Lady Lucy Houston was a British philanthropist who, after WWI, recognized the need for a strong Air Force. When the British government refused, she funded development of what became the Spitfire. She passed before WWII, and never saw how much that investment paid off.
The US Army tradition of naming helicopters after Native American Tribes (something that was once an official regulation) dates to 1947 and General Hamilton Howze who felt that helicopters were meant to attack the flank and fade away…in the tradition of the Plains Indian tribes.
US Army Aviation was centered in Fort Sill Oklahoma, which has a substantial Native American population.
When the Cobra attack helicopters were named, the Native American tribes inquired why it wasn’t named after a tribe. The Army responded by saying that it was avoiding potential offense by naming an outright weapon of war after a tribe.
The tribes responded by declaring there were many tribes proud of their warrior heritage whose members would love having attack choppers like the Apache named after them.
The US Army made a tactical deception unit known as the “Ghost Army” during World War II. This 1,100-man unit created a “traveling road show,” utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions & scripts. It was kept secret for more than 40 years until declassified in 1996.
The Chinese Army has been training 10,000 pigeons to provide support to the military’s communications in the event that war renders its modern technology unusable. The pigeons, flying at speeds of up to 75 miles (120 km) per hour, are being trained to carry loads of up to 3.5 oz (100 g).
In 1886, the Germans sent a mission to Chile to help train and modernise the Chilean army. As a result of the Germans overhaul of their army, the ceremonial uniforms, weapons and marching songs are all German or German based, and military parades look like a step into Germany 150 years ago.
The reason why Amish grow beards but shave their mustaches is to represent their pacifism. The Amish associate mustaches with the military and thus they shave their mustaches to show they would never serve in warfare. The Amish who did serve did so in the Civilian Service Corps.
After being drafted to the Army, Elvis Presley was offered to enlist in Special Services to entertain the troops and live in priority housing. He decided to serve as a regular soldier, instead, earning the respect of fellow soldiers and people back home who previously viewed him negatively.
Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866), daughter of a Russian Army Officer, disguised herself as a man, serving in a Cavalry Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars. She was the first recorded Female Officer in the Russian army, and was awarded the Cross of St George for bravery under fire.
In 1973, during his stay in Vietnam, Henry Moak was issued a combat ration that included a can of pound cake, manufactured in 1969. He vowed to eat the pound cake when he retired from the Army. On July 24, 2009, Colonel Moak opened the forty-year-old can and kept his word.
During the Austro-Prussian War, Liechtenstein had an army of 80 men. During the conflict no men were injured or killed and they returned home with 81 men because they’d made an Italian friend along the way. The army was then disbanded and Liechtenstein hasn’t had a military since.