100 Interesting Battle Facts

1The Rap Battle

The concept of the "rap battle" has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in "Flyting," a spoken word event where poets would insult one another in verse. The Norse god Loki is noted as having insulted other gods in verse.

2. During WWII, L Ron Hubbard once led a 68 hour battle against two Japanese submarines which he claimed: "definitely sunk, beyond doubt". An analysis later concluded that there were never any submarines in the area.

3. Lord Collingwood, Nelson's second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar, would carry a pocket full of acorns on walks in the countryside, planting them as he went so the 'Navy would never want for oaks to build the fighting ships upon which the country's safety depended.'

4. 18th Century Norwegian swashbuckler Peter Tordenskjold once ran out of ammo during a sea battle so he sent his enemy a letter thanking him for "a fine duel" and asking him to send more ammo so they could carry on. The two crews then toasted each other's health and went their separate ways.

5. A German lieutenant, Friedrich Lengfeld, was killed by a land mine while attempting to rescue a wounded American soldier during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest in WWII. The Americans erected a monument in his honor; the only American monument placed in any German military cemetery.

6Urine as a fire extinguisher

A B-17 gunner put out an ammunition fire during a battle by urinating on it - later earning a Medal of Honor

7. In 1818, an Englishman accused of murder demanded a trial by combat. Surprisingly, the law that allowed for trial by combat was still valid, and the man was acquitted when his accuser declined the offer of battle. Trial by combat was abolished the following year.

8. The Aztecs regarded childbirth as a form of battle. Women who died during childbirth were thought to rise to one of the highest heavens - the same one as for male warriors who died in battle.

9. King Leonidas of Sparta was 60 years old at the Battle of Thermopylae.

10. Kurt Lee, the first Chinese-American US Marine Corps officer, yelled out orders in Mandarin Chinese to confuse opposing Chinese troops during the Battle of Inchon in the Korean War.

11Battle of Athens

On August 1, 1946, in Athens, Tennessee, battle-hardened WWII veterans won a shootout with highly corrupt police deputies who were manipulating ballots and illegally holding ex-GIs in the county jail.

12. During a battle Genghis Khan was shot in the neck, after the battle he asked the defeated who shot him, Zurgadai confessed to shooting him but refused to beg for mercy. Genghis Khan then made him one of his troops and eventually he went on to become one of his high ranking generals.

13. In Ancient Rome a slave would continuously whisper 'Remember you are mortal' in the ears of victorious generals as they were paraded through the streets after coming home, triumphant, from battle.

14. The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown was heavily damaged after destroying a Japanese aircraft carrier during the first carrier battle in history. After 48 hours of emergency repairs, it ended up helping destroy two more carriers before being sunk and inadvertently saved the other US carriers.

15. During a battle of the Korean War, a mortar section was running out of mortar rounds. Instead of ordering more rounds, they accidentally ordered hundreds of crates of Tootsie Rolls, having not specified that "tootsie rolls" was a slang term for mortar rounds.

16French military

The French military actually has the best military record in Europe having won 132 of the 185 battles they fought in the last 800 years

17. As the strongest and most imposing members of a company, British Pioneer Sergeants would march with a shovel and axe to clear a path for troops, kill horses wounded in battle, and grow beards for protection while smithing.

18. The Mad Piper Bill Millin, the only bagpiper to land on the beach in Normandy. While men fell around him, he played his pipes throughout the battle. A group of captured German snipers was asked why they hadn't shot him. They replied that they thought he'd gone insane and felt bad for him.

19. During the Battle of Moscow, despite German forces closing to within 50 kilometers of the city, the Soviet Union still held the annual military parade marking the revolution. Soviet troops who paraded past the Kremlin then marched directly to the front line and into battle.

20. During The Battle of The Bulge, General Patton ordered a chaplain to compose a prayer for good weather that was desperately needed for an advance. The chaplain complied, the weather cleared, and Patton awarded the chaplain a bronze star on the spot.

21US Codebreakers

In WW2, US codebreakers could not decipher the Japanese code "AF" but suspected it was Midway, so the base there sent an uncoded message about a water supply problem. The US then caught a Japanese message that AF had water problems, allowing the US pacific fleet to immediately prepare for battle

22. During the WWII naval battle of Leyte Gulf, an American pilot made repeated attack runs against one of the largest battleships in history, Japan's Yamato. After running out of ammunition, the pilot continued attacking, throwing a Coke bottle and other loose cockpit articles at the ship’s bridge

23. During the Battle of Stalingrad, factories in the city continued to produce tanks. These tanks, unpainted and lacking gunsights, were driven directly from the factory floor to the front line and were often crewed by factory workers.

24. Canadian soldier Leo Major made so much noise during a battle in WW2 that he made the German army think that the entire Canadian army was invading

25. Begum Samru (1753-1836), an Indian dancing girl who became the wealthy ruler of her own small principality. She led her troops into battle and was so successful that many believed that she had supernatural powers. After baptism, Samru became India's only Catholic ruler.

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