World War II (Part 1)

World War II Amazing Facts 4u

50 Amazing Facts about World War II ( Part I) | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. The roots of World War II lie in the Treaty of Versailles which was created in 1919 to ensure peace in Europe following WWI. Germany was humiliated , lost all its overseas empires as well as land to its neighbors .The treaty stipulated that Germany would pay for damages caused by the war and that Germany could only have a small army with no air force, submarines or tanks. German people suffered due to the harsh economic penalties and voted for Hitler to take over the government.
  2. Since 1933, Germany had been ruled by Adolf Hitler and his political party, the Nazis. They wanted to take revenge for Germany’s defeat in the Great War by expanding Germany’s empire. Adolf Hitler had vowed to tear up the Treaty of Versailles.
  3. On March 13, 1938, Germany took over Austria. At the Munich Conference on September 1938, the French and the British handed Germany a large portion of Czechoslovakia. Hitler then took the rest of Czechoslovakia by March 1939. Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 . Germany was allowed to take over both Austria and Czechoslovakia without a fight as British & French didn’t want to fight another war after suffering heavily in World War I. Hitler used the harsh limitations that were set against Germany in the Versailles Treaty as a pretext for Germany’s right to acquire land where German-speaking people lived.
  4. On September 1, 1939, the beginning of the German attack, Great Britain and France in fact sent Adolf Hitler an ultimatum , either withdraw German forces from Poland or they would go to war against Germany as they had a treaty with Poland.
  5. On September 3, with Germany’s forces penetrating deeper into Poland, Great Britain and France both declared war on Germany. World War II had begun. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa joined allies by 10 September 1939.
  6. The Germans quickly invaded Denmark and Norway (April 1940), Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Belgium (both in May) and then conquered France by June 1940.
  7. In June 1941, The Soviet Union joined the Allies, after Germany attacked it. On December 11, 1941, four days after Japan carried out a huge attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii without declaration of war , the United States also joined the Allies. The war had become global.
  8. The opposing sides in World War II were referred to as the Axis and the Allies. There were many countries in this conflict but the major ones on the Axis side were Germany, Italy & Japan. The Allies included Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The countries that remained neutral were Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  9. It’s estimated that amazing 50-70 million people died due to the World War II conflicts.
  10. The total casualties of the USA, Britain and France during WWII put together roughly equaled to the casualties of the Soviets in the decisive battle of Leningrad only. Amazingly Soviet casualties are 26 times that of other allies.
  11. Amazingly almost 80% of the males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 did not survive World War II. Russia was the country with the largest number of causalities, with an estimated 21 million.
  12. The Battle at Stalingrad (1942-1943) is arguably the bloodiest battle in history (800,000-1,600,000 casualties).
  13. The greatest tank battle in history occurred between the Germans and Russians at the Kursk salient in Russia from July 4-22, 1943. More than 3,600 tanks were involved.
  14. In WWII the Russians trained dogs to run under German tanks with bombs on their backs. Amazing fact was that the tanks the dogs were trained to run under were Russian so they ended up running under the Russian tanks and blowing them up instead.
  15. Amazingly the number of Chinese killed by the Japanese during WWII was greater than the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.
  16. Between 1939 and 1945 the Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs, An average of about 27,700 tons of bombs each month.
  17. It’s amazing that 12,000 heavy bombers were shot down in World War II.
  18. Amazing fact is that during WWII, Ford went from producing one B-24 bomber per day to one per hour!
  19. German pilots used to intentionally rupture their eardrums during WWII to prevent air pressure issues. Similarly, Bajau people of the Pacific rupture their eardrums to help them in diving and hunting at sea.
  20. In the 1930s, the U.S. Army had only about 130,000 soldiers, making it the sixteenth largest force in the world, smaller than Czechoslovakia, Poland, Turkey, Spain, and Romania.
  21. The official gesture that accompanied the Pledge of Allegiance was so similar to Hitler’s Nazi salute that Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the change to the hand over heart during WWII.
  22. Here are the amazing statistics .More than 650,000 Jeeps were built during WWII. American factories also produced 300,000 military aircraft; 89,000 tanks; 3 million machine guns; and 7 million rifles.
  23. The most powerful artillery gun created by any nation and used in WWII was named Karl by its designer General Karl Becker. Used mostly against the Russians, the huge gun could shoot a 2.5 ton shell over three miles. The shells were 24 inches wide and could go through eight to nine feet of concrete.
  24. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, there were 96 ships anchored. During the attack, 18 were sunk or seriously damaged, including eight battleships. There were 2,402 American men killed and 1,280 injured. Three hundred and fifty aircraft were destroyed or damaged.
  25. Amazingly the Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in midair.
  26. German U-boats sunk 2,000 Allied ships at a cost of 781 U-boats destroyed.
  27. 40,000 men served on U-Boats during the war and a huge 30,000 never returned from combat
  28. The Nazis murdered approximately 12 million people, nearly 6 million of those being Jews killed in the Holocaust.
  29. The Red Army (Russian) defeated 75-80% of deployed German forces during WWII. The US/UK forces only defeated 20-25%.
  30. Amazing fact is that Hitler never visited a single Jew concentration camp.
  31. A number of air crewmen died of gaseous distention. (Ascending to 20,000 ft. in an un-pressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%! )
  32. U.S. Soldier John R. McKinney held off over 100 Japanese soldiers single handedly in WWII.
  33. When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore were 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.
  34. The German city of Konstanz was not bombed by the Allied Forces during World War II, because the city left all its lights on at night, thus fooling the allied bombers into thinking it was actually a city of Switzerland.
  35. Amazing 84 German Generals were executed by Hitler for various reasons.
  36. Amazing story is that among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were capture by the US Army. These were veterans of three armies.
  37. During the World War II, a Germanic group called the SS short for Schuftzstaffel carried out massive executions of political opponents and ethnic minorities. Headed by Heinrich Luitopold Himmler (1900-1945), it was initially formed as a personal protection service for Hitler. It is estimated that this group killed about 1.4 million Jews.
  38. During WWII, the Nazis built fake airfields to deceive the Allies. Sometimes, these airfields had fake runways and buildings. They always had fake wooden planes though. However, the Allies discovered that these were fake airfields and displaying an amazing sense of humor, dropped fake bombs on them. The bombs were actually made of wood.
  39. Amazing fact is that during WWII, the Japanese army convinced 22,000 people to commit mass suicide in the island of Saipan due to the propaganda laid out by the Japanese army that US troops would torture and murder them if they didn’t.
  40. During World War II , there were cars developed to run on wood! These wood gas vehicles would run on wood heated to 1400 °C (2550 °F) converting the wood to a combustible gas!
  41. As the result of Second World War Europe lost it’s position as the center of world power and made way for the rise of the United States and Russia as the super powers.
  42. Amazingly Russia and Japan have never signed an official peace treaty with each other to end World War II. Japan wanted Russia to return four offshore kurile islands it had taken after the war.
  43. The ‘’007’’ character that we all know was in fact based on the Yugoslavian-born spy Dukso Popov (1912-1980). Author Ian Fleming got all his insight for the character from this spy from the WWII, speaking at least five languages he even came up with his own formula for invisible ink. He was the first ever spy in history to use microdots, which are basically photos shrunk down to the size of dots. He had deciphered the vital information about the Japanese planning an air strike on Pearl Harbor which was passed on to the FBI which did not act on his warning.
  44. Nine American crewmen survived when their war plane crashed during World War II. Eight of them were captured by the Japanese and eaten. Only one survived because he was picked up by a passing submarine. Amazingly that survivor was George H.W. Bush.
  45. 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 Philippines. His former commander traveled from Japan to personally issue orders relieving him from duty in 1974.
  46. During World War II, there was a double agent named Juan Pujol Garcia, who started a spy network consisting of 27 sub-agents of his own, all of them nonexistent. He submitted expense reports for them and had the Nazis giving him money to pay their salaries.
  47. The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WWII. When the card was soaked, it revealed an escape route for Prisoners of War. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany.
  48. “Monopoly” board games helped thousands of Allied POWs escape German camps. Germany allowed the Red Cross to send care packages to POWs and among the items that could to be sent were board games. Special Monopoly boxes were created that contained items to help the prisoners escape: – German, French, and Italian money currency was hidden within the Monopoly money. A metal file was hidden within the board. A small compass hidden in a play piece. Silk maps of the prison and it’s location were hidden inside the hotel pieces.
  49. Amazing fact is Netherland still sends Canada 10,000 tulips each year as a thank you gesture for sheltering their Dutch princess during WWII.
  50. The term “dogfight” originated during WWII. The pilot had to turn off the plane’s engine from time to time so it would not stall when the plane turned quickly in the air. When a pilot restarted his engine midair, it sounded like dogs barking.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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