The start of this tragic event was on September 1st, 1939. Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer of Germany, invaded the country of Poland. He was obsessed with the idea of having a pure German superior race, which he called Aryan. In believing this, Hitler was confident, the only way to achieve his pure German race, was to gain land, which he decided the best way to claim was by fighting for it. At the time, Europe was destabilized tremendously from World War 1 and needed help. Hitler planned an invasion of Poland and when they attacked, Britain and France declared war which was the beginning of World War 2. There were two sides during the war; Axis and the Allies. The Axis group contained Germany, Italy, and Japan. The Allies were Australia, Brazil, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As they developed and learned, both the Allied group and Axis group invented many new menacing weapons and gadgets to help them in their fight to win World War 2. Examples of these were newly created tanks, planes, guns, grenades, communication devices, and equipment/armor.
One example of a terrifying piece of technology for the Axis group to help them succeed in battle, was the Tiger One Tank. The real name was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausführung H. and it was created in 1937. The impenetrable machine is known for having its thick and heavy armor. It contains a length span of 20 ft. and 8 in. and has a width of 11 ft. and 8 in. The tank weighed around 50 tons and was 9 ft. and 10 in. tall. Attached to it, was an 8.8 cm. KwK 36 L/56 that contained armor-piercing rounds. As a secondary, it contained two 7.92 mm. Maschinengewehr 34’s (machine guns). The tank could travel up to a speed of 24 miles per hour. It could have up to five crew members inside. Although with these impressive features, it was very slow, heavy, and cost an enormous amount of money to build. This tank was created in response to the Axis’ lack of well-armored tanks. This was a major step to help the Axis This helped them move one step closer to trying to win World War 2 with this great advancement of technology.
Another example of a great advancement of technology throughout World War 2 was the Radio Proximity Fuze, created in 1942. This proximity fuze (also known as VT Fuze or Influence Fuze) was created by the Allies to try and save ammunition and time while taking out enemy aircraft. It has an explosive ignition device that uses fuze sensors to detect when an aircraft is close enough to damage the moving vehicle. Although they were not just meant to attack aircraft vehicles, they were also incredibly efficient against ground troops and naval anti-aircraft batteries. The very first battle the Allied forces used the proximity fuze was in the Battle of the Bulge, 1944. They used the fuze shell to attack the Axis’ offensive force pushing the Allies' light cavalry. The Allies called in for an artillery strike and they used the fuze to strike down the Axis. It was proven very efficient because as the shell reached the Axis, it exploded right over them. This shell was a terrific feature to add to Ally's armory in their push to win World War 2.
The next example is one of the strongest pieces of technology that was invented and helped advance efforts of World War 2, the Atomic Bomb. Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassmann; german physicists’ in Berlin who had discovered nuclear fission. Nuclear Fission, is when an atom that contains radioactive material splits into smaller, and lighter atoms which release a high amount of energy, which is how the bomb gets its boom. During World War 2, the U.S. created the Manhattan Project. The project was to try and create a functional atomic bomb. The project first started on December 28, 1942, when Franklin Roosevelt gathered different scientists to start the bomb’s production. The leader of the project was Julius Robert Oppenheimer. Most of the tests happened in Los Alamos, New Mexico. 3 years later on July 16, the first bomb was successfully detonated in New Mexico, during the Trinity Test. The name Trinity was given for the site because Oppenheimer was inspired by the poet, John Donne. The U.S. had secretly created not one but two types of atomic bombs. One was made with a base design of uranium, called the Little Boy. The other was made with a base design of plutonium, called the Fat Man. On August 6, 1945. The U.S. dropped a Little Boy on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb wiped out around 80,000 people and later, other people died due to the radiation effects. The bomb was ordered to drop because, the president at the time, president Harry Truman stated Japan’s surrender with a declaration called the Potsdam Declaration. It declared for Japan to surrender but if they did not, the U.S. promised they would bring complete destruction to Japan.
Later, the U.S. dropped a second bomb on another city called Nagasaki. The atomic bomb helped the U.S. try to win the war because this bomb was able to wipe out thousands in mere seconds. Even after the bomb dropped, any survivors that were not protected with the right equipment would die in the area due to radiation levels through the roof.
A last example of an amazing piece of technology that helped the Germans in World War 2 was the enigma. This machine was invented by Arthur Scherbius in 1918. Although the machine was invented by the time World War 1 ended, they didn’t put too much use into the enigma until World War 2 started. This machine looked like a large typewriter and contained several electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines. They used the enigma during World War 2 to send secret messages back and forth securely without the Allied forces ever knowing. When Polish mathematicians had found a way to crack the code and read it, Germany upgraded its security and changed the ciphering system daily so it seemed impossible for the Allies to read it. Until a man named Alan Turing finally solved the enigma, in the December of 1942. This machine helped give a head start to the Germans during World War 2 because the Allied forces had no idea what the Germans were planning for a long time during the war, which made it impossible for the Allies to know what was coming at them.
In the end, the Allies defeated the Axis group and won World War 2 on September 2, 1945. This was the official date when Japan signed surrender documents on board the U.S.S. Missouri. Although, Japan surrendered earlier that year on August 15, when the U.S. dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. These weapons helped both sides in their fight during World War 2, by giving their side an upper hand. Hopefully, this will be the last of any World Wars.