It was on this day 77 years ago that Germany invaded Poland and began the infamous World War 2. With almost the entire world involved in the war, WW2 claimed the lives of more than 60 million people. View more at #FactsPediaIn.
Here are a few lesser-known facts about the war that literally changed the world:
Year of Oblivion: 80 per cent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive the war
False Account: Max Heiliger was the fictitious name used by the German defence squad to set up a bank account, in which they deposited money, gold and jewels taken from Jews
Not So Simple: The Bavarian word “Nazi” means simple minded. Journalist Konrad Heiden first used it as a term of derision
Radar by Chance: British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a ‘death ray’ to destroy enemy aircraft with radio waves. The experiment failed but not entirely, as it evolved radars
Russian Toll: More Russians – military and civilians – died during the Siege of Leningrad than all American and British soldiers combined in WWII
Shield’s Up: From 1940 to 1945, the US defense budget skyrocketed from 1.9 billion dollars to 59.8 billion dollars
Six Million Burnt: The Nazis killed around 12 million people. Over six million of those were the Jews killed in Holocaust. The word means ‘whole burnt’
Camps Charred: After evacuating the German concentration camps, British soldiers charred them down to prevent spread of typhus or other diseases
The ‘Karl’: German weapon expert Karl Heinrich Emil Becker made the most powerful artillery gun used in the war named Karl. It was mostly used against the Russians. It could shoot a 2.5 ton shell over three miles. Each shell was 24 inches wide and could go through eight to nine feet of solid concrete
First Jet Fighters: The Germans used the first jet fighters in World War II, including the Messerschmitt ME-262
Germanisation: The Nazis killed millions of Poles. However, as the Polish babies looked like Germans, they kidnapped over 50,000 of them. These babies were adopted by German parents for ‘Germanisation’
Tokyo Threat: If it were necessary to drop another atom bomb on Japan, Tokyo would have been under ashes
Japanese Holdouts: Many Japanese soldiers had been stationed on islands across the Pacific Ocean during the war. Even after the war got over, they refused to surrender as most of them did not know that Japan had surrendered. They stayed back on these islands for years. These islands were called Japanese Holdouts. One such soldier was Hiroo Onada who refused to surrender for 29 years on an isolated island. His commander had to personally come and relieve him of guard
Southern Effect: People tend to forget South America’s contribution to World War II. During the eight months of the Italian campaign, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force managed to take 20,573 Axis prisoners, including two generals, 892 officers and 19,679 other ranks. During the War, Brazil lost 948 of its own men killed in action across all three services. Thousands of South American countries helped in supplies and, in some cases, the Latin soldiers joined the Free French Forces to fight against the Nazis.
View more at #FactsPediaIn.