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Like many others, as a child in World War II Australia, I thought wars were fought in some kind of huge arena fitted out with hills, trenches and towns, with huge scoreboards at each end. The side with the highest score won, and you could probably buy tickets to watch from the sides, like Sydney Cricket Ground. Then the news that our Cruiser HMAS Sydney had sunk the Italian Cruiser Bartolemeo Colleoni ruined my theory. I had seen the great "Sydney" in Sydney harbour, and nothing that size, let alone two of them with miles of water between them could fit into my imaginary arena, and still leave room for all the other things going on.
When I was a kid, another kid told me that the U.S. Civil War was fought over the question of whether "hell" and "damn" should be considered "dirty words". I believed that for what must have been several years.
I used to belive that the Gulf war was actually the Golf war and the people hit each other with golf clubs...
I thought Nazis were actually "not-sees" and called that because they could turn invisible, which I figured was why they were so dangerous
In kindergarten, I imagined that World War Two had taken place long before the invention of guns, and everyone had fought with swords while wearing heavy armor, like in medieval times. I drew a picture of my grandpa 'in the war' fighting a guy with a big sword. My dad, his son, was very amused.
I used to think the Civil War was actually the Silver War. So one time in school they were talking 'bout the civil war and i said, " hahahaha your saying the name wrong, its silver not civil!" Then a boy said, "what was the 'silver war' about" in a real snotty way and i said, "They ran out of silver spoons and they were fighting for some more" Everyone thought i was brain dead...
I was about 9 when the Gulf War started. I remember thinking that it was a really stupid war because I believed that it had been started after a leader of a country (can't remember if I thought it was USA or Iraq or UK) had lost a game of golf with the other leaders!! I still think war is stupid though......
I used to believe that concentration camps were camps where you went to improve your concentration.
I used to believe, whenever I heard the term "third world", that it meant the place we now live because the first and second world wars had destroyed the first and second worlds.
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!
When I was about 7 I remember proudly telling my teacher that my grandparents and only one or two other people were the only ones who survived WW2.
After reading books The Diary of Anne Frank and The Hiding Place, I started to horde books and clothes in case there was another world war and we had to go into hiding. My first year of college (1982) I finally figured out this wasn't going to happen. I live in the United States.
At the end of the street where i lived in Antwerp, there is a monument of worldwar 1. It shows 4 statue's of naked and serious looking men, only wearing an army helmet (and a sword in front of them to cover up their ...).
I asked my mother what this monument was about and she said it was made for all the people who died in the first worldwar. Of course i was surprised.... That they took the effort of making a large monument for a war where only 4 guys were killed.
During the Gulf War me and my friends thought that Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein were brothers, as evil was genetic
When I was little, I used to think that in wars the armies would fight by slapping each other with fake limbs (arms,legs). It makes sense, "army", "arm".
When the cold war got hot, in the '50s and threat of a nuclear war was like an invisible cloud everywhere, well, one summer when it was exceptionally hot I really thought that the school playground would melt under our feet and that that was what a nuclear castastrophe was all about.
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.
i used to think that wars began with a bunch of guys lining up for two teams and that each side would chose one at a time, like sports, and that brothers would kill each other if chosen by opposite sides. also every one would only attack when news cameras were there.
When I was a kid, I thought that Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland was actually Septarian Violence. I could Never Understand why there was so much trouble between 70 year olds!
My dad told me that in the Battle of Hastings when King Harold was shot in the eye with an arrow, the archer who fired it said he didn't know his bow was loaded.