Page 5 - History Facts

Erwin Rommel was a German Field Marshall who refused to follow orders to kill Jewish soldiers and civilians. Hitler forced him to commit suicide in 1944


Erwin Rommel was a German Field Marshall in World War II.

He was nicknamed 'the Desert Fox' because his leadership during the North African campaign established him as one of the most skilled commanders of desert warfare.

Enemy soldiers captured during his African campaign were treated humanely and units under Rommel's command had never been accused of war crimes.

He was a highly efficient and professional officer, but he refused to follow orders to kill Jewish soldiers, civilians and captured commandos and was therefore very much respected by soldiers of both sides.

When he was suspected of being part of a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler late in the War, Hitler was aware of his popularity. He needed to get rid of Rommel quietly, but the man had become a national hero.

Hitler forced Rommel to commit suicide with a cyanide pill in exchange for his family safety and pardon from persecution after his death. He died on 14 October 1944 and received a state funeral. The public was informed that he succumbed to injuries he sustained in Normandy.

For decades after the war had ended, veterans from both sides would visit Rommel's grave site. Erwin Rommel is the only member of the Third Reich that has a museum dedicated to him.

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During WWII the Japanese developed a torpedo with a cockpit.


The pilot guided the torpedo to its destination, effectively committing suicide on impact. Kaiten meaning “Return to the sky” was a manned torpedo designed by the Japanese in World War II. In 1943 the Japanese began reviewing suicide crafts since they were struggling in the war. At first, they were deemed too extreme, but later were reviewed and said to be necessary. 

They began developing various crafts. The navy developed kamikaze airplanes. They developed shinyo suicide boats, fukuryu suicide divers, also known as human mines, and the kaiten submarines. The kamikaze planes were somewhat effective, and the kaiten subs were second most effective. 

The kaiten were developed to deploy from the surface deck of a submarine. They were basically a torpedo with a cockpit attached to it. Specially equipped subs could hold two to six kaiten at a time. Kaitens, however, had very minimal diving depth and for this, many submarines ended up sinking. 

Men volunteered to be Kaiten pilots and their families were told they’d be compensated 10,000 yen if their pilot was killed. 

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This ancient shipwreck is so well preserved it still has food on board!


It's amazing how quickly the leftovers in the back of your fridge turn into a rotting, smelly pile of something that used to be edible.Generally, it's hard to even tell what it used to be.

If this struggle is all too real to you, it will blow your mind to know that an ancient Roman merchant vessel was found off the coast of Italy with food that is still intact!

In 2012, divers discovered the ship that was still in really good condition, enough so that a lot of the food on board is probably still sealed in their storage jars.

The first people to become aware of the wreck under the waves was local fishermen who started to notice pottery in their nets. Police divers quickly brought out a remotely operated vehicle to check out the 2,000-year-old ship.

Preliminary tests show that some of the food on board is pickled fish, grain, wine, and oil which were likely headed for Spain when the ship sunk. It remained in such good condition in thanks to the layers of mud on the seabed that protected it from harm.

Though there are no plans to raise the ship, the area has been secured, prohibiting shipping and water traffic.

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A Prince was saved from being assassinated thanks to a pug!


Pompey was the well known Pug dog of William The Silent. Pompey is actually legendary. According to the legend, during a campaign against the Spanish by Prince of Orange, William The Silent, his Pug, Pompey, thwarted an assassination attempt.

One night at Hermigny, France, while the prince slept, assassins crept toward his tent. Pompey heard them and began barking and scratching to warn his master, finally jumping on his master's face to alert him to the impending danger.

This incident would link together the Pug breed with the House of Orange, and would cause the breed to be shipped to England with William and Mary, joint sovereigns of the Kingdom of England. On the monument of William the Silent, at the Church of St. Ursula, in Delft, Pompey is carved lying at his master's feet. He is the official dog of the House of Orange forevermore. Pugs can be useful after all.

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A man on death row tried to donate his last meal to a homeless person but had his request denied


Death row inmates generally get to request a last meal of whatever they want.

Being perhaps the worst of the worst among criminals, these people don't often try to help others with one of their last requests.

Philip Ray Workman isn't your normal death row inmate. For his last meal, he requested that a vegetarian pizza be purchased and donated to a homeless person.

Unfortunately, the craziest part of this story isn't his generosity. Instead, the craziest part was that his request was denied!

While some inmates ask for meals costing hundreds of dollars, a $15 pizza was a no-go.

Workman was in jail for his robbery of a Wendy's for $1,170 and subsequently shooting two police officers, killing one of them.

During his trial he admitted to killing the officer, though he didn't mean to and only did because he was on cocaine, but it's actually not clear whether he did fire the killing shot or not.

Since receiving the death penalty, Workman has argued, with some scientific support, that Oliver could have been shot by another policeman during the shootout. Most in law enforcement and most courts have responded, "So what?"

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