10 Crazy Facts about World War II

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Some facts of WWII

1. There was a Japanese soldier, named Hiroo Onada, who didn’t surrender until 29 years after World War II was over, in 1974.

Hiroo Onada (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Hiroo Onada (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

2. That a Japanese man, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, survived both the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

3. Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade, who was a rear gunner in RAF Avro Lancaster bombers, survived a fall from 18,000 feet (5,500 m) without a parachute! He suffered only a sprained leg.

4. Emil Hacha, who was in 1939 President of Czechoslovakia, suffered a heart attack after he was informed by Hitler & Göring of the imminent invasion of his country and threats to bomb the capital if he didn’t cooperate and was kept awake by injections to sign the surrender.

Hácha, Hitler and Göring meeting in Berlin, March 1939 (Credits: Bundesarchiv / F051623-0206)

Hácha, Hitler and Göring meeting in Berlin, March 1939 (Credits: Bundesarchiv / F051623-0206)

5. Spanish double agent, Joan Pujol Garcia, received medals from both sides during World War II. He received the Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse from the Germans and the Member of the Order of the British Empire from the British.

Iron Crosses of the Third Reich. (Credits: Laurence H. via Historical War Militaria Forum)

Iron Crosses of the Third Reich. (Credits: Laurence H. via Historical War Militaria Forum)

6. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Canada declared war on Japan before the United States did.

USS Arizona (BB-39) sunk and burning furiously, 7 December 1941. Her forward magazines had exploded when she was hit by a Japanese bomb. At left, men on the stern of USS Tennessee (BB-43) are playing fire hoses on the water to force burning oil away from their ship. (Credits: U.S. Navy)

USS Arizona (BB-39) sunk and burning furiously, 7 December 1941. Her forward magazines had exploded when she was hit by a Japanese bomb. At left, men on the stern of USS Tennessee (BB-43) are playing fire hoses on the water to force burning oil away from their ship. (Credits: U.S. Navy)

7. Did you know that Japan did claim U.S. soil? During the Battle of the Aleutian Islands Japan managed to seize U.S. owned islands in Alaska. It was a major blow to the U.S. Troops’ moral and costed many lives to reclaim the islands.

Aleutians theater (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Aleutians theater (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

8. That Nutella was invented during World War II? Pietro Ferrero, an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.

Nutella (Via: Wikimedia Commons / A. Kniesel)

Nutella (Via: Wikimedia Commons / A. Kniesel)

9. There was a Polish bear, named Wojtek, who gained the rank of Corporal, was taught to salute, wrestled with the men, drank and smoked cigarettes and helped the front-line troops by carrying ammo and displayed courage in his willingness to participate in the action.

Troops of the Polish 22 Transport Artillery Company (Army Service Corps, 2nd Polish Corps) watch as one of their comrades play wrestles with Wojtek (Voytek) their mascot bear during their service in the Middle East.

Troops of the Polish 22 Transport Artillery Company (Army Service Corps, 2nd Polish Corps) watch as one of their comrades play wrestles with Wojtek (Voytek) their mascot bear during their service in the Middle East. (Via: Wikimedia Commons)

10. The Dutch warship, Abraham Crijnssen, was disguised as a tropical island to escape detection by the Japanese bombers. It worked.

bridge of the Abraham Crijnssen, almost totally obscured by the layers of concealing foliage. (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Bridge of the Abraham Crijnssen, almost totally obscured by the layers of concealing foliage. (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)




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Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.

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