World War II Spitfires only had about 20 seconds of ‘gun time’ before running out of ammo, making most movie depictions wildly inaccurate.
Also one of the biggest issues any historian of WW2 aircombat notices in movies depicting it, is that anyone shoots anything down.
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.
A Japanese Oil Tanker captain fell into a cactus at a Santa Barbara Oil Field, provoking laughter from the local workers. 5 years later he returned in an Imperial Japanese Navy sub and made the first mainland shelling of the US at that oil field.
After fighting in the winter war against the USSR, Lauri Törni, a Finnish soldier, joined the SS and kept fighting until the end WW2. After WW2, he migrated to the US and joined the US Army, and died in combat in Vietnam in 1965 by which time he had earned high ranking U.S. awards.
Gen. George S. Patton believed in reincarnation, and believed himself to have been a military leader killed in action in Napoleon’s army, or a Roman legionary. He assumed that his past lives had a similar status to his current life, which does fit many models of reincarnation. It is not done randomly but is based on what you have done in your past lives. He effectively thought a part of the reason he was a high level general was that he had earned it through his leadership experience in past lives.
During World War II a Dutch minesweeper evaded the Japanese for eight days disguised as an island. The crew covered the decks in cut trees and painted exposed surfaces to look like rocks. They moved only at night and anchored closed to shore by day, eventually escaping to Australia.
Owen J. Baggett became legendary as the only person to down a Japanese aircraft with a M1911 pistol hitting the pilot in the head while he was parachuting.
Polish Catholic midwife Stanisława Leszczyńska delivered 3,000 babies at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust in occupied Poland.
Franz Von Werra, a Nazi POW who was transfered to Canada to deter his multiple escapes and recaptures, escaped again in less than a month, traveling through the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Italy to become the only Western held POW to return to combat. On 25 October 1941 Von Werra took off in Bf 109F-4 (W.Nr. 7285) on a practice flight. He suffered engine failure and crashed into the sea north of Vlissingen and was killed. His body was never found.
The Jerrycan is named for the ‘Jerries’, which was British slang for ‘Germans’ during WW2. Captured Jerrycans were coveted by British soldiers, as they were superior to the leaky and unreliable British models. Jerrycans were so superior to previous designs that the British North Africa campaign was hindered by their inferior version, known as “flimsies”. The Allied forces reverse engineered the jerrycan to replace their ‘flimsies’.