You've heard the phrase "desperate times call for desperate measures." Or, to put it another way: "You gotta fight crazy with crazy." We've told you about the times when pigeon-guided missiles, fake oceans of fire, and deranged magicians ended up being deployed against the Nazis, but those were, if anything, the tamer plans -- the wacky ideas thrown out at the start of the brainstorm, before shit got desperate and weird. These schemes? These are the later ones from the tail end of the meeting, when Lucy from HR started drawing dicks on the notes and Ted from accounting wouldn't stop screaming.
#5. Secretly Dosing Hitler With Estrogen to Make Him More Girlish
Say it's World War II, you are the British secret service, and you've made contact with one of the gardeners who tends Adolf Hitler's personal vegetable patch. Not only that, but the gardener is willing to give you access to the Fuhrer's food supply. What do you do with this information? If you said "turn Hitler into a woman," then you're corr- wait, that can't be right.
Yep, the Allies hatched a plan to inject estrogen into Hitler's food and turn him from a devilish fuhrer into a delicate flower. To be fair, poisoning the food of a paranoid dictator with a legion of tasters would have been a waste of some perfectly good cyanide, plus quite a few Allied leaders thought that whacking Adolf would actually help the Germans, since his "strategic blundering made him more of an asset to the Allies alive than dead." And so the British and American agencies settled for a substance that wouldn't be detected right away, but would have devastating long-term effects: namely, female sex hormones. The idea was to make Hitler less aggressive and more like his timid younger sister Paula, because this was the 1940s: before we'd really cornered the market on genetics, but well after we'd mastered misogyny.
According to their intelligence, Hitler's sexual alignment was already pretty dubious, so the Allies felt he just needed a gentle nudge to embrace full womanhood. As an added bonus, the chemicals would cause Hitler's hair to fall out and make his voice go all high-pitched and feminine, thereby ruining all of his dramatic, screamo speeches.
German Federal Archive
His 'stache would vanish, rendering him cute but unrecognizable.
Unfortunately, it seemed like the plan never had any visible effects, and the OSS agent in charge later came to believe that their mole had been ripping them off. It was probably for the best -- who can say how the war would have turned out had the Allied troops been forced to fight both the Wermacht and the sexy, forbidden thoughts instilled in them by the Fuhrer's new knockers?
#4. Unleashing Glowing Foxes to Make Japan Think They're Ghosts
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was less like an espionage agency and more like a crazy frat house constantly cooking up ridiculous schemes to mess with the Axis forces as one would mess with a stodgy old dean. Like that time they dropped a nuke on Berlin that turned out to be full of used panties, or when they convinced Mussolini his wife was secretly a dude, or, hey, remember when the OSS accidentally drowned a bunch of phosphorescent foxes while trying to spook the Japanese?
Unfortunately, only one of those anecdotes was real. Fortunately, it's the weirdest one.
Daniel Stein /Photos.com
If you think luminous drowned ghost dogs aren't weird, you must be from the "fun" part of Japan.
It all began when OSS agents heard of a Japanese superstition surrounding fox spirits with shape-shifting abilities and assumed that this was, like, the most terrifying thing to the Japanese this side of upright chopsticks. This assumption would actually turn out to be incorrect, but obviously "faulty folklore" was not the biggest issue with Operation Drowned FoxGhost. The idea was that actual foxes, painted to glow in the dark, would be allowed to swim ashore right before U.S. landing forces made the Pacific, thus spreading panic among the Japanese defenders.
The OSS actually got as far as testing this off the coast of New York by releasing a bunch of foxes that had been dipped in phosphorous into the water -- where they all promptly swam in the wrong direction and drowned.
When in doubt, swim away from the country shooting you with glow juice.
The project was scrapped. However, at least one more test may have taken place, according to the New York Tribune, which later reported couples seeing glowing foxes in Central Park. Either it was another botched test or the vengeful spirits of some unjustly drowned foxes got their revenge on America by cockblocking our youth. We'll leave that up to history to decide.
#3. Dyeing One of the Largest Rivers in the World Yellow to Fulfill a Prophecy
While hanging out in Japanese-occupied Burma during World War II, legendary anthropologist Gregory Bateson learned of a prophecy that stated that when the waters of the country's largest river ran yellow, a foreign invader would be kicked out. Japan was a foreign invader. The OSS had a habitual drinking problem and issues with poor impulse control. You see where this is going.
A daring plot to drown the sun?
Bateson and his wife, Margaret Mead, were part of a ragtag team of OSS agents that included future celebrity chef Julia Child and alleged Soviet spy Jane Foster. They were one jive-talkin' black guy short of an A-Team and had a reputation for unorthodox schemes, such as Foster's former operation that placed propaganda messages inside thousands of inflated condoms and floated them onto the coast of Indonesia. So when Bateson suggested dyeing the Irrawaddy River bright yellow to make the Burmese think that they should rise up against Japan in support of the Allies, naturally the OSS jumped all over it.
They actually got as far as shipping barrels of yellow dye into the area, with planes ready to drop them into the headwaters ... until Bateson had the bright idea to test the dye in his bath and found out that it didn't work.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
He tried again, this time plugging the drain first. Still no luck.
We're not sure why "testing the dye" was last on the list of prep work to do for Operation Piss Prophecy, but we have to assume Bateson, Mead, Child, and Foster were a bit distracted -- perhaps with saving a Burmese rec center from evil Japanese land developers.