World War II Final Project

by Haydn007
Last updated 5 years ago

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World War II

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World War II Final Project


By Haydn007

Some historians argue that WWII served to expedite the development of certain technologies.By researching the topics in the WWII Unit, I plan to determine how accurate the above claim is.I wll then list the reasons that support my conclusion in paragraph format, and present my findings using a Glogster.


➢"Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.➢ Baker, Mini Course lecture on Gerhard Weinberg book A World At Arms➢ "Nuclear weapons." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.➢ Baker, Ryan. Course Lecture “Josef Mengele”. Hillfield Strathallan College. 8 Dec. 2015..➢ "Mengele's Twins." The Documentary. BBC World Service, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. ➢ Kulturbesitz, Bildarchiv P. Nazi Medical Experiment. Digital image. Josef Mengele Freezing Water - Google Search., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.➢Hollingham, Richard. "The Nazi Rocket That Launched the Space Age." Discover: Future. BBC, 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Dec. 2015


After researching the topics in the WWII unit, specifically those being Nuclear Technology, Josef Mengele, and Nazi Technology, I can confidently conclude that World War II did in fact serve to expedite certain technologies. For example, the use of the atomic bomb to end WWII directly lead to the Atomic Age, which is when humanity began utilizing Nuclear Power to produce energy – a type of energy that currently provides about 11% of the entire world’s electricity.Furthermore, Josef Mengele’s experiments on live patients at Auschwitz hugely benefited global medical knowledge on subjects such as smallpox, the human anatomy, scarlet fever, and typhus.Lastly, German technology seized by the Allies after WWII forever changed aerial combat (due to the Nazi’s technologically superior jet airplanes), and also advanced the Soviet Union years ahead in the Space Race (due to the Nazi’s V2 Rockets), allowing them to launch the first man into space.In conclusion, it is clear to see how World War II served to expedite certain technologies. To finish this project with a final touch, here is an interesting thought of mine that arose whilst I was typing this last few lines: What kinds of technological advancements would occur if World War III were to happen, and would humanity be able to survive them?

In August 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan: one on the city of Hiroshima, and the other on Nagasaki. Both bombs caused horrific destruction, killing hundreds of thousands of people, most of which were civilians. Nevertheless, Japan was forced to surrender due to the threat of extermination, thereby ending WWII.The immediate affects of the atomic bombs were simple: Japan surrendered unconditionally. More importantly, the success of the bombs stunned the world, as it was the first time that people saw a single country with the power to eradicate humanity at its fingertips. Essentially, the world realized that the USA suddenly had the power of playing God.However other nations (such as the USSR) looked on at the control the US suddenly had over the world with greed, and began conducting nuclear tests of their own, quickly launching the world into what is commonly referred to as the 'Atomic Age'. It was during this age that mankind came to the key revelation that nuclear technology could not only be applied in warfare, but could in fact revolutionize how the world produces energy. Hence, nations began directing their resources away from producing nuclear warheads, and to constructing nuclear power pants.The Soviet Union and USA were the first countries to recognize the advantages of energy-producing nuclear power plants, those benefits principally being: - Lower greenhouse gas emissions- Energy reliability- Cheap electricity- Lower fuel costs- Easy transportation- Provides a long term & continuous supply of energyNow, in 2015, over 20% of America's electrical power comes from nuclear energy sources alone, with just over 100 power plants in operation. This means that 1 in 5 households/business are electrically powered by nuclear energy. In terms of the entire world, there are over 400 commercial nuclear reactors producing energy for 31 countries. Furthermore, nuclear technology has not only affected electricity production, but also transformed deep-sea exploration, with the first nuclear powered submarine being launched in 1954 by the USA.All in all, it is clear to see how nuclear power had shaped the modern day world. However, one must remember that it was only due to the pressing need for a solution to end WWII that nuclear technology was researched so extensively in the first place. It was the stunning result of the atomic bomb that initiated the Atomic Age, thereby advancing the world decades ahead, if not centuries, in terms of nuclear technology.


As the reign of the Third Reich neared its violent end, the Allied Forces realized that they would soon have access to the very Nazi technology that had been used against them during the war. However instead of planning to destroy such technology, the Allies decided to utilize it. Unlike with Josef Mengele’s medical data, the Allies had no qualms with ‘stealing’ Nazi military technology. They felt as such because, yes some aspects of the technology may have been developed based off results from inhumane practices, but at least it was not solely/directly obtained through experiments that violated the Hippocratic Oath and Geneva Convection, as the medical data was.Therefore as soon as Germany surrendered, any military technology would be ripe for the taking. Of course, there would only be a limited amount of technology, which explains why the Americans and Soviets ‘raced’ to Berlin – they both wanted primary access to the technology without the other interfering. Alas, it was the USSR who reached Berlin first, which obviously angered the US, damaging relations between the two nations and thereby contributing to the start of the Cold War. One of the most important technologies the Soviets were able to seize before the Americans was the feared Nazi V2 Rocket. By capturing the scientists who developed the rockets, the USSR leaped ahead of the US in terms of space exploration, as they were able to utilize the V2 Rocket technology. These rockets were much more sophisticated than anything ever constructed, with flying capabilities of 80km above Earth in a trajectory of 190km. Without the advancements these rockets provided the Soviets with, the race to launch the first man into space may have resulted with a different victor.However one must remember that it was the Nazi’s who built these rockets, due to the crisis of war. Without the need for a weapon to safely bomb enemy cities (such as London) across large distances, the V2 Rocket may never have been developed, potentially pushing mankind decades behind in terms of space exploration.Continuing on, another Nazi technology that the Allies utilized after WWII was that of the canopy on a jet airplane. One of Josef Mengele’s more horrific experiments was to strap a human test subject into a harness inside of a wind tunnel, where the G-Force inside the tunnel would gradually increase until the subject died. By testing such, Mengele was able to discover how much G-Force a human could physically survive before death. This allowed the Nazi’s to design a canopy that would protect a pilot when flying a jet airplane. Once this key information was obtained, it was only a matter of time before the Nazi’s were sending jet airplane squads into battle.The Americans were one of the first nations to encounter Nazi jet airplanes (known as Messerschmitt Me 262’s) in combat, and were astounded by their flight maneuverability and agility. Once the Allies captured the intelligence needed to construct a jet airplane, both the US and USSR began mass-producing them, thereby revolutionizing global aerial combat. Nevertheless, it was WWII that expedited the Nazi need for jet airplanes, whilst Mengele’s G-Force experiments made them a reality. The Allies simply took the technology and continued to develop it.To finish off, although this next point is not necessarily considered a Nazi technology, it still applies to this project, as it was the crisis of WWII that brought around the need for it. Josef Mengele also carried out an experiment in which a human being would be strapped into a tub of freezing water that came up to the neck, and would then be simply left there until death. Such tests were carried out in order to discover how long someone could survive in such frigid water temperatures, of which the answer was about 20 minutes. This knowledge was obtained with the reasoning being that, if a submarine sank and the surviving crew was floating in the frigid North Atlantic waters, how long would the rescue team have to pick up the remaining crewmembers? More importantly, was it worth sending a rescue team at all, as such might result only in wasted time and resources? By knowing that the average survival time in frigid water is about 20 minutes, the Nazi’s were able to easily make these decisions, whereas the Allies were forced to estimate.Of course, after the fall of Berlin the Allies discovered such information, meaning they too were able to improve the accuracy of their rescue teams in frigid waters. Nevertheless, it was only due to the need for the Nazi’s to know how long a submarine crew could survive in the North Atlantic water waters that allowed them to improve their accuracy at all.All in all, it is clear to see how the Allies utilized, and essentially benefited, from the Nazi military technology that they were able to seize after the fall of Berlin. The key point is the reasoning behind why the Nazi’s created such technologies in the first place – that being World War II. Therefore one can conclude that without the crises of WWII, such technologies may not have been developed for decades to come.


Josef Mengele, commonly referred to as ‘The Angel of Death’, was the Nazi doctor and physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII. As well as performing tests on twins to try and create an Aryan ‘master race’, Mengele also carried out experiments where he would inject live human subjects with diseases in order to observe the impact of the disease on the human body. He would then perform clinical trials on the human subjects with different substances to lean how the body / disease would react to such substances.Over this ‘trial and error’ method, Mengele discovered various progressive drugs, treatments or cures for smallpox, typhus, and scarlet fever, as well as advanced medical knowledge on several other diseases. Furthermore, Mengele dissected prisoners and made extremely detailed anatomy drawings of them, discovering information about the human composition that was unexplored at the time. This approach to medical research was very different from previous clinical trials, which were generally conducted on ‘lab rats’. Normally, scientists would be forced to test on animals with similar human anatomies, whereas Mengele tested on subjects that were actually human, meaning his results were highly accurate.Of course, Mengele grossly violated the Hippocratic oath, as he didn’t cure / treat a patient’s disease, but he gave the disease to a subject and then experimented on the patient with treatments. He also took people against their will to concentration camps, where they were then chosen to be subject to these treatments. Furthermore, Mengele attempted to bypass the Geneva Convention by claiming that his test subjects were not ‘people’. By doing so, he conveniently used the Nazi idea of a person to skirt around the Geneva Convection, but at the same time he experimented on these subjects for the sole reason being that they were human, meaning his results would therefore be accurate.The Nazi’s kept obsessively thorough / detailed medical records of their patients at concentration camps. Therefore when the camps were liberated, the Allies found hoards of medical evidence / data that was decades, if not centuries, ahead of where they currently were. However, many of the Allies felt ‘uneasy’ about utilizing such information because of the way in which it was unethically obtained. Non-Jewish nations felt as though they were exploiting the concentration camp victims much like the Nazi’s had.Nevertheless, it was the Jewish community that changed the Allies opinions. They viewed Mengele’s experiments as: ‘You can’t change the past, the fact is that it happened, and we should use the data the Nazi’s collected to benefit mankind and to provide some sort of meaning to the Holocaust’. If the Allies simply destroyed the information, no one would benefit from it, thereby raising the question: what did these people die for? All those millions of deaths would suddenly have no meaning. Therefore the Jewish Community argued that mankind should utilize this information, so that, at least in this sense, the Holocaust victims leave behind some kind of positive legacy. The Allies heard such arguments and were convinced – Mengele’s research was utilized.All in all, although Josef Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz were absolutely horrific to even consider, his research on the human anatomy and discoveries regarding diseases such as smallpox, typhus, and scarlet fever dramatically benefited doctors’ knowledge on such subjects. Without the trials he conducted, such fields would be vastly unexplored for decades to come.



433 Nuclear Power Plants Worldwide

Russian V2 Rocket Testing

A victim of a Nazi experiment is immersed in freezing water



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