World War 2 is the war that keeps on giving… I mean that in the fact that no matter how much you dig into it, there is always something new and bizarre and fascinating about that conflict that keeps surfacing. It’s a war that you can spend your entire life studying full-time and still not learn everything about it. It’s a conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945 in Europe, and 1937 to 1945 in Asia between China and Japan. By today’s standards of the war on terror, a 16-year conflict that STILL has no resolution, it was relatively short, but so much happened it is mind-boggling.
Both during the war and after it, many, many conspiracy theories came about. Everything from the Pearl Harbour attack, to the Dunkirk evacuation, to alien conspiracy theories, to Hitler’s sexual fetishes, to Nazi occult connections. I mean with so much stuff happening, it makes you wonder whether or not the leaders of the war even slept. The past 6 years for me have been a rollercoaster, but I cannot imagine those years if a war with this level of magnitude was happening. This is why WW2 will always be a source of endless curiosity, long after the people who lived through the conflict have passed away.
So which conspiracy theories were the biggest and the weirdest? Which ones would have rustled our jimmies the most? Well with a plethora of conspiracy theories out there, here is a list of 20 conspiracy theories that make the top list of weirdness and bewilderment for your reading pleasure.
20. The Guayana-Projekt Jungle Graveyard
So it’s the 1930s. Indiana Jones needs an enemy to fight. Surely the Nazis must be looking for the Lost Arc in order to fight the enemy of the future in WW2. So they head off into… the Brazilian Jungle! Because that’s where all the biblical stuff happened, amirite?
Actually no, they went down there in order to create a Nazi colony for the Master Race as far away from Germany as possible. Lead by Joseph Greiner, he and an intrepid gang of Nazis thought they were destined to go out into the jungle like Wild West pioneers and settle the wild amazon.
Well they did settle… 6 feet under. They died there. Ill equipped for the jungle, they thought their Nazi Eugenics Master Race™ would be all they needed to survive, but they failed miserably in that regard. The only thing left of them is a large cross that commemorates their resting place. They intended to conquer it from the natives, but the natives needed no help in defeating them. Jungle diseased did all the work for them!
19. The American Hitler: Smedley Butler
So with fascism being all the rage in the 1920s and 30s, you would ask, why didn’t America get into the whole thing? I mean surely America was suffering under the exact same turmoil under the Great Depression, and WW2 didn’t happen yet, so the horrors of fascism weren’t common knowledge.
Was it good ol’ fashioned American values and freedom and all that which prevailed? Yes, but not in the way you think. There were a lot of potential American Hitlers. In 1933, the Business Plot was a group of wealthy industrialists who wanted to overthrow the US government and get a strongman in charge, with Marine Corps General Smedley Butler leading an army of WW1 veterans like European dictators of the time.
But General Butler would have none of it. He blew the whistle of the entire ordeal in front of congress. Stopping a fascist takeover of the United States and changing the history of the free world for the better.
18. Hitler’s Death…. In Indonesia
So Hitler died in his bunker on April 30th, 1945. He put a Walther PPK In his mouth and blew his head off. His body was burned and the ashes scattered. Nobody ever found a body or any remains of it. So goes the official story.
But maybe it’s because of the legacy of the man, but many of his close followers (many of whom feared him) simply could not believe that the biggest influence of their lives just perished in a single gunshot. Many speculated that he just disappeared, fleeing to every Nazi’s favorite safe haven… Indonesia…
Yeah, no one would ever have thought to look for him there, especially when Argentina was everyone’s favorite guess as to where he went (given that many other top Nazis went there). Rumors have been circulating about that since 1983 when someone called Dr. Sosrohusodo wrote about a doctor in a hospital that had a very eerie similarity to Hitler, both physically, and in the many neurological conditions that he was suffering from at the time. Later evidence disproved this, but it was amazing that such a conspiracy even existed…
17. Rudolf Hess’s Secret Flight
Rudolf Hess was Hitler’s second in command for a long time. He was also the last surviving member of Hitler’s inner circle when he committed suicide in 1987. Hess, however, became disillusioned with Hitler and actually wanted to sue for peace with the British. So in 1941 he got in an airplane and flew over to Scotland, where he was promptly arrested and held in captivity on charges of crimes against peace. It was fascinating how he even got the idea in the first place. In any case, it remains one of the most bizarre peace missions ever conducted.
16. Nazi Alien Technology
Now we’re getting to the fun stuff! Out of all the weird conspiracy theories, having aliens in WW2 was one of the most fun things to talk about. So the conspiracy went as follows… in 1937, 10 years before the infamous Roswell UFO crash, another UFO landed in the German countryside, and it was used as the basis for the Xerum 525, a bell-shaped aircraft that could neutralize gravity and actually rip through the fabric of time and space. It was just one of many bizarre aircraft that actually were tried by the Nazis. We don’t know what the real purpose was, but speculation among the tinfoil hat crowd was that it was secretly held by both the USSR and US for 70+ years.
15. Mussolini’s Assassination Attempt… By Churchill
So Winnie Churchill… everyone’s favorite drunken British uncle. He apparently also wrote letters to Mussolini in the 1920s that he really, really liked fascism and was actually a big fan of everyone’s favorite Italian dictator. Naturally this wasn’t to last as WW2 came along and the current leader of Great Britain couldn’t be known as someone who was a fascist fanboy, so he did the sensible thing and… tried to have Mussolini killed in order to cover up his past mistakes.
The assassination attempt never quite went as planned. Mussolini was shot dead for sure, but he was shot by Italian communist partisans and not MI6. But that didn’t stop Mr. Churchill from going to Italy and disguising himself as a drunk German officer (because OF COURSE he had to be a drunk officer; the man practically lived on whiskey and champagne during the war) in order to try to get the documents and destroy them. It wasn’t even known if they did find the documents. Imagine the posthumous embarrassment if those documents did surface and were read out loud by a drunk YouTuber cosplaying as Mussolini.
14. The German Army’s Attempt to Help The US
In 2002, some declassified papers at the U.S. National Archives by Charles Fenyvesi show that in 1943, a German military intelligence representative nameed Count Helmuth James von Moltke made a secret visit to the OSS in Istanbul that offered to turn the Wehrmarcht (the Germany Army) against the Waffen-SS and make a separate peace treaty with the Americans.
This was a remarkable event. Helmut actually hated the Nazis and their human rights abuses and he wanted to overthrow the Nazi regime. Sadly, this was not to be, as he was captured and executed for treason by the German government for having he audacity of being a decent human being.
13. The July 20 Plot
The July 20 Plot was one of the many, many, many assassination attempts made on Hitler’s life. It was also the single most audacious one ever made. Hitler’s own staff attempted to kill him by planting a suitcase bomb (using stolen Allied plastic explosives nonetheless) and blowing up his pencil mustache into ribbons. It was amazing that he even survived it.
The reaction was incredible. Claus Von Stauffenberg and other conspirators tried to get Hitler killed, but they failed, and the result was no less than 7,000 people being arrested, and 4,980 people being executed. The extent of his paranoia (which was well justified at this point) was so intense that so many officers who likely had nothing to do with the plot were arrested (seriously, nearly 5,000 people found guilty?). This could not have possibly been helpful to the German war effort. But nevertheless, it’s almost hilarious that the entire room was nearly destroyed, but Hitler didn’t even get his clothes singed…
12. Pearl Harbor Predicted… In November, 1941
So Pearl Harbor was the attack that got the US into the war. America was the final big player to enter into WW2. It was the most famous surprise attack in history. But rumors say that it was known to FDR and several others that an attack on Pearl Harbor was going to happen, and they let it happen.
Pearl Harbor’s poor defenses against air attacks were known even before the attack. In 1933 the US Navy had a military exercise in which they pretended to attack Pearl Harbor to test its defenses… They discovered that the defenses were utterly miserable and couldn’t hold up to a real air attack. This was in 1933, and you need to understand that air warfare just 8 years later had advanced so dramatically that the latest aircraft in 1933 was ancient history by 1941. So the defenses would be even weaker by that time.
But most Americans in November of 1941 believed that war with Japan would happen ‘very soon’ according to a Nov, 1941 Gallup poll. Even a newspaper from 1941 showed speculation that it might happen. They did not know what was to be attacked. Most people didn’t realize that Pearl Harbor was to be struck… but this didn’t stop conspiracy theorists from pinning it as a failure of FDR to warn people about it.
11. Nazi Gold In Austria
So the Nazis loved their gold. They also didn’t want their gold to fall into the hands of the Allies. Besides, if their gold was never found, stories of that would go on like the story of Confederate gold after the US Civil War. One of the most possible places where Nazi gold could have been hidden was in Lake Toplitz in the Austrian Alps. While numerous attempts to fish the gold out of the water have been attempted (including by Ex-SS officers themselves after WW2) not a single gold piece was ever officially recovered.
Attempts to retrieve the gold have been so devastating to the lake that the Austrian government put a halt to all future attempts at getting the gold, regardless of the share they get from anything found.
10. British Arming… Vichy France…
So the British have had a long reputation of being rather… interesting individuals. This one is confirmed and definitley bizarre. Papers revealed a few years ago show that the British military intended to arm Vichy France in WW2 behind Churchill’s back. They did this knowing full well that these people fought for the other side. Was this insanity? Or was the lack of French wines in Britain so severe that they made this pact in exchange for a massive shipment of Merlot or something?
Anyway, apparently the reasoning for this is that they wanted to use the weapons provided to assist in fighting the Nazis once the liberation of France started. This wasn’t questioned, even if the British and the Vichy French had to fight each other in Madagascar and in Syria in 1941. Did any of those weapons find their way there? We will never know.
9. Hitler’s Lonely Testicle
This one is one of the most famous jokes in the 20th century. Hitler had one ball. There was even a song that Londoners would sing while he hid in bomb shelters during WW2 during air raids. They compared this to Napoleon, who also reputedly had one singular testicle.
Now where did this little theory come from? It actually came from a poem in 1939 mocking Goering, who was reputed to have one ball due to a groin wound suffered during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. The poem continued when it stated that Hitler had two smaller ones. Later poems just reversed the roles.
8. The Vatican’s Exorcism… On Hitler
People have always likened Hitler to the devil. Some say he was possessed. Others say he was the possessor. Documents from the Vatican actually prove that Pope Pius XII, the pope during WW2, tried to exorcise Hitler, who they believed had made a pact with the devil to get to where he was.
When religious exorcism failed, however, the Pope jumped on the bandwagon and outright tried to kill Hitler. It was one of the most bizarre assassination attempts of WW2, but it was further proof that Hitler needed the thousands of bodyguards that he had around him at all times.
7. The Nazi Moon Base
One of the most outlandish conspiracy theories regarding the Nazis and their outlandish ideas was their outworldly base. While this sounds like something out of a dieselpunk movie (Iron Sky, 2012 was one such movie that did exactly that), conspiracy theorists have toyed with the idea that they had alien technology that allowed them to reach the moon. The whole theory was based on Hans Kammler, a Nazi scientists who was in charge of a program whose goal was to control orbital space. We actually have no idea what happened to both Kammler and his team, since they both disappeared after WW2. Though officially declared dead, there are conflicting reports on his alleged demise near Prague, and a post-war search for Kammler definitely casts doubts about his death.
Conspiracy theorists believe that he went to the Nazi Antarctic base (more on that later) before heading off into space in a Nazi flying saucer. Pretty fanciful stuff, but it’s good for sci-fi stories, you have to admit.
6. Nazis Get Gold… With Sand
The Nazis were big on the occult as we previously mentioned. They loved to dress up as pagan druids and mystic men and roleplay in ways that even the biggest renaissance fair nerds would find excessively nerdy. They weren’t playing though… they really did believe in the hocus pocus they were trying to do. They were so insanely into the mystical that they even believed a self-taught alchemist called Karl Malchus could turn sand and stones into gold.
They believed it hook, line, and sinker, and they wasted a ton of resources trying to use his techniques to turn sand into gold dust. Naturally the attempt failed and Karl was imprisoned. The joke is on them, because as it turns out, Karl deliberately tried to con the Nazis. He succeeded in wasting their time. He was a troll… a rare example of a pre-internet, noble troll, but a troll nevertheless.
5. Nazi Antarctic Base
The Antarctic is one of the harshest environments on the planet. One of the coldest, most inhospitable places ever. It was also one of the places that the Nazis wanted to establish a colony in. They failed in one of the hottest, most humid places on the planet, to one of the coldest (and ironically, driest) places on the planet.
New Swabia was the name of the colony that they wanted to found, but it never got anywhere due to WW2 starting. There was speculation that they had a still operational base there that was considered a threat. So much so that the British even launched an air attack against it during the war. The Americans also tried to bomb the place in 1946, and even dropped 3 nuclear weapons there in 1958… was it for real? Or was there something even more insidious that they felt the need to nuke the hell out of the place…
4. Hitler The Hindu God
The Swastika is an ancient symbol that appeared in many cultures dating as far back as 4000 BC. It is older than even the Ankh in Ancient Egypt. It was a tragedy that the Nazis ruined a perfectly good symbol. The Swastika is used now only by the Hindus, to whom it is a symbol of good and eschewing evil, which is ironically the opposite of what most people think it means nowadays.
But it is surprising that there is at least one person, a Hindu nevertheless, who believes that Hitler was actually the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. In fact, he was once worshiped as such by elite Kolkata Homes. The person behind this was a woman called Savitri Devi, a pseudonym of a Greek-French writer called Maximiani Portas. She helped support the Nazis and even spied on Allied forces in India for him, where her influence was spread to the Bengali Hindus who ended up worshiping him for a while.
3. Nazi Gold… In New Zealand
Just as Hitler was speculated to have died in Indonesia, a place where no one ever thought to look, there is another thing that the Germans wanted to hide and wanted to do it where no one would think to look. Nazi gold is a legend in and of itself. While there is a lake in Austria where we know gold is hidden, it cannot be retrieved due to massive logistical and technical problems. But there was another conspiracy that even more gold was taken and hidden away… in New Zealand. Billions of dollars in gold was taken by a U-boat to a remote island in New Zealand called Auckland Island. No one has ever substantiated his conspiracy theory, any more than they substantiated the theory that they took the stuff down to Antarctica either.
2. Patton’s Assassination By the OSS
General George Patton was immortalized as a foul-mouthed, extremely brilliant general who was as formidable as he was controversial. He courted controversy from the day he joined the army until the day he died in a car accident shortly after WW2 ended. He never gave any of his superiors any slack and always was critical of European high command.
Because of his controversy, there was speculation that the car accident was staged as they wanted to get him out of the way and silence his criticisms, according to a book by former OSS agent Douglas Bazata. In the book, Target Patton, he staged the car accident, and then shot the General with a low-velocity projectile that would break his neck and not leave and injury like a gunshot wound, so he wouldn’t have to die like his nickname… Old Blood and Guts.
1. Port Chicago Goes Nuclear
Port Chicago was a disaster that killed many, many unfortunate individuals, many of whom were African-American. Over 320 individuals were killed almost instantly when an explosion happened in the port when an explosion occurred on July 17th, 1944. It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history… or was it? Some people speculate that the explosion was simply too big to have been caused by conventional TNT. In fact, they said the bomb blast was equivalent to 2,000 tons of TNT, but some people swear that it was actually a tested nuclear blast to see just how much damage a small yield nuclear weapon could do.
While it seems intensely callous to believe that, the blast killed so many African-American servicemen that 15% of all African-American naval personnel who died during the war died in the blast. Conspiracy or no, it was a terrible thing.
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