The German Landkreuzer P-1000 Ratte MEGA-TANK
Just prior to and also during World War II, German engineers were hard at work making many “wonder weapons” for the German Reich. The weapon mentioned below, was one such “wonder weapon”, the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte. A tank so large and well armored, that if it was produced, the allies would have been helpless to stop it. It’s guns would have been so large, that it would have been able to destroy entire cities from miles away.
The Landkreuzer P. 1000 “Ratte” (English Translation: Land Cruiser P. 1000 “Rat”) was a design for a super-heavy tank for use by Nazi Germany during World War II, proposed by Krupp director Edward Grotte in June 1942, who had already named it “Landkreuzer”. Submitted designs and drawings of the tank went under the names OKH Auftrag Nr. 30404 and E-30404/1, which were presented in December 1942. The tank was planned to be 1000 metric tons, being far heavier than the Panzer VIII “Maus”, the heaviest tank ever built (weighing 188 tons). The project gained the approval of Adolf Hitler, who had expressed interest in the development of the tank.
Hitler became enamored with Grotte’s concept and ordered Krupp to begin development of it in 1942. As of December 29, 1942 a few preliminary drawings had been completed, by which time the concept had been named “Ratte” (Rat) by Hitler himself. Albert Speer saw no reasonable use of the tank and canceled the project in 1943 before any prototype could be manufactured, although this did lead to the concept of the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster self-propelled siege gun, which would have been heavier than the Ratte.
The general idea for such a big tank was best summed up by Heinz Guderian, saying that: “Hitler’s fantasies sometimes shift into the gigantic”
The Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte would have been so large and so heavy, that in order just to make a river crossing, that a special bridge would have to be built to accommodate it’s enormous size and weight.
Say what you will about the Nazi Party, after all, they were some of the most evil men in modern history, but the weapons they developed were things that were decades ahead of their time and if they had been able to perfect them, then the outcome of the second world war might have been very different.