World War 2 Facts
first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese
first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland
- 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 didn't survive World War 2
highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the
US Army Air Corps.
- Between 1939 and 1945 the Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs, An average of about 27,700 tons of bombs each month.
- 12,000 heavy bombers were shot down in World War 2
- 2/3 of Allied bomber crews were lost for each plane destroyed
- 3 or 4 ground men were wounded for each killed
- 6 bomber crewmen were killed for each one wounded
- Over 100,000 Allied bomber crewmen were killed over Europe
- There were 433 Medals of Honor awarded during World War 2, 219 of them were given after the receipiant's death
- From 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945 in Europe the Allies had 200,000 dead and 550,000 wounded
youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded
in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His
benefits were later restored by act of Congress).
the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS
(pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the US Army's 45th
Infantry division was the swastika,
and Hitler's private train was named "Amerika". All three were soon
changed for PR purposes.
- Germany lost 110 Division Commanders in combat
- 40,000 men served on U-Boats during World War 2; 30,000 never returned
US servicemen died in the Air Corps that the Marine Corps. While
completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%.
Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5
tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098
fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.
power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if
just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped
on power plants, German industry would have collapsed.
speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were
either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa
shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th found
with a tracer round to aid in aiming. That was a mistake. The tracers had
different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the
target, 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the tracers instantly
told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all
was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to
tell you that you were out of ammo. That was definitely not something you
wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their
success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it.
This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill
(who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed
in the act).
Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn't worth
number of air crewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in an
un-pressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%!)
- Germany lost 40-45% of their aircraft during World War 2 to accidents
Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in midair
(they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). "It
takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army". - Joseph Stalin
- The average German officer slot had to be refilled 9.2 times
US Army had more ships that the US Navy.
German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11
paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The
German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations.
the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore
were 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.
- 84 German Generals were executed by Hitler
the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They
had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by
the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were
captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they
were capture by the US Army.
Graf Spee never sank, The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought
by the British. On board was Germany's newest radar system.
of Japan's methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large
artillery shell with on ly the nose exposed. When a tank came near the
enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons
is no excuse for defeat." - Lt. Gen. Mataguchi
a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore
at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the fire-fight. It would have been
worse if there had been Japanese on the island.
MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for US artillery her
pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the
German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the
German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they
landed and took the Germans prisoner. It is unknown where they put them
since the MISS ME only had two seats.
members of the Waffen SS were not German.
- Air attacks caused 1/3 of German Generals' deaths
- By D-Day, the Germans had 1.5 million railway workers operating 988,000 freight cars and used 29,000 per day
only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.
the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, British officers objected to Canadian
infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted men
- By D-Day, 35% of all German soldiers had been wounded at least once, 11% twice, 6% three times, 2% four times and 2% more than 4 times
physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied
Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran
out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle
full of precious "heavy water". He finally reached England still
clutching the bottle, which contained beer. Perhaps some German drank the
- Germany lost 136 Generals, which averages out to be 1 dead General every 2 weeks