Category: world war II

Momofuku Ando is a national hero in Japan, for helping to end a national food shortage after World War II. He did this by … inventing instant ramen. He created the brands Top Ramen and Cup Noodles.

At the time, the United States was providing wheat flour to Japan to prevent widespread famine. The Japanese government tried to encourage its people to make the wheat flour into wheat bread, but that was unfamiliar to pretty much all Japanese at the time, and many went hungry instead. Ando thought noodles made more sense. Noodles were familiar, could be made using wheat instead of rice flour, and could be easily made at home using only hot water. After months of trial and error, he debuted the first instant noodles: Chikin Ramen. And the rest is history!

Warsaw’s minute is at 5pm every August 1st. That is when the Warsaw Uprising began in 1944, Poland’s biggest uprising against German occupation. It lasted 63 days before complete Nazi victory, ending with up to 200,000 civilians killed, and about 700,000 were expelled from Warsaw.

From 1914 to 2005. Or, from World War I through the Invasion of Iraq

The land ceded was relatively small. Still, it was a big change for the people living there! They woke up one day and were suddenly French citizens

Since 1219, Estonia was ruled at various times by Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian governments. It declared independence after World War I, but that only lasted until 1940 when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. Estonia has only been an independent nation since 1991.

That means that since 1219, Estonia has been independent for exactly 50 years out of 800!

Duct tape was initially used during World War II for a very specific military purpose: keeping ammunition boxes sealed. It quickly became clear that it was useful for many other things, as well. And its incredibly adhesive qualities as well as inherent waterproofing led to soldiers calling it “duck tape,” referring to a duck’s wicking feathers.

After the war, former American soldiers who went to work in construction spread the word about the amazing new tape. It ended up being used for all sorts of HVAC applications, but mostly for holding ductwork together, so “duck tape” became “duct tape.“

During Word War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy used Kaiten submarines, which were the torpedo equivalent to kamikaze pilots. Kaiten subarines were manned torpedoes that would engage in suicide attacks on enemy ships.

They were relatively ineffective and there are only three confirmed successful kaiten attacks in the Pacific theater.

Couple in Penn Station sharing farewell kiss before he ships off to war during WWII, 1943. Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt-LIFE.

Wartime Terminus, Paddington Station, London, 1942. Photographed by Bert Hardy.

Soldier consoling his weeping wife as he says goodbye at Pennsylvania Station before returning to duty after brief furlough during WWII, 1944. Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt-LIFE.