10 Amazing Facts About World War II

Humanity has waged war from the dawn of time.

Warfare has been an integral part of human society eversince the Stone Age, and probably even beyond.

Divided into tribes and nations, battles were fought for avariety of different reasons, ranging from resources to ideologies.

The passage of time has only made this aspect of humannature ever more prevalent.

The practice of warfare has continued well into the twentieth century and indeed goes on even today in certain parts of the world.

Of all the wars that humanity has fought, one of the mostimportant was the Second World War. More destructive and widespread than anyother war in human history, it left a scar in the collective memory of humanitythat lives to this day.

There are many things worthy of note about the Second WorldWar.

Given in the list are ten of the most interesting World War II facts:

10. The War is the Only One Where Nuclear Weapons Were Used in Combat

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Nuclear weapons have been known to have a phenomenal amount of power. But they haven’t really been a part of an actual war, except twice in human history.

The United States used them against the Japanese during World War 2, when it bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs were “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” which led to devastating effects on Japan. No other nuclear bomb has been used in active combat so far, and hopefully will stay that way.

9. There Were an Abundance of Flying Saucer Sightings During the War, Called Foo Fighters

Do you believe in aliens?

Well, if eyewitness accounts are to be believed, there werea lot of flying saucers that existed during the Second World War.

Called ‘Foo Fighters’, they were reported by allied pilots during their missions. Mysterious UFO sightings and sky phenomena were seen over the European skies by the pilots during WWII.

The name ‘Foo Fighters’ comes from the word ‘foo’, which was a meaningless expression, first used by cartoonist Bill Hollman. The word was first described by the U.S. 415th Night Fighter Squadron for a UFO reporting.

8. The Germans Came Close to Building an Atomic Bomb

It wasn’t the United States alone that created an atom bomb.

On the contrary, the Nazis also came close to acquiring a nuclear bomb as well. The Nazis started a project known as the German nuclear weapons project or Uranprojekt to develop nuclear weapons during World War II. The first such effort by the Germans started in April 1939. This project began just months after the discovery of nuclear fission in December 1938. Another effort began on 1 September 1939 after the invasion of Poland.

This, however, did not work out, due to several reasons, including politics, finance, infrastructure, etc. But, at the end of the war, these technologies were used to develop the first long-range guided missiles known as V-2.

7. Indians Fought on Both Sides of the War

India wasn’t directly involved in the war. Since it wasstill a colony of the British during the Second World War, the country didn’thave its own army to fight on any side.

At the same time, however, there were Indian soldiers fighting in the British army against the axis forces.

Then there were the soldiers under the command of freedomfights like Subhash Chandra Bose, who met and made deals with the axis like theJapanese, to use Indian soldiers captured during the war against the British tofree India from colonialism.

6. The V2 Rocket Technology was Originally Designed for Space Exploration

The V2 rocket was designed by a German engineer named Wernher Von Braun. The purpose of it, however, was to explore space.

When Hitler came across the rocket concept, he took a likingto it. But rather than Wernher, who wanted to use it for space exploration, Hitlerwanted to use it for the war effort.

And indeed, he did. The V2 was used as a weapon to destroy numerous cities in Europe, such as Antwerp, Liege, and London.

5. The Scientist Who Built the V2 Rocket Helped America to Reach the Moon

V2 Rocket Technology Used by NASA

When the Second World War came to an end, the scientists who created the V2 rockets were brought to the United States, under a secret program called ‘Project Paperclip’. Under Operation Paperclip, the United States brought over 1,600 German scientists, technicians, engineers from Germany for government employment. The recruitment by the United States took place between 1945 and 1959.

The main purpose of bringing the scientists was to help the United States achieve success in space and military against the Soviet during the Cold War. The Soviet had their own secret program called Operation Osoaviakhim to recruit German scientists during the same period.

Wernher was one of the scientists to have been recruited by the USA through the secret project – Project Paperclip. Wernher continued his career in the United States, where he worked for NASA. His most iconic and well-known success was the Saturn V program, which sent the first humans to the moon.

4. Jet Engines Existed During the Second World War

Many see jet engines as a modern invention. This is however not true. They were there even during the Second World War. Yes, Nazi Germany was again behind this to terrorize their enemies.

But they weren’t extensively used like they are today. On the contrary, jet engines were still in the experimental stages and few planes ever used them like today.

Before the Second World War, jet engines were only in labs. Hans von Ohain who was a young physicist working with Ernst Heinkel created the first jet plane. On August 27, 1939, the first jet plane – Heinkel He 178 flew.

Anselm Franz, a German engine designer created an engine and later a jet plane was built by Messerschmitt using this engine. This plane, Me 262 was the first jet fighter to fly in combat missions of WWII.

3. Hitler had Planned For a Grand City Called Welthauptstadt Germania


Hitler had plans for a grand city to be the capital of hisNazi empire.

Calling it Welthauptstadt Germania, it was a design by a Nazi German architect by name Albert Speer. The new city was designed to be in what is today, Berlin. Albert Speer, the first architect of Nazi Germany built several prototypes and plans for the city.

The plans couldn’t take hold because of the Second World War, but a few parts of it did materialize and exist even today, like certain plazas. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the project didn’t kickstart and many places were destroyed.

2. Japanese had Practiced the Invasion of Pearl Harbor Several Times Before the Actual Invasion

The invasion of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese wasn’t something random. It wasn’t a decision of the Japanese to bomb Hawaii out of the blue. The operation was planned for several months with a great amount of practice. The leadership of Japan called the attack Operation Z during the planning phase.

On the contrary, they had practiced the invasion severaltimes on a copy of Pearl Harbor, before the actual invasion. It was only afterthey reached a high degree of accuracy that the actual attack on Pearl Harborbegan.

1. America Gave Massive Loans to Rebuild Europe After the War, Under the Marshall Plan

After the end of the Second World War, the war had already left a devastating scene in Europe.

There was almost nothing left throughout Europe. From London to Moscow, the entire continent was in ruins. Buildings, roads, power lines, factories, bridges and so on, were all damaged beyond repair. In other words, Europe was just a vast war-torn wasteland.

In an effort to repair Europe, the United States came up with what it called the ‘Marshall Plan’, to rebuild Europe. Under the plan, America provided Europe with loans, material assistance and more, to repair the continent, which was very effective in repairing a war-torn continent. The United States gave more than $12 billion as a loan to build Europe.

As a whole, the Second World War represented one of thesaddest but starts examples of human excesses. From casualties to newtechnologies, this was one war that shaped human history like no other. But it also served a veryimportant purpose as well. A lesson that there is always a better alternativeto warfare, and people need not wage war to solve their disputes, but insteadmaybe choose other alternatives to get things done. And hopefully, there won’tbe another one like it anytime soon in the distant future.