The Sonnengewehr (German: Sun Gun) is a weapon of mass destruction developed by the Nazis. Consisting of a large reflective surface positioned in orbit around the earth, the weapon focuses large amounts of sunlight to create a concentrated beam of photons carrying immense amounts of energy, incinerating its target.
In the main Wolfenstein series[edit | edit source]
The New Order[edit | edit source]
The Sun Gun does not appear directly in the events of October 1960-February 1961, but a newspaper article dated November 15 1960 discusses the weapon, describing it as the largest weapons system constructed by the Nazi regime and indeed the largest in human history.
It is mentioned that the space station upon which the weapon is mounted is 2500 meters in length but the dimensions and composition of the actual mirror are not described, making it impossible to speculatively calculate the weapon's actual energy output. The article provides contradictory statements on this matter, describing the gun as powerful enough to destroy entire cities but then featuring a quote from the head of the project describing the system's capacity for minimal collateral damage; as it is a propaganda piece from a news outlet in a Nazi-controlled state it may be the case that either or both of these statements are unreliable.
The New Colossus[edit | edit source]
The Sun Gun is never referred to during the events of June-July 1961. Whether it will play a role in ensuing events remains to be seen.
In the Freedom Chronicles[edit | edit source]
During the beginning of the Second American Revolution, Uberkommandant Roderick Metze proposed to the Oberkommando that the Sun Gun be fired at targets across the American Territories as soon as it became operational, in order to suppress resistance activities in the former midwestern United states. At the time when Metze formulated this plan, the weapon was still under construction.
Joseph Stallion's quest for vengeance against Metze may have delayed the Sun Gun's construction and deployment, as he not only eliminated an influential advocate of the weapon but also destroyed significant amounts of military hardware during his rampage, cutting into the Nazi regime's resources.
After Metze's death Wolfgang Schwarz was placed in command of the project; with his oversight the Sun Gun was developed into an operational state, but its activation was disrupted by the attack on Schwarz's U-boat base by Gerald and Ginny Wilkins; Ginny destroyed the satellite dishes used to signal the gun while Gerald killed Schwarz and captured his command U-boat.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The basic idea of the Sun Gun, using a large mirror in orbit to concentrate sunlight onto a specific point on a planetary surface, is actually a scientifically sound concept that dates back to the 1920s. The earliest publicly known proposal for such a device was made by Hermann Oberth, who wrote some of the earliest scientific literature on rocketry and the physical particulars of space travel. In the 1940s German military scientists proposed weaponising such a device, using such a mirror to create a focused beam powerful enough to incinerate cities; it could also be used in an infrastructural role, boiling ocean water at a terrestrial receiving station to generate electricity.
Oberth's original vision was for a mirror 100 metres in diameter but the later proposal called for a reflective area of nine square kilometres, which would require a diameter of over three kilometres. Even the more conservative estimates from this project suggested that the Sonnengewehr would not be operational until the year 2000, yet the Nautica newspaper article claims that it is near completion in 1960; assuming that this assertion isn't just hyperbolic propaganda, it can be attributed to the Wolfenstein world at this time having a far more developed space program than any real life nation possesses even today and/or to this version just being much smaller than the historical proposals.
The Sonnengewehr's name is a reference to the Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun) or Sonnenrad, a Nazi symbol found on the floors of Wewelsburg Castle (the centre of the SS led by Heinrich Himmler) and is used by Neo-Nazi and neo-volkisch mystical groups.