Nazi Secret Weapons: Wind Cannon (WindKanone) and The Artificial Tornado Vortex Cannon

Artificial tornado vortex cannon

The aim was production of an artificial tornado to destroy enemy aircraft.

With the actual device, tornadoes were obtained up to a height of only 300 meters, which is not enough for the effective destruction of an aircraft, as it can fly much higher. In tests the device successfully created tornadoes that destroyed wooden sheds within a radius of 100-150 meters from the unit.

The principle of creating an artificial tornado was...

Large pipe is filled with a combustible gas

It is sent into the combustion chamber, where the burning gas spins a turbine

Then through a rotating nozzle glowing gas is released into the atmosphere;
air is drawn into the process of the rotation and creates an artificial tornado.

This type of weapon did not catch the attention of the German Army, as a small tornado could only shoot down an aircraft flying at a low altitude, and that too only with difficulty.

Wind Cannon, Windkanone

The operating principle of the same, only this gun shoots small but very powerful portions of rapidly rotating gas. These "mini-vortexes" are stable for a long time, the energy and the direction of its movement.

But again, the effectiveness of such "gas shells" was small. Their energy rapidly decreases with increasing distance, the velocity becomes much lower, the accuracy of the shots is very low especially when the wind is strong.

Such a vortex cannon could break plywood huts and even small brick walls. But it could not affect aircraft flying in the sky. A conventional shot gun would be far more useful.

Like the Vortex Gun, the Wind Cannon was also developed by a factory in Stuttgart during the war. It was a type of gun that would eject a jet of compressed air against enemy aircraft. It was a strange device consisted of a large angled barrel like a bent arm resting in an immense cradle like some enormous broken pea-shooter lying askew. The cannon worked by the ignition of critical mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen in molecular proportions as near as possible. The powerful explosion triggered off a rapidly-ejected projectile of compressed air and water vapor, which, like a solid "shot" of air, was as effective as a small shell. Experimental trials of the cannon at Hillersleben demonstrated that a 25mm-thick wooden board could be broken at a distance of 200m. Nitrogen peroxide was deployed in some of the experiments so that the brown color would allow the path and destination of the otherwise transparent projectile to be observed and photographed. The tests proved that a powerful region of compressed and high-velocity air could be deployed with sufficient force to inflict some damage. However, the aerodynamics of a flying aircraft would almost surely neutralized the effectiveness of this cannon. In addition the effects of the cannon on a fast-flying aircraft was quite different from that on a fixed ground target. Still, the cannon was installed on a bridge over the Elbe, but with no significant results -- either because there were no aircraft or simply there were no successes (as one might suspect). The wind cannon was an interesting experiment but a practical failure.

More on Nazi Weapons

Did Hitler have an atom bomb?
Did Nazi Germany explode a nuclear bomb in its last days?
Nazi Superguns: Karl Gerat: Used in Warsaw Uprising...
Nazi Superguns: Schwerer Gustav and Dora
The Nazi scientist who made the V-2: Wernher von Braun
Nazi Germany's Secret Weapons and crafts: The 'UFO' Haunebu


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