33 Rare and Weird World War II Facts – Part 2

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26Wotan Radar

During World War 2, the German army used a radar system called Wotan. The British scientist R.V. Jones figured out how the system worked by assuming that it used a single beam based on the fact that the Germanic god Wotan had only one eye.


27. World War 2 plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe pioneered the use of saline baths as a treatment for burns after he noticed that pilots who crashed into the sea had faster rates of healing from burns than those who crashed on land.


28. During World War 2, the British launched nearly 100,000 weather balloons, each with a trailing long metal wire toward occupied Europe. They caused power outages when they shorted out power lines and caused at least one German power station to burn down.


29. During World War 2, Russian soldiers took “heat pills” that kept them warm in the winter; however, they would also lose weight despite eating well. 2,4-dinitrophenol spikes metabolic rate as potential energy is lost as heat. It is banned as a weight loss aid (U.S.) as overdose can cook people to death.


30. Among the thousands of men on the Normandy beaches on the D-Day, there was one single woman. Martha Gellhorn was a rogue war correspondent who had stowed away in the toilet of a hospital ship and also happened to be the third wife of Ernest Hemingway.


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31Soviet Soldier

In Stalingrad during World War 2, the average life expectancy of a Soviet soldier was just 24 hours.


32. During World War 2, about 250,000 Filipinos were promised US Citizenship and Veteran Benefits for aiding the US in fighting Japan. Then the USA reneged its offer and only about 4000 got any benefits at all.


33. During World War 2, a group of prisoners at Auschwitz succeeded in blowing up one of the crematoriums using gunpowder smuggled one teaspoon at a time from the nearby munitions factory where some prisoners were forced to work.

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