15 Biggest Unanswered Questions and Mysteries Of World War II

Even before World War II started, there have been conspiracy theories, and alleged unsolved mysteries surrounding the people and places involved. Over 70 years after the fact, there are still many of those mysteries still yet to be solved.

Of course, to those who don’t gravitate towards conspiracies, and who like to explain things with simple, and sound logic, a lot of these things will seem pretty bogus to you anyway. And they may very well be. But the interesting thing is that it seems like we’ll never know…unless you just think ghosts don’t exist…which is not a stupid position to hold.

But there are other mysteries. Like, who truly betrayed Anne Frank? Who were the 17 British officers listed at Auschwitz? Whatever happened to Hitler’s infamous “Blood Flag”? Was Glenn Miller really killed by the British? Was Rudolph Hess in league with the British Nobility to make peace? And is there really a little boy who is reliving the life of a WWII fighter pilot?


The German U-530 was commanded by Admiral Donitz, and was quite the vessel. It’s not that it achieved any great glory during the war. It’s about what happened after the war that made this U boat special. Rather than surrendering to the British or American forces, U-530 set course to Argentina. When it arrived there, the vessel had no deck gun or weaponry, and the entirety of the crew was without identification. There was no longer any ship log either. Everything about the contents, and purpose of the U boat was erased. Why? Some believe that high ranking Nazi officials, including Hitler, were dropped off along the Argentine coast before the crew surrendered. In spite of its surrender, others even believe that the vessel and its crew managed to escape to Antarctica. This led rise to the belief that many U boats escaped, with secret weaponry plans…and Hitler.


“Causes or reasons unknown.” That was the verdict given to the lost Flight 19. The mission was off to a rocky start to begin with. The commander didn’t want to take the lead on this one, and shortly after the first leg of the trip, he seemed to have lost the use of both of his compasses. Despite arguing over which direction to go, the commander led the team of five Avengers further and further off course. They simply vanished (allegedly in the Bermuda Triangle). Even the rescue plane that left the next day to find them had vanished. All they were trying to do was get back to Florida. About 50 years later, several Avenger planes were found just off the Florida Keys…but the serial numbers didn’t match those of Flight 19. No one has ever recovered a single person or plane, in spite of the 300 ships that went searching days later, or the untold numbers of searchers over the decades.=================


The I-52 is perhaps one of the most famed submarines from World War II. And certainly not for any special military operations it underwent. It was ultimately nothing more than a cargo sub, but its cargo was pretty important during, and after the war. The sub embarked on a secret mission to German-held France, but never quite made the voyage. What was it holding? 25 million U.S. dollars worth of gold! There was also suspicion that the sub carried secret peace proposals for the Allied forces, but there’s no evidence thus far to back that up. Since its sinking in 1944, there had been many voyages to discover its location. Finally found in the 90’s, the sub was declared a Japanese cemetery, effectively cutting off full scale raising of the sub and its cargo. A small container was raised though, with permission from the Japanese. But did it contain gold? Nope. Just opium.


Operation Mincemeat is perhaps one of the most interesting, and disturbing undertakings of the British forces during World War II. Essentially, in order to confuse the Axis powers, and lead them in another direction, a bit of fake intel was planted on a corpse. The plan worked, but when the operation became declassified, everyone wondered at the identity of the person dropped in the ocean for the Axis to find. The British forces stated that the body was that of Glyndwr Michael, a Welsh tramp who had allegedly died by eating rat poison…though how he got to eating that poison has never been discussed. Which certainly does show the British attitudes towards the Welsh back then. It’s also been theorized that one of the 379 bodies left after the HMS Dasher sank was used in the operation. You can decide which one is nicer to believe.=================


Rudolf Hess was a very interesting man who, for some strange reason, took flight to Scotland during the war. There are many theories surrounding just why he did this, and why he did it without Hitler’s express command. Apparently, Hess intended to meet with the Duke of Hamilton, whom Hess believed was weary of the war, and willing to treat peace on Hitler’s terms. Of course this was not the case for poor Hess. He was imprisoned the rest of the war, and indeed for 46 years after the war. Until he apparently hung himself at age 93. His son, and many conspiracy theorists believe he was silenced…though I struggle to imagine what he could have been silenced for so many decades after the fact. He didn’t have anything important to tell during the war, and he didn’t bother saying much after the war either. But people still wonder why he really went to Scotland, and how he really died.


Glenn Miller was perhaps the most famous big band leader of his time, and he made quite the name for himself. Unfortunately, that name got him involved in the war. He played for the Allied forces wherever it was safe for him to do so. It was long theorized though, that Miller was captured and tortured by the Nazis, or that perhaps he had defected…or that he “died in the arms of a prostitute in Paris”. He was on a flight to Paris on a foggy day, and he never seemed to emerge from the English Channel, so far as anyone knows. Apparently the most reasonable explanation was the 139 bombers, coming home from an aborted mission, released all of their bombs over the English Channel…just as Miller was crossing. No wonder no trace of him was ever found…though why they dumped so much weaponry is beyond me. Seems a little suspicious.=================


Heinrich Müller was the head of the Gestapo. So he was right near the top of the list for criminals the Allies wanted to hang from the highest tree. But they couldn’t. Why? When the war ended, and it seemed that Hitler had killed himself (or was whisked away on U-530), Heinrich Müller  simply disappeared. Some assumed he escaped to South America like so many other Nazis. The Soviets thought that the Americans were holding him. One man was even identified as Müller, and his wife confirmed him by appearance. But after fingerprinting, the man was released. Was it truly another man, or did Heinrich Müller alter his prints? Though not confirmed, the most prominent theory is that Heinrich Müller was actually found in a mass Jewish grave, which hits on all sorts of irony. And while many Jewish people might want him removed, they refuse to disturb the dead. So no one will ever know.


Rommel, otherwise known during the war as the Desert Fox, was alleged to have stripped many Jewish people of their gold. After the war had been lost, it is said that fleeing SS members, traveling past Corsica, deliberately dumped this treasure, with plans of recovering it at a later date. Allegedly there are six cases, weighing in well over 400 pounds, full of gold, and other valuables. What’s interesting is that everyone always seems to be getting closer and closer to this treasure…but it has still yet to be found. And now some seem to believe that the treasure was not Rommel’s pillaging, but was that of SS Colonel Rauff (the Nazi who created the traveling gas vans, for speedy execution of Jews). In my opinion, some of the Nazis who evaded capture, likely did recover it. And if not…then it’s likely settled deep beneath the ocean’s sands.=================


Now this is a very interesting little piece of American war history. Other than Pearl Harbour, not a lot of people know that there were other attacks on American soil during World War II. However, the so-called “Battle of Los Angeles” was not one of these attacks. This incident did occur just over two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and only one day after the shelling of Ellwood, but it was likely nothing more than “war nerves”, and a weather balloon. Some soldiers spotted what they assumed to be a Japanese craft in the skies, so they lit it up, then fired countless rounds at it. Other outposts joined in, out of fear. It turns out that a weather balloon had been sent out around that area not very long before the “attack” began. Of course there are many who think this was not only a cover up, but also an alien visitation.


Many of you will instantly think of the band, headed by Dave Grohl. But no, this is not about the band. This is about what the band is named after. In the above photo, you may notice several glowing orbs. These orbs were referred to as Foo Fighters. They were also, and still are, assumed by UFOlogists to be some sort of alien device. Seen by the air force on both the Allied and Axis sides, there has been apparently no satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon. The orbs appeared at random. They moved faster than the planes, were agile, and could be seen to be merely hovering in place. They could stop on a dime, and seemingly disappear at will. It could be the work of aliens, but I would be inclined to say it was the play of light as seen from the cockpit of a given aircraft. Either way…the truth is out there!=================


Hitler’s blood flag was one of the most important relics of the Nazi regime. It had its beginnings in Hitler’s first attempt of overthrowing power in 1923. The flag was allegedly covered in the blood of those Nazi men who died during the Beer Hall Putsch. When Hitler was released from prison in 1925, the flag was returned to him, and it remained one of the most powerful symbols to the party for the duration of the war. It was used to sanctify other Nazi flags, and it was also used to seal the oaths of those who joined the SS. But no one knows what has happened to it. Last seen publicly in 1944, it has vanished from the public eye. Now that doesn’t mean it’s not in someone’s collection of war memorabilia, but it has been widely speculated that it was simply destroyed during the destruction of the Nazi HQ.


The title gives away a good chunk of the story. Basically, a year after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, an aircraft popped up on radar. Fearing another attack, the Americans quickly took flight…only to discover that the object on the radar was one of their own P40 planes used to defend the harbour during the attack the previous year. But the pilots who spotted this plane said it as riddled with bullets, and that its pilot was slumped over, dead. The plane then crash landed, and when it was searched, there was no pilot to be found. Searching the plane, a diary was found that indicated the pilot had flown to Japan for an attack…and somehow, without landing gear, the plane managed to lift off, and find its way back a year later…without its pilot. This is one of the most popular unsolved mysteries of WWII, but the creator of the legend came forward about it being a hoax years ago. Oh well.=================


When James Leininger was only two years old, he began having nightmares that he was being shot out of the sky by the Japanese. Somehow he had extraordinary knowledge of aircraft and the military. Apparently all he had watched to that point was Barney and Teletubbies. Then he began name dropping, as the nightmares became more frequent. His parents could only come up with one conclusion, after researching the information their son was giving them: he was reliving the life of fighter pilot James Huston. How else could he possibly know the names and dates of his tragic end? Once he reconciled his past, by saying goodbye to Huston near his resting place, James Leininger stopped having such nightmares. He now lives his own life. Do you think his parents just wanted a lot of media attention? Or was he really James Huston in a new body?


During a routine upkeep of Auschwitz, after the war, someone came across a list that contained 17 names of British soldiers. They were at first assumed to be prisoners of war. But there was something intriguing about the list. Of the 17 names, there were eight that were checked off for one reason or another. On the back were the words ‘now’, ‘never’, and ‘since then’. This led all manner of people to gather that either these Brits were gassed along with the Jews…or perhaps something more disturbing to the British forces. It has been theorized that a number of those on the list were turned, and became part of a special British unit of the SS. Now, there’s no substantial evidence for this claim, but there is also nothing to suggest otherwise from this list. Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Were they Jewish Brits? Or were they Nazi Brits?=================


Once the smoke cleared from the war, and the Anne Frank’s diary was found, people began wracking their brains about just how this little girl’s family could have been found out. Well hidden in a place in Amsterdam, it seemed unlikely that, after two years of evasion, they’d be discovered by the Nazis. Many pointed the finger at a new employee of Anne’s father. There was no evidence to back this up of course, but that did not stop people from defaming that family name, accusing them of this epic betrayal (though such betrayal was certainly not uncommon). However, it turns out now that there might not have been a betrayer at all! It may very well have been a Nazi raid looking for nothing more than illegal employment, and fraudulent food cards. A case of very bad luck, it seems. But we’ll likely never know for sure.


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