For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-histroy tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

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8
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1answer
2k views

How were dogs used in WW1

I know that dogs were used in WW1. I know that they weren’t vital, but didn’t play a reasonable role in helping the soldiers in the trenches. However, there is one thing that confuses me: How were ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What rank is S. SGT in the Army Air Force during WW2?

I am looking over my Grandfather's DD214 (Military Discharge Paperwork) from WW2. His grade says "S. SGT" I am trying to figure out his rank conclusively. Nowhere on the DD214 does it display an E-5 ...
10
votes
3answers
595 views

What sources or documentation exists to indicate Stalin's level of popularity in Russia today?

To what extent is Stalin still loved and/or respected by Russians (and for extra points former USSR states)? While articles like these news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7802485.stm ...
9
votes
2answers
780 views

Why did Operation Market Garden go ahead when the allies knew German armor was in the area?

Montgomery's ill-fated operation to capture the Rhine crossing at Arnhem was ingenious but fatally flawed. Evidence suggests that the Allies knew there were German armoured units in the town a few ...
14
votes
3answers
769 views

What do I need to know about Syria's history to understand the 2011-2012 uprising?

Syria is in the news a lot lately due to the current uprising, but it's not a country that many people know much about. It can trace its history back to the origins of civilization, and as a result ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
7
votes
1answer
275 views

Identifying a ship in Sydney Harbour

I am trying to identify the ship in this picture in order to date the photograph. The writing on the back says it is "Aquatania" (sic) but when I search for that name on the internet the Aquitania has ...
9
votes
1answer
156 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Why was only the Silver medal awarded for music at the 1932s Olympics?

At the 1932s Olympics, Chzechoslovakian composer Josef Suk won the Silver medal in the music category: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Suk_(composer) I'm wondering why no gold or bronze medal was ...
23
votes
9answers
6k views

Why wasn't the Republic of Ireland invaded (by either side) in WW2?

Ireland was neutral in WW2, however it was never invaded (by either side). How come? Why wasn't Ireland invaded by the UK to prevent the Germans invading? Why didn't germany invade ireland? It would ...
10
votes
2answers
869 views

How did diplomats of the Axis powers travel and communicate among themselves in World War II

In World War II, Japan and the European Axis powers had to communicate over strategy and other things. Also, their diplomats must have had to go to their own countries sometimes. After the USSR ...
5
votes
1answer
825 views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Interaction between Ataturk and Lenin

Are there any records related to the relations between Turkey and USSR in 1920's? I know about the letter from Ataturk to Lenin (in Turkish) but nothing more.
9
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0answers
485 views

Did Franco really ask “Why? Are they going somewhere?”

The story goes that Franco on his deathbed in 1975 hears the noise of a crowd outside and asks what it is. And is told: "The people of Spain have come to say goodbye" Franco replies: "Why? ...
6
votes
3answers
484 views

How many people were affected by the Golodomor [Famine-Genocide in Ukraine]

How many people were affected during the famine? Are there any sources for Soviet records on the Golodomor?
11
votes
2answers
9k views

Did Erwin König Exist?

Erwin König Was a sniper supposedly killed by Vasily Zaytsev in the Battle of Stalingrad. The diary of Vasily Zaytsev mentions killing Erwin Konig, and there is a sniper scope in Russia, but there is ...
14
votes
5answers
979 views

From whom did Gandhi learn his protest technique of non-violence?

I know that Gandhi was involved in the civil rights movement in South Africa during he beginning of the 20th century, but was there a specific person, or group, that he learned how to protest through ...
3
votes
3answers
526 views

Was there discrimination against Jewish people at the entrance exams to the most prestigious universities in the USSR?

The most prestigious universities in the USSR discriminated against Jewish applicants. Tanya Khovanova (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA) wrote: This is a special ...
6
votes
1answer
365 views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
9
votes
3answers
872 views

To what extent did Gandhi affect the factors that led to the partition of India?

From the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, we can learn that he was not as vehemently opposed to the Partition of India as one would expect. (See here) Probably no one is more distressed than I ...
3
votes
3answers
916 views

Why did George H. W. Bush select Dan Quayle as his running mate in 1988?

I've just been revisiting some quotes from Dan Qualyle. For example: I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change. and We are ready ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How is the oldest bank in Mongolia only 24 years old?

According to Wikipedia, the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_and_Development_Bank_of_Mongolia) is the oldest bank in Mongolia. This is further supported by a ...
20
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5answers
2k views

What were Hitler's religious beliefs?

Hitler is often cited as an example of an evil atheist (along with Stalin and Mao). But there are several quotes from him that seem to indicate he believed in the Christian God - and even used this to ...
7
votes
0answers
81 views

Whig party identification in the House of Lords

After the Whigs became subsumed into the Liberal party, did the label survive in the House of Lords? As of today, the longest serving current peer began his tenure during the Second World War. It ...
27
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the end of the British Raj in India create an economic loss for Britain?

I know the economic downturn of the World War and the victory of the Labour Party played some role in Britain deciding to quit India. Did GB have any serious economic implications because of this? ...
5
votes
0answers
166 views

What were the FBI's motives for wanting to discredit MLK?

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a vendetta against Martin Luther King, Jr. They wiretapped him, threatened to expose his sexual misconduct, accused him of Communist sympathies, and even went so far as to ...
30
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8answers
8k views

Why did Britain and France not declare war against the Soviet Union when it invaded Poland in WW2?

At the beginning of WW2, although they were slow in actually attacking Germany, Britain and France did declare war against it after Germany invaded Poland. The reason for this was the treaty where ...
-2
votes
2answers
395 views

What aspects of Soviet life were not controlled by Stalin?

Stalinism controlled social life through propaganda, political life through the use of political crime and the politicization of life and the workers life, with proletarianism dominating all aspects ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Were there international Islamist movements before the US started supporting islamists in Afghanistan? [closed]

Were there international Islamist movements before the US started supporting islamists during the USSR's war in Afghanistan?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the current U.S. monetary standard? [closed]

Despite my greatest efforts, I could not find any information about what standard the U.S. is using at this time. Apparently, we used to be on a gold standard. What about now? Do we even have a ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

Why did the assasination of Franz Ferdinand trigger WW1? [closed]

I understand that there were also other reasons other than the assassination, but this is widely considered the trigger for WW1. Why? And why did the whole world get involved with this one ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

Keynesian economics during his era

Nowadays in politics, critics of Keynesian economics say it is unsustainable spending. However, I know that John Maynard Keynes actually said budgets should be balanced in the medium term, just not ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Shantyboat communities on the upper Mississippi River Valley

Does anyone have links or resources beyond books they can direct me to that directly deal with shantyboat communities along the banks of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri? I'm ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Why didn't Moldova unite with Romania?

Towards the collapse of the USSR, nationalism rose in Moldova. Nationalists proclaimed the linguistic and ethnic identity between Moldovans and Romanians. It seems that they strove toward unification ...
6
votes
0answers
171 views

Countries which banned Ferdinand the bull?

Background The book "The Story of Ferdinand " is a short illustrated children's story featuring a bull who would not be provoked by a matador. When it was published in 1936, it was widely interpreted ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

How true is the statement “Soviet troops got into Berlin riding American trucks, walking in American boots and using American trains”?

In other words, how significant was American lend-lease in helping the Soviet front? Would the Soviets be suffering a lot more had lend-lease not happen, or was it not as significant as people make ...
25
votes
10answers
21k views

What was wrong with Hitler's left hand?

So I was watching Downfall last night (good movie by the way) and I noticed that whenever Hitler walked around, the movie always showed him with his left hand behind his back and it was always kind of ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Were there a British 'Négritude' movement?

Did a movement similar to Négritude exist in the UK or amongst Anglo-Saxon Africans? Were there British equivalents of French West Africa's Léopold Sédar Senghor, Alioune Diop, or Aimé Césaire - ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Devastating air strike over Middle Eastern country during religious holiday

I'm trying to remember a historical incident I read about but have a foggy recollection of. As far as I recall, during a religious holiday, a neighboring country launched an air strike against ...
2
votes
0answers
148 views

How many people survived the Titanic?

How many people survived the Titanic? Was it 706, 706 or 705 or can we only say it was between 705 and 713 ? Where do these various number come from?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did JFK give approval for the CIA to encourage Diem's deposal

In 1963, weeks before his own assassination, President Kennedy gave approval for the CIA to encourage a group of South Vietnamese generals to depose President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. The ...
6
votes
1answer
762 views

Why was health insurance not included in the Social Security Act of 1935?

The United States has spent much of the last two decades, for instance, arguing about how best to reform the odd public-private health insurance scheme that grew up around Franklin Roosevelt’s ...
6
votes
4answers
370 views

Why were Austria-Hungary's Slavic minorities put into multinational states?

From the perspective of the post-Cold War generation that saw Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia break up over ethnic squabbles (peacefully in the case of the former, acrimoniously in the case of the ...
5
votes
3answers
249 views

Did Nikita Krushchev's support of Stalin's purges play a part in his removal from office?

As far as I can tell Krushchev was removed from office because of his erratic policies, and specifically their failures, but did his role in Stalin's purges also play a part in his removal?
4
votes
2answers
515 views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and ...
13
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6answers
9k views

How did the US/South Vietnam lose the Vietnam war?

South Vietnam was helped by US. Even when the US was gone, they had a 1 million army. So why did they lose? Even without US support, South Vietnam had about the same manpower, higher technology, and ...
2
votes
2answers
417 views

How many Jewish refugee have been expelled out of Arab lands and when?

Were the Jews in Arab countries driven out after the Six Days War or in 1948 like some Palestinians in Israel? Did they lose their land? I checked this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_refugees
3
votes
0answers
131 views

Is this character based on a real person?

In the 2014 historical novel Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles, chapter 29: A black Mississippian who left his native state in the early 1950s to go to law school, Quentin Avery fought on the front ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

The original Lord Haw Haw's life in exile (Ireland)

I am writing a biography about my great uncle "Capt Tom Smith" who fought in WW1, WW2 and the Spanish Civil War During recent interviews the name Norman Baillie Stewart (wiki link) keeps cropping up ...