The Unbelievable Historical Events That Are 100% True
Once you begin to break down the numbers, there’s always going to be some portions of history that will continue to repeat themselves. Even with Winston Churchill’s famous “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” aphorism in mind, there’s simply too much history for the average man, even genius, to keep up with. Of course, the cultural developments/advancements, institutional leadership regimes, and the bloodied war narratives are constantly shared with each passing generation, but what about the stories that never see the light of day? Well, we’re happy to provide three glimpses into historical events that almost seem too crazy to be true… but have been recorded and factually proven. In other words, enjoy the stories of the past that just seem too peculiar to be true.
WWII’s Unsinkable Cat
By the end of his seafaring days during WWII, Oscar the cat was rightfully given the nickname “Unsinkable Sam.” Before the black and white patched cat was even known as Oscar, the furry friend was the pride and joy of the Nazi ship, Bismarck. However, his time upon the German battleship would not last long. In May 1941, the British ship known as the HMS Cossack would battle and eventually sink the German ship. Found floating on a board in the wake of destruction, the cat was happily picked up by the Cossack. Unaware of any previous names, the crew of the Cossack settled on the name “Oscar,” a derivative of “O”, code for “Man Overboard” from the International Code of Signals. Months later, the Cossack would then be hit by a torpedo fired by a German submarine, ultimately causing the sinking of the ship as well. And yet, Oscar managed to make his way onto his next ship, the HMS Ark Royal, a British aircraft carrier. Ironically, like the Cossack, the Ark Royal was sunk by a torpedo fired from a Nazi U-Boat. Thankfully, it was here that Sam was finally taken off the battling ships and brought to the “Home for Sailors” in Belfast. He died 14 years later of natural causes.
The Polish Army During WWII Enlisted A Bear Into Their Ranks
In 1942, a young bear cub was donated to the 22nd Artillery Supply Company after it had been transported to a Polish refugee camp in Tehran, Iran. The Polish soldiers had named the animal “Wojtek,” derived from “Wojciech,” which translated as “Happy Warrior.” To be transported on British transport ships, which forbade animals and mascots, Wojtek was drafted into the Polish Army as a private. As the bear was essentially raised by these soldiers, his future comrades, the bear took a liking to his company. He would play-wrestle and sleep in tents with soldiers, drink coffee in the morning, eat cigarettes, was taught to salute when greeted, and even drank beer. Most amazing of all, the bear had assisted his military unit during the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy by carrying heavy crates of 25-pound artillery shells. At the end of the war, Wojtek was sent to the Scotland-based Edinburgh Zoo. He passed away at the age of 21, occasionally fed cigarettes from Polish soldiers who had come to visit their old friend.
The World’s Fastest And Most Careless Doctor
Before anesthetics were commonplace, speed during surgery was the only realistic manner to deal with intense, non-diluted patient pain. 1800s Scottish surgeon, Robert Liston, was particularly celebrated for his surgical speed. Satirically, this speed would also cause three deaths in one of his most well-known cases. During a leg amputation, one that supposedly took incredible two-and-a-half minutes, Liston had taken the confidence in his skill to a new level. Yes, he did amputate a patient’s leg, but he had also sawed through two fingers of his surgical assistant. With antiseptic practices still years away, both would later die from gangrene, likely due to the unclean instruments used in the procedure. He had further unintentionally cut through the coat tail of a respected surgical doctor. Believing Liston had cut through to his skin, the spectator had fainted out of fright. Not long after, it was discovered that this unlucky soul had then passed away due to a heart attack.