Can You Identify These Axis WWII Weapons from an Image?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Youtube via Lemur Animations

About This Quiz

Ready to join the fight for the greater good? You're the perfect secret weapon to conquer this quiz!

World War Two raged on for 6 years and a day, leaving over 80 million military and civilian deaths in its wake. Eventually, good triumphed over evil - but let's not forget that evil almost won, thanks to some wickedly advanced pieces of weaponry.

To top off all the firepower they had already built up, the Nazis went a step further and created the "Vengeance Weapons." These flying bombs, rockets and cannons exacted a heavy toll on all Allied troops and civilians who stood in their path. Better set your sights on this quiz if you can recall what each of these military monsters looked like!

As Germany began to lose ground in the final years of the war, it struggled to equip its troops and citizenry with whatever arms it could quickly and cheaply whip up. Make no mistake, however, many of these were still pretty formidable weapons. Remember that German "copy" of the STEN machine gun? We've got it and a few other prime examples in here - come check them out!

It might take an expert in the history of warfare to identify all of these WWII Axis weapons. So, it's time for you to step up to the challenge and give this quiz your best shot!

The Me 264 long-range strategic bomber was part of Germany's "Amerika Bomber" program intended to attack targets on the American east coast. It was designed and produced by the Messerschmitt corporation and was initially considered by the Luftwaffe (aerial branch of Nazi military) for use in the program. Three prototypes of the Me 264 were built before any further development was canceled in 1943.

The 7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40 recoilless gun was developed by Rheinmetall, an automotive and weapons manufacturer, in 1940. It was used to equip Luftwaffe paratroopers with a substantial yet air-droppable piece of artillery. The 7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40 was first put into action in Germany’s airborne invasion of the Greek island of Crete during the Battle of Crete in May – June, 1941.

The Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the First World War, tried to restrict future development of weaponry by Germany. To get around this, the country moved some of its weapons projects, including development of the 8.8 cm Flak 18-36, to neighboring Sweden. This particular piece of artillery came about through collaboration between German and Swedish weapons manufacturers Krupp and Bofors.

The Solothurn S18-1000 20 mm anti-tank rifle is a variant of the Solothurn S-18/100, modified with a larger cartridge size and a higher muzzle velocity. These gave the S18-1000 the advantage of greater penetrating power but also the disadvantage of greater recoil, added to the fact that it was a heavy and cumbersome weapon.

The V-2 rocket was developed in 1944 by German scientists (among them Wernher von Braun - aerospace engineer and space architect). It is noted for being the first long-range, guided ballistic missile in the world, as well as the first manmade object to leave Earth’s atmosphere and travel into space (on June 20, 1944).

The MG 08 heavy machine gun was used extensively by the German Army in World War I and by the time World War II began it was still in active service. It could fire 500 – 600 rounds per minute and had an effective range of approximately 2,200 yards making it a formidable weapon on the battlefield.

Developed by Rheinmetall‑Borsig weapons manufacturers in 1940, the MK 108 was submitted to the Reich Aviation Ministry in 1942 as an option for a heavy aircraft weapon. The Luftwaffe ended up using the MK 108 on several of its fighter aircraft including the Messerschmitt Bf 109.

Only 7 of the Karl-Gerät self-propelled siege mortars were built, and to this date only one remains. Each of these immense machines weighed 124 tons and was over 36 feet long, 10 feet wide and 14 feet high. The Karl-Geräts were used in several battles including the Battle of the Bulge (Germany’s last attempt to launch a massive attack on the Western front) between December 1944 and January 1945.

This anti-aircraft cannon was both designed and manufactured by weapons maker Rheinmetall. It was used on board several German vessels including aircraft carriers, submarines, torpedo boats and the Bismarck-class battleships. Although aiming the 3.7 cm SK C/30 was relatively easy, it had the disadvantage of a very low rate of fire (just 30 rounds per minute) since rounds had to be loaded one at a time.

Between 1942 and 1944, Germany produce a total of 1,347 Tiger I heavy tanks. It was a formidable machine which initially faced very little opposition on the battlefield. It, however, suffered from a number of mechanical shortcomings and after several modifications, the Tiger I was replaced by the Tiger II.

The Fritz X holds the distinction of being the world’s first precision guided weapon used in combat. It is also the first such weapon to be credited with sinking a ship – the Italian battleship Roma, on September 9, 1943. On that day, German bombers carrying Fritz X missiles attacked an Italian convoy one day after it was announced that Italy had signed an armistice with the Allied powers.

By all reports, the Panther medium battle tank faced many mechanical issues when first put into service by the German Army. After the required modifications, however, the Panther came to be regarded as one of WWII’s finest battle tanks. It had an admirable combination of fire power, armor protection and mobility.

Germany’s MP 18 submachine gun takes its place in history as the very first submachine gun to be used in combat. Design of the MP 18 began from as early as 1915, but production and use in the First World War did not take place until 1918. At the end of WWI, the Treaty of Versailles limited Germany’s right to stockpile the MP 18, but the weapon was still widely used by German forces during WWII.

Germany used the codename “High Pressure Pump” for this Retribution weapon in order to hide its existence from Allied forces. The V-3 (which also went by the name Busy Lizzie) was intended to be used in attacks on London from Northern France. They were discovered, however, and destroyed by the famous Dambusters bombers (RAF 617 Squadron) using 12,000-pound Tallboy earthquake bombs.

As it became evident that tanks would play a major role in the battles of WWII, armies on both sides began devising ways to stop them. One such development was the Sturer Emil (German for Stubborn Emil) self-propelled anti-tank gun. Only two Sturer Emil heavy tank destroyers were built – one was lost in battle and the other was captured by Soviet forces in January, 1943 at Stalingrad.

Germany’s Schwerer Gustav railway gun was the largest piece of artillery used during WWII. Interestingly, WWII saw the last use of railway guns, which had been around since the first one was used in June 1862 during the American Civil War. Schwerer Gustav had a “sister” named Dora which was deployed against Stalingrad but withdrawn by the Germans when it became clear the Soviets were close to capturing it.

Only three prototypes of the Horten Ho 229 “stealth” bomber/fighter aircraft were built, but they were sufficient for the Ho 229 to earn a place of distinction in the history of aviation. The Ho 229 was developed in 1944, late into WWII, and became the world’s first jet engine-powered flying wing. Creators of the Ho 229 also attempted to incorporate stealth technology into the aircraft’s design to lower the risk of it being detected by radar.

The German Army began using night vision devices from the early months of WWII. Several of these zielgerät (or aiming device) were mounted on Panther tanks deployed on both the Eastern and Western Fronts of the war. One type of night vision device, the ZG 1229 Vampir, could be fitted on specific assault rifles carried by infantrymen (who then became known as Nachtjägers or night hunters).

The Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship guided missile is one of the most well-known inventions of acclaimed Austrian scientist Herbert A. Wagner. The Hs 293 was deployed from several Luftwaffe aircraft such as the Heinkel He 177 long-range heavy bomber, and is credited with damaging or sinking a number of Allied vessels.

The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork in English) performed in multiple roles during World War Two. It was renowned for its short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities, as well as being able to “loiter” in the skies with the help of the slightest of headwinds. These attributes helped the “stork” to deliver in what was perhaps its most famous mission: the 1943 German rescue of Benito Mussolini after he was deposed as Italian dictator.

The German occupation of Czechoslovakia which began in 1938 meant that Czech military factories came under the control of Germany. One such facility was the Česká zbrojovka factory, which manufactured the CZ 27 pistol. Germany’s military leaders were sufficiently impressed with the CZ 27 to incorporate it into their arsenal and oversee production of nearly half a million units of the weapon during the occupation.

Production of the Goliath began as early as 1942 and by the end of the war over 12,000 of these tethered remote-controlled tracked mines had been built. Goliaths weighed over 800 pounds and were either powered electrically or by a gas engine. They were widely used by German forces and were called “beetle tanks” by the Allies.

The Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War did not dictate any restrictions to the production of vessels like the E-boat by Germany. This meant that the Kriegsmarine (navy of Nazi Germany) was able to freely develop them in the interwar years. The letter “E” in E-boat stands for “enemy” in English but the boat’s German name is actually Schnellboot (fast boat) – abbreviated to S-Boot.

This single-seat, rocket-powered, interceptor aircraft was the very first of its kind and the first piloted aircraft to attain speeds of over 621 mph (1000 km/h) in level flight. Although it did not prove to be very effective in combat, it is still often regarded as a breakthrough in the evolution of aviation. The design of the Me 163 Komet is credited to Alexander Lippisch, an acclaimed German aeronautical engineer.

The Fieseler Fi 103R was a planned pilot-guided suicide fighter given the codename “Reichenberg.” It was essentially a manned version of the deadly and feared V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe 1) flying bomb. Germany intended to use the Fi 103R as another retaliatory or vengeance weapon in the bombing of England, but the program was scrapped a few months before the war ended.

Nearly 250,000 of the Dreyse M1907 were manufactured between 1907 and 1915. This semi-automatic pistol was used extensively by German forces during WWI, and when WWII rolled around, many of them were again put into action. The gun’s unusual design made it a sought-after souvenir for Allied soldiers in both wars.

Between 1937 and 1938, Germany built two 28 cm schwere Bruno Kanone (E) railway guns, both from coastal defense guns which had been around from before the First World War. The Bruno Kanones were first used in the German invasion of France, after which they served as coastal defense guns in Norway.

The was the first of the “Vergeltungswaffen” or Vengeance weapons (V-weapons) produced by Germany. The others were the V-2 rocket – a long-range guided ballistic missile; and the V-3 cannon – a massive supergun. The V-1 flying bomb (or buzz bomb as it was called by the Allies) was launched by the thousands from occupied French and Dutch coasts into England.

Commonly called a U-boat in English, this submarine is known as an “unterseeboot” (undersea boat) or "U-boot" in German. Interestingly, while in German the term applies to any submarine, most Allied troops reserve it for the German military submarines used in World Wars One and Two. During WWII, there were approximately a dozen different classes of U-boats for Allied vessels and coastal regions to be (very) wary of.

Production of approximately 3,500 Arado AR 96 low-wing monoplanes began in 1939. This all-metal, single-engine aircraft was used by the Luftwaffe (the Nazi aerial branch) as its standard trainer for pilots. France manufactured an armed wooden version of the Ar 96 which was designated the SIPA S.11 and used in battles in North Africa.

The Panzer IV medium tank could be thought of as the workhorse among German tanks in the Second World War. It was produced right throughout the war with the total surpassing 8,500 when all of its variants are considered. The Panzer IV was deployed in greater numbers than any other tank and was called into action in every theater of the war.

The Panzerfaust (“armor fist” or “tank fist”) was the first disposable anti-tank weapon to be developed. It came pre-loaded with a high-explosive anti-tank warhead, so all the soldier had to do was disengage the safety, aim and fire. When properly fired, the Panzerfaust proved to be more effective against tanks than the American bazooka and the English PIAT.

The KMS Bismarck and her sister ship, the KMS Tirpitz, were two of the largest battleships ever built by a European country. Bismarck was sunk on May 27, 1941 while battling ships of the British Royal Navy. Tirpitz was sunk on November 12, 1944 by Tallboy earthquake bombs dropped from Royal Air Force bombers.

The Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" (East Wind) was essentially an open-top Panzer IV tank armed with a 3.7 cm Flak 43 anti-aircraft gun. Just like the Panzer IV, the Ostwind required a crew of five: driver, commander/gunner, radio operator and two loaders. It was developed to be a direct replacement for the Wirbelwind anti-aircraft gun and was designed with increased range and stopping power.

Before WWII began, the lightly armed and armored Panhard 178 was used as a reconnaissance vehicle by the mechanized cavalry and infantry elements of the French Army. It was regarded as far superior to other armored cars of the time, and following the invasion of France, many Panhard 178s were captured and used by the German Army.

The distinctive Mauser C96 is one of the most recognizable examples of the early form of semi-automatic pistols. It has seen action in a long list of wars since production began in 1896. With its unique “broomhandle” grip, the Mauser C96 is now a very cherished weapon among gun collectors.

This all-metal, four-engine monoplane was initially developed and used as a long-range airliner. During WWII, however, Condors were used by the Luftwaffe as long-range maritime reconnaissance bombers. Of the 276 Condors which were built, only one (relatively) complete example remains today, kept in a museum in Germany.

This unique lightly armored tank was a one-man reconnaissance vehicle manufactured by the famous German weapons maker Krupp. The only known example of the Kugelpanzer, or ball tank, is one captured by Soviet troops in 1945 which is now kept in the Kubinka Tank Museum in Russia.

The Schiessbecher (shooting cup) was a rifle grenade launcher designed to be used with a variety of cartridges. The shooter selected the Schiessbecher’s cartridge to match the intended target: light armored vehicles, fortifications or infantry. The Schiessbecher had a range of 310 yards and weighed a little over one and a half pounds.

The Borgward IV was a remote-controlled heavy explosive carrier. It weighed nearly four tons and featured armor that was up to 20 mm thick in some places. The Borgward IV was bigger than Germany’s two other remote-controlled charge-carrying vehicles: the Goliath tracked mine and the Springer demolition vehicle.

Six Type 23 torpedo boats were built in the 1920s to serve the German Navy which, at that time, was called the Reichsmarine. All six survived to become part of the Kriegsmarine (the German Navy’s new name during WWII). Between 1942 and 1944, four of the Type 23s were destroyed by enemy action; another was hit by a mine and later decommissioned; and the sixth was wrecked after being accidentally run aground.

As the war drew to a close, Germany lost several weapon-producing facilities and resource supplies to the Allies. It became desperate for a cheap way to arm its forces, and in January of 1945, began production of this near-copy of the famous British Sten Mk II submachine gun. The MP 3008 became known as the “people’s machine gun,” as it was issued to militia groups, local police and even ordinary German citizens.

Loss of facilities and resources to the advancing Allied troops left Germany scrambling for a way to cheaply maintain its weaponry. The Heinkel He 162 jet fighter came into being as one of the “People’s” programs which Germany initiated as the tide of war began to turn against it. The He 162 was an inexpensive jet fighter which the military initially intended to man with (inadequately) trained members of the Hitler Youth who were typically aged 14 -18, but sometimes younger.

The development of this efficient man-portable flamethrower was based on earlier flamethrowers used in the First World War. In WWII, it was put to work by German troops clearing enemy personnel and non-sympathizers from trenches and buildings. The Flammenwerfer 35 could project an arc of fire up to 27 yards away from the soldier using it.

This combination automatic rifle and light machine gun was designed specifically for use by German paratroopers. The FG 42 was so well-made that after the war, several of its features were incorporated into the design of similar weapons. These included its compact and straight line design, as well as its lightweight action and gas operation.

Germany developed the Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" (Whirlwind) anti-aircraft gun as part of its attempt to counter the Allies’ increased dominance of the skies during WWII. The Wirbelwind replaced the Möbelwagen ("Moving Van") and was itself later replaced by the Ostwind (East Wind). All three vehicles were based on the Panzer IV tank.

Production of the Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol ran from 1935 to 2017. It was used by both Allied and Axis in WWII, with production taking place in both Belgium and Canada. Germany gained control of the Belgian manufacturing plant after the occupation of Belgium and oversaw the production of over a quarter of a million units of the Hi-Power.

The 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 (“smoke thrower” or “smoke launcher”) delivered a barrage of high-explosive rockets from five launch tubes. Approximately 1,500 were built for the German Army and put into service from 1942 to 1945. The much-feared Nebelwerfer saw action in every theater of WWII except Norway.

The Panzer I light tank was initially developed as a training vehicle but went on to play a very important role on the front lines of Germany’s victories early in WWII. Later into the war, the Panzer I began to lose ground to better engineered tanks, but many of these newer models had the Panzer I to thank for their development. Roughly 2,500 of the original Panzer I light tank and its variants were built.

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