100 Interesting Facts About WWII

1When Nazis dropped wooden bomb

In WW2, the Nazis had a wooden airfield in Northern France and the British knew about it. Being British, they let them build it and when it was finished they dropped a wooden bomb on it.

2. In 1945, during WW2, a US Marine, Jack Lucas survived and earned the Medal of Honor by pulling two live grenades under his body. He later joined the airborne and survived a training jump when both parachutes failed to deploy.

3. In 1945, during WW2, nine crewmen survived when their warplane crashed. Eight were captured by the Japanese and eaten. One survived because he was picked up by a passing submarine. That survivor was George H.W. Bush.

4. Carrots don't give you good eyesight. This was propaganda spread by the British soldiers in WW2 to hide from the Germans the fact that they had invented radar and could detect incoming air-raids much earlier.

5. After World War II, Denmark declined an offer of $100,000,000 from the United States to buy Greenland.

6When Russia ran out of vodka

Between the announcement of Germany’s surrender during WW2 on the radio to Joseph Stalin addressing of the nation 22 hours later, Russia literally ran out of vodka.

7. In 1947, the British used 6800 tons of surplus WW2 explosives to destroy military infrastructure on the tiny island of Heligoland. Loss of the island was acceptable. The explosion resulted in one of the largest single non-nuclear detonations recorded.

8. The US playing card company 'Bicycle' had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany. The Nazis were none the wiser!

9. The handbook issued to US soldiers in Britain during WW2 included the line "the British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap."

10. In the Battle of Hurtgen Forest during WW2, the forest was so dense and dark and hard to navigate that the German and Allied medics shared an aid station in the only building either could easily find.

11Life Pod of Churchill

During WW2, Winston Churchill required a pressurized chamber known as the Life Pod to fly due to his health. It included a phone, an ashtray, and an air circulation system so that he could smoke.

12. During World War II, President Dwight D. Eisenhower predicted that people would try to deny the holocaust ever happened, and therefore ordered people to take as many photographs of the Nazi crimes as possible in order to avoid such attempts.

13. World War II broke out before the VW Bug could go into production, so the Germans used Volkswagen parts to produce the Volkswagen Kübelwagen and the “Schwimmwagen” instead. The Schwimmwagen was basically an amphibious military version of the Beetle, and over 14,000 of them fought in WW2.

14. In World War II, during the invasion of the Netherlands, Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard evacuated to Canada. When Princess Juliana's child was born, the Governor General of Canada declared the Princess’ quarters extraterritorial so that the newborn was eligible for the line of succession.

15. Around 20 million Chinese civilians died in World War 2.

16David Niven

David Niven was the only British star in Hollywood to enlist during World War 2. When suspicious American guards asked during the Battle of the Bulge who had won the World Series in 1943, he answered “Haven’t the foggiest idea ... but I did co-star with Ginger Rogers in ‘Bachelor Mother’!”

17. Ben L. Salomon was a dentist in the US Army who during World War 2 was shot 24 times while defending an aid station from the Japanese. Although he killed up to 98 attackers, allowing the wounded to be evacuated, his Medal of Honor was delayed because medical officers were not supposed to bear arms against the enemy.

18. Modern U.S swinging started during World War 2 amongst fighter pilots who shared wives as a bonding ritual, with a tacit understanding that the 2/3 of husbands who survived would look after the widows.

19. Over 20,000 Americans service members deserted during World War 2. Pvt Eddie Slovik was executed to serve an example to others, the only service member executed for desertion since the Civil War to this day.

20. London only reached its pre-World War 2 population level in January 2015.

21Jericho Trumpets

The iconic ‘scream’ made by World War 2 dive bombers is produced by two separate acoustic devices mounted to the wings, known as a ‘Jericho Trumpet(s)’ and serve no purpose beyond intimidation.

22. Producers for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had a hard time finding enough little people for the role of Oompa Loompas because the Nazis killed so many of them in WW2.

23. During World War 2, Nazis rigged skewed-hanging-pictures with explosives in buildings that would be prime candidates for Allies to set up a command post from. When Ally officers would set up a command post, they tended to straighten the pictures, triggering these “anti-officer crooked picture bombs.”

24. Kyoto was originally at the top of the atomic bomb target list during WW2 but was personally removed by U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. He had previously been to Kyoto on his honeymoon.

25. After World War 2 cuttings from Washington DC’s cherry trees originally a gift from Japan was sent back to Japan to restore the Tokyo collection decimated by US bombing during the war.

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