45 Surprising & Weird WWII Facts They Do Not Teach You At School!

German U-boat surrender
German U-boat surrendered in Ireland

Of the 40,000 men who served on U-boats only 10,000 survived.

The US Air Corps lost more men than the Marine Corps. A serviceman in the Air Corps had a 71% chance of dying. Not that bombers were totally helpless. The 8th Air Force brought down 6,098 fighters, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

German U-boats were present in every ocean of the world and sunk ships as far away from Europe as the Arctic Ocean and the East Indies.

During the war, 12,000 heavy bombers were shot down.

A6M3 Model 22 Piloted by Nishizawa
A6M3 Model 22 Piloted by Nishizawa

The Japanse fighter ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa brought down over 80 planes.

Me 264 V 1, Fernbomber, Aufklärer. Werkfoto Messerschmitt (MBB) 6/264

Axis forces never attacked US soil, though German Me-264 bombers were in the range of New York City.

Some airmen died from farting. At an altitude of 20,000 feet gas in the intestine expands 300%.

Russian pilots knocked out at least 270 airborne German planes by ramming them.

The German submarine U-120 sunk when its toilet malfunctioned.

U.S. Army ship

The US Army possessed more ships that the US Navy.

Coca Cola was considered essential to the US troops in North Africa. Three complete Coca Cola bottling plants were sent there.

The first of the enemy captured in the D-Day Landings was actually Korean. The Japanese had forced several Koreans to fight for them. These were then captured by the Russians, who forced them to fight for them. Then the Germans captured them. Finally, they were captured by Americans.

A third of all German generals who died in the war were killed in air attacks.

Germany officially declared war on only one country – the United States.

Niels Bohr was a Danish nuclear physicist wanted by Hitler to help him construct an atomic bomb. When the Germans invaded Denmark, he fled from his house while resistance fighters held off the soldiers. Bohr stopped, however, to pick up a beer bottle full of ‘heavy water’.


The first American serviceman killed in Europe was killed by Germans in Norway in 1940, at a time when the USA was not yet officially at war.

The German cruiser Graf Spee was not sunk by enemy action. After an attempt to scuttle her had failed, the wreck was bought by Great Britain.

The infamous Nazi salute was based on the Italian Fascist salute, which itself was based on the salute of the ancient Romans.

Kiska, one of the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, was invaded by 35,000 US and Canadian troops on August 15, 1953. In the landing, 21 soldiers were killed under heavy bombardment. But there was no enemy. The expected Japanese had completely abandoned the island. Casualties were from friendly fire and booby traps.

Most of the Waffen-SS were recruited from countries outside of Germany.


The youngest person to serve in the US Armed Forces was twelve years old. His name was Calvin Graham. He was wounded in battle and given a Dishonorable Discharge for deceiving the Navy about his age. An Act of Congress later restored the benefits due him as a veteran.

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