30 WWII Facts They They Do Not Teach You At School


While the basics of WWII are widely known, there are more than a few fascinating facts that may have slipped past you – here are just 30 of them!


D-Day crossword examples

Leonard Dawe, a crossword compiler for the Telegraph, used a number of D-Day operation code-names as the answers in his puzzles, just a few months before the operation took place. MI5 interrogated him – only to discover that it was a random coincidence. – Historic-UK

Hitler visits the Eiffeltower (Bundesarchiv)

Hitler visits the Eiffel Tower (Bundesarchiv)

The lift cables of the Eiffel Tower were cut by members of the French Resistance, after Germany occupied France in June 1940. As a result, German soldiers had to literally climb their way to the top before they could fly the swastika flag. – Rarehistoricalphotos


Hiroo Onoda

The last Japanese soldier to surrender, Hiroo Onoda, did so in 1974, 29 years after WII was over. – The Guardian
A radio belonging to a British Prisoner of War was hidden so well that when the soldier visited the camp 62 years later, he found it right where he left it. – BBC


Close-up of the foliage used to camouflage the superstructure of the ship

A Dutch warship, HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, was covered with tree branches to disguise it as a tropical island. – Wikipedia


“Caesar” gun of an 88 mm flak battery in action. Up to this picture being taken the gun had scored eleven hits which can be seen marked on its barrel.

On average it took 16,000 88mm anti-aircraft shells to bring down a bomber – The Guns At Last Light

Pacific Fleet marines of the Soviet Navy hoisting the Soviet naval ensign in Port Arthur, on October 1, 1945.

Pacific Fleet Marines of the Soviet Navy hoisting the Soviet naval ensign in Port Arthur, on October 1, 1945.

Japan and Russia still haven’t signed a peace treaty to end WWII due to a dispute over sovereignty of the Kuril Islands. – Deliveringdata

Sign at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp after liberation by British soldiers

Sign at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation by British soldiers

Two Polish doctors discovered that the Nazis would not deport anyone to a concentration camp who tested positive for typhus for fear that the disease would spread. The two injected Jews and non-Jews in their city with a vaccine containing Dead Epidemic Typhus that would test positive but have no adverse effects, saving approximately 8,000 lives. – JewishVirtualLibrary

Pilots of No. 1 Squadron RCAF in Prestwick, Scotland, 30 October 1940.

Pilots of No. 1 Squadron RCAF in Prestwick, Scotland, 30 October 1940.

Canada declared war on Japan before the US did  – Publications.GC.ca


Fanta was invented in Nazi Germany when the war made it difficult import Coca-Cola syrup from the US. – Snopes

Agent Garbo (1)
Juan Pujol Garcia, codename Garbo, was a double agent who was awarded both the German Iron Cross and the Member of the British Empire award. – Badassoftheweek

Treaty of Versailles

Signing the treaty of Versailles

After the Treaty of Versailles, Ferdinand Foch said “This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.” 20 years and 64 days later – WWII broke out. – Wikipedia


WWII Propaganda Poster

To prevent the Germans from finding out that the British had Airborne Interception Radar onboard fighter aircraft, the British started a rumor that their pilots had excellent night vision from eating lots of carrots. This rumor has continued to today as many people think carrots improve eyesight. – Smithsonian mag

Hácha, Hitler and Göring meeting in Berlin, March 1939 (Bundesarchiv)

Emil Hacha, the President of Czechoslovakia, suffered a heart attack after hearing about Hitler’s plan to bomb the capital. –  Wikipedia


Soviet soldiers after the war

Of the males born in Soviet in 1923, only 20% percent survived the war

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