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When I was about 6 or 7 in around 1977 I always thought that everyone over the age of 20 had been involved in the Second World War and would often ask my parent's friends if they had ever killed a German.
For a while I refused to go to the drive-in movie theater because I had the idea that wars took place in theaters. (Must have heard something about the various "theaters" in WWII!)
I used to think that when people were talking about World War I and World War II that they were saying "war war one" and "war war two". It wasn't until I was in elementary school when I read it in a history book that I finally figured it out.
I used to think that when two countries were at war, a rope divided two sides of a field and both sides would line up on their side and they'd just start shooting at each other until one side was completley eliminated.
I thought the Civil War was the Silver War.
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 used to believe that a war was a real competition like a football match where a country would take a million or so people and let them shoot each other on some deserted piece of countryside until one country had nobody left, this meant I thought both World Wars were big tournaments like the World Cup, and Britain beat Germany in the final both times.
When I was five or six, the United States was engaged in the First [Persian] Gulf War. However, in general conversation my parents only ever referred to it as the "Gulf War" which led me to believe that the United States was fighting Saddam Hussein in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida. I was deathly afraid that Saddam and Company were going to invade the United States and enslave us all.
I used to think that a war was just one day of shooting, and everything was done after that. I was surprised when my dad told me some wars could span years.
After i played Wolfenstein 3d, the world's first 1st-Person shooter, i began to think that back during World War Two, Adolf Hitler would command his armies in a big robot suit, and when he commited suicide, he self-destructed in the suit, killing his girlfriend in the process.
As a kid growing up in a small village in the UK I was convinced that war could break out at any time. I also thought that when there was a war my house could be bombed at any minute, so I planned my exit thoroughly. I realised that I would be able to hear the bombs falling by the sound, like the sound you hear on cartoons when something is falling from a high distance. Therefore I thought I would have time to grab my things, and my parents, and run out of the house and up a small hill so I was far enough away from the house. I didnt think about the fact that this would take at least 5 minutes!
When I was somewhere between 7 and 10 we had to read a book about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan (this was in the 80s, not the 50s). The book was written from the perspective of the Japanese, and we were suppossed to be learning not to be ethnocentric (which is great). However, somehow it escaped me that my own country had dropped the bomb (maybe I'd have been more scared if I'd known we did something like that). I also didn't get it that atomic bombs hadn't been used since WWII. For weeks I'd stare at the ceiling of my bedroom waiting for a bomb to fall through and nuke me.
I can remember when I was about 5, I thought the Gulf War was being fought in the Gulf of Mexico! I think I could have sworn that was also being fought in China. Hmmm...
I was 6 when current Iraq war started. All the wars I had heard about were a long time ago, and I believed that the last war ever to take place in history was WWII. I thought all the news reports about the Iraq war were history shows and we world was never ever going to have wars again.
If only that was true.
I used to believe that wars lasted for five minutes and can remember, age 5 or 6, being totally shocked when I realised that they could last for years and years.
I used to believe that War was a physical place our soldiers went to fight -- a town consisting solely of a field with hills and trees. So, if someone "went to War," they fought the battle there and returned to their home town when it was over. Little did I know the reality. God bless our men and women defending our country. I am proud of each and every one of them.
I used to believe a "shotgun" was any kind of gun, whether it was a Colt or Webley . To me all guns where shotguns. I was 7 when learned the gory truth.
When I ws told about Pearl Harbor and the war against Germany and Japan I got the whole idea of the war totally wrong. I remember asking my dad why we went to war with Japan and he told me it was because they hurt us. I said, "Oh yeah cuz their eyes are funny huh?" My dad laughed a little and told me no. He told me about the allience made between Germany and Japan and how they were trying to hurt as many people as they could and I said, "So the German people have funny eyes too?" My dad laughed a little bit this time and still tryed to explain it to me. I dont know how but by the end of the talk I had with him I thought that the Jews were the ones with funny eyes and thats why we went to war...weird huh?
When I was in third grade, we read about Sadako and the thousand paper cranes. From then on, I was worried that the USA was going to nuke Canada, where I live.
When I was little, I was afraid of planes flying over the house, because I thought that WW2 was still going on and the Nazis were going to bomb my house. No matter how many times my parents reassured me that WW2 was over, and Germany never invaded/bombed the U.S., I was still afraid for at least a few months.