facts about ww2

10 Bizarre Facts about World War 2

World War II was a far-reaching conflict which took many lives and is still commemorated to this day all over the planet. Many people gave their lives for our freedoms during this time, which arose as a result of Adolf Hitler tightening his grip over Germany through his brutal and oppressive Nazi party. As a result of Hitler expanding his invasive strategies and following the rise of the ‘Concentration Camp’, whereby Jewish people were largely tortured and killed, the world at large joined forces to fight back against horrors and injustices.

WWII remains the biggest and bloodiest conflict of our times. It serves as an example for all future conflict to come, and we remember those who lost their lives for us, lest we forget. In this file, we will consider some of the most interesting facts about World War 2 from that period of time.

  1. World War Two was known as the second world war as almost every country on the planet was affected directly or indirectly by conflict.
  2. World War Two has been recorded as the deadliest war in history, beginning in 1939 and lasting until 1945.
  3. The war began with the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 and Japan’s aggression towards China. Italy also directed aggression at Ethiopia.

facts about world war 2

  1. Other countries quickly to become embroiled in the war, including England, France, Italy, the USA, Russia, and Australia – all of whom fought in North Africa, Europe, and Japan.
  2. Before the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour, Canada was the only country of the Americas to be engaged in the war, fighting both the Germans and subsequently the Japanese.
  3. The number of casualties in Germany exceeded 21 Million.
  1. A pesticide known as ‘Zyklon-B’ was used in Nazi Germany’s ‘Concentration Camps’ to kill Jewish captives en masse in ‘gas chambers’.
  2. However, these camps were also used to torture and kill those declared to be ‘gypsies’ by the Nazis, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  3. Two major collective forces were in opposition during the war. Japan, together with Italy and Germany, became known as the ‘Axis’ group. The other group, known as the ‘Allies’, were largely formed of Britain, France, the USA, China, Russia and Australia.

facts about world war 2

  1. Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden remained ‘neutral’ during the war. They refrained from sympathizing with the forces of both ‘Allies’ and ‘Axis’.
  2. The monthly wage for an average US private more than doubled from 1941 to 1942. It increased from $21 to $50.
  3. Suicide was considered an ‘honorable’ death by the Japanese in World War Two. They engaged and trained men to become ‘Kamikaze’ pilots with the intention of flying on missions from which they knew they ‘should’ not return.
  1. Kamikaze pilots who did return from their missions had to prove weather conditions or operational difficulties had compelled them to return. Otherwise, they were humiliated and punished, often sent out again on a ‘Kamikaze’ mission.
  2. Adolf Hitler’s nephew actually served for the US Navy during the conflict! His name was William Hitler.
  3. Adolf Hitler’s private train was actually called ’America’.

facts about world war 2

  1. Toilet paper rations for soldiers apparently varied from nation to nation. American soldiers received 22 sheets per day, while British servicemen received just three.
  2. The US increased its defense budget from $1.9 billion in 1940 to $59.8 billion in 1945.
  3. During the war, many Americans changed the name of hamburgers to ‘Liberty Burgers’, to avoiding a ‘German’ sounding connection!
  1. Eric Hartmann, a German Luftwaffe Pilot, is on record for achieving 352 ‘kills’ whilst airborne.
  2. It’s thought that only 20% of all males born across the Soviet Union during 1923 survived the conflict.
  3. The actor John Wayne, famous for starring in many movies about World War II, never actually served in the conflict. He had a sustained injury which prevented him from enlisting.

facts about world war 2

  1. In 1945, US soldier John R McKinney gained both fame and admiration for singlehandedly fighting off 100 Japanese soldiers in the Philippines.
  2. Russian prisoner of war camps were said to have a mortality rate of around 85%.
  3. It is thought approximately 64 million people died in World War Two.
  1. The ‘Medal of Honor’ is awarded for surpassing expectations or exceptional gallantry in war times. In the US, 473 military personnel were awarded this honor, some posthumously.
  2. Located at Arlington Cemetery is the Tomb of the ‘Unknown Soldier’, who was awarded for heroics and sacrifice.
  3. Adolf Hitler was, ahead of the conflict, responsible for dreaming up what he referred to as the ‘People’s Car’. This would later go into production and become known as Volkswagen.

facts about world war 2

  1. In August 1945, the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. Approximately 80,000 people were killed immediately when the city was targeted, and many more later succumbed to their exposure to radiation, causing further huge numbers of casualties.
  2. Only 3% of people voted for the Nazis in Germany in 1928. Ten years later, Hitler had dominated world news to the extent that he became known as TIME’s person of the year. This is traditionally determined by how much news a person makes, not by
  3. From the end of 1945, tests on the radiation levels at Hiroshima revealed that they actually went back to normal very quickly. This was because the bomb had been detonated in the air rather than on impact with the ground.
  1. Averaging one million visitors annually, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to all the victims of the nuclear bomb, which was the first to be dropped on a city in the history of mankind.
  2. Adolf Hitler’s second in command, Rudolf Hess, was actually the final person ever detained in the iconic Tower of London.
  3. World War Two ended in 1945 on May 8th, which was subsequently known as VE Day, (meaning Victory in Europe) and is celebrated annually.
  4. Popular today, Nutella – a hazelnut spread – was invented due to the shortage of chocolate during the war!

Do you have any interesting or fun facts about World War 2 that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!

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This page was last modified on November 18, 2020. Suggest an edit

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