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10 random WWII facts you didn’t know

Ian Harvey

When people think of World War II, they generally think of how destructive the whole thing was. It cost more money than anyone had ever imagined and took many lives in the process.

Here is a list of some of the most fascinating facts of World War II:

  1. President Roosevelt drove around in Al Capone’s Limousine
    Al Capone’s armored Cadillac

Since the United States was at war, many people in the government believed Roosevelt would be a good target for assassination, especially after angering so many people. On the day of Pearl Harbor, the Secret Service realized they didn’t have a bulletproof car to take President Roosevelt in to safely deliver his Infamy Speech. One of the Secret Service agents remembered that the U.S. Treasury had seized Al Capone’s bulletproof limo in 1931.

The car was still in great condition and had gotten the president safely to Congress to deliver his speech. While in the car, Roosevelt had simply stated that he hoped “Mr. Capone” wouldn’t mind.

  1. One of the Youngest Servicemen in World War II


While the legal age for serving in the war was 18, one young man lied in order to serve his country. The boy’s name is Calvin Graham, and he’s still known as one of the youngest U.S. servicemen. He lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy in 1942 when he was 12. He managed to keep his age a secret until he was injured, at which time his true age was discovered.

  1. American Radio DJs were Prohibited


During 1942 the government had banned American radio DJs from taking listeners’ requests in fear that the enemy spies would embed those songs with secret messages.

  1. The Term “Third Reich” was Borrowed


It was actually first used by a German author named Arthur Moeller van den Bruck in 1923. It seems the swastika wasn’t the only thing the Nazis “borrowed.” In Arthur Moeller van den Bruck’s novel called Das Dritte Reich which was written in 1923, he talks about how heavily influential the Nazi party was during the time. The Nazi party decided to name themselves the Third Reich, which makes a person wonder whether or not the Nazis had another name before van den Bruck had inspired them.   According to Van den Bruck there were two other Reichs – the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire of 1871 to 1918.


  1. The SS Ran a Brothel called “The Kitty Salon”

    The Kitty Salon


While it sounds like nothing more than a good time for the men at war during the time, the SS had actually trained the prostitutes. The Kitty Salon was frequently visited by many foreign diplomats, which proved to be the best opportunity to gain information from them. The SS wiretapped the brothel and trained the prostitutes on how to get the information out of the men.

  1. Russia and Japan Still Haven’t Signed a Peace Treaty Since the End of the War
    Russia flag

This could prove to be quite fatal if anything was to happen between the two countries. However, not signing a peace treaty is due to the fact that both countries are still fighting over the Kuril Islands. Each country believes they are the rightful owners of the islands.

  1. Nearly 80% of the Men Born in the Soviet Union in 1923 did not Survive the WaR


  2. Russia Actually had the Most Casualties, Reaching to Almost 23 Million


With the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the war with the Soviets had actually began when Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1931. In June 1941, Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union under the code name Operation Barbarossa. Considering Germany had broken the pact, the Soviets united with the allies in their quest against the Nazis.

At the time, Josef Stalin, the Soviet Union’s leader, had met up with President Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, in order to plan a war against Germany. Of course with war there are bound to be many deaths; the Soviet Union fared the worst. The Battle of Stalingrad had stopped the Germans but was one of the bloodiest battles in history, killing almost two million people. By 1945 Germany had been defeated, however, Stalin was not satisfied that Hitler committed suicide.

  1. Niju hibakusha is What the Japanese Atomic Bomb Survivors are Called


Hibakusha is “explosion-affected people” when it is translated. Many survivors after the 1945 bombing were given the name. The name referred to those survivors having been exposed from radiation from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  1. The game Monopoly Helped the Allied POWs Escape the German Camps


Surprisingly, Germany had allowed the Red Cross to send care packages to those who were captured. One unlikely item in the care packages was a Monopoly game. However, some of the pieces were exchanged for items that would help the prisoners escape the camps.

These items included in the game are: German, French, and Italian money where the original Monopoly money would’ve been; a metal file that was hidden inside the board; a small compass which was hidden in a play piece; and silk maps of the prison hidden in the hotel pieces.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News