Annie Oakley could have killed German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and possibly changed the course of history throughout the twentieth century. But how could this be possible? She was a fantastic performer when it came to firearms, but she was no soldier?
Annie Oakley was renowned as one of the finest sharp shooters of the late nineteenth century, if not all of history. One of her finest tricks was to shoot a playing card edge on and fire several more holes into it before it touched the ground, at a distance of 27 meters (90 feet). Her ability with a firearm earned her a place in the world famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. This is where the opportunity came for Annie Oakley to kill Kaiser Wilhelm II. But not in the same way that John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln, it was all part of the act.
In 1889 the Buffalo Bill Wild West show was performing at the Berlin Charlottenburg Race Course. One of the honored guests was the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. At that time there was no hostility in Europe, and it was a fairly peaceful place to be. So she had no real reason to kill him, but the opportunity did come up in the most unexpected way.
One of the acts performed was for the ashes of a Havana cigar to be shot off by Annie Oakley. Kaiser Wilhelm II unexpectedly offered to be the assistant for the shoot. This took Annie by surprise as her husband was usually the volunteer. Even the German police thought it was all a joke until the Kaiser ordered them to stand clear.
True to form Annie Oakley took aim and shot the ashes right off the Kaisers cigar. If she missed and hit the Kaiser all hell would have broken loose, and history in the twentieth century would have been completely different. Germany may not have supported Austria-Hungary and there may not have been WWI and no Russian revolution. This would have resulted in no rise of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and no WWII. The mind begins to boggle with how different the world might have been.
This is the fun part. 25 years later when WWI broke out Annie Oakley sent Kaiser Wilhelm II a letter. In this letter she asked him for a second chance at the shot. Obviously he didn’t respond.
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