World War II was without the doubt one the most devastating conflicts in the history of our planet. It affected countries in almost every continent and cost the world millions of lives. Despite the fact there are many documentaries and books about the World War 2, there is much about the war that is rarely shared. We present you with some of the most fascinating and lesser known facts about the world’s most frightening war.

1 facts ww2

American prisoners of war – Over 41,000 American soldiers were captured during the war. 5,400 of them were captured by the Japanese, and only about a half of them survived. Those who were captured by the Germans had it better, as only 10% of them died. However, all of them lived in terrible conditions and were extremely starved and dehydrated from hard work.

2 facts ww2

Korean soldiers – Some of the first members of the German army that were captured by the U.S. soldiers during the invasion of Normandy weren’t German, but Korean who were actually forced to fight for the Japanese until they got captured by Russians. Then they were forced to fight for the Russian army, until Germans captured them and had them fight on their side. How insane is that?

3 facts ww2

Hitler’s nephew – Believe it or not, William Patrick Stuart-Houston, who was Hitler’s nephew served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy during the famous war. Apparently, William knew Hitler personally because he used to live in Germany near his house before moving to United States. He was a loyal soldier, but Navy tried their best to hide this information from the world.

4 facts ww2

First American killed – The first American soldier that was killed in the World War II was Captain Robert M. Losey. He was killed in Norway on April 21, 1940, where Robert was serving as a military attache. A German aircraft bombed the Dombas railway station, where Captain Losey and several other people were waiting for transportation.

5 facts ww2

First German killed – The first German serviceman who fell victim to World War II was Lieutenant von Scheming. He was a military advisor to the Nationalist China, and was killed in combat by the Japanese while commanding a Chinese infantry Battalion of the 88th Division of Shanghai in 1937.

6 facts ww2

Suicide submarines – Japanese used several different types of suicide attacks during the war, both on the land and sea. They famously repurposed torpedoes to become suicide submarines that they called Kaiten, which loosly translates to “the turn toward heaven.” Experts estimate that 100 of these were used during the entire war. One of them was responsible for sinking the Buckley-Class destroyer USS Underhill. The Japanese did this to strike fear into the hearts of U.S. servicemen.

7 facts ww2

Drug use on the battlefield – During the World War II, soldiers were almost constantly in the state of exhaustion and were taxed to the limit. To fight this, both axis and allied servicemen used Amphetamines and Benzedrine to increase their energy levels as well as their focus. Of course, these drugs are now illegal because they cause paranoia and hallucinations.

8 facts ww2

Yank magazine – Despite what the name suggests, this magazine wasn’t just about the girls. It featured many different stories for soldiers to keep their moral up during tough times, often reminding them of what’s waiting for them upon returning home. Photos of beautiful girls, like Frances Vorne pictured above didn’t hurt either.

9 facts ww2

America’s working women – After a large number of men went to war, they left the factories and with them tens of thousands of very important jobs, including weapons and ammo production. This is why women had to replace them. The woman pictured above is showing off her protective chest plate, designed to keep her safe from the heavy machinery at the factory.

10 facts ww2

The woman who delivered 3,000 babies – Believe it or not, Polish Catholic midwife named Stanislawa Leszczynska delivered upwards of 3,000 babies at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. Now comes the sad part of this story — many of these babies were immediately drowned by Nazis…

11 facts ww2

Finnish snipers – In late 1939 and early 1940, the Soviet Union tried to invade Finland hoping to create a buffer zone for Leningrad. What Soviet soldiers didn’t know was how experienced Finnish snipers were. Because of this, the USSR lost 40 of their servicemen to every Finn that they killed.

12 facts ww2

The power grid – Apparently, Germany’s power grid was much more vulnerable than what the Allies thought during the war. It’s easy to talk in hindsight, but experts believe that if Allies used 1% of their bombs on German power plants instead of other industrial targets, the infrastructure of the whole country would have collapsed. If only they knew…

13 facts ww2

Aerial ramming – Hundreds of German aircraft were destroyed not by cannons, but by Russian pilots who rammed themselves into German planes in midair. Some of them died in the process, while others were able to eject before the crash. Germany also started using this method later on in the war.