April 05, 2017
Life is not always hopeless as we think it is. War is usually destructive and ugly. And, we would usually associate it with painful memories. But amidst all the chaos and carnage, there were still countable uplifting stories that happened during those times. Following are some of the most heartwarming tales of war that you can also share with anyone you know:
1. The Japanese pilot who was honored by the people from the city he bombed
Credit: Offbeat Oregon History
Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita had dropped incendiary bombs on the forests of Brookings, Oregon, in two separate missions in 1942. This is the only one to successfully bomb the US Mainland during the World War II.
So when he was invited to visit the city after two years since that unfortunate incident, Fujita brought with him his family’s four-centuries-old sword. This is because he was willing to kill himself already, if the people from that place demanded him to.
Nevertheless, it did not happen. The people welcomed him in open arms. Surprised and overwhelmed with the hospitality, Fujita offered the sword as a form of reconciliation.
Read more here.
2. Judy: The Only Animal POW During World War II
Credit: Pekanbaru Death Railway
Judy, a Purebred English mascot and pointer for the Royal Navy, was helpful in saving lives during the time she was in prison camp on North Sumatra. She was able to hunt extra food for prisoners as well as to regularly stop the guards from beating some people up.
In the Medan camp, Judy met pilot Frank Williams, who became her lifelong companion. After bribing the drunk camp commandant with one of her puppies, Williams successfully registered Judy as a POW, to prevent the guards from killing her.
Know more about her story here.
3. Landmines Saved Penguin Colonies
Credit: Amusing Planet
Unfortunately, animals are also victims of war. If there’s a silver lining in this sad instance, it would be the penguins living in the Falkland Islands.
It is said that the Argentinians heavily mined the islands during the Falklands war. This is done to hold off a British Invasion. The pendguins came to inhabit these minefields after the war. Since they are too light to set off the mines, the penguins continuously lived in these unorthodox habitat.
Source: Mental Floss
4. The POW Who Decided to Forgive His Torturer
For some people, it’s hard to forgive someone, especially if bad things were done unto you. But for British Officer Eric Lomax, it is otherwise.
Credit: The New York Times
During the Second World War in 1942, Lomax was captured in Singapore. He was then sent to work on the known Burma-Siam Railway. During those times as a POW, he suffered too much from his Japanese captors. But one man stood out from them: Takashi Nagase.
Apparently, Nagase never laid a hand on Lomax. But his death threats throughout the torture sessions haunted Lomax for years even after the war. This was to the extent that he wanted to kill Nagase when both met again in Thailand in 1989.
Nevertheless, a moving moment happened. Lomax forgave the repenting Nagase, saying he knew the man also suffered in the years of war.
Know more about their story here.
5. Japanese Ace Decided to Spare A Civilian Plane
Credit: World War Wings
It might be hard to associate gallantry with Japanese pilot with the way they attacked Pearl Harbor. But Japanese ace Saburo Sakai proved this wrong. He held fire against one of the civilian planes during his 1942 sorties over Java.
Know him more here.
6. Kaufering Concentration Camp Miracle Babies
Death and suffering are the only things we think first when we hear about concentration camps. But the babies who were born in the Kaufering Concentration Camp showed there is still good against all odds. Those seven babies survived the ordeal unharmed and healthy. They even became an uplifting sight for the soldiers who liberated the camp later, amidst all the other prisoners.
Know more about them here.
7. Japan Decided to Shelter Out Thousands of Jews
Apparently, the Japanese took great interest with the Jewish race. They heard anti-Semitic tirades in Europe, which gave them the impression that the Jews know how to dominate economy and politics. Thus, the Japanese allowed fleeing Jews to live in their sanctuary in Shanghai as well as in the other places they controlled.
Know more information here.
8. General Grant stops on his way to battle, to defend a whipped horse
General Ulysses S. Grant was dubbed as the Optimus Prime of the Union Army, in 1864. He had some negative traits as shown in his reputation as a drunk and for accepting only unconditional surrender on occasion.
On the road to the battlefield during the Battle of the Wilderness, considered to be one of the bloodiest parts of the Civil War, he encountered a teamster who was brutally whipping his horse since their cart was stuck in the mud. Grant went on to threat the man regarding the animal brutality to no avail. On the third strike, the man was seen tied to a tree for six hours.
Know more about this little story here.
9. Rappahannock Academy’s Great Snowball Battle
Apparently, a truckload of snow can turn the most battle-hardened Veterans into giddy toddlers. The confederates camping at Rappahannock Academy in February 1863 took advantage of the heavy snowfalls to pause battling and engage in a massive snowball fight.
Know more about this cute story amidst war here.
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