10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War -

10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War

10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War
Hitler was a nasty guy. that’s an example of a documented fact about the second war. There aren’t many periods in world history that are more scrutinized, had more written about them, or inspired more creative works than WWII (the tiny mustache boogaloo). Given just how complex and all-consuming the war was, a couple of interesting little facts and stories seem to possess slipped through the mainstream historical gaps. Enjoy these lesser-known events, facts, and stories from the world’s most momentous conflict… so far.10 JEWS WHO FOUGHT IN HITLER’S NAZI ARMY. 10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War.

10 A Battle on American Soi

Everybody knows that Imperial Japan attacked the US base at Pearl Harbour, thus drawing America into the war (and effectively signing their own death warrant). What not many of us know is that Japan actually invaded the USA. Yes, Imperial Japan landed on the shores of the great ole’ US of A and engaged in combat.

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The battle of Attu off the Alaskan coast was a two-week-long slugfest that saw the occupying Japanese force destroyed by the American/Canadian relief forces. Years earlier, US General Mitchell had told congress that “whoever holds Alaska will hold the world”. This engagement saw the top of the Aleutian Island campaign which could have seen Japan gain a solid foothold from which to attack the USA, and perhaps even win the war.

9 The German Army and therefore the American Army Fought Together

That’s right. The Americans fought shoulder to shoulder with Nazi Wermacht soldiers… against an SS Division, towards the top of the war. Phew! The engagement features a very medieval name—The Battle for Castle Itter. The fighting, acts of heroism, and a general air of chaos were equally medievally flavored too. The castle, and surrounding area, was under the control of the Waffen-SS ad had been administered under the auspices of the Dachau concentration camp. After a prisoner revolt led to the ejection of the SS guards, the castle became a target for reoccupation by a close-by Waffen-SS force, and for liberation by a loose coalition of small US divisions, Austrian resistance fighters, a defected German military unit headed by Josef Gangl and therefore the largely French prisoners who had seized the weapons left by their former guards. a gaggle of over 100 Waffen-SS troops attacked the castle. Now defended by one American tank, 14 servicemen, a couple of French prisoners, and Gangl’s small force, the Allied-Wermacht coalition held out for hours until the US 142nd Infantry Regiment sent a relief force that quickly smashed the SS. Castle Itter was liberated and therefore the French prisoners returned to Paris a couple of days later. Gangl died during the battle, selflessly throwing himself ahead of former French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud, saving him from a sniper. Gangl is now, quite rightly, considered a national hero in Austria.

10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War
8 The ‘Midnight Massacre’

We don’t actually need to rack our brains to beat up knowledge of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the second war. Even certain Allied actions just like the bombing of Dresden, the advance of the Red Army through Germany and Churchill’s actions which (arguably) exacerbated the Bengal famine loom large within the public consciousness. The brutalities met upon POWs are much more commonly related to the Axis forces, Imperial Japan especially. One egregious Allied example stands out though, and it occurred in Salina, Utah. On July 7, 1945, Pvt. Clarence Bertucci had been drinking all evening. Before making his way back to the prison camp for a guard, he told a waitress in town that “something exciting goes to happen tonight”. “Exciting” perhaps. Horrifying seems more apt. at the changing of the guard in the dark, Bertucci snuck up into a guard tower and took control of the .30 cal Browning machine gun, and opened fire. His target? A series of tents that housed sleeping German and Italian POWs. He unloaded 250 rounds, killing 9 unwitting prisoners. “Blood flowed out the door” at the hospital that night. Bertucci avoided serious punishment, getting adjudged insane by a panel, and sent to a hospital for an undisclosed period (presumably a brief one). He died a free man in 1969. His reason for committing this callous war crime? “He hated Germans, so he had killed Germans”.

7 Tsar Boris III Of Bulgaria Died…

But who killed him? He was seen as an excellent unifier by his people, having recovered lost territories that had been ceded after the good War. He also kept his country neutral during WWII; allowing the Nazis to use railways through Bulgaria to access occupied Greece but refusing to supply troops for the German invasion of Russia. He also refused to deport the Kingdom’s Jewish population to Nazi camps. In 1943, shortly after a gathering with Hitler, Tsar Boris died in Sofia. He appeared to be poisoned by an unknown substance. therefore the Nazis killed him, right? Not consistent with the foremost popular theory. it had been the Brits. or even the Russians. Bulgaria had acted because of the diplomatic link between Russia and Germany and should are brokering a replacement peace accord between the warring superpowers. So British spies poisoned him to stay the war going (maybe?) it’s said that when Hitler learned of Tsar Boris’ fate, he broke a vase against a wall up rage. Or due to all the meth in his system…
10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War
6 Missing Nazi Uranium

When you consider just how close the Nazi regime came to harnessing the facility of splitting the atom, a chilly sweat should begin to make on the nape of your neck—they were too damned close. In 2013, Timothy Koeth of the University of Maryland received a rather strange gift—a Nazi-made uranium cube. The artifact was once one among many identical cubes that were to be utilized in a reactor by the Germans. After the United States Army dismantled all the captured Nazi weapons/energy sites in 1945, some observers claimed that there have been many uranium cubes still missing. we’ve all heard the legends of missing Nazi gold bars, but uranium cubes? This particular atomic block that ended up in Koeth’s possession came wrapped in cloth with a note attached: “Gift of Ninninger [sic], piece of uranium from the reactor Hitler tried to create .” It clothed that “Ninninger” was Robert Nininger, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and, after his death, his estate representatives passed the curio on to Koeth. Cool right? One scary question remains—where are the others? If you’ve got any knowledge on the possible location of the remaining Nazi uranium cubes, you’ll contact the team at the University of Maryland.

5 The US Air Force VS An Undefeatable, Ancient Enemy

The Italian region of Campania is beautiful—with a shocking coastline, the gorgeous island of Capri, and therefore the historic city of Naples. And Vesuvius. In mid-March of 1944, whilst the Allies occupied the region, the volcano erupted. Sgt. Robert F McRae was stationed at an airfield near the volcano, recording his observations in his diary:“ As I sit in my tent … I can hear at four- to 10-second intervals the loud rumbling of the volcano on the third day of its present eruption. The noise is like that of bowling balls slapping into the pins on an enormous bowling alley. to seem above the mountain tonight, one would think that the planet was on fire… Today it’s estimated that a path of molten lava 1 mile long, half a mile wide, and eight feet deep is rolling down the mountain. Towns on the slopes are preparing to evacuate. Our location is, apparently, safe. At any rate, nobody here, civilian or Army authorities, seems an excessive amount of worried. Lava has not begun to flow down this side of the mountain so far but is flowing on the opposite side toward Naples.” His optimism didn’t last—the base suffered huge damage, $25 million worth of military hardware destroyed. Although there have been no military fatalities, 26 Italians died and quite ten thousand displaced when their settlements were destroyed.

4 Breton Separatists Were Nazi Collaborators And Resistance Fighter

This fact speaks to the complexities beyond the straightforward freedom vs. tyranny, good vs. evil paradigms that are often suggested because of the dominant narrative of the war (most wars, really). It is likely that the majority of Breton Nationalists supported the Nazi occupation, seeing their philosophy of Aryan supremacy (which included Celts just like the Breton people) as an honest pretext for eventually carving out an independent Breton state. But not all Breton separatists sympathized with the Nazi cause—many were of a communist/socialist bent, joining the French resistance. Imagine Irish War for Independence, the in-fighting that culminated during a war, both pro and anti-treaty, left-leaning and right-leaning factions supporting Irish freedom, just by different means. Done imagining this event? Now add Nazis and you’ve got a reasonably good model for this confusing, messy era in Breton history (a black mark which still haunts the largely liberal movement for Breton autonomy to the present day).

3 A German City Tricked Allied Bombers That it had been In Switzerland

Who wouldn’t like to be Swiss? Great chocolate, a grand tradition of watchmaking, and therefore the opportunity to don some frilly pantaloons and guard the Pope once you need employment. One German city took this quite literally during the war. the town of Konstanz has a tremendous history—a Roman settlement that became the location of the burning of influential theologian Huss (a Bohemian Catholic reformist who inspired Martin Luther), it had been also the birthplace of Ferdinand von Zeppelin, famous for his airships and lending his surname to the best band of all time. Naturally, the citizens of Konstanz really didn’t want to let their historic home get bombed by the Allies. There would are compelling reasons to bomb the place—three companies were developing and producing military hardware for the Nazis. So how did the town avoid an important rain of firebombs? They left the lights on in the dark. everywhere the planet, large cities, and towns would ‘blackout’ nightly so bomber pilots couldn’t zero in on their location. what proportion this helped is up for debate, given the huge destruction suffered, from London to Tokyo. Switzerland, just a brief distance faraway from Konstanz, was famously neutral within the conflict and suffered no such bombings. So, the lights blazed into the night, convincing British, American, and other Allied flyers that the town must are in Switzerland. Genius.
10 Little-Known Facts About The Second World War


2 Naming Blunder

Commander-in-Chief, US Fleet, that’s the guy who was responsible for all the boats within the United States Navy during the war. More commonly, so as to save lots of time, he was called… await it… the CENSUS. Sink-us! That particularly hilarious acronym was dropped in 1941 (for obvious reasons) in favor of the much more sensible COMINCH before the role was scrapped altogether after the top of the war. The United States Navy is now led by the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations).

1 The Promising Young English Author Who Disappeared

This young, talented man from Hull, England would have had a successful, long career as a novelist. He had already begun his literary career strongly (already having published 2 novels whilst on active duty) when the war broke out. By 1943, he found himself a POW in Italy. Did he wither like numerous men, beaten down and defeated, (understandably) unable to ascertain a bright future? No. Dan Billany kept working. He worked on two more manuscripts whilst imprisoned. After the autumn of Italy, a tsunami of Nazi defenders came flooding into the country to defend against the advancing Allied forces. Billy took advantage of the chaos and fled into the countryside. He kept chipping away at his novels, all the whilst evading the Nazis. When he finally finished his works, he gave them to a friendly local who vowed to send them to England when the war ended. Both novels did revisit to England—’The Cage’ and ‘The Trap’ were published, gaining much critical acclaim. But Dan Billany wasn’t around to enjoy his success. He disappeared within the Apennine mountains in 1943. His fate is unknown.

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