A thread of WW2 facts, thoughts, busted myths, including some strange ones and maybe some you've never even heard of at all. Feel free to comment if you want! 1a. DID YOU KNOW? Britain's army was so short of equipment after Dunkirk in 1940 that 18 of London's Imperial War Museums artillery pieces were returned to Military Service! 1b. It is said that Churchill coined the phrase 'It is ‘better to jaw-jaw than to war-war'. What do you know about Yalta? With Churchill's steer, the conference became the template for the widely accepted method – summits as he labelled them – of conducting international relations, to this day. 73 years ago, in 1945, that week-long conference in Russia's Crimean seaside resort ended. The 'Big Three' Allied leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin had come together to decide on a final strategy in the war against Germany and Japan and settle the post-war future of Europe. Roosevelt by this time was gravely ill, passing away two months after the Yalta Conference. In this photo, Churchill confers with Roosevelt at Yalta's Livadia Palace. In the years that followed some criticism would fall on agreements reached at Yalta, in particular that America was handing over Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe to Stalin and allowing the Soviet Union to gain a foothold in the Far East. Shortly after Yalta, Stalin refused to carry out his part of the bargain on Poland, disregarding the Declaration on Liberated Europe. And only a year and a month after Yalta, in March 1946, Churchill made his famous 'Iron Curtain' speech in Fulton, Missouri. 1c. DID YOU KNOW? In his youth, Hitler had a crush on a Jewish girl by the name of Stefanie Isak! 1d. DID YOU KNOW? In 1941 the British Ministry of Information funded a short spoof of 'Triumph of the Will', editing the footage from the film to make it appear as if Hitler and his SS men were marching and dancing to the song 'The Lambeth Walk'. 1e. DID YOU KNOW? The Swastika Style Flag. Hitler claimed to have designed it himself. This is not strictly true! In the early 1920s Hitler ran a competition to find a design for National Socialist Flags. A dentist from Sternberg by the name of Dr. Friedrich Krohn won the competition by designing an emblem that we would all come to know as the Nazi Swastika, with only slight alterations made by Hitler. Krohn's design had the Swastika on a white disk against a red background, which was intended to symbolize the ideology of the movement. Its red background was its social ideal. The white circle, its nationalism, and in the Swastika "The Struggle for Victory of the Aryan man". Krohn's flag featured a right-handed Swastika, a traditional symbol of good fortune, spiritual evaluation and the triumph of spirit over matter. Hitler's main change to the emblem was to tilt the Swastika to the left so that instead of it appearing central on the long edges, it stood on its corners. Hitler would later claim that the design was totally his! 1f. DID YOU KNOW? The SS Symbol. Walter Heck was the designer of the SS symbol in 1929, and is believed to have copied it from the signs on electricity pylons in the country at the time. It has also been revealed that Heinrich Himmler paid the equivalent of £1.00 to this out of work illustrator to create it. At the time, Himmler, the head of the SS, and a firm believer in extolling the supremacy of the German race, had claimed that the symbol was actually from an ancient ruin, and had it adorn every uniform and building of his 'black order'. The SS subsequently spent a considerable amount of time and energy tracking down ruins and markings on prehistoric pottery which vaguely resembled the SS symbol in a futile effort to verify its 'authentic' Germanic origins. 1g. DID YOU KNOW? Nazi Uniforms & Regalia. Karl Diebitsch was an artist and the SS officer responsible for the designing much of the SS regalia in the Third Reich, including the chained SS officers dagger scabbard. Diebitsch worked with a graphic designer called Walter Heck [designer of the SS emblem] to draft this emblem onto the black SS uniform. Hugo Boss was the company that would be given the order to mass produce all of the different Nazi uniforms. 1h. DID YOU KNOW? One of Hitler’s hobbies was whistling! Hitler reportedly relaxed by whistling tunes including Disney's ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’. He entertained dinner guests by whistling and performed his hobby in moments of euphoria, such as following the fall of Paris in June 1940. ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf’ was also one of his favourite tunes due to ‘The Wolf’ being his nickname. When the Germans had started to retreat from Russia, Hitler became forgetful and preoccupied. During that time, there was once where Hitler was even whistling while eating! 1i. DID YOU KNOW? Hitler most likely had Parkinson’s disease! Researchers have suggested that Hitler suffered from a number of diseases including Parkinson’s disease. Some described him as a neurotic psychopath. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects the movement, memory pattern, thinking and behaviour of the patient. It is reported that for the last 11 years of his life, Hitler suffered from the mental and physical symptoms of the Parkinson’s disease. Some historians argued that his decision making was affected during WWII due to his possible dementia or memory loss as a result of the disease. The short video below shows some insight into this theory! 1j. DID YOU KNOW? Hitler never visited a single concentration camp! Most of the Jews and other minorities killed during the Holocaust by Hitler’s Nazi forces were murdered at the 1,200 Nazi concentration camps. The first Nazi concentration camp was established in Germany in 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor. The first camps were initially used to hold and torture union organizers and political opponents. During the WWII, these became the places where millions of ordinary people and so called ‘racially undesirable’ minorities were enslaved, used as forced labour in the war industries, tortured and then brutally murdered in mass numbers. Hitler never visited a single death camp is still a surprising fact. The distance Hitler kept between himself and the spot of actual killing has fuelled the claims made by the neo-Nazi supporters that Hitler was not responsible for the holocaust and that Himmler kept him in the dark about what was taking place. However, Hitler’s involvement in the genocide can be found at every stage of the ‘Final Solution’, a program aimed at murdering every last Jew within German controlled territories. 1k. DID YOU KNOW? Hitler Pioneered the Blow-up Dolls! Hitler reportedly ordered the manufacture of Aryan blow-up dolls for his Nazi combatants to discourage them from sleeping with disease-ridden prostitutes. It was called the ‘Borghild Project’ that kicked off in 1940 when SS Chief Himmler wrote to Hitler warning him of syphilis and other health hazards posed to his men by liaisons with the French women. The top-secret project delivered 50 dolls to the Nazi troopers. Each soldier was supposed to put a blow up doll in his pack and then they could do with them as they pleased. But embarrassed soldiers refused to carry the comfort dolls and officers were worried that the Nazi combatants would be mocked if captured by the enemy along with the blow-up dolls. By 1942, the Nazi party leadership had shut down the project. 1l. DID YOU KNOW? Hitler Proposed The “Museum of an Extinct Race!" Hitler wanted to exterminate the entire Jewish race, which is widely documented everywhere. His Nazi regime oversaw the genocide of six-million Jews. However, he did not want to eliminate the memory of the Jews completely. He ordered to retain the paintings, artefacts and valuable belongings of any Jews murdered. He wanted to create a museum for the German ‘Aryan race’ to come and see such artefacts. He wished to call it the ‘Museum of an Extinct Race!" 1m. DID YOU KNOW? Hitler’s Original Family Name Was Schicklgruber! Hitler’s father Alois Hitler was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. Alois was born in 1837 but the baptismal register did not show his father’s name. So, initially, Alois bore his mother’s surname, Schicklgruber. Johann Georg Hiedler married Maria Anna in 1842. Maria Anna died in 1847 and Alois changed his baptismal register in 1876 by recording Georg Hitler (Johann Georg Hiedler) as his father. Thus he assumed the surname Hitler which is also spelled as Hiedler, Huettler or Hüttler. Hitler surname is presumably based on ‘one who lives in a hut’.