10 hardly known facts about WWII

  1. There were actually 25 Planned assassinations of Hitler

During 1932 – 1944 Hitler was under constant threat from some of his closest advisers and high-ranking officers, there was actually twenty-five (25) planned assassination attempts on Hitler, however, in the main, the Gestapo intercepted and stopped most of the attempts although three (3) did almost succeed.

1933 – Hitler was poisoned whilst eating with friends at the Kaiserhof hotel in Berlin, although they all became ill, none died.  1939 – Hitler was giving a speech at Burgerbraukeller/Beer Hall, Munich, bomb explodes just minutes after Hitler leaves, killing eight (8), injuring six (6) and finally 1944 – Wolf’s Lair bombing were many top ranking officers died and Hitler sustained some injuries to his right side and arm.



  1. British kill 750,000 Pets in one week

During the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. It drafted a notice – Advice to Animal Owners. The pamphlet stated the following: “If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency.” And finally stating: “If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed.”

At the outbreak of WWII, 750,000 pets are destroyed by their British owners in one week, their decisions to do this could only be attributed to one of three reasons, 1. they might be bombed. 2. They couldn’t afford them due to food rationing being introduced and finally due to them going off to war.




  1. Early warning and Anti-Tank Dogs


The US Marine Corps trained and used dogs for sniffing out enemy positions as well as early warnings systems for on coming soldiers attempting to sneak up on them, however, this was nothing compared to the Russian trained dogs.


Between 1941 – 1942 The Russian’s trained dogs to run/walk up to enemy tanks with explosives strapped to their backs, worked well in training, but in actual war conditions the dogs would get scared off by all the noises, once the explosive fuse was lit, they would be sent towards their target.  All the gun fire would send them running back to their handler’s trenches, at which time the explosives would detonate, killing everyone within range.



  1. British MI6 pay Spain £200 million to keep then out of WWII


Hitler had for many years developed a solid relationship with Francisco Franco, ruler of Spain, in a hope that he would join the Axis powers during WWII, but what he didn’t realise was that one of his top rank-officers, Canaris was working against this happening. Canaris would lie to both sides constantly.  The British knew that Spain favoured the Axis powers during the second world war, in fact, and so much so that Spain actually sent men to fight on the eastern front against the Russians, but Spain would not allow any of their men to fight on the western front in fear of war been declared against them from the Allies.

In an attempt to keep them out of the war British MI6 constantly gave bribes to Franco, his brother-in-law Suner and other top officials to the equivalent of £200 million pound in today’s money.  Both Franco and Suner were close friends with Hermann Wilhelm Göring know for selling stolen art taken from all over Europe, by some of the great artists of the world and sell them to Suner, they were often seen together in Berlin.  So, indirectly the British were possibly lining Goring’s pockets.



  1. Nazi Intelligence service use Berlin brothel to spy on their own


Reinhard Heydrich, police chief and the general of the SS, ordered his second in command Walter Schellenberg to take thirty (30) women, from the streets, trained them in all aspects of espionage.  Then placed them in a top-class Berlin brothel “Salon Kitty” to collect secrets and individual opinions, then report back to the officers in charge.  They had to provide a report on every client prior to taking the next one.

In 1940 and in retaliation for the bombing of London, the allied forces started bombing Berlin and the brothel was raised to the ground.  The owner of the salon Madam Katherine Schmidt was allowed to re-open another salon but this time without any interference from the SS, it was deemed that the intelligence collected was in fact insignificant and the whole mission was scrapped.



  1. US volunteers fighting with Allied forces prior to 1941


The US entered WWII in September 1941, however very few people know that American volunteers had actually been fighting with the allies well over a year prior to this date.  Eagle Squadron was an all American, fighter squadron of the RAF.  They played a major part in keeping the US ships safe crossing the Atlantic Ocean with supplies as well as later on fighting over Europe.

Three Eagle Squadrons were formed between September 1940 and July 1941. On 29 September 1942, they were turned over to the Eighth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces and became the 4th Fighter Group. Of the thousands who volunteered, only 244 Americans served with the Eagle Squadrons.



  1. Calvin Leon Graham(April 3, 1930 – November 6, 1992)

Graham was the youngest serviceman to enlist in the US Navy.  Enlisting on August 15, 1942, at the age of 12 in Houston, Texas after the attack on Pearl Harbour, having to lie about his age, he was excepted.  After basic training lasting six weeks in San Diego, California, he was sent to Pearl Harbour and was assigned to USS South Dakota. The whole crew of the South Dakota was given a Navy commendation for their role in the battle of Saint Cruz Island in 1942. Graham was in fact wounded during the Battle of Guadalcanal, receiving fragmentation wounds but he still managed to help pull others from the sea.  He was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during his service.

Without permission from the US Navy he visited his grandmother’s funeral, although a day late, at this time his mother revealed his true age, subsequently he ended up serving three (3) months in a Texas brig.  He was discharged in 1943 after attempting to return to his ship, he also had all his medals revoked.  He then re-enlisted in 1948, aged 17, into the US Marine Corps which also ended early after an accident resulting in him breaking his back in 1951. Although now a veteran, he spent the rest of his life fighting for full medical benefits and clearing his military record.



  1. Hitler’s direct family living in Britain and the US during WWII

William Patrick Stuart-Houston ( Hitler; 12 March 1911 – 14 July 1987) William was born to Hitler’s half-brother (Alois Hilter) and his wife (Bridget Dowling, in Liverpool.   Hitler’s half-nephew lived in Liverpool, in 1930 he moved to Germany looking for a chance to ride on his uncle’s success tails, uncle Hitler gave him a job in the Reichskreditbank in Berlin which he held for many years, however he became dissatisfied any went from one dead end job to another for a few years.  William soon graved a position of power and started sending blackmail letters to his uncle, threatening to provide newspapers with family secrets if he didn’t provide assistance.  Hitler responded 1938 by requesting William revoke his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking position, but he thought it was a trap and so fled Germany to the UK.

In 1939 a US newspaper magnate paid for William and his mother to travel to the USA to give lectures, war broke out and they became stranded there.  The then president (Roosevelt) gave in to a special request by William to join the US Navy in 1944 as a Pharmacist’s Mate. In 1947  he was discharged from the Navy, William Hitler changed his surname to “Stuart-Houston,” which was in fact, one of Adolf Hitler’s role models.



  1. Project Pigeon, pigeon guided bombs.


During WWII American behaviourist B.F.Skinner launched a program to train pigeons to guide bombs to their targets.  One pigeon was placed at the front of the missile, in front of them was a picture of the target, as long as the pigeon kept pecking at the target the missile would continue towards the target.

The national defence committee thought the idea was eccentric to say the least, but that didn’t stop them investing $25,000.  Skinner did have some success though.



  1. Queen Elizabeth trained as a driver/mechanic during WWII

September 1939 and Britain enters the second world war, it is suggested by one of the lords that the royal children should be evacuated to Canada.  This was however dismissed by their mother, stating, they will not go without me, I will not go without my husband (the King) and he is staying, so then are we.

During the first year of the war the royal children moved around the country and at fourteen years old princess Elizabeth gave her first ever radio announcement addressing other children who have had to go through the ordeal of evacuating the cities in to the countryside, leaving their families.

February 1945, Elizabeth was appointed an honorary  position in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, army number 230873 and was trained as a driver and mechanic.



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Berlin 1939  –  1943

From the smoking ruins of a bombed Berlin brothel, three shocked and injured female survivors are taken to a secluded training facility by Nazi officer, Gruppenführer Walter Schellenberg. They’re not there for official business but for medical treatment.

Trained by the SS officer in all aspects of espionage, the women are desperate to survive. They turn the tables on their armed captors and kill them. After covering their tracks, the women return to ply the only trade they know… with an added twist. Somehow these ‘sisters in arms’ escape the attention of the Nazis, despite the high rank of their victim, and their lucrative business thrives.

They haven’t escaped everyone’s notice though. British Intelligence was monitoring Schellenberg’s operations for some time, and their attention has zeroed in on the three women. They dispatch one of their top male agents to make contact…


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The Spear of Destiny (Hitler & Historical Artefacts)

Screenshot (142)
(Not a picture of the actual spear) but a model

This article although nothing to do with any war time sites does have historical WWII connections.

The Spear Of Destiny or (Holy Lance) (Vienna Lance) is the name given to the spear that pierced the side of Christ (whilst he was on the crucifix) by a Roman soldier.

lance pierce

It is said that anyone who holds the spear has the power to rule/control the world at their will, positively or negatively.  Adolf Hitler had an obsession with historical relics with religious so called powers.

History shows that Hitlers first encounter with the spear was as a teenager struggling to become an architect, he viewed the spear at Weltliches Schatzkammer Museum in Vienna, also known as The Imperial Treasury.

Hitlers obsession was fulfilled when the Nazi’s annexed Austria in 1938 and he acquired the very same spear, it was kept at St.Katherine’s church in Nuremberg but was soon moved to an underground bunker for saver keeping.

On April 30th 1945 the allies retrieved what Hitler believed to be the Spear of Destiny and Hitler was found dead in his bunker soon after.

It is written that anyone who possess the spear and then looses it it will die, a myth?, old wife’s tail?, a curse?, I will leave the validity of this fatal myth to your own conclusions, however, if you check the history of those who have possessed the spear you will find that they all died soon after it left them.

In 2003 the BBC produced a special documentary entitled”The Spear of Jesus”, it was examined by Dr.Robert Feather, Archaeologist/Metallurgist, who’s background can be found at: www.robert-feather.com.

The spear was dated as part of the program  and found to be from the 7th century, Roman times.

There are other spears or parts there of but none of these date back to the correct century either.

As for the mythical powers of the Spear Of Destiny, again this can only be left to individual conclusions, but one thing is certain and that was the obsession Hitler had with religious artefacts and his lust for power.

The current location of the Spear Of destiny (Vienna Lance) is Imperial Palace Museum, Vienna, http://www.kaiserliche-schatzkammer.at/

Open: Daily except Tuesday  09.00  –  17.30          Admission: 12.00 euro

I viewed the Vienna lance at in a museum in Aachen, Germany back in the early 80’s whilst on a trip to Europe, unfortunately all photos are lost, sorry.  it was certainly a great pleasure to see it as several weeks prior to the trip I had read the book “The Spear of Destiny” by Trevor Ravenscroft.  The book can be found here by clicking on the book below:

Spear of destiny pic

Following in the footsteps of the Spear Of Destiny (Holy Lance), actually seeing this artefact that Hitler had searched for and found was indeed a delight, a true WW II artefact.