- When World War II began, the U.S. government declared platinum as a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry was disallowed. To appease consumers who preferred platinum’s white luster, gold was substituted in platinum’s absence
- In a poll taken during World War II, Americans rated Jews four times less favorably than Germans or Japanese (both whom they were fighting the war against)
- In World War II, Penicillin is said to be “one of the war effort’s highest priorities, second only to development of the atomic bomb.”[Krebs, Brian. "How a Lowly Fungus Saves Human Lives." Washington Post. March 11, 1998.]
- The German Super Battleship Bismarck was like the Titanic… it sank on it’s maiden voyage. It was sunk on its first mission after taking out the British navy’s capital ship
- At Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (“sink us”), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named “Amerika”
- Japanese ace pilot Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes, but ironically died while a passenger on a cargo plane
- The Aleutian island of Kiska proved deadly for both sides. 200 Allied troops were killed by friendly fire while attacking the island, only to realize that the Japanese had abandoned it the night before. As for the Japanese, while abandoning the island, the Japanese Navy thought they were being engaged by Americans and began bombarding the island while their troops were still on it
- A bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed every animal in the Berlin Zoo except the elephant, which escaped and roamed the city. When a Russian commander saw hungry Germans chasing the elephant and trying to kill it, he ordered his troops to protect it and shoot anyone who tried to kill it.
- The first German serviceman killed was by the Japanese
- The first American serviceman killed was by the Russians. They were allies.
- The highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps
- It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th found with a tracer round to aid in aiming. That was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. That was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
- A number of air crewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in an un-pressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%!)
- When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it.