1. In WWII a number of soldiers died of well, farts. When ascending in an unpressurized plane to 20,000 feet, it causes intestinal gas to expand 300%. I guess some guys couldn't fart quickly enough.
They should have brought pigs along with them. Then when Porkie was ready to blow, fly over the enemy's plane and drop him. When Porkie goes Blammo you blow the enemy to hell!! Even if you miss, it's okay. The explosion and fire fries up Porko Boy nice and crispy and countryside below rains down bacon, so the starving countryside gets fed. Yay!
2. Speaking of 20,000 feet, impossible to believe but about 10 servicemen, without parachutes, were blown out of the sky, fell to earth and actually lived. One was Alan Magee who fell 20,000 feet, hit a glass roof in a train station, then hit some water and lived. How? I have no idea. Most of the others survived as follows: They hit large trees (probably pines). When you hit the top, you hit little thin branches that won't kill you but begin to break your fall. Then as you progress into the middle and lower branches the limbs get slowly bigger and this forms a sort of slow braking action. Presumably the lower branches stop you, but by then your speed has broken. Good for you but not so good for the local Robins.
3. This one shocks me simply because of all the gung-ho war movies I've seen over the years. I heard this on PBS, so it must be true, they'd never lie would they? In WWI, only 20% of the U.S. servicemen who were in the trenches (trench warfare) actually fired their guns. Amazing. Only one out of five soldiers stuck his head up and fired. As some of the guys would come back down without heads anymore, it probably had a slight impact on their decision. Not exactly a good situation for company morale, you think?
4. A Japanese soldier, Hiroo Onoda, who never heard the war was over in 1945, continued patrolling his assigned Philippine island for almost 30 years until 1974 when he was finally officially relieved of his post. And you thought the communication between you and your spouse was bad?
5. In WWII, nine Americans survived a plane crash at sea. One was picked up by an American submarine. The other eight were captured by the Japanese. So what did the Japanese do? They ate 5 of the 8. After lengthy experimentation it was decided that people were best when served with a light garlic butter. Oh and the guy that was rescued by the sub? None other than George H.W.Bush, future president of the United States. If the sea currents had been just a little different, when he later said "read my lips" he might of thought, oh damn, I don't have lips anymore, they were used for dessert!
6. A good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt (FDR's wife) came to her with an idea. We should invent a bomb that would sail down and then, before hitting the ground would open up with 40 to 50 bats stashed inside. They would all have plastic explosives strapped to their legs. Then the bats would disperse throughout the city going to hopefully, 40 or 50 different buildings. Then after a few minutes the guys back on the plane would push a button and destroy all of those buildings. The only thing that stopped the plan was that the engineers and scientists couldn't development a strong enough and small enough plastic explosive to fit the bats legs with.
Nonetheless, they worked on this plan until it gave way to a better plan, the atomic bomb. Actually this wasn't a bad plan, very inventive. Only problem was, eventually the Bat Lobby wanted to know what was in it for them, and that was a tough question to answer.