More unusual WWII facts-Part 8

American fighter pilot William Bruce “Bill” Overstreet Jr. (April 10, 1921 – December 29, 2013) shot down a German Messerschmitt Bf-109G after chasing it through the arches of the Eiffel Tower.

During WWII the United States asked Mexicans to cross the border to work agricultural jobs. Wouldn’t Donald Trump just love this.

A British proposal to have a sniper assassinate Hitler that was vetoed because it was ‘unsportsmanlike‘.

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During WWII, when Sergeant Leonard A. Funk was confronted by 90 German soldiers that had captured his squad, he began to laugh hysterically at the situation. Many of the enemy soldiers began to laugh along with him, until Funk wiped out his machine gun, gunning down 21 and capturing the rest.

T13BeanoGrenadeAmerica designed a grenade the weight and size of a baseball because they believed young American troops should be able to throw them

 

 

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Millin was a 21-year-old private in Britain’s First Special Service Brigade when his unit landed on the strip of coast the Allies code-named Sword Beach, near the French city of Caen at the eastern end of the invasion front chosen by the Allies for the landings on June 6, 1944.

Millin is best remembered for playing the pipes whilst under fire during the D-Day landing in Normandy.Pipers had traditionally been used in battle by Scottish and Irish soldiers.[5] However, the use of bagpipes was restricted to rear areas by the time of the Second World War by the British Army. Lovat, nevertheless, ignored these orders and ordered Millin, then aged 21, to play. When Private Millin demurred, citing the regulations, he recalled later, Lord Lovat replied: “Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.” He played “Highland Laddie” and “The Road to the Isles” as his comrades fell around him onSword Beach.Millin states that he later talked to captured German snipers who claimed they did not shoot at him because they thought he had gone mad.

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Three bodies were found in a storage room on the USS West Virginia when she was re-floated after Pearl Harbor. A calendar kept by the men indicated that they had survived for over two weeks after the attack.

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Actress Greta Garbo worked as a spy for the Allies during World War II and made plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The plan fell through only when the Swedish government prevented her from traveling to Germany.

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The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany.

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John Harlan Willis (June 10, 1921 – February 28, 1945) was a United States Navy hospital corpsman who was killed in action during World War II while attached to a Marine Corps rifle company. He was awarded the United States military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—posthumously, for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

On February 19, 1945, he landed with the 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines on Iwo Jima. He participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a rifle company platoon corpsman and, on February 28, while aiding fallen Marines during a fierce action near Japanese-held Hill 362, he was wounded by shrapnel and ordered back to the battle-aid station. Disregarding his injuries, Willis returned to the battle area to resume casualty assistance. He was treating a wounded Marine when the enemy attacked his position with hand grenades. After throwing eight grenades back at the enemy, he was killed when a ninth grenade exploded in his hand. For his heroic actions that day during the battle, Willis was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Nazis used tickle torture. A man named Heinz Heger was being kept in the Flossenberg concentration camp during the Holocaust. He recounted observing this strange form of torture in his book The Men with the Pink Triangle. He recalls witnesses a man being tickled with goose feathers. The man was naked and was tickled in many places of his body, including the feet, armpits and legs. The man initially stayed silent, but eventually began laughing, which eventually turned into crying.

African soldiers fighting against the Japanese in Burma during WWII appropriated and manipulated the rumors that they were cannibals. To demonstrate this, soldiers pretended to eat the ‘meat’ of fallen soldiers so that remaining survivors would flee in fear.

Sub-Lieutenant Saburō Sakai (25 August 1916 – 22 September 2000) was a Japanese naval aviator and flying ace of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

After winning one of the most famous dogfights of WWII, he managed to fly over 4 hours back to base despite being blind and paralyzed down the entire left side of his body from enemy fire; he endured and survived emergency surgery without anesthesia immediately afterward.

Albania had about 200 Jews at the beginning of the war.It subsequently became a safe haven for several hundred Jewish refugees from other countries.At the Wannsee Conference in 1942, Adolf Eichmann, planner of the mass murder of Jews across Europe, estimated the number of Jews in Albania that were to be killed at 200. Nevertheless, Jews in Albania remained protected by the local Muslim population and this protection continued even after the occupation of Albania by Nazi forces after the capitulation of Italy on September 8, 1943. At the end of the war, Albania had a population of 2,000 Jews.

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