TIL in WWII, the Germans issued Pervitin, an early form of crystal meth to their soldiers to keep them alert.

In this case, it's true. In fact, the US provided benzedrine tablets and inhalers for each soldier (WWII) in an emergency pack. The benzedrine inhalers were readily purchased (OTC) at every commissary. These inhalers contained amphetamine oil in a cotton wick that was easily removed and chewed to provide 'energy'.


(link provides history of benzedrine; below are excerpts)

Smith, Kline and French (SKF) investigated the base form of amphetamine and patented it in 1933. SKF marketed it as the Benzedrine Inhaler, a capped tube containing 325 mg of oily amphetamine base and little else. For congestion, one was meant to inhale amphetamine vapor every hour as needed.6 Although no legal category of prescription-only drugs existed in the 1930s,7 the Benzedrine Inhaler was advertised for over-the-counter sale upon its introduction in 1933 and 1934 and for the next 15 years.

The US military also supplied Benzedrine to servicemen during the war, mainly as 5-mg tablets, for routine use in aviation, as a general medical supply, and in emergency kits.16 The British military also supplied Benzedrine tablets during the war, and the German and Japanese military supplied methamphetamine.17 Of course, not all amphetamine supplied by the military was ingested by servicemen,

/r/todayilearned Thread Parent Link - theatlantic.com