40 Shocking Facts about World War II

WW2

The World War II was a global battle fought for 6 years from 1939 to 1945. All the major countries of the world were involved, though finally, the countries formed two major groups calling themselves the Allies and the Axis. These “WW2 Facts” prove that it was the deadliest battle ever fought in the history of mankind.

1. The WWII began when Poland was invaded by Hitler on September 1, 1939.

2. Approximately 1.5 million children lost their lives in the Holocaust of which 1.2 million were Jewish and the rest Gypsies.

3. German suffered the highest number of casualties, exceeding 21 million.

German suffered the highest number of casualties
Source: Media Source

4. The Battle of Atlantic was the longest that lasted through the period of the WW2 from 1939 – 1945.

5. Though 600,000 Jews were part of the US Armed forces during WW2, only 2 survived to be awarded the “Medal of Honor”.

6. The deadliest battle in the US was the “Battle of the Bulge” which accounted for more than 80,000 casualties.

Battle of the Bulge
Source: Media Source

7. The Nazis used “concentration camps” to hold millions of Jewish people where they would work and starve until they where “exterminated” in gas showers using a pesticide called Zyklon-B

8. The Nazis killed approximately 12 million people, of which 6 million were Jews.

9. Hitler designed the Nazi flag. Red stood for the social idea of Nazism, white for nationalism, and the black swastika for the struggle of the Aryan man.

Hitler designed the Nazi flag
Source: Media Source

10. One of the two major powers fighting the WW2 was the “Allies”, made up of countries like Britain, France Russia, China, and the USA. The other power was the “Axis” group made up of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

11. Due to rationing during the WW2, the scarcity of chocolate led to the invention of Nutella.

12. Prior to the beginning of the WW2, Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, who wanted to rule entire Europe.

Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler
Source: Media Source

13. Countries like Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain remain neutral and did not join either of the groups fighting the WW2.

14. Post the WW2, an offer was made by the United States to buy Greenland for $100,000,000 which was rejected by Denmark.

15. Some of the most dangerous military men fighting the WW2 were the Finnish snipers.

ww2 Finnish snipers
Source: Media Source

16. Eighty percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive WWII.

17. Japan indulged in suicide tactics quite commonly during the WW2.

18. Even before WW2 had started Hitler predicted in his book “Mein Kampf” a European War that would exterminate all of the Jews from Germany.

Mein Kampf
Source: Media Source

19. The Battle of the Bulge is the largest and deadliest battle for U.S. troops to date, with more than 80,000 American casualties.

20. “Amerika” was the name of the private train of Adolf Hitler.

21. The first German death occurred when military advisor Lieutenant von Schmeling lost his life in the WW2.

Lieutenant von Schmeling lost his life in the WW2
Source: Media Source

22. From 1940-1945, the U.S. defense budget increased from $1.9 billion to $59.8 billion.

23. The British created artificial moonlight and other colored lights to indicate the movement of the troops during battles at night.

24. In spite of the WW2 having ended officially, Russia and Japan are yet to sign the peace treaty.

Russian and Japan are yet to sign the peace treaty
Source: Media Source

25. There was just one elephant in the Berlin Zoo during the WW2, and it was killed by the first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin.

26. German U-boats sunk 2,000 Allied ships at a cost of 781 U-boats destroyed.

27. Hitler executed around 84 German generals during the WW2.

Hitler executed around 84 German Generals during the WW2
Source: Media Source

28. Germany declared war only on one nation which was the United States.

29. During WWII, hamburgers in the U.S. were dubbed “Liberty Steaks” to avoid the German-sounding name.

30. Genocide and rape were some of the war crimes committed by the Red Army.

Genocide and rape were some of the war crimes committed by the Red Army
Source: Media Source

31. The highest scoring ace of all time was the great German Luftwaffe experte Erich Hartmann with 352 aerial kills.

32. Nephew of Adolf Hitler, William Hitler was in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He changed his name after the war.

33. Private Eddie Slovik was shot for desertion on January 31, 1945. He was the first American executed for the crime since the Civil War and the only one to suffer this punishment during WWII.

Pvt. Eddie D. Slovik
Source: Media Source

34. Prisoners of war in Russian camps experienced an 85% mortality rate.

35. In the Philippines campaign (1945) US soldier John R. McKinney fought off one hundred Japanese soldiers singlehandedly.

36. During the war, Hitler lost 136 of his generals averaging 1 every 2 weeks.

generals in WW2
Source: Media Source

37. 12,000 heavy bombers were shot down during the war.

38. Famous German submarine U-120 sunk when its toilet malfunctioned during the war.

39. Germany officially declared war on only one country – the United States.

War against the United States.
Source: Media Source

40. More Chinese were killed by the Japanese during World War II than Jews in the Holocaust.