Many World War 2 facts are common knowledge, taught in schools, and shown in documentaries:
For instance, we all know the Second World War is the deadliest conflict in human history. We also know it lasted from 1939 to 1945 and included atrocities such as genocide that horrify to this day.
However, there are many World War 2 facts that are lesser-known – and these are the five most shocking and surprising:
1. Hitler came close to developing Plutonium
Plutonium is the radioactive element that makes a nuclear weapon so devastating:
During the war, German forces invaded Norway and took control of a factory in the Telemark region that produced heavy water. This site was then used by German scientists to research plutonium.
Some believe they came very close to developing this dangerous element:
Fortunately, before they were able to produce this element, Norwegian commandos attacked the facility and took it back from German control.
2. Japan was manufacturing a Death Ray
Japenese authorities paid $1 million to a team of scientists who promised that they can develop a Death Ray that could kill thousands of people from miles away using electric waves.
The work was drawn on the ideas of Nikola Tesla.
The team of scientists was successful in making the Death Ray but it didn’t work as planned. The Ray could kill a target half a mile away – but they would have to stay still for 10 minutes for it to work.
3. The Battle that lasted the Entire War
While many battles were fought in World War 2, most of them lasted for weeks or months. Yet there was one battle that lasted the entire war.
The Battle of the Atlantic started with the announcement of the war and saw German U-boats disrupting supplies to Navy and Coastal forces of the Allies:
This battle ended with the surrender of Germany in May 1945.
4. The Tallest German soldier surrender to smallest Allied soldier
The 5 feet 3 inches tall Bob Robert was given the task to take out the tallest German soldier, Jakob Nacken who was 7 feet and 6 inches tall:
Nacken surrendered to Rober: ‘My mates who were watching the rest of these men saw this giant approaching me and I was aware that they and the Germans were having a good laugh,’ said Robert describing the surrender.
5. Queen Elizabeth served as a Driver and Mechanic
Many people do not know this but the Queen of Britain who at the time was a Princess served as a driver and mechanic in World War 2.
She became a part of the Auxilliary Territorial Service and dedicated herself to repairing engines and driving vehicles to play her part in the cause.