100 Interesting Facts About WWII

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26 SS Cap Arcona

SS Cap Arcona

During World War 2, allied forces sunk three ships carrying concentration camp survivors by accident, killing around 10,000 survivors.

27. Around 20% of Poland’s population died in World War 2, the highest percentage of any nation.

28. The township of Thierville, France suffered no losses in country’s last five wars: WW1, the Franco-Prussian War, WW2, the First Indochina War, and the Algerian War. All the soldiers who took part in these wars returned home.

29. Stanisława Leszczyńska was a polish midwife who was incarcerated at Auschwitz during World War 2. Leszczyńska was advised to euthanize the newborns she delivered. She did not comply, did not kill a single child, and delivered over 3,000 children.

30. Germans accidentally bombed themselves during the onset of World War 2 and then used propaganda to blame the French and British while threatening five-fold retaliation.

31 Steagles was formed

Steagles was formed

In 1943, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles merged into one team known as the “Steagles” because of depleted rosters during World War 2.

32. By the end of World War 2, 1.6 million Canadians (total population 11 million) had served in the military. Canada also had the fourth-largest air force and fifth-largest naval surface fleet in the world.

33. Nazis exterminated approximately 3,500,000 Soviet Prisoners of War during World War 2, classifying them as ‘sub-humans.’

34. On 11 November 1918 after the World War 1, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, French marshal Ferdinand Foch said “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” Twenty years and 65 days later, World War 2 broke out.

35. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal discovered a cache of files that revealed that the U.S. government lobotomized over 2000 veterans against their will after WW2. The veterans were lobotomized for reasons such as PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and occasionally homosexuality.

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36 Tony Bennet

Tony Bennet

Singer Tony Bennet is a World War 2 Veteran who narrowly escaped death several times and took part in the liberation of a concentration camp. He eventually was demoted for dining with a black friend.

37. The Grand Mosque in Paris, under cleric Si Kaddour Benghabrit, saved hundreds of Jews during World War 2 by granting them fake papers and allowing them to hide in the catacombs beneath the mosque.

38. When the Russians soldiers retreated on German assault, they usually destroyed most buildings suitable for command posts. However, they would often leave some large buildings intact, but only after lining them with time bombs set to explode weeks later, to destroy entire German headquarters at once.

39. During World War 2, two polish doctors saved the lives of 8,000 Jews in the town of Rozwadow by faking a typhus epidemic that stopped the Nazis from entering their town.

40. Several indigenous islanders of the Melanesia (islands in Pacific) believed that the cargo dropped for the American soldiers during World War 2 were gifts from the gods. After the American soldiers left at the end of World War 2, these islanders built ceremonial airstrips and ports for God to send them cargo, and practiced military marches in religious ceremonies. They are known as cargo cults.

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41 Simo Häyhä

Simo Häyhä

In World War 2, Finnish sniper Simo Häyhä, (nicknamed “White Death”) killed over 542 Soviet Soldiers in 100 days, all the while using only his rifle’s iron sights and no scope. When asked what he felt when killing an enemy soldier, he responded, “The recoil.”

42. After the fall of Berlin in World War 2, millions of German women were raped by Soviet soldiers. Over 100,000 births in the city were believed to be the result of rape.

43. A German soldier during WW2 called Werner Goldberg became the German poster boy for recruitment, being branded “The Ideal German Soldier” because of his physical appearance. Ironically, he was half Jewish.

44. During World War 2, US Army designated 603rd unit as Camouflage Engineers. Most of them were artists, architects, actors, set designers, and engineers. Their objective was not only to teach camouflage but to deceive the enemy. They became known as the Ghost Army.

45. British prisoners of war during World War 2 were a huge source of morale drain on the German people. Often they would get their captors arrested by filing fallacious complaints about their treatment in the camps.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

46 Enigma machine

Enigma machine

After the end of World War 2, Allies sold captured Enigma machines, still widely considered secure, to developing countries. These countries did not know that the Enigma code had been broken. Their supposedly secure communications were then being read regularly by the major Western intelligence agencies.

47. Joseph Medicine Crow became the last Plains Indian war chief ever after completing all four required tasks while fighting in Europe during World War II. These included touching an enemy soldier, stealing his weapon, leading a successful war party, and stealing an enemy’s horse.

48. During the outbreak of World War 2, London Zoo killed all their venomous animals in case the zoo was bombed and the animals escaped.

49. During World War 2, American soldier John R. Fox died when he deliberately called an artillery strike on himself. Realizing that German troops were overrunning his party’s position, the strike delayed the enemy long enough for other American units to organize a counter attack.

50. During World War 2, American factory workers produced more than twice their German counterparts and had four times the output of Japanese workers prompting industrialist Donald Douglas to observe, “Here’s proof that free men can out-produce slaves.”

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  1. #82 and #83 shows the problem associated with alcoholism in many countries.
    #85 means that USA mainly relied on British technology advancement for its military prowess.

  2. Yeah, I’m pretty sure American “Military Prowess” came from our ability to produce 49,234 Sherman tanks, 2,710 Liberty Ships, 300,000 planes, 640,000 Jeeps, etc, etc. Not to mention the other vehicles, supplies etc.
    No other country on Earth could match our production ability.

    • Yes but turn you did have 6 million men of fighting age doing nothing for the first 4 years of the war and only joined in on condition that your government had sole access to our technology including all the info from Bletchley Park and that we destroyed our copies

  3. Number27 states that around 20% of polands population died during world war 2 but neglets that it included over 99% of polands jews.

  4. #42 wrong + no source
    Don‘t believe ONLY the Russian soldiers behaved terrible. Some historian estimate 500,000 rape victims of Russian and 200,00 by American soldiers.

  5. Tim, there weren’t any US, British or French Army troops in Berlin when the Red Army overran it. So it would be hard for Allied troops to rape any women in the aftermath of the fall of Berlin. Not saying that some soldiers from all nations didn’t do bad things, but let that marinate.

  6. America had more manpower and woman power so of course they could produce more. No country ever paid as much as UK did for the ‘friendly lease lend’ idea and the interest due under its terms.

  7. Tommy Prince was from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation in Manitoba. We use the term First Nations or Indigenous not Native American in Canada. He also served in the Korean War and is Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldier.



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