100 Interesting Facts About WWII

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76Homosexual victims

Some homosexual concentration camp prisoners were forced to serve out the remainder of their sentences after the liberation and end of WW2.


77. Judy, a purebred English pointer who would often jump in to protect prisoners from beatings in a POW camp during WW2. A British Naval pilot bargained to have her officially considered a POW so the guards could not kill her.


78. Lewis Lee Millett deserted the US Army when he thought they would not enter WW2 and joined the Canadian Army to fight. After the US Army joined WW2 he transferred back. During the Korean War, he would be awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the last major bayonet charge in American history.


79. Christopher Lee, the actor who played Saruman in LOTR and Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, was related to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was the step-cousin of James Bond writer Ian Fleming, was a Flight Lieutenant in the British Royal Air Force during WW2 and killed multiple Nazis, climbed Mt. Vesuvius three days before it erupted, tripped over a live bomb and survived, and released a symphonic death metal album at the age of 88.


80. A pigeon called Gustav carried the first word of the Normandy invasion back to the British mainland during WW2, due to the fleet undergoing radio silence at that time. He flew 150 miles in 5 hours and 16 minutes. He was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery. He died after the war by being accidentally stepped on.


81Banana ketchup

The Philippines has banana ketchup. During WW2 there was a shortage of tomatoes and they had to use bananas as a replacement to replicate ketchup. It’s made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar, and spices.


82. In WW2 Russians changed their R2 rocket fuel from ethyl to methyl alcohol to prevent the problem of the launch troops drinking up the rocket fuel.


83. During WWII the fuel used for torpedos by the American navy was 180-proof grain alcohol. Sailors mixed it with pineapple juice and called the drink torpedo juice. Various poisonous additives were mixed into the fuel alcohol by Navy authorities to render the alcohol undrinkable, and various methods were employed by the U.S. sailors to separate the alcohol from the poison.


84. In WW2, the Allies estimated German average monthly tank production using statistical analysis of their serial numbers. They were off by one.


85. In 1940, while fighting the Battle of Britain and desperate to gain American support to win WW2, Great Britain handed over technologies to the USA that included radar, sonar, plastic explosives, the jet engine and the first practical calculations for the atomic bomb.


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86Kamikaze attack

Otōemon Hiroeda, a Japanese Officer killed himself during WW2 rather than order his 2000 subordinates to conduct a kamikaze attack.


87. The US government during WW2 asked the press to avoid discussing “polonium, uranium, ytterbium, hafnium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, thorium, deuterium”. Only uranium was secret, for the Manhattan Project, but was listed with the other elements to hide its importance.


88. Without the atomic bomb, the invasion plan of Japan in WW2 would have been the largest in all of history, including 42 carriers, 24 battleships, 400 destroyers and 6 million soldiers.


89. Star Trek's Scotty, James Doohan, was a CDN soldier during WW2, who landed on Juno Beach, killed two snipers and cleared a minefield before even getting off the beachhead.


90. During WW2, Nazis developed an experimental drug cocktail and the Nazi doctors found that the equipment-laden test subjects who had taken the drug were able to march 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) without any fatigue.


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91Sun Life building

During WW2, Britain shipped its gold reserves and foreign securities to Canada in crates labeled "Fish". They were stored for years in an office building in downtown Montreal, where 5000 people worked throughout the war without having a clue about what was hidden in their basement.


92. Alan Turing the father of computer science, artificial intelligence and who helped break German WW2 ciphers, committed suicide after being forced to undergo hormonal treatment for homosexuality and barred from continuing his cryptographic work


93. The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is coated with an anti-graffiti chemical. It was manufactured by the very same company that made the Zyklon B gas that was used in concentration camp gas chambers during WW2.


94. During WW2, penicillin was recycled and extracted from the urine of soldiers already on the antibiotics.


95. Russian and Japan still haven't signed any peace treaty to end WW2.


96Yang Kyoungjong

A Korean soldier during WW2 was enrolled into the Japanese Imperial Army. Eventually, he was captured and forced to fight for the Red Army. Later he was captured again and forced to fight for the Wehrmacht (Germany). Making him a veteran of three armies.


97. Coconut juice or water inside not only is sterile but has the same electrolytic balance as human blood, which enabled medics in the Pacific Theater in World War II to use it as an emergency substitute for plasma.


98. An Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer, who fought in World War II, Hiroo Onoda never surrendered in 1945. Until 1974, for almost 30 years, he held his position in the Philippines. His former commander traveled from Japan to personally issue orders relieving him from duty in 1974.


99. The notion of gremlins was first conceptualized during WW2 when mechanical failures in aircraft were jokingly blamed on the small monsters.


100. During WW2, a Russian pilot, Alexey Maresyev was shot down over Nazi Germany. He dragged himself 18 days to Soviet territory and had to have his legs amputated. Later, he mastered the use of prosthetic devices and returned to flying combat missions.

4 COMMENTS

  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.

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

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