Perhaps the most destructive conflicts in human history, second world war can be described as the result of the ill managed and biased reparations program of the World war 1. The reparations demanded by the Allies in the year 1919, was set at a staggering 132 billion gold marks; Germany was obliged to pay that amount but unfortunately didn’t have much it could actually pay and hence, the total reparation amount paid by Germany from 1920-1931 was only about 5 billion US dollars, hence this had left them humiliated, frustrated and even more fierce than the first time and laid the much needed baseline work for the greatest devastation in human history the World War 2.
World war 1 has brought many revolutions and advancements in the physical world and it sort of catapulted our day to day technology use in terms of infrastructure a bit more farther than our time. This small leap has proved to be very important in the advancement of the quality of life in the 21st Century.
The country with the most numbers of World War 2 casualties was Russia. With over 21 million dead, it was over 30% of the entire casualties of the war period. The dead in second world war totaled between 50 and 70 million people. More than 80% of these casualties were from four countries; Russia, China, Germany and Poland. Almost half the casualties were believed to be civilians, most of whom were women and children.
9. Inhumane Animals
Here’s one fun fact about American army that fought in the Second World War. Out of the 16.1 million soldiers in the United States armed forces at that time, approximately 600,000 were Jews. More than 35,000 of them were killed, severely wounded, captured or missing. Around 8,000 of them died fighting. However, the peculiar thing is that my friends; only two of the soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor in World War 2. Many Jews were also victims of gruesome medical experiments, done by the Nazi doctors. They would bombard the testicles of men and the ovaries of women with X-rays, break bones repeatedly to see how many times it could be done before a bone could not heal, hit people’s heads with hammers just to see how much force a human skull could withstand.
8. The Angel of Death
Talking about gruesome experiments and animal behavior; during Second World War the Nazi’s had some of the most ruthless, nastiest, and perhaps the most maddening science experimenters the world has ever seen or would ever see again. Dr. Josef Mengele, better known as the Angel of Death was very infamous for his grisly human experiments, on children, especially twins. He took about 3000 twins, 6000 children mostly Romany and Jewish children, for his painful genetic experiments. Only around a 200 of them survived. His experiments were really extreme and something not at all meant for the faint hearted. Taking out one’s eyeball and attaching it on the back of other, changing their eye color by injecting dye. Once, two Romany twins were sewn together in an attempt to create conjoined twins; that was just a small example of how crazy he was.
7. The SS
During the World war 2, a Germanic group called the SS short for Schuftzstaffel carried out massive executions of political opponents and ethnic minorities. Headed by Heinrich Luitopold Himmler (1900-1945), it was initially formed as a personal protection service for Hitler. It is estimated that this group killed about 1.4 million Jews. They would force the Jews to dig a pit and then shoot them so they would fall into an open grave. Not only that, the secret group SS even ran a brothel named ‘’The Kitty Salon’’ especially for foreign diplomats in Berlin. The whole place was wire-tapped and 20 prostitutes underwent special training and were specifically trained to glean information from clients through seemingly innocuous conversations.
6. The Rise of the US & USSR
As the result of Second World War Europe was sent on a downfall from its position as the center of world power and made way for the rise of the United States and Russia as the super powers. This was the reason for the set up of the cold war between the US and the USSR. This was also the sole reason that gave rise to the nuclear age. Just the conditions both of them wanted and perhaps still don’t want to change.
5. The Swastika
The sign that Nazi’s used on their flags were in fact the ancient religious Hindu symbol Swastika. It is derived from the Sanskrit name for a hooked cross, which was used by ancient Greek, Hindu civilizations as a symbol of fertility and good fortune. That kept aside, the Nazis murdered approximately 12 million people in the war, nearly 6 million of those being Jews killed in the Holocaust due to burnt bodies.
4. Balloon Bombs
The Japanese launched more than 900 ‘wind ship weapons’ made out of paper and rubberized-silk balloons that carried incendiary and anti-personnel bombs to the U.S during WWII. More than a thousand balloons hit their targets and reached as far east as Michigan. The only deaths reported from a fallen balloon bomb were an American family of 6, including five children and a pregnant woman whilst on a picnic in Oregon.
3. 442nd regimental
One of the most celebrated and decorated unit of U.S history is the 442nd regimental Combat Team. Their motto was ‘Go for Broke’. It was summed up of Japanese-American volunteers; together they won 4,667 major medals, awards and citations, including 560 Silver Stars, 4000 Bronze Stars and 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and one Medal of Honor, plus 54 other decorations. It even held the distinction of never having case of desertion. Something to think about, isn’t it?
2. Double ‘O Seven
The ‘’007’’ character that we all know was in fact based on the Yugoslavian-born spy Dukso Popov (1912-1980). Author Ian Fleming got all his insight for the character from this spy from the WWII, speaking at least five languages he even came up with his own formula for invisible ink. He was the first ever spy in history to use microdots, which are basically photos shrunk down to the size of dots. He had deciphered the vital information about the Japanese planning an air strike on Pearl Harbor, he told the FBI about it, but they did not act on his warning. Popov later lived in the U.S. in a luxury penthouse and created a reputation of a playboy. He wrote an account of all his wartime activities and things he came across in his novel, Counterpy (1974).
1. Powerless President
After the Pearl Harbor attack, the President of the U.S. at that time President Roosevelt wanted to buy and searched for a bulletproof car. However, the government regulations didn’t allow him to spend more than $750 to buy a car. Hence, as no bulletproof car could be afforded at that price, all they could find was Al Capone’s limo, which had been seized by the Treasury Department after he was arrested for tax evasion. The FDR had said, ‘’I hope Mr. Capone won’t mind.’’ So much for being the U.S. President, believed to be the most powerful and perhaps the most influential person in the world.
Final Conclusion: It’s funny how most of the Americans believe that the U.S. won the war single-handedly. If you look at the entire war period with keen concentration, you will find that everything seems to have been planned to be carried out exactly the way it was carried out till the very end of it all. Every single detail of it seems interconnected somehow. Well… then again, it could just be me, and all of it could just be a bunch of weird and peculiar coincidences but what if it was all a well rehearsed dance of destruction, what would you have done? I guess we’ll never find out.
Nikhil is musician by choice, writer by profession. Currently, studying Bachelors in Hospitality.