Before the Germans officially surrendered in 1945 due to depletion of resources, their top scientists had been fervently working on several top secret projects. One of these project headings had to do with jet propulsion. The concept of jet propulsion was not a new idea. Scientists had certainly been tinkering around trying to get it to work for years. Both the United States and Great Britain had scientists working in jet propulsion laboratories with great success and had even test flown jet airplanes in the early forties.
However, in 1945 the Germans were the first to introduce a jet fighter to the battlefield. The Messerschmitt 262 (pictured above-left and cockpit right) made history when it soared past an American P-51 Mustang escort and successfully attacked a squadron of B-17s in route to bomb Germany. The Me 262 was over 100 mph faster than the fastest aircraft of the war. The plane had an incredibly high ceiling and was quite efficient at intercepting Allied bomber groups. The fighter's recorded quite a high ratio of kills and most of the ME 262s destroyed were because of pilot error as opposed to being shot down. Despite the individual success and the high kill ratio of the ME 262s, there simply were not enough of them to make any real impact of the war. Months after its first successful debut defending the skies the Germans surrendered.