Towards the end of World War II, an effort was made by Germany to take down the American bombers that were wreaking havoc in Germany. The Natter (grass snake) was developed as an inexpensive and easy to build interceptor that made use of the recently developed rocket technology for its flight. The aircraft was designed for single use but was utilized too late to have any kind of effect in tipping the scales of war.
The Natter was the last-ditch effort by Germany that was taking quite a hit – literally – thanks to the allied bombing that was continuously ongoing. Bombers hailing from the UK and the US were bringing destruction to Germany. Cities, factories, military forces, and energy production facilities were being pounded, and Berlin was losing its ability to fight. The ability to protect the skies was also severely hampered because of a lack of aircraft, fuel, and trained pilots.
That is when the Natter came into play. It was designed to carry out a single task; take off and fire a barrage of nose-mounted rockets at the enemy’s bomber formations. The Natter was disposable and was designed to carry out the said task only once. The pilot had to parachute back to Earth, and parts of the aircraft would be recovered to be used later on.
The Natter was designed for vertical take-off by making use of Germany’s rocket technology, thus avoiding the use of long airfields. This would make it possible for Germany to intercept the bombers from unprecedented locations. The Natter didn’t need aviation fuel, ball bearing, and even metal. Germany made use of wood and rocket motors for carrying out its job.
The Natter was, however, too late to have any effect on the outcome of World War II. There is only one model of it that is displayed in a museum. Check out the video below to learn more about it!