Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus
Because what else were they going to call one of the largest tanks ever built?
Any bigger and it'd rival the Kriegsmarine battlecruisers. And just as useful in the war (which is to say, not very at all)
They did call the Ratte a "land cruiser", which was long after the point where the Nazis have lost the plot and gone insane with their "Wunderwaffes", yet somehow still gets neo-Nazis and wehraboos hard.
I'm not sure I fall into either of those categories. I just like the sheer engineering balls need to build that thing! Granted, it was as useless as a screen door on a submarine, but the fact they built one that worked was impressive.
Never said you were. Just felt like needing to mention how amazingly ridiculous the Maus was and fed to this mythos about German tanks of WW2 despite being as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike. And they only managed to build one and a half of these, and none ever saw combat.
I'd argue the last capable tank Nazi Germany produced in WW2 was the Tiger I, which was at least purpose built and actually fit their doctrine of a heavy breakthrough vehicle.
Hm, well, if you said the Tiger *series* I'd agree. But yeah, most of their wonder weapons were crazy-ass designs that were born partly out of sheer desperation and partly to appease a madman... and occasionally, they were somewhat good.
Although, you'd have to admit a column of Maus and Ratte tanks would at least be terrifying... well, up until they met a bridge over a river. Then it would be hilarious.
There was promising stuff in some of the V-weapons they built, such as the rockets and jet aircraft designs. But most of them were just a waste of resources, which may have only hastened their demise.
The initial shock might be similar to the the British Mark IV tanks crossing no-man's land in WW1, but that would probably quickly wear off as soon as the Allies figure it out and just mass their firepower on it.
And I believe they anticipated the problems of river crossings and designed the Maus to be able to use a snorkel device while the Ratte could probably literally just drive across most rivers on the continent.