10 Weirdest WWII Stories You Probably Haven't Heard
Can the truth be stranger than fiction. Yes, it most definitely can be!
Every war generates stories, and the Second World War is not an exception. A lot of the tales we all know, through films, TV and first-hand accounts (come on, everybody knows an 'Uncle Albert').
When the whole world goes to war with itself, the gloves come off and nothing is off the table.
When you disengage the safeties and consider all ideas, no matter how insane they sound, people get inventive. Amongst the unbelievable things that you see here are experimental weapons intended for use. Some are genuinely uplifting stories from a very dark time in human history, showing that even in war humanity can still shine through. Others are plans that have to be filed under 'That's just crazy enough to work', showing just how creative mankind can become when freedom is threatened. Some, however, are just absolute lunacy born out of desperation.
What you will see here are only some of the strangest stories to emanate from WWII - there are many more out there (which will be covered at a later date, almost certainly.) For now, here are ten to intrigue your interest.
10. Didn't Get The Memo
Everybody knows that World War II ended in August 1945 with Japan's surrender. You've seen all of the photos of the celebrations, particularly in the US. Everybody except for Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda. He really should have listened to that briefing!
In December 1944, Onoda was sent with the rest of his unit to The Philippines with orders to do whatever they could to hamper enemy attacks on the island. He was also told, and in no uncertain terms, that he was not to surrender or take his own life. Shortly after the war ended, they started finding leaflets advising that the war had ended, but they believed them to be fake.
In the years that followed, while continuing guerrilla attacks on the island, letters and photos from the families of the men were dropped but they still believed these were fake. Then in 1974, a chance encounter with a Japanese explorer Norio Suzuki brought some light at the end of the tunnel for this strange story. Onoda and Suzuki became friends, but Onoda still refused to surrender stating that he could only surrender to his commanding officer. (Now that's dedication to duty!) On 9 March 1974, Onoda surrendered to his commanding officer, ending a 29-year campaign of terror against the people of the island that they must have been glad to see the back of!
Whether he is a brave man committed to the defence and prosperity of his country, or an absolute loon refusing to believe what his own family was telling him is for you to decide.