Interesting Facts and Stories

Louis

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Don Calogero Vizzini, a italian Mafia boss and a Honorary Colonel of the US Army



Don Calogero Vizzini (1877/1954) was legendary Mafia “boss of bosses” of Villalba / Sicily after WW2 until his death in 1954. Vizzini is the central character in the history of direct Mafia support for the Allied Forces during the invasion of Sicily in 1943. The Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories, looking for anti-fascist notables to replace fascist authorities, made Don Calogero Vizzini mayor of Villalba, as well as an Honorary Colonel of the US Army. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) relied on the Mafia, and in particular on Vizzini, for its intelligence. His codename was ‘Bull Frog’ in secret communications.
 

Louis

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Kharash: A commonly used tactic of the Mongols warriors was the use of what is called the kharash. During an attack the Mongols would gather a crowd of local residents or soldiers surrendered and captured from previous battles, and would move them forward in atttacks and battles. These "human shields" would take the most of enemy arrows and longer ranged weapons. This left the Mongol warriors much more protected. The kharash were also often forced ahead to break down walls so the Mongols could attack without stopping.
 
L

Lee_Chester_Jr

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Google is a large number equivalent to 10^100
Googleplex is a large number equivalent to 10^google
Should you write in plain a googleplex, each 0 in an atom, It is believed that there would be no enougth atom in thé universe to do it

I know all this is useless
 

Louis

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During WW1, instant coffee was a key provision for soldiers on the front. All the coffee output in the USA was requisitioned by the US Army. As a dominant producer at that time, the G. Washington Coffee Refining Company proudly advertised its contribution to the war effort, “G. Washington’s Refined Coffee has gone to WAR.”
By WW2 instant coffee was incredibly popular with the soldiers. G. Washington Coffee, Nescafe, and others had all emerged to meet the demand. One year, the entire production from the U.S. Nescafe plant (in excess of one million cases) went solely to the military.
 

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I think Nescafe was popular in Europe when I was over there, I kept hearing people ordering it and thought it was something gourmet European kind of thing.
Then I found out it was just instant coffee.
Not really my cup of tea as it were.
;)
 

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@mTk You are correct. Anything hot that has a jolt when you are wet, cold and tired is a blessing, especially if you can make it yourself. Sometimes just putting a pinch between your cheek and gum can do the job also. It is just not hot to take the edge off being cold and wet.
 

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Milunka Savić (born 1892), was a Serbian soldier, and she is thought to be the most decorated female combatant in the history of warfare. In addition to her native Serbia, this heroine received medals from France, Russia, and Britain for her bravery in WW1.

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Heroine who fought in the Balkan Wars and in WW1, was the sole female recipient of the French Croix de Guerre, as well as being awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the same nation. Britain bestowed upon her the Medal of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael, Russia went with the Cross of St. George, and from Serbia came the Miloš Obilić medal. She died on 1973.
 
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Louis

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On Sept. 11, 1942, the U-boat 203 commander, Rolf Mützelburg, taking the opportunity to go swimming in the Atlantic southwest of the Azores, he dived from the conning tower and struck the deck with his head and shoulder when the U-boat lurched suddenly in the swell. A medic aboard the U-462, arrived the next day, but too late, the commander was dead. Mützelburg was buried at sea on 12 Sept 1942.

 

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Nobuo Fujita, the Japanese pilot who flew bombing runs over Oregon in 1942, apparently the only time that an enemy aircraft has ever bombed the American mainland.



Using incendiary bombs, his mission was to start massive forest fires in the Pacific Northwest near the city of Brookings, Oregon with the objective of drawing the U.S. military's resources away from the Pacific Theater.

Fujita managed to survive the end of the war and he was invited to Brookings in 1962. He visited the town with his family's 400-year-old samurai sword with the intent of presenting it to the town as an apology for the attack. The town welcomed him with open arms (local churches and businesses raised the money for his visit in 1962). He later paid for several Brookings students' trips to Japan, as well as donating money to the town's library for children's books on Japan. He visited the town three more times in his later life and planted trees at the bombing site. His family's sword was displayed in the Brookings' city hall and is currently displayed in their library. He was made an honorary citizen of the town shortly before his death in 1997, and some of his ashes were buried at the bombing site.

 

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Betty Lou Oliver (1925/1999) was the elevator operator for the Empire State Building in the 1940’s. She was working on the 80th floor on July 28, 1945. What Betty did not know was that a man named Colonel Smith was flying through heavy fog over New York in a B-25 and was heading straight for the building. The plane would crash into the 78/80th floor of the building. Betty was thrown from her post and badly burned in the accident though she survived while 14 others did not.

When rescuers got to her they decided to lower her via the elevators. What the rescuers did not know is that the cables had already been weakened to the breaking point. Once the elevator doors closed, the cables snapped and she plummeted 79 stories. Betty survived but again had to be rescued. She was later treated at the hospital for serious injuries. So she was entered the as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall.

 

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Great post Louis.
I knew about the B-25 but you never hear the stories of the people around the incident or at least I haven't.that were effected.

This post piqued my interest so I did further research.....

On July 28, 1945, an airplane crashed into the Empire State Building. A B-25 bomber was flying a routine mission, chartering servicemen from Massachusetts to New York City.

Capt. William F. Smith, who had led some of the most dangerous missions in World War II in the European theatre, was the pilot. The day was foggy. Smith called LaGuardia Airport and requested a clearance to land. With nearly zero visibility, the tower suggested that Smith stay in the air. He ignored air traffic control and started a descent that took him over midtown Manhattan.
Just as he straightened out, the clouds broke up enough for him to realize he was flying among skyscrapers.
The bomber crashed into the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world at the time. The collision killed Smith, two others on the plane, and eleven people who worked inside the building.

When the plane hit, parts of the engine flew ahead and severed the lifting cables of two elevators on the 79th floor. The elevators crashed to the sub-basement. In one of the elevators was a 19-year-old elevator operator named Betty Lou Oliver. She broke her pelvis, back and neck — but she survived.
It was a fluke of physics that saved Oliver’s life. As the elevator plummeted from the 79th floor, the elevator cables coiled underneath the cab that created a kind of spring that cushioned the fall.




 

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In 1981, the Swiss Guard protected John Paul II during an assassination attempt at the Square of St. Peter. The guardsman who rushed to the aid of the pope (Alois Estermann) became a hero and was later named commandant in 1998. Sadly, mere hours following the promotion, he and his wife were shot and killed by a lower-ranking guard, who committed suicide. These three were the first murders that happened inside the walls of Vatican City since the middle of the 19th century.
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A Frenchman named Adolphe Pégoud made history as the first ace pilot, taking down six German planes, before he himself (ironically) was shot down in 1915 by one of his pre-war German students, Unteroffizier Otto Kandulski, while intercepting a German reconnaissance aircraft. He was 26 years old.



The same German crew later dropped a funeral wreath behind the French lines. Two weeks later Kandulski was shot down by the French pilot Roger Ronserail earning Roger the title "Le Vengeur de Pegoud".
 
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