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How Hitler's Germany Changed the World Today

Updated on April 3, 2009

Enough time has passed since the end of WW2 to forget the origin of many taken for granted items in the world today.

While Hitler had many more bad moments than good ones, he gave final approval to many items that are in use today. Granted, their original use was military, but without them, things would be different to some degree. The items below are those items that originated with Hitler's Germany:

  1. Autobahn's or Highway's. The road everyone takes today did not exist before 1930 or so. This expressway or autobahn was conceived by those in the Third Reich as a means to rapidly transport troops across Germany with as few stops and intersections. Most roads until the advent of this type of road were mostly two lane and interrupted by stops, intersections, roundabouts and stop lights. The autobahn was a railroad for the cars and trucks and many were built during WW2 across Germany. The first such highway was completed in Germany in 1931. Hitler camer to power in 1933 and he was a heavy advocate of this. The highways then look exactly as modern ones do now: two lanes in both directions for a total of 4 lanes. Autobahn's also were used as airfields.
  2. Jet Aircraft. While many nations thought of and tinkered with Jet engines for aircraft, until Hitler approved of numerous projects involving them, none were operational. So, it was Hitler that in essence gave the world first operational jet bombers and fighters starting in 1943. These aircraft were light years ahead of their time in design and when allied fighters encountered them, there was little doubt who would win the fight. The most famous was the ME 262 Swallow, a jet fighter flying at 540 mph, hundreds were produced and well armed. The ME 163 Komet was another flying at almost 600 Mph, almost 200 mph faster than any propeller aircraft. The first jet bomber, the Arado 234, flew at 450 Mph with up to 8000 tons of bombs. Suffice to say, the allies raced to capture examples of these aircraft, copied them and created their own jets.
  3. Rockets. The infamous V-1 and V-2 rockets were the first ones to be used to send armed missiles across the Channel into London, this was 1944 and onwards. These were unmanned but guided missiles fired from portable launch stations in France. Over 24,000 rockets would be made that year. Over 4000 would be fired towards that city, of which, 3000 impacted. The V2 rocket is the father of all Shoot and Scoot missiles (like the Russian Scud). Mounted on trucks, they fired and left the location making it impossible for allied air units to destroy. The rocket was supersonic with a large warhead, the allies had no defense to it. By the time you heard it, it was too late. The V-2 flew starting in 1944. The first air to air missile was HS 298 a missiles fired from an aircraft and radio controlled to its target. It had a range of 9 km. The HS 293D had a small television camera in the nose so the aircraft could steer it to the target. Exactly how it is done today.
  4. Volkswagen. Hitler loved cars and the VW was a creation that Porsche had created in 1933 and Hitler promoted as the "peoples car". After the war ended in 1945, it was the British who ordered the first 20,000 VWs, all painted green. By 1948, VW was Germany's greatest export. But it was not until the late 60s or early 70s that VW produced, "the Thing", which was a modernized Kubelwagen used during WW2. The Porsche engine and the VW engine, both air cooled, was ahead of its time, both engines influenced the design of the Chevrolet Corvair, an American air cooled engine car made from 1960-69.

German autobahn 1936
German autobahn 1936
V1 rocket
V1 rocket
V2 mobile missile
V2 mobile missile

German Jets in WW2

Me 163 jet

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    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 3 years ago

      Yes, well aware of the mass murder. Just saying...

    • profile image

      Davert 3 years ago

      He also aproved mass murders of the Jews and many. many others. In my humble opinion that outweighs the "good" many millions to 1. If he and his nazi party never existed millions of peoples would have survived. Mabey a war woud have never happened. All of the above mentioned things would have been invented eventualy. War put them in an accelerated pase, but really, that's all.

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks, had no idea!

    • profile image

      Marty 5 years ago

      He also came up with the idea for the Torch Relay that is now part of every Olympics.

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      He was in the position of power. he had an interest in wonder weapons and cars. The autobahns were his idea, he wanted to have a road where deployment of troops could be done rapidly, if needed.

    • profile image

      amandrea8 6 years ago

      As I said, he did not creat anything, he simply endorsed and commisioned based on recommendation. Anyone else in a position of authority would have done much the same. He was necessary.

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      @oakwood, R U serious?

    • profile image

      oakwood99 6 years ago

      Was also the first to introduce the standardized 40 work week, with overtime pay and vacation time and required factories to have recreation facilities for workers

    • profile image

      gabriel hainzl 6 years ago

      heil hitler

    • profile image

      curtis 6 years ago

      Don't forget audiotape, that's a big one. Also the Nazis had the jet engine in the late 30s it was postponed because aircraft was no match for the Luftwaffe at the time and the jet engine didn't work with hid blitzkrieg tactics

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      It is nice to see the other side of Hitler. All the while, only the extreme ugly side of him has been portrayed.

      Voted up and tweeted.

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Canadian 6 years ago

      Oh Perrya, you may want to add the stealth jet fighter that two SS brothers developed to your list.

      Great job Perrya!

    • profile image

      Canadian 6 years ago

      amandrea, you really need to study history. A little research on your part would find that he did do "this good stuff." :o-)

      You know not what you write.

      If it would have happened anyway, or not, he was the first to do so making your comment redundant.

    • profile image

      amandrea 6 years ago

      Um, Hitler did not do any of this "good stuff." It all would have happened if he never existed.

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 7 years ago

      Thanks, I did not know the things you mentioned. Hey, everyone has a good side!

    • profile image

      Canadian 7 years ago

      I realize Hitler didn't end up an angel, as one poster puts it above. This article just touches on a few good things he deserves credit for, but there are many other. He came up with the first breast cancer awareness programs, he launched the world's first research linking smoking and cancer, he was the first in the world to formulate laws protecting animals from cruelties - the first animal rights laws...

      ...not to mention he was clever enough to save a country from unemployment and financial ruin.

      "Hitler... one of the most significant figures who ever lived" by President J.F. Kennedy

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Hitler lover. My real peeve here is how history was written and spread. In this case it's one sided and not thoroughly taught. We're educated to automatically make Hitler into the devil, when that wasn't always the case. Blame it on the victor who got the write the history in this case, a sort of free world propaganda if you will. :o-)

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 7 years ago

      time to get over all of it. Even nasty dudes have their good moments.

    • profile image

      devon 7 years ago

      what about the bad things that hitler done wronge i mean he did do some goog things but we shoudent praise him for that

    • profile image

      Lindy 7 years ago

      Very interesting !!

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 9 years ago

      well, the father of the US space program was Werner Von Braun, who did the rocket science for Hitler. The Russians took many of the other scientists and German jet aircraft to create their own Mig jets. I am sure the UK got some also. As far as war crimes, not sure if any were prosecuted for them, I guess it depends on the definition of a war crime.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      interesting hub - the rocket stuff meant a lot of German scientists (some of whom had committed appalling war crimes) got whisked off to Allied states, esp the USA, I think?

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