History can be fun, courtesy of bizarrenews.com.
- The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed
by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman
killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest
ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed
by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.
- The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham,
USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for
lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by
act of Congress)
- At the time of Pearl Harbor the top US Navy command was
Called CINCUS (pronounced “sink us”), the shoulder patch of
the US Army’s 45th. Infantry division was the Swastika, and
Hitler’s private train was named “Amerika”. All three were
soon changed for PR purposes.
- More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine
Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance
of being killed was 71%.
- Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average
fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For
instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80
planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
- It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every
5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a
mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range)
if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds
were missing. Worse yet 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. This 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.
- When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men
did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest
private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and
Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
- German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York
City but it wasn’t worth the effort.
- German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.
- Among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several
Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army
until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight
for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans
and forced to fight for the German Army until they were
captured by the US Army.
- Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and
Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were
killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there
had been any Japanese on the island.
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