Irena Sendler was a remarkable woman who defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Nazis eventually discovered her activities, tortured her brutally, and sentenced her to death, but she managed to evade execution and survive the war.
During WWII, when Sergeant Leonard A. Funk was confronted by 90 German soldiers that had captured his squad, he began to laugh hysterically at the situation. Many of the enemy soldiers began to laugh along with him, until Funk wiped out his machine gun, gunning down 21 and capturing the rest.
In March 1945 almost all the wealth stolen by the Nazis was found sealed in a Mine. There was so much gold, it took until 1998 before it was all redistributed.
There was a Jewish boxer named Salamo Arouch imprisoned at Auschwitz. While there, he was forced to fight bouts against other prisoners, the losers of which were sent to the gas chambers or shot. He survived over 2 years and 200 bouts, eventually being released when the camp was liberated.
At the outbreak of WWII the British people killed 750,000 pets in one week. It was the lack of food, not bombs, that posed the biggest threat to wartime pets. There was no food ration for cats and dogs. In Memoriam notices started to appear in the press. “Happy memories of Iola, sweet faithful friend, given sleep September 4th 1939, to be saved suffering during the war. A short but happy life – 2 years, 12 weeks. Forgive us little pal,” said one in Tail-Wagger Magazine.
During the Italian invasion of France, 9 French soldiers defended the Pont Saint Louis against 5000 Italians for 10 days – of which 700 Italians were killed or injured. Eventually an Armistice was agreed.
25 Russian soldiers under the command of Yakov Pavlov defended a building during the Battle of Stalingrad so well that it never fell. Vasily Chuikov, general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, later joked that the Germans lost more men trying to take “Pavlov’s house” than they did taking Paris.
Hitler, after a total war economy was instituted in 1943, had the women’s cosmetics industry gradually closed down rather than banned outright to avoid upsetting Eva Braun.
A French Canadian soldier during WWII single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers and He declined the invitation to be decorated, because according to him General Montgomery (who was giving the award) was “incompetent” and in no position to be giving out medals.
Japan occupied a small portion of Alaska for over a year during World War II.