WWII Chronicles: 60 Remarkable Facts About the Most Pivotal Conflict in History

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1French Marshal's

French Marshal's

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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6Polish doctors

Polish doctors

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.

7. 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.

8. 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.”

9. 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.

10. 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.

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11Ghost Army

Ghost Army

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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

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

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16John R. Fox

John R. Fox

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.

17. 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.”

18. During World War 2, British soldiers got a ration of three sheets of toilet paper a day. Americans got 22.

19. Berlin still hasn't recovered its pre-WW2 population

20. In World War II, German soldiers in American POW camps were sometimes allowed to leave without guards on the honor system, visiting nearby towns. Black American guards noted that German prisoners could visit segregated restaurants that even they could not.

21Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing

Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing

The United States air-dropped thousands of leaflets over 35 Japanese cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which warned citizens that “some or all of the cities ... will be destroyed by American bombs” and to “evacuate the cities named and save your lives.”

22. During WWII, when Sergeant Leonard A. Funk was confronted by 90 German soldiers that had captured his squad, he began to laugh hysterically at the situation. Many of the enemy soldiers began to laugh along with him, until Funk wiped out his machine gun, gunning down 21 and capturing the rest.

23. Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, a Gurkha soldier during WW2 lost his right hand while throwing back a grenade from his trench (after two successful attempts at hurling back the grenades), which exploded in his hand. He then "single-handedly" defended his post for over 4 hours against 200 enemy soldiers killing 31 Japanese using only his left hand.

24. Leo Major, a French Canadian soldier during WWII single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers and he declined the invitation to be decorated because according to him General Montgomery (who was giving the award) was "incompetent" and in no position to be giving out medals.

25. During WW2, a German soldier named Fritz Christen stood his ground for 3 straight days and knocked out 13 Soviet tanks and killed nearly 100 enemy soldiers single-handedly.

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