Bizarre WWII events

General Patton

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Gen. George S. Patton believed in reincarnation, and believed himself to have been a military leader killed in action in Napoleon’s army, or a Roman legionary. He assumed that his past lives had a similar status to his current life, which does fit many models of reincarnation. It is not done randomly but is based on what you have done in your past lives. He effectively thought a part of the reason he was a high level general was that he had earned it through his leadership experience in past lives.

Franz von Werra

Franz Von Werra, a Nazi POW who was transfered to Canada to deter his multiple escapes and recaptures, escaped again in less than a month, traveling through the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Italy to become the only Western held POW to return to combat. On 25 October 1941 Von Werra took off in Bf 109F-4 (W.Nr. 7285) on a practice flight. He suffered engine failure and crashed into the sea north of Vlissingen and was killed. His body was never found.

T13 Beano Grenade

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

Major Alexis Casdagli

After six months held by the Nazis in a prisoner of war camp, Major Alexis Casdagli was handed a piece of canvas by a fellow inmate. Pinching red and blue thread from a disintegrating pullover belonging to an elderly Cretan general, Casdagli passed the long hours in captivity by painstakingly creating a sampler in cross-stitch. Around decorative swastikas and a banal inscription saying he completed his work in December 1941, the British officer stitched a border of irregular dots and dashes. Over the next four years his work was displayed at the four camps in Germany where he was imprisoned, and his Nazi captors never once deciphered the messages threaded in Morse code: “God Save the King” and “Fuck Hitler”.

Crystal Meth In WWII

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Meth was invented in Japan. Under the brand name Philopon/Hiropon ヒロポン, anyone who needed to stave off hunger and stay awake took this form of methamphetamine. Of course, during the war this was everyone. Factory workers could work long hours without eating . Soldiers that needed a pick-me-up took it . Even kamikaze pilots were given this drug so they could fly long hours and not feel so bad about crashing into something at the end of their trip. If you’ve ever wondered why someone would ever go through with a kamikaze mission, this may be one of your answers.

Helen Duncan

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In 1944, a Scottish medium named Helen Duncan became the last person to be prosecuted under the Witchcraft Act of 1735. Yes, WWII-era Britain actually wasted government resources prosecuting someone as a witch. Her crime? Claiming she saw an apparition of a dead sailor from the sunken HMS Barham during a seance.

William Overstreet Jr.

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William Bruce “Bill” Overstreet Jr. (April 10, 1921 – December 29, 2013) was an American fighter pilot and a veteran of the 357th Fighter Group, 363rd Fighter Squadron of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He is best known for his solo pursuit of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G underneath the arches of the Eiffel Tower in 1944.

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In 2009, Overstreet was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Ambassador to the United StatesPierre Vimont at a ceremony held at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.

He died on December 29, 2013, at the age of 92.

Sergeant Leonard A. Funk

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.

Aleksey Petrovich Maresyev

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Aleksey Petrovich Maresyev was a Soviet fighter ace during the World War II.

In April 1942, Alexey Maresyev got into a dogfight with two German fighters. Maresyev’s plane was shot down in the forest near the city of Staraya Russa. He managed to bailout from the flaming aircraft with a parachute. During grounding he badly injured his legs. Despite that, Aleksey had to fight for his life in the winter forest. He started crawling in search for help. After 18 days in forest, fighting pain and hunger, Aleksey Maresyev managed to reach the village of Plavni.

During his 18-day wandering in the winter forest, his injuries became so bad that the amputation of both legs below the knee was the only way to save Aleksey’s life..

But Aleksey decided that he would fly again! Desperate to return to his fighter pilot career, he spent nearly a year of exercise to master the control of his prosthetic devices, and succeeded at that, returning to flying in June 1943. And shot down 7 more German planes. He also lived to be 84 (died literally an hour before his 85 birthday party), received Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, got a PhD in History, also served in the supreme soviet which was a legislative body for the USSR.

 

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