Calvin Graham was only 12 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.
Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy in the Nazi party, was the last person to have been incarcerated in the Tower of London.
While in prison, Hitler envisioned the development of a “people’s car” or a Volkswagen, from the word volk, meaning “people” or “nation.”
On December 8, 1941, Britain and the S. declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany declared war on the U.S. The U.S. is the only nation Germany formally declared war on.
The Nazis called their rule the Third Reich (1933-1945). The First Reich was the Holy Roman Empire (962-1806). The Second Reich was the German Empire of 1871-1918. The Weimar Republic was from 1919-1933.
At the behest of the Nazi regime, book-burning campaigns took place in Berlin and other German cities between March and June 1933, with senior academics and university students incinerating books deemed to contain “un-German” ideas. Authors targeted by the book-burning campaign included Jack London, H.G. Wells, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein. A century before Hitler, the German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) predicted: “Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people.”
In the 1930s, the U.S. Army had only about 130,000 soldiers, making it the sixteenth largest force in the world, smaller than Czechoslovakia, Poland, Turkey, Spain, and Romania.
In a bizarre move, Hitler’s deputy and confidant Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland on May 10, 1941, to negotiate a peace agreement. The British concluded he was mentally unstable. He was kept as a POW and given a life sentence at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.
On July 14, 1941, the Soviets introduced a new weapon, the Katyusha, which could fire 320 rockets in 25 seconds. More than 50 years later, the Katyusha remains an effective weapon.
After Pearl Harbour, FDR bought Al Capone’s bulletproof car
After the sneak attack at Pearl Harbour, President Roosevelt searched for a bulletproof car. However, because government regulation prohibited spending more than $750 to buy a car, the only one they could find was Al Capone’s limo, which had been seized by the Treasury Department after he was arrested for tax evasion. FDR said, “I hope Mr. Capone won’t mind.”