As a sign of appreciation, 49 box cars were sent from France to the US in 1949. Each car of the “Merci Train” contained personal items. This was a “thank you” gesture from French people to Americans, for donating supplies and food after WW2. Each state got one car. Some states even kept them in a local museum.
A British Navy Stoker managed to escape from a sinking submarine and get to the surface over a 100 feet up. He then swam five miles to land.
During WWII, a Nazi spy stationed in New York tried to turn himself into the FBI. The FBI didn’t believe him. The FBI finally listened when he showed up at FBI headquarters and offered proof that he really was a Nazi spy. He was imprisoned for 6 years and deported to Germany.
Gilbert Seltzer, a WW2 veteran, lead a secret platoon of men within a unit dubbed the ‘Ghost Army’. Made up of artists, creatives & engineers, their job was creating deception about the enemy. From inflatable tanks to scripted bar conversations, this unit’s work led to big US wins.
The US military was already using UAV drone technology in WWII. The primary manufacturer at that time, Radioplane Company, had a drone assembler named Norma Jeane Dougherty, who eventually changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
When France was occupied by the Germans in 1940, Citroen was forced to produce vehicles for the Nazis. They chose to move the fill line on their oil dipsticks lower, causing the trucks to seize under stress from low oil.
Adolf Hitler’s personal chauffeur and close confidant, Emil Maurice, was Jewish. He was also one of the founding members of the SS. After uncovering of his Jewish heritage, Hitler declared that he was an ‘honorary Aryan’ and prevented him from being expelled from the SS by Himmler.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government was worried Japan would invade Hawaii and seize all the U.S. currency there. As a precaution, the U.S. burned $200 million in cash circulating on the islands, and replaced them with freshly printed bills with “Hawaii” stamped on them.
During WWII, the British launched nearly 100,000 weather balloons trailing long metal wires toward occupied Europe, causing power outages when they shorted out power lines and causing at least one German power station to burn down. The US military “rediscovered” this during training operations in the San Diego area a few decades ago when metallic radar cloaking chaff accidentally drifted into a substation causing a widespread power outage. This led to development of ordnance that released carbon fibers for the same effect. It was used during the Iraq war.
The Luftwaffe planted buoys in the english channel for downed pilots to survive in, containing food, alcohol, clothing and games.