I thought a "fallen soldier" was one who'd tripped and fallen during a battle.
Fortunately, the first time my grandpa mentioned "guerrillas" in Central America to me, he explained that they "weren't like gorillas at the zoo", they were people, and it was spelled differently, so I didn't have that confusion.
But when I heard someone mention "guerrilla tactics" in a cartoon, I thought it meant fighting like a gorilla-- beating your chest and all of that.
When I was little, no one wanted to tell me about the concept of war and what is actually is, which is, let's face it, a bunch of people killing each other over things that were way too complicated for a kid to know anyway. So I thought that war was more like a fight and no one actually had to die. I visualized it like a martial arts tournament and the two sides would fight and then when someone cried "uncle!" it was over in a match, so no one really got hurt and after they counted up the score of winds and loses, it was over. As an advocate for standing up for yourself, I didn't understand why people weren't having these perfectly civilized competitions more often to solve their problems. Even when someone told me that war is about killing everyone on the other side and showed me a picture of a US soldier with a gun in his arm, at first I was confused. "But if everybody kills each other, there won't be any winners or losers, just dead people." Oh man I wish I had been right all along.
I used to believe that the salvation army was an actual army.
I used to believe that a dictatorship was a time when people had to do Dictation exercises in class (the ones in which the teacher says some sentences out loud and you have to write them down without any mistake) all the time. I understood why people said dictatorships were so bad: after a while, it would become really boring to do nothing but dictation at school!
I used to believe that Nazis were "not-Z's" and I would picture people in army clothes that have pictures of Z's in a red circle with slash. I would wonder why they are called that.
I used to believe Joseph Stalin was "Joseph Stalling" because he stalled a lot and that's why he killed a lot of people because they got mad at him because he was stalling.
Even though I knew about Roman numerals when I was younger, I thought that there was 11 world wars.
I was always confused when my mom said we could donate our old clothes to the Salvation Army, because I thought it was part of the army and I wondered what soldiers would want with old clothes.
When I was little I was at a friend's house and his dad was watching a documentary about WWII. I didn't know what a documentary was and assumed he was watching the news. We got really scared because we thought we were under attack and hid in his room behind a barricade. I then asked my mom if we were jewish and she said yes (non religious) and I started to cry because I thought we would be taken away to a camp.
When I was eight I watched a documentary about the atomic bombing in Japan and from thereafter I had these irrational beliefs that the airplanes that always passed by our school were bombers so every time when recess came by I hid under the awning in the fear that one day there would be a detonation. I never told anybody of this because they would instantly laugh at me. I grew out of it later but in result I never played with anyone because I would shun myself away in my own "retreat" by the lunch tables.
I was absent from school the day our 3rd grade teacher had explained the holocaust, so for the next couple years I thought it was the same thing as "overcast" since both words sound kind of similar. I thought the holocaust was just a period during WWII when it was really cloudy for a long time.
I thought a major general is more powerful than just a general (which still kind of makes sense to me)
I used to wonder why the government didn't just make war illegal..
I thought there were only four ranks in the army: private, corporal, Seargeant, and General
July 5/2011- This isn't a belief of mine, but one of my mother's oldest & dearest friends was born in 1941, and being a child she imagined war-torn Europe as a bleak, dangerous, crime-ridden city, instead of a whole continent!
I used to believe for the longest time that World War 3 had already happened. Hopefully my child self is never right.
I used to believe that on a battlefield there was a huge wall separating the two sides. Each side would throw over bombs and grenades. The only contact that they had was one message carrier who traveled through a little door in the wall/
At some celebration commemorating the end of WWII when I was about 4 or 5 we had a street party. I was very proud of my grandfather who had driven tanks in the war, and half way through the dinner I stood on the table and shouted as loud as I could, 'EVERYBODY! My Grandad won the War!'
When I was young we learned in school about how the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan and the kind of horrible suffering it caused. Somehow I missed the facts that A. America (my country) had done the bombing and B. World War II was over. I used to lay awake at night convinced a bomb was going to come through my ceiling and kill me.