150 meters below Naples, Italy, there is a vast multi-level underground stretching over a half kilometer, containing WWII cars, beds, conveniences, and other war relics.
In WWII, weather reports were censored to prevent enemy submarines from learning about conditions. A football game in Chicago was so covered in fog that the radio announcer couldn’t see the field, but afterwards he was officially thanked for never using the word “fog” or mentioning the weather.
Hershey’s designed a customized chocolate bar for the troops during WW2 called “D ration bar”. It was so thick that soldiers had to shave slices off with a knife before chewing on it. By the end of the war, more than 3 billion ration bars had been produced. Also, M&Ms were originally made with Hershey’s chocolate, who had control of the rationed chocolate at the time, and were sold exclusively to the US military. They were designed based on a British made candy which was observed by the Mars Company founders son in the 1930s during the Spanish civil war. Regular chocolate was susceptible to heat and the candy coating helped to allow it to “melt in your mouth, not your hand”.
The Austrian town of Salzberg initally refused Nazi flags to be hung off buildings for the filming of The Sound of Music. When the director threatened to use real archival footage of the city enthusiastically greeting Hitler, they quickly changed their mind and allowed it.
A German soldier, Artur Fischer, survived Stalingrad on the last plane out. After the war, he went on to invent many ubiquitous items such as the synchronized camera flash and the plastic wall anchor, and held over 1100 patents before dying at age 96.
Many female workers at Ravensbrück concentration were forced to produce army uniforms for the Nazis. They deliberately sabotaged them. An example of this is that they made the heels of socks too narrow or defective. This gave soldiers painful blisters on their feet. The OSS (WW2 version of CIA basically) actually produced pamphlets encouraging simple sabotage. These were meant to be dispersed to labor and management within target countries. To do things like “sew one pant leg shorter than another” and to put “metal shavings in oil/gas tanks” among many many other suggestions. Even telling factory managers to simply “lose” important documents.
When the Japanese emperor announced Japan’s surrender in WW2, his speech was too formal and vague for the general populace to understand. Many listeners were left confused and it took some people hours, some days, to understand that Japan had, in fact, surrendered.
After returning from WWII, over 1 million black americans were denied the benefits of the GI bill for free education and low rate home loans.
In WWII, an Australian soldier removed his own appendix in the middle of a Philippine jungle in 1944, without any anaesthetic and with only the use of a mirror and an ordinary knife. The operation took 4 and a half hours and he stitched himself up with jungle fibre.
Following the end of the war, McLaren was discharged from the AIF and transferred to the Reserve of Officers List in early 1946. Following this he became a government veterinarian in New Guinea. He remained in this role until 1956 when he began growing coffee, buying a plantation at Wau. On 3 March 1956, McLaren was accidentally killed when rotted timber fell on him near his home after he backed a vehicle against a dead tree.
Throughout South London, there are large sections of fence made out of WWII stretchers. These stretchers were used by civil authorities to transport the injured during the Blitz. They are what remain of the 600,000 built for the city during the war.