Adolf Hitler thought he was going to win. The Nazis didn’t just take battle plans and explosives into World War II; they had plans for a whole new world order. When the fighting and the bloodshed were done, they were going to build a new fascist empire over the ruins of Europe.
The Nazis already had already written up the blueprints for their new order. If everything had gone according to Hitler’s plan, the world today would be a different place. And in many ways, the Nazi new world order wouldn’t have been what you’d expect.
10. Returning American Land To The Natives
The Nazis might have been genocidal white supremacists, but when it came to Native Americans, they were surprisingly accepting. Once America was theirs, the Nazis promised, they were going to give American land back to the natives.
They had worked with a group called the American Indian Federation and won them over as fascist sympathizers. Some members of the group went well beyond sympathy and turned into outright rabid Nazis—like “Chief Red Cloud,” who tacked a swastika onto his clothes and gave speeches that called Jews the “children of Satan” and claimed that they “controlled the Indian service.”
(“Chief Red Cloud” was a fake identity adopted by Portland attorney Elwood A. Towner, who was Native American. The real Chief Red Cloud died in 1909 and had nothing to do with Hitler.)
The Nazis loved the actions of their Native American sympathizers. In fact, the Nazis publicly declared that Native Americans were Aryans and sent undercover propaganda officers to America to convince them to overthrow the US government. In exchange, the Nazis swore, they would give the Native Americans their land back.
Whether the Nazis were telling the truth or not, a lot of people listened. “Chief Red Cloud” (Towner) claimed that he had an army of 750,000 Native Americans ready to fight for Hitler. The moment a Nazi army set foot on American soil, he said, they would help him tear the United States apart.
9. A Giant Space Mirror
Without a doubt, one of the stranger Nazi plans was the giant space mirror—which was exactly what it sounds like. The Nazis planned to put a gigantic mirror that was 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) in diameter in orbit 35,900 kilometers (22,300 mi) above the Earth—and if they’d had a bit more time, they just might have pulled it off.
The idea was basically the giant space-Nazi equivalent of a cruel little boy burning ants with a magnifying glass. Whenever somebody made the Nazis angry, they were going to tilt the mirror to reflect the Sun’s rays onto the offending party’s city. Supposedly, the Sun’s rays would have become beams of burning hot light that would engulf in flames anything they touched.
The Nazis were even going to set it up as a full space station. They had plans to keep a crew of men inside the mirror at all times, surviving off the food and oxygen scavenged from a crop of pumpkins.
Today, there are some doubts about whether it would have worked. But the scientist behind it, Hermann Oberth, was so confident in the idea that, after the war was over, he tried to get the Americans to build it instead. If he’d had a bit more time, the Nazis probably would have finished it and the world would have lived under the terror of a gigantic mirror in the sky.