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Hitler’s Ridiculously Large Supertank That Could Never Be Put into Action

By Andrew Alpin, 22 November 2022

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3 Hitler still decided to go ahead with projects like this

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Even with all these problems, Adolf Hitler jumped on it right away, as he did with many impractical weapons. In his autobiography, German general and head of the Third Reich’s tank divisions Heinz Guderian said, “Hitler’s fantasy led him into the realm of the gigantic.”

He wrote, “The engineers Grotte and Hacker were ordered to design a monster tank weighing 1,000 tonnes.”

Hitler still decided to go ahead with projects like this

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2 The project was eventually scrapped

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After a year of work, Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production, Albert Speer, finally put an end to this pet project of Hitler’s. Speer correctly realized that the colossal tank had no practical uses and put it out of its misery. However, since he canceled the project, this immense tank was never built.

The other German super-heavy tank partly influenced this decision, the Panzer VIII Maus (“Mouse”), which weighed 175 tonnes and was the largest tank ever made but didn’t work very well. The names “Maus” and “Ratte” were probably meant to be funny since these tanks were anything but small. Even the Maus was too heavy to cross even the strongest bridges. Instead, it had to go underwater to get across rivers. However, it wouldn’t have been damaged by anything but the largest air-dropped bombs.

The project was eventually scrapped

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1 Would the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte be of any use on the modern battlefield?

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The modern rockets, smart bombs, and explosively formed penetrators nowadays would have rendered the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and other super-heavy tanks like it worse than obsolete. Even back then, super-heavy tanks were seen as a liability on the battlefield, and it took a large regiment to protect them at close range. The Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte is an excellent example of the kind of ambitious planning that cost the Nazis the war. In later years, the obsession with the size of hardware spread to the Soviet Union.

Would the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte be of any use on the modern battlefield

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