It’s no secret that during Word War II, the Nazis experimented with a number of new weapon designs to try and sway the outcome.
The Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus was just one of the Nazi’s ‘miracle weapons’, which many troops truly believed would help Germany reach an armistice with Britain and America.
But instead of being the war-winning weapon which could have led to a The Man In The High Castle-esque dsytopian future where Nazis ruled the world, it just wasn’t to be.
It was first proposed by Ferdinand Porsche back in June 1942, when the result of the war was still in the balance.
The Maus was designed to be an absolute beast, so massive in fact that it was the heaviest fully-enclosed tank ever built and around three times heavier than tanks used nowadays, Warisboring report.
Due to the fact that bridges weren’t able to support the weight, the Panzer VIII was designed with a series of components that would allow it to travel underwater to a depth of over 13 metres (45 ft).
It weighed in at 180 metric tons and its side armour, which is usually a tanks weak spot, was 180 millimetres thick- to put that into perspective that was almost double the thickness of its renowned Tiger I tank.
And then there was its firepower. It was packed out with a MG-34 machine gun in a ball mount and two cannons, a deadly combination that would strike fear into any enemy.
Its purpose was simple. The Maus would be used to force its way through the front line like a juggernaut with its terrifying power and allow other forces to work their way through.
But with a lack of steel and critical alloys available during this time and problematic engine development, it proved too big an ask to build the 152 which was originally envisioned.
It took until January 1944 for it’s first tests to be carried out and it was all for nothing, as The Maus never saw the light of day.
The Soviets and British forces made sure of that after capturing Germany’s two prototypes in April 1945, before their surrender three weeks later.