During WWII, British Security Service or MI5 had a program called the Double XX system.
It was a counter-espionage system that relied on spies and double agents to spread disinformation.
For example, agent Zigzag (or Eddie Chapman) leaked falsified information to Germany by
reporting that their bombs where hitting the intended target, Central London. But in reality,
they where undershooting by several kilometers and missed every single time. Because of this,
the Germans never corrected their aim and continued to undershoot for the rest of the
war. Another disinformation plan was Operation Mincemeat. The British attached falsified
top secret documents to a corpse and dumped it outside the coast of Spain. When the German
high command got a hold of the documents they where fooled into believing that British forces
planned to invade Greece and Sardinia and quickly moved to intercept. In reality, the
intended target was Sicily and the Allies took on the Axis powers by surprise. And while
the Nazis had trouble identifying these spies and double agents, Britain's Double XX system
was extremely successful. In fact after the war, it was discovered that every single agent
that Germany sent to Britain had either been apprehended or simply surrendered.
The only exception was one agent who was never detected...
because he committed suicide.
An incredible amount of bombs where dropped during WWII. It's been estimated that the
Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of explosives across Europe and Asia. That's 27,000 tons
every month. What's even scarier is that anywhere between 5-15% never detonated.
Which means that they are still buried beneath our feet, waiting to explode at any given moment. In
Germany alone over 5500 bombs are discovered every year.
During the final months of the war, the horrifying Japanese unit called Unit 731 planned for
a long-distance biological attack on the United States. The attack had no military value but
was seen as a final attempt to dissuade the US from invading the Japanese mainland. They
called it "Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night". Five submarines were to be sent across the
Pacific Ocean, each carrying three aircrafts loaded with plague-infected fleas. The submarines
would then surface near the coast of San Diego and launch several kamikaze attacks on the
city. The plague would in turn infect people in the area and slowly kill off the population.
The operation was to be carried out on September 22nd, 1945. However, because the US used an
equally devastating weapon (the atomic bomb) only a month before,
Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night never took place.
At the end of the war, Japan and Russia never signed a formal peace treaty ending hostilities.
So between them, WWII is technically still ongoing.
The word Nazi originate from the German word "Nationalsozialist". However when Hitler became
the leader of the group in 1920 the original abbreviation for the National Socialist Party
was Nasos or simply NSDAP. But the word Nazi also derives from a Bavarian word meaning
"simple minded" or "a foolish person". It's believed that this lead opposers to instead
favor the term Nazi and the word eventually made its way back to Germany as well.
The most successful German interrogator of WWII was man named Hanns Scharff. What's interesting
is that despite all the horrible things that occurred during WWII, he never once used any
torture techniques to conduct his interrogations. Instead, he treated prisoners with kindness
and respect and pretended to be their friend. Hanns was well known for taking his prisoners
on a stroll through the nearby woods. But he didn't use these nature walks as a time
to directly ask his prisoners obvious military-related questions, but instead relied on the prisoners'
growing desire to speak to anyone outside of their isolated captivity. In doing so prisoners
often revealed bits and pieces of useful information Hanns had been instructed to acquire. Frequently
without them ever realizing they had done so. His techniques where so successful that
after the war, he held lectures around the US including the Pentagon about his unusual
In early 1940, the Nazis began their occupation of Denmark to facilitate a planned invasion
of the strategically more important target Norway. As the Danish government was unprepared
and heavily outnumbered, the invasion only lasted a couple of hours until they where
forced to surrender. Despite of this, Denmark managed to save almost their entire Jewish
population. In 1943 Hitler ordered all Danish Jews to be arrested and deported. When the
Danish resistance movement heard of this they managed to secretly evacuate 7,220 of Denmarks'
7,800 Jews to nearby neutral Sweden.
During WWII it was difficult for the Coca-Cola Co. in Germany to import the necessary syrup
they needed to make Coca-Cola. To circumvent this, the head of Coca-Cola decided to create
a new product for the German market using only ingredients available at the time. The
new soda became "Fanta". The name was taken from the German word for imagination "Fantasie".
When Hitler visited Paris in 1940, the French cut the lift cables on the Eiffel Tower so
that if Hitler wanted to visit the summit, he would have to climb all the 1,710 steps
on his own. As a result of this, Hitler never climbed the Eiffel Tower and it has been said
that Hitler conquered France but never conquered the Eiffel Tower.
As the war came to an end, The Red Army marched into Nazi Germany and came across an horrific sight.
During the four and a half years of its existence, 1.3 million people where sent to Auschwitz.
1.1 million of them would never leave.
The acts of inhumanity and cruelty conducted here
can not be expressed through words. But for many of those fortunate enough to be liberated,
the nightmare had only just begun. Female survivors fell victims of rape by their supposed
saviors as they tried making their way back home. Tens of thousands of women across Europe
were plainly raped to death as The Red Army marched on.
It has infamously become known as The Rape of Europe.
The ones who managed to return home in the hopes of continuing their normal lives
where crushed to find their homes either destroyed or now owned by someone else.
With no home, no belongings, no money, and many without relatives or friends as they
had all been killed in the war. Would find themselves struggling to survive
long after the war ended.
Over the course of the war, Auschwitz was staffed by roughly 7,000 members of the German SS.
Only 15% of whom were either killed or later convicted of war crimes.
Such as the commander of Auschwitz who was captured in 1946 and then hanged in 1947.
The ones who managed to escape could enjoy a fairly comfortable life in post-war Germany.
Some even managed to escape Germany altogether using fake identities.
Never facing the consequences of the crimes they had committed...