider-Man, and the bees were too scared to go near him. Seriously, this guy was a joke.
In the early Wolverine comics, you had Geist, a Nazi cyborg.
The Commando comic series was chock full of this. There was little common continuity between the stories in each issue, apart from taking place in wartime. In some of them the Nazis among other things had a nuclear bomb, a moonbase, a time machine, and naturally every time the Allied forces managed to overcome them with absolutely no secret weapons of their own.
I recall a 2000 AD Future Shock story in which it turned out that everyone in the Hitler Bunker was a time traveller there doing historical research on the last days of the Nazis...
And another where they built a time machine as the Allies were just outside Berlin. Hitler and Eva Braun escape using the time machine, but it's not been properly calibrated, so they wind up in Prehistoric times as the first man and woman.
Monster Plus runs afoul of Hitlerfist, the monster with Hitlers for hands, in his inaugural issue. Nothing can stand up to the Fists of Fuhrer. Hitlerfist is probably the Sensational Character Find of 2009.
The Kieron Gillen-penned Uber, published by Avatar Press, is a deliberate deconstruction of the idea that World War II would have been awesome if the Nazis had had superweapons. In the story, the Nazis develop Super Soldiers shortly before the end of the war, and it leads to the war becoming longer and even more horrible than it was in real life.
On Earth-10 of the post-52 DC multiverse, baby Kal-L's rocket lands in 1938 Czechoslovakia, where the Nazis find it. Retro-engineered Kryptonian technology enables them to conquer the world, and a grown-up Kal-L, now Overman, helps them deal the finishing blow. Then Overman realises just what he's been complicit in, and he tries to atone by building a utopia.
Films — Animated
Animated Polish feature Hardkor '44 (currently in production) pits the insurgents during the Warsaw Uprising against a whole friggin' army of Nazi cyborgs. Click the middle icon on the film's webpage to download zipped concept art.
Films — Live-Action
Captain America: The First Avenger has HYDRA with all sorts of technology way ahead of their time. Although with the exception of the laser guns, all their cool equipment, including the rocket helicopter and cool plane at the end, were actually real life Wunderwaffen designs that were made usable and practical by the power of the cosmic cube.
Played with in that pretty much the moment HYDRA (up until then the Nazis' Weird Science division) figures out how to exploit the Cosmic Cube, they go rogue, so Hitler never gets the nice toys.
The Nazi propaganda cartoon shown inThe Rocketeer film has an entire army of jetpack Nazis. The movie itself is a subversion. It was explained despite the Nazis' numerous efforts to create a working jetpack, they were unable to, and the plot of the movie revolves around attempting to steal one from the Americans.
Sci-fi's Reign of the Gargoyles: After their bomber goes down, Allied forces must confront huge, stone gargoyles brought to life and controlled by, you guessed it, the Nazis.
An arguably even better Sci-fi Channel (pre-"Syfy") example: S.S. Doomtrooper, in which Allied forces must confront a huge, radioactive mutant Super Soldier brought to life and controlled (in a hit-or-miss way) by Nazi science.
Made fun of in The Great Dictator, where a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Herman Goering is very enthusiastic about various inventions that all fail hilariously in ways that kills their inventors. Fuhrer Adenoid Hynkel is less enthusiastic and finally tells "Herring" to just stop, please.
The Nazi flying wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark never existed in real life. The Nazis did finally come up with a working flying wing towards the end of the war (eight years after the film takes place), but it had a different design than the one seen in Raiders so apparently it's an outright fictional aircraft instead of just an anachronism.
In Frankenstein's Army, some Russian soldiers stumble upon a gruesome laboratory where Victor Frankenstein's insane descendant has been using surgery, electric reanimation, and Diesel Punk cyborg implants to convert dead bodies into zombie-like Nazi war machines.
Robert A. Heinlein brought this trope into its modern form by creating Nazis with atomic spaceships on the Moon in Rocket Ship Galileo, written only a couple of years after WWII ended. For the readers of the time, the Nazis were probably the least fantastic part. Men on the Moon indeed!
Himmler's War: after Hitler is killed in a bombing run the new Nazi leadership begins to fight a skilled war. A superweapon will be used in conjunction with diplomatic deals, withdrawal from useless territory, and attacks that undermine the Allied morale.
Lightning, by Dean Koontz has the Nazis in possession of a working Time Machine, which they intend to use to win WWII by finding out from our time just what went wrong for them when and changing it. Too bad their chrononaut fell in love with a 1980s novelist.....
In the Axis of TimeAlternate History trilogy, thanks to Japan sending captured data, such as body armor and jet engines, to Nazi Germany, the Reich is now much more confident in winning the war. However, the Allies and the Soviets also have access to the technology brought from the future and the initial trilogy ends with Germany and Japan being nuked out of existence, with the Soviet Union in an even stronger position than it was at the end of the War in the real timeline.
Monster Hunter International had the Nazis making an alliance with the Old Ones to control time. Unfortunately for them, the time wouldn't be right for it to work for another 68 years.
Zach Parsons' book My Tank is Fight! uses and subverts this: it gives detailed statistics on various rejected inventions of WWII (mostly German ones), and then imagines what they would have been like in the field. Most of them fail spectacularly. With the exception of the nuclear bombing of New York, though it doesn't avert the defeat of Germany.
This is the plot of James Hogan's The Proteus Operation. In the untampered history, Hitler fell into obscurity after the Beer-Hall Putsch, ushering in a world of equality, prosperity, and peace, but corrupt future plutocrats attempted to establish an empire for themselves by engineering a Nazi victory, then traveling in time to rule the Nazi-conquered Earth. Due to their tampering, the Nazis won WWII in 1942 using nuclear bombs. The book involves time-travelers seeking to undo this. They only manage to partially succeed, resulting in what is heavily implied to be our actual history.
David Langford and John Grant's disaster novel parody Earthdoom features Adolf Hitler time-travelling to modern-day Britain, and subsequently cloning himself using a farmer's livestock cloning machine. (The multiple Hitlers then end up on board one of the alien spaceships orbiting Earth at the time, where the aliens deal with them by broadcasting the looped message 'Can you trust the person next to you? He looks a bit semitic to me...')
Danger Boy: Dragon Sword subverts this- a Nazi rocket scientist loudly declares "I am not INTERESTED in traveling through time or making contact with space aliens!"
Australian sci-fi author Sean McMullen inverts this trope in his short story The Devils of Langenhagen. In the last days of the Third Reich an Me262 interceptor squadron is visited by some strange and elegant guests — a couple of high-ranking pilots (and their wives) flying very advanced aircraft (a Horten 229 and a Japanese Shinden canard fighter). It turns out that they're time-travellers on an adventure tour.
An illustrated story based on Isaac Asimov's robot concepts involved the Nazis building a terrifying robot nicknamed the Iron Major. Since the robot was possessed by a mad scientist (and it ate human brains), they only succeeded in making one of it.
The novel 1945 tells of an alternate 1945 where the Nazis, unencumbered by American involvement in the European War, now patrol the skies of Fortress Europa with a fleet of stealth jet-bombers and rocket planes.
Charles Platt's Free Zone includes a visit to an alternate timeline where the Nazis won, took over Earth, Terraformed Mars and populated it with identical Aryan clones.
J.R. Dunn's short story "Crux Gammata", while mostly focused on the activities of an American rock band in The Seventies putting on a concert in a Nazis-won Alt!Europe, includes mention of Nazi moonbases and lunar aluminum factories.
The Faction Paradox novel "Warlords of Utopia" by Lance Parkin has multiple universes worth of allied Nazis working under a Cabal of Hitlers (including, oddly, the only one Hitler child August) who end up in a war against multiple universes of allied Romans (and other semi-mythic empires such as an Amazonian empire). They were all given their parallel universe jumping technology, but the Nazis had supersonic fighters by the end of the wars.
John Barnes' Patton's Spaceship had would-be conquerors from another timeline give the Nazis of 1932 copies of Nazi technology and plans from 1944-45. So the Nazis in that world startedWorld War II with the Me-262, as well as a Focke-Wulf fighter that totally outclassed the Spitfire, big heavy bombers, submarines that could communicate and coordinate with each other while submerged — and television-guided V-1s. They also did much better planning for their invasions of France, Scandinavia, and Russia, and they were probably behind the assassination of FDR in 1937.
The Atrocity Archive crosses this with Ghostapo since "magic" is really just applied higher mathematics and physics. Part of the reason for the Holocaust was to open a gateway to an alternate universe and bring an Eldritch Abomination (an infovore) through to destroy their enemies. Part of the action of the story takes place in an Alternate Timeline where the Nazis succeeded, then were destroyed by their own creation. After World War II the major powers signed an occult arms-control treaty since none of the parties involved ever wanted to see mass murder used as a strategic weapon again.
Deconstructed in The Big One, which takes place in 1947 when Allied technology, esepcially in aircraft, has moved decisively ahead of that available to the Germans. This is actually a factual representation of the real development trends, which show that by 1945, Allied jet engines (for example) were already more powerful and more reliable than their German equivalents. And, of course, the Allies have atomic bombs. Lots of them.
Inverted in an episode of Doctor Who, "Victory of the Daleks", when Winston Churchill gets to use advanced alien weaponry (which turn out to be Daleks) against the Nazis.
In a much earlier story, "Silver Nemesis", a Nazi in exile dreaming of establishing the Fourth Reich attempts to get his hands on an ancient Time Lord weapon.
In The Man From UNCLE episode "The Deadly Games Affair", Napoleon is chasing after a high ranking Nazi scientist who was known to have been working on a very secret project near the end of the war. However, when he catches up with the scientist, Napoleon finds a diabolical lab below the scientist's garage, complete with a cryogenically frozen Hitler, who will be awakened using the spy's rare blood type.
In The New Avengers episode "The Eagle's Nest", the Avengers prevent an attempt by an enclave of Nazis concealed in a British monastery to revive Hitler's preserved body.
The Tomorrow People storyline "Hitler's Last Secret" is chock full of evil Nazi super-sciencey goodness.
In the season three finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, the victorious Enterprise returns home to find that they are in the mid-twentieth century, where aliens have crashed landed and allied with the Nazis. However this turns out to be a subversion as the aliens have only been there for 2 years and were not going to give Hitler any weapons or technology until their time machine was finished. They did have control of the U.S East Coast and a good section of Russia but that was because some different aliens had traveled back in time and killed Lenin resulting in the Soviet Union never forming. The Nazis were already losing land to the Americans and Russians and were hoping the Alien technology would turn the tide back in their favor.
The Enterprise did fight Stukas with plasma cannons, which would have done very well against contemporary aircraft. However, they weren't much more than an annoyance to the Enterprise.
A lot of the evil organizations in the early shows are said to base their cyborg surgery on Nazi techniques. Three of the four original Big Bads, Colonel Zol, General Black, and Dr. Shinigami, were all ex-Nazis. Dr. Shinigami perfected the cyborg technology that nearly all following evil organizations would use by experimenting on Jews in concentration camps.
The Movie for Kamen Rider Decade took this a step closer with the spiritual successor of the above big bads, and upgrading the original mooks into Stupid Jet Boot Mooks.
According the producers, Ishinomori's original idea of Kamen Rider is that the original Kamen Rider was supposed to be a jetpack cyborg supersoldier of Shocker. Kamen Rider Fourze brings the original concept back to life.
In the first episode of Battlestar Galactica 1980, after the Galactica arrived at Earth in 1980 one character wanted to use time travel to go back a few decades so that Earth could get a technological head start on building up defenses for the inevitable day when the Cylons arrived. After Adama et al rejected his idea out of hand he stole a timeship and tried to do it anyway... by giving advanced technological help to the Nazis in 1944. (Good idea, really poor implementation.) Our heroes foiled him, and then the series forgot about time-travel entirely.
The Timecop series has a similar episode with a hipster from the future bringing a laptop back to 1944 with all kinds of technological improvements in it. His first idea is to improve the V2 rocket to destroy Britain. Naturally, the hero stops him (after visiting the Bad Future where the Nazis won), and Hitler has the guy shot.
In Angel certain flashbacks tell that Hitler was planning on creating an army of mind-controlled vampires. This plan failed twice over, since first the submarine transporting the specimens was captured by the Allies, and then the restraints failed, releasing Spike and his Eastern European friends to wreak havoc over the new crew.
In Danger 5, the eponymous team is tasked with killing a Hitler who has endless bizarre Mooks from clone dinosaurs to Japanese mechanoid supersoldiers. At one point, Hitler himself duel-wields golden superweapons. It's a rather unusual action comedy series.
Occurs in Misfits where an elderly Jewish man with the abilty to time travel goes back to the Nazi Germany and kill Hitler. He botches it and leaves his mobile phone behind. The information gathered from the phone is enough to jump the Nazi technology up a few degrees.
In the Fringe episode "The Bishop Revival" a Nazi officer appears in 2010 to get revenge on the Bishop family for Robert Bischoff's - Walter's father - defection from Germany during the Second World War. He has both a frightening genetically-coded weapon and an impossibly youthful appearance.
Gackt's concerts and Ghost music video features a storyline about soldiers and war prisoners turned into Terminator-esque cyborgs by Nazis to be used as mindless weapons of war.
An elaborated version of the conspiracy explained away the computer thing by positing Stupid Jetpack Kaiser Wilhelm: the Nazis could invent CGI because the Great War German High Command had already created AIsnote That came from the AI of Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri loving to throw droves of artillery at you in droves, but never actually attacking anything.
Genius The Transgression has the Thulians, Nazi mad scientists who live in the Hollow Earth. Yes, you read that correctly. And so many time travellers have tried to prevent World War Two that the Guardians of Forever have a Hitler Clone Farm, so that whenever he's assassinated they can replace him before any serious damage is done to the spacetime continuum.
In Hollow Earth Expedition you can have the Thule society pursuing you to the Lost World within the Earth, via Panzerkampfkruppen—basically Nazi AT-STs. Hopefully, you stole a jetpack or two from them on the way down.
One series of Doom mods based on Wolf3D is titled "Astrostein" - as the title indicates, it's Wolfenstein in the far future thanks to a portal the Nazis discovered. The third and final part ends with you infiltrating a bunker under the Bavarian Alps, where you finally find (and kill) Hitler, who at this point is nothing but a head attached to some sort of box that's kept him alive for centuries.
Wolfenstein: The New Order also has this. In 1946 alone the Nazis come up with jet fighters and some kind of massive walker known as a "Baltic Eye". It only gets worse as the timeline goes on, and includes robot dogs with More Teeth than the Osmond Family (tested against the Russians on the Eastern Front) a Humongous Mecha called the London Monitor (used to put down resistance in London when the Nazis invaded Britain) and smaller but no less dangerous Mini-Mecha that seem to serve as heavy infantry. It's revealed later on that the technology comes from reverse-engineering a cache of technology created by a sect of Hebrew scientists who have created all sorts of hyper-advanced technology.
Dino D-Day is kind of an odd example. Rather than create supertechnology for combat, the created super-advanced cloning technology and resurrected Dinosaurs... then put giant guns on them.
Just Cause 2: in one mission, you fly to an isolated island only to have your plane blown up by a gigantic, hi-tech EMP tower built by the Japanese during World War II. A good portion of the mission is destroying the tower so you can call in a helicopter for evac.
City of Heroes has the 5th Column group: Nazi supersoldiers, robots, (artificial) vampires, and (artificial) werewolves. For a short period of time these were retooled into the Council who were less German Nazi and more Space Nazi with more diverse European roots. Then the 5th Column came back so now there are two groups that are practically identical.
A good point of differentiation between the two is that the 5th Column plans seem to have much more to do with time travel than the Council's aliens. So it's a difference between Space Nazis and Time Nazis at this point.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin had, among the many things that could possibly have made it unreleasable overseas, Nazi robots. (And Hitler. He and his robots were hiding in Antarctica. Except it's not really him. It's complicated... or is it?) No worries, the PSP rerelease gave him a pair of Cool Shades and a trenchcoat and now he goes by the name "The Fuhrer."
PC game Silent Storm starts off pretty innocuous, with an Allied special squad fighting against the evil Nazis and using a lot of historically accurate weaponry. Then they get powered armor suits. And energy weapons based on Imported Alien Phlebotinum. (You can play as the Axis as well, in which case it's the Allies who you first see with the Panzerkleins.)
The Secret Weapons of World War II expansion for Battlefield 1942 added in various "planned", but not implemented, World War II vehicles and gadgets including, you guessed it, jetpacks.
The LucasArts flight simulator Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe revolved around implementing German jet fighter planes during WW2, which were really in production at the time but did not see much action. An expansion added the U.S. equivalent, P-80 Shooting Star.
Rescue Raiders had time-travelling neo-Nazis trying to aid Hitler's war effort with modern technology.
Who could forget the bonus levels of Medal of Honor: Underground where you fight Nazis in knight armour (resplendent with their swastika shields), Nazi zombies (or aliens; this was the PS1 so it's hard to tell, although the level title "Rotten to the Corps" in which they reside could point to them being the reanimated dead), and, of course, Nazi Robot Super Soldiers! You even assemble your own Robot Buddy called Panzerknacker to help you take out the bad guys.
The bonus mode of Call of Duty: World At War, Nazi Zombies, in addition to the eponymous undead, includes quite a bit of this in downloadable maps, one of which is set in a factory with swastika-emblazoned teleporters, and features a Ray Gun (by name) and "Wunderwaffen" as weapons.
Nazi Zombies returns in Call of Duty: Black Ops. In addition to the Ray Gun and the teleporters,there is also the Thundergun, which fires a huge shock wave, and the Winter's Howl, a typical Freeze Ray.
Rocket Ranger had an unnamed hero, with a jetpack, facing off against Nazis armed with anti-gravity mind-controlling Green Rocks and a base on the Moon. Eventually, it is revealed that the Nazis are getting help from an alien "Intergalactic League of Fascists".
The early PS2 release Ring Of Red was an alternate history where (among other things) Humongous Mecha were developed at the tail end of World War II. The game's intro is a well-done series of AFWs spliced into actual WWII footage.
This is the entire marketing campaign for War Front Turning Point. The three factions, Allies, Nazis and Soviets, each have their different superweapons. The Allies get the short end of the stick with a massive shield generator, the Soviets, in a nod to Red Alert, have freeze rays and atomic freeze bombs, and the Nazis get the best deal with three radically different superweapons: jetpacks, monstrous jet-powered zeppelins, and robotic exoskeletons.
Bionic Commando's final boss is "Master D", who looks exactly the same as Hitler and isn't fooling anyone. After waking up from a long nap, he proceeds to kill the leader of the entire bad guy army, call you a "damn fool", launch a doomsday weapon and get his head exploded by a missile.
Certain enemies, not to mention some bosses (such as the Gotha/HO-IX) in 1941: Counter Attack fit this trope.
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb: In Prague you face an experimental super-soldier in a typical mad scientist's laboratory. And then later there is Von Beck's notorious drill-tank.
Super Mario World Dark Horizon (a Super Mario Bros. fan game) has this... with Hitler gaining super saiyan powers via some sort of high tech science/meteor thing. Then again, given it's a Mario fan game, it also gives the Nazis the power of dimensional travel and the ability to use video game power ups, which is arguably this as well. And modern vehicles/weapons. The game also has Stupid Jetpack Osama Bin Laden too, with the latter using mechs and chemical weapons in a boss fight.
Irregular Webcomic! repeatedly features Nazi super-tech. Among other things, Hitler is a Brain in a Jar. "Nazi science sneers at X" has become something of a running gag in the strip.
In Jesus Christ In The Name Of The Gun, Nazis capture Jesus and plan on using his blood to revive Hitler, who was shot in the head by a time traveling Ernest Hemingway. A chapter later we find out that Hitler was Not Quite Dead, a werewolf and probably a servant of the Devil, too and Nazis had created some kind of ogre-like beings on which they were going to use the blood to bring them to life.
Strange Aeons is a Diesel Punk comic where the Nazis use retro-futuristic technology, including an armored warship-zeppelin and some kind of Tesla gun.
One of the secondary authors of the Chakona Space got into this with "Wolves in the Snow", where it turned out that morphs were first developed nearly a hundred years earlier than previously thought.
An episode of Justice League has the Big Bad, Vandal Savage, send a laptop through time to himself in the 40's which contains mechanical schematics and Allied war plans, including the Normandy Invasion. The Nazis actually turn the tide of the war (with the War Wheels from the Blackhawk example) and very nearly destroy New York City with an atom bomb. Needless to say, the heroes stop him Just in Time. Oh, and Hitler has been frozen but is thawed out at the end to carry on to his appointed destiny.
An episode of Captain Planet played with this. It also revealed that Hitler's stare can kill Captain Planet. Because hate is a type of pollution. Seriously.
Although not as extreme as most fictional examples, the Real LifeNazi Germany did hold a noticeable technological edge in the fields of aeronautics and rocketry. They also produced several innovations in armoured vehicle and submarine design that were widely adopted both during and after the war. Many of the more successful developments, such as the submarine schnorkel, direct-injection aircraft engines, and torsion bar suspension, were invented before the war; their utility only became fully realized after being put into widespread military use. Many of the more advanced designs produced by the Nazis ended up being entirely overly complex and marred by technical difficulties, with the result that they often came too late or in numbers too small to make a difference.
The infamous V-1 (Fi-103) flying bomb and the V-2 (A-4) ballistic missile, the latter of which was designed by Wernher von Braun (who later headed the design of the Saturn V moon rocket). The V stood for Vergeltungswaffe = "Vengeance weapon". The V-2 (aka A-4) was a ballistic missile, captured examples of which were used after the war by both America and the Soviet Union. Both countries actually built some A-4s and redesigned the missile so it would be easier to build and more capable. Due to their relatively primitive design however, many missed their target; this was further exacerbated by the efforts of British intelligence, which leaked false info about successful hits, leading German rocketeers to erroneously re-calibrate their rockets. By the time of the program's cancellation, the V projects — which were constructed with slave labour — resulted in a total death toll that was largely overshadowed by the numbers of personnel who were killed during production and development.
Another V-weapon, the V-3 multi-charge cannon, proved to be even less successful. The concept behind the weapon involved using multiple propellant charges igniting at precisely timed intervals to accelerate a projectile out of a very long barrel, resulting in ever-increasing velocity and thus longer ranges than would be otherwise possible. Intended to bombard London, the concept proved completely unworkable: every test gun ended up bursting. Eventually, a downsized and much-simplified version of the gun was built and used to shell Luxembourg. Before the site was overrun, it fired a total of 183 rounds, which ended up killing approximately ten civilians.
The Germans were the first to employ guided missiles and bombs not only as strategic weapons, but also for tactical purposes as well. Following the Italian armistice, the battleships Italia and Roma proceeded to Malta with the intent of being turned over to the Allies; they were attacked en-route by German bombers equipped with Fritz-X radio-controlled glide bombs, which sunk the Roma and heavily damaged the Italia. In addition to air-to-ground weapons, the Germans also made the Wasserfall, which was the world's first guided ground-to-air missile. However, it was so heavily flawed that it never even became operational.
The Messerschmitt Me 262, which was barely edged out of being the first operational jet fighter of the war by the Gloster Meteor. Thanks to its highly aerodynamic design and jet engine propulsion, it was one of the fastest fighters of its time, and also one of the most heavily armed as well. However, problems during development combined with Germany's declining strategic situation meant that its introduction was delayed until well after D-Day. Those that were produced were often grounded due to lack of fuel or spare parts. It also came at a time when the Allies had established air superiority over much of Europe, when its lack of manoeuvrability was a liability against Allied fighters.
Even worse were its engines. The Jumo 004 was notoriously unreliable, and the engine overhaul period was as little as ten flight hours. It was made from wartime materials, and was prone to flame-outs and foreign object damage. The engine was the biggest liability of Me 262.
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was the world's first rocket-powered combat aircraft (and to date, the only to ever come into service). Designed as a semi-disposable interceptor, it was blindingly fast, which made it virtually impossible for bomber turret gunners and aircraft escorts to realistically bring it down. However, the sheer speed of the Komet made it virtually uncontrolable, and also left a very limited window of opportunity for its pilots to actually attack their targets. This was not helped by the fact that the plane had limited flight endurance: it could remain airborne for no more than 8 minutes, after which it effectively became a glider. The bi-fuel propellant used for the rocket engine was not only highly volatile (spontaneously igniting when mixed), but also very corrosive: it could literally melt flesh off of the bone, and it did not help that fuel tanks were located around the cockpit. Understandably, the Komet more often ended up killing its own pilots than those of the enemy.
The Tiger I is one of the most famous tanks of the war, but its much-vaunted reputation belies the fact that it was nearly obsolete by the time it was introduced. Though well-armoured, powerfully armed, and (contrary to popular belief) quite fast for a vehicle of its size, it was based on the same principles used for much older and smaller tanks like the Panzerkampfwagen III and IV. The Tiger I made up for their perceived shortcomings by massively scaling up armament and armour without incorporating innovations that would have reduced the overall weight and complexity of the final design. The end result was that the tank was highly expensive to produce and weighed nearly 60 tons, imposing severe strains on manufacturing and logistics. It can be safely said that the worst enemy of the Tiger was its fuel gauge - more Tigers were lost due to running out of fuel than anything else. It was a brilliant fighting machine but a logistical nightmare, and its use was restricted only to divisional level Abteilungen. Nevertheless, the top Tiger aces would score kill tallies measured in hundreds - and survive the war. It is just that producing and maintaining those monsters was too much for even Germany.
The equally-famous Panther tank retained the same level of superiority over Allied tanks while being much less costly to manufacture, making it a more effective design overall. Nevertheless, it was marred by technical flaws that were never entirely overcome. It was equally as complex as the Tiger I and even less reliable. While the Panther had the third highest production numbers of any German armoured fighting vehicle during the war, it was still far out-stripped by the numbers of Allied tanks produced.
Overall, the Tiger I and Panther were powerful, yet highly flawed designs. They came into service at a time when the Wehrmacht had suffered serious setbacks and could not afford to operate such demanding vehicles. It did not help that they were soon followed by even more massive and complicated war machines such as the Tiger II and Jagdtiger, notwithstanding the even more outrageous Maus (a super-tank the size of a small house), which made prototype stage. The even more massive Ratte (which would have weighed as much as a small warship) and Monster (essentially a railway gun on treads) never made it off the paper.
The Type-XXI U-Boat, aka. the Elektroboot, was the first submarine designed for prolonged underwater operations. Previously, most submarines were only capable of going underwater for a few hours and could travel no faster than a few knots. The Elektroboot however, travelled faster underwater than it did on the surface, and could travel underwater for up to three days before needing to recharge its batteries, which also took considerably less time than with the older Type VIIC. It was also much harder to detect as well, emitting less noise than its predecessor. However, it came too late: although 118 hulls were completed by the end of the war, only 4 vessels became operational. The Allies would later incorporate many of the Type XXI's improvements into existing vessels, and used the design as the basis for many post-war classes of submarines.
The Type-XVII U-Boat, aka. the Walther-Boot, which was an attempt of an air independent submarine. Basically it was an underwater Me 163 Komet - the fuel, the power plant and function principle (Walther turbine) was the same. In the end it failed because of the same reasons as Komet: the fuel mixture was simply too volatile to use. The slightest error in handling could result in catastrophe, and it burned too quickly, resulting in very short range.
The German surface ships had a state of art fire control system with radar guidance. Unfortunately, it was overtly complex contraption with over 40,000 km of copper wire and valve electronics, and prone to shrapnel and vibration damage. Moreover, the fire control officer's firing key was a mouthpiece where he blew and launched the firing impulse, instead of a pistol grip trigger firing key like the RN or the USN handle firing key. Pneumatics are notoriously unreliable at sea, and the RN experience was that the first five or so salvoes of the Kriegsmarine gunnery were accurate, but after that the German gunnery became wildly inaccurate the longer the firefight continued. That explains well why the "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee was unable to sink any of her three notably inferior opponents in the Battle of River Plate, and why the first hits by KGV and Rodney literally paralyzed Bismarck on her last battle.
The MG 213. In WW2 aircraft guns had three characteristics, shell weight (destructive power), rate of fire (the chance of getting a hit) and muzzle velocity (ease of aiming). Conventional wisdom when designing a gun was "pick any two". The Americans with the .50 went for rate of fire and muzzle velocity but sacrificed shell weight, the Germans either went for shell weight and muzzle velocity and sacrificed rate of fire or went for shell weight and rate of fire and sacrificed muzzle velocity, being especially deadly against bombers. The British with their 20mm went for an average that settled for the best they could get in all three thus producing probably the best aircraft gun in WW2. By 1944, the Germans were sick of their pilots complaining about their guns so they wanted a design that gave the best possible result in all three categories. The result was the MG 213 revolver cannon. In a normal cannon, there is one chamber into which the shell is inserted, fired, and withdrawn. That takes time. The Germans built a gun with three chamber that rotated past the barrel, like a Gatling gun. At any one time, one chamber is being loaded, one fired and the third cleared. Result, rate of fire tripled with no sacrifice of shell weight or velocity. This was a genuine breakthrough and the design is still used in aircraft guns today (like the British ADEN, the French DEFA and the US Mark 12). The downside is that it was a heavy, complex gun and it burned a lot of ammunition very fast. That made it unsuitable for smaller aircraft and it was the 1950s before it was a really practical weapon. But, all in all, the MG 213 was probably the closest the Germans actually came to a real wunderwaffe.
More infamously, the Germans developed highly potent chemical weapons like Zyklon B (which was originally a commercial pesticide), as well as the nerve gases Sarin and Tabun, which they manufactured in huge quantities. It has been often speculated that the German V-weapons would have been devastating if loaded with chemical payloads, but this purpose was never even considered at the time. This may be partially explained by the taboo that came from their use in World War I: Hitler himself was a victim of gas attacks while serving in the Imperial German military and absolutely refused to use them against the soldiers of other countries. Instead, the Nazis only used them for the systematic murder of Jews and other minorities in the death camps.
The Allies had advanced weapons and projects of their own. They simply took the political decision that what they had was good enough and that changing over to the new design would disrupt logistics and make the war last longer than needed.
The M.52 supersonic aircraft under construction in 1943. Started as a result of a mph vs km/htranslation error. R&D was cut back when this was made clear, and later cancelled when it became obvious the Nazis weren't building anything comparable.
The Avro Lincoln bomber was a massive upgrade for the Lancaster, intended for the Pacific war. It was put into production too late to see service. The Lincoln was further developed into the Shackleton, some of which were still flying until about 1984 as maritime patrol aircraft and 1990 as AWACS aircraft.
The Meteor fighter. Early versions were not as good as the Me262, but later marks completely outperformed the German aircraft. It is still flying today because its simple centrifugal compression engine, while less streamlined, is at least much more resiliently built, more stable at handling large internal forces (unlike the Me-262 which is nearly-impossible to maneuver and often flamed out or blew up), and better at handling foreign object debris than more modern axial compression engines (which require lots of super-strong alloys made with expensive rare-earth metals such as titanium in order to be functional). The F35's ejector seat was tested out on this.
Both Eric Brown and Adolf Galland, who had chance to fly both Me 262 and Gloster Meteor, agreed that the ultimate fighter of WWII would have been Me 262 equipped with Meteor engines and its Hispano cannons.
Similarly, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, which could fly faster and farther than the Me-262, with a loaded weight of around 2,000 pounds less. For context, the Americans didn't even know they had a German jet to design a rival for until less than a year before the XP-80 left the ground. A handful were sent to Europe to demonstrate their capabilities, but the type would not see combat until The Korean War. The entire fighter was designed around a cutting edge British turbojet engine which was so new that the Americans had to design and build the airframe without an example of the engine on hand.
The atomic bomb, of course. Unlike all the rest of the weapons, it was actually relevant at the end of World War II, and has remained so through the present day, being the apex of More Dakka. The Manhattan Project and the V-2 rocket program were roughly equivalent in terms of economic cost devoted to superweapons. The difference being the United States could afford the Manhatten Project and finance a war. Germany couldn't afford to do either. And, of course the Manhattan Engineering District Program produced an exceptionally valuable weapon.
Another edge the Manhattan Project had over the Nazis was better organization and sound physics. The Nazi nuclear program, meanwhile, split into around nine separate and actively competing programs that frequently tried to undermine the others. Thus, what little materials the Nazis could devote to nuclear research was further split. They were also limited to using only approved "German Physics" that did not include any knowledge deemed "ideologically or racially unsound" — which, naturally, consisted of a lot of actual nuclear physics.
The British pushed radar development much further much faster than any other power, building an effective detection network by the time of the Battle of Britain. This was a guarded secret; the urban legend that carrots improve night vision was invented by the British government to suggest that their fighter pilots were amazingly observant instead of being vectored into night interceptions by radar.
The Americans linked radar and guns with mechanical analog computers. Their anti-aircraft guns thus became far more accurate. 90% of V-1 buzz bombs, and many manned bombers, were shot down. It was also used to devastating effect in naval bombardment, such as in the Battle of Surigao Strait, in which the USS West Virginia opened fire on the battleship Yamashiro at 23,000 yards, in the dark and scored a direct hit on the first salvo.
Also an effective British secret weapon: signal intelligence (codebreaking). The British codebreaking operation at Bletchley Park was so good that it frequently outstripped its usefulness. Available intelligence on German operations could sometimes not be given to military commanders because the tactical benefit was outweighed by the strategic cost of revealing how good the codebreakers were. Also, the entire shebang was so heavily classified that the codebreakers didn't receive full recognition for their achievements for 50 years after the war.
Speaking of Bletchley Park , Colossus, the world's first programmable computer, was operational there. As with all Station X activities, the mere existence of Colossus was not declassified until many decades after the war.
To get an example of the usefulness of the code breakers, look no further than the Battle of Cape Matapan. Made possible by a breach of Italian codes, it cost the Italian Navy three heavy cruisers (out of seven in the whole navy) and two destroyers, plus heavy damage to the battleship Vittorio Veneto (of the Littorio-class, whose firepower was second only to the Yamato-class and the large American battleships), and after this battle the Italians would start a witch hunt to find the spy that had obviously leaked information (either on the sortie or their codes) to the British (it would take until 1978 for the Italians to find out how the Brits knew of their super-secret sortie).
Sonar is an interesting case in that the Axis and Allies both had functional systems that represented half of the technologies used today. The Germans had evolved a capable passive sonar system that was accurate enough to be used by submarines for fire control solutions. The Allies had developed effective active sonars that were good enough to provide surface ships with fire control solutions and, when combined with ahead-throwing anti-submarine mortars effectively doomed older diesel-electric submarine designs. Combining German passive and Allied active sonars pretty much put diesel-electric submarines out of business for thirty years.
The Allies also had BarnesWallis, who designed the bouncing bomb, the Grand Slam and Tallboy bombs (which played merry hell with those conrete U-boat pens), and aircraft that could still fly despite this kind of punishment◊.
A strong argument could be made that it was the Allies who had the technological advantages that counted. The Nazis had a lot of impressive, flashy stuff, but much of it either turned out not to be practically useful and/or too costly to produce on any practical level, and the development projects sucked away precious resources that might have served the Germans better if they had been devoted to conventional weapons. Not to mention their xenophobia drove many of the best of the best away from Europe, such as Albert Einstein. The Allies, on the other hand, were more pragmatic and had many small but critical advantages in areas (and times) that actually mattered. The superior range and maneuverability of the P-51 Mustang, the RAF's revolutionary air defense system in the Battle of Britain, the sloping armor of Soviet T-34 tanks (which deflects inertia instead of absorbing it as heavy German castle-like tanks do, thus less metal needed for individual armor and therefore more saved resources and therefore more T-34s to manufacture and therefore more Zerg Rush potential), etc. And particularly in the areas of radar and computers (code-breaking), the Allies had a HUGE edge, and these two technologies were arguably DECISIVELY critical.
In Germany's defense, by the latter half of the war, they had no hope of winning a conventional contest with conventional weapons, due to the disparity in manufacturing power, and they knew it. So gambling on superweapons was really their only hope of winning. However, that was (and always has been) a fool's gamble.
Arthur C. Clarke thematized this in his short story Superiority.
Perhaps one of the most important developments of the war was PLUTO, a system that would allow petrol to be pumped from refineries in England directly to the beachhead in France, insuring both a secure and continuous source of fuel for the vehicles, and one that didn't require a continuous line of ships, which allowed the ships to be used for other purposes. It also allowed, in the post-war period off-shore refineries to be set up, a feat previously unachievable.
The Soviet experimental T-43 tank was everything Panther was and then some, being explicitly developed n response to it, but never entered production because doing so meant that production of the T-34 must be stopped to reequip and retool the production lines. Instead, most of its features that could be applied to T-34 without stopping its production were included in later models of the T-34.