Questions related to aspects of World War II (1939-1945 AD). An international conflict whose major participants were the fascist countries of Germany, Italy, and Japan engaged against the allied nations of the UK, France, USSR, and the USA. The conflict began with the German invasion of Poland and ...

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Given their reputation for fighting to the last men in the Pacific, why did 700,000 Japanese troops surrender in Manchuria?

I just read this. It says: On August 8, 1945 ... the Soviet Union launched the invasion of Manchuria, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against one million Kwantung Army ...
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1answer
44 views

Why is there less public attention on the firebombing of Japan compared to its atomic bombing? [on hold]

Virtually everybody has heard of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the firebombing of Japan is nowhere near as well known, or talked about, at least by non-Japanese. Why is there ...
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0answers
58 views

Why the 12-inch guns of USS Wyoming were replaced by the 5-inch in 1944? [on hold]

I started playing a game called "World of Warships" in my spare time. One of the ships have in this game is the USS Wyoming. In the game he has 12x 12-inch. For my own curiosity I went to find out ...
8
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1answer
246 views

Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
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1answer
139 views

Did a German Jew in the US Army save his home district from bombing?

While visiting the Old Town of Düsseldorf, the guide told us that this district (now one of the most expensive places in Germany) was saved from WW2 bombings by a Jewish man who used to live there. He ...
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1answer
144 views

High-altitude naval bombing in World War II

When reading through Wikipedia's articles on naval battles of World War II, you'll often encounter sentences like the following: Also during this time, several U.S. B-17 heavy bombers attacked the ...
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4answers
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What benefits were there to the USA of developing both Uranium and Plutonium bombs in World War 2?

Clearly there was a large cost both in money and resources. Working on both very likely slowed down the production of the first nuclear bomb.
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6answers
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By mid-1945, was Japan capable of maintaining the war even in the absence of further direct American attacks? [closed]

The USA went to a great effort to defeat Japan, but do historians regard it as necessary? For example if the USA had just kept the naval action going to the extent of cutting of all shipping to ...
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1answer
188 views

What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believed this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
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2answers
296 views

Did land based airpower give the Americans a decisive advantage at the Battle of Midway?

This question was inspired by another (on a different SE site) about the Avalon Hill board game. As told in many American history books, the battle of Midway featured four Japanese heavy carriers vs. ...
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5answers
7k views

Did a Kamikaze ever impact the hull of a ship, as opposed to the deck?

All kamikaze videos I've seen show the plane dive bombing into the deck of a ship. The photos I've seen also appear to always show a burning deck or tower. What I want to know is, did any kamikaze ...
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1answer
503 views

Why did the Allied Forces choose Normandy as their geographic point of invasion?

It seems that the fact that Normandy lies close to the United Kingdom must have played a role. However, parts of the Netherlands and Belgium are (almost) just as close, or even closer. So why not ...
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2answers
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What were the 52 kinds of victims persecuted by the Nazis?

Out of the surviving 6,808 arrest files of Duesseldorf, a small city of half a million population, 1,440 were those of Communists alone. They were, however, only one among the 52 types of ...
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1answer
82 views

What are we to consider Japanese Americans held in Concentration Camps in WWII [closed]

I claim that the Japanese Americans forced into concentration camps during WWII are POW'S. I don't see this violating the definition of POW: ...
19
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4answers
5k views

Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

Why was there lack of food during the WW2 in the UK? I understand the lack of food in the countries occupied by Germans, as they recruited a lot of agricultural products for their war machinery. But ...
24
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4answers
4k views

Why did the Japanese expect the United States navy would attack the Home Islands?

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval strategy for a Pacific war, amounted to (simplified) "The American fleet will cross the Pacific to attack Japan. At that time, we will engage and defeat them." ...
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5answers
353 views

What kinds of WW2 POWs were treated best?

We all know that the harshest attitudes were toward Jews overall, and maybe Russian POWs in German concentration camps too. Conditions for German soldiers who were held as prisoners in USSR were also ...
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0answers
32 views

Getting Access to News Reels Centered around the Liberation of Paris in 44

My dad fought in WW2 in France as a 2nd Lieutenant in an Artillery regiment which crossed over D-Day +6. As told to me before the liberation of Paris happened his unit got orders to not interfere / go ...
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1answer
122 views

What historical analyses are there to say whether or not the USSR really needed a second front (D-Day) in WWII?

I'm only generally familiar with the Eastern Front of WWII. My basic understanding is that the Soviet Union was pushed back to Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad, before finally turning things around ...
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2answers
279 views

What did education look like in occupied countries during WW2?

For example, Germans occupied Poland, then Ukraine as a part of USSR. And this occupation went on for several years. Did universities keep on working? Schools? How did the curriculum change? I ...
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2answers
194 views

Why did Britain place naval mines in their own Channel in WW2?

Reading about Naval Mines, I came across a curious claim: for example, during World War II, Britain declared simply that it had mined the English Channel, North Sea, and French coast. It's not ...
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0answers
117 views

Did defeated countries pay theirs war bonds? [closed]

This related question approaches how beneficial war bonds were to US during WWII. I would like to know what happen with war bonds when a country is defeated. What did happen in similar experiences? ...
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2answers
91 views

How can I find the most complete list of the names of Kaytn Massacre victims?

The Katyn Massacre refers to a series of mass executions of Polish prisoners by Soviet authorities during WW2. The number of victims is estimated to be over 22,000. How can I go about finding the ...
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4answers
2k views

Why did the Germans not encircle and besiege Stalingrad?

The Germans spent a large amount of manpower in adverse territory for this city, even after long exhausting continuous combat. After the war, Kliest wrote: The capture of Stalingrad was ...
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3answers
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Who liberated Denmark in WWII?

The obvious encyclopedic site surprisingly has nothing on this in its article about Denmark in WWII. It alludes to a British occupation force after the war, but is not clear who actually liberated ...
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1answer
194 views

Were the Axis Powers really obligated to attack USSR and USA? [duplicate]

EDIT: I don't think it's a duplicate of this. That question asks why attack USSR while still fighting Britain (and I think the OP has a misunderstanding there because the Battle of Britain was already ...
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1answer
93 views

What would have happened had Stalin not had the Siberian forces help? [closed]

During World War II, part of the reason that Germany was stopped cold(pun intended) on the Russian front was due to the fact that Stalin was able to move all the Siberian troops that had been ...
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4answers
6k views

What did Germany do in World War II about the different rail gauge in the Soviet Union?

One reason it was so hard for Germany to invade Russia/the Soviet Union in World War II (and I) was because the Russians had a different (wider) railroad gauge than that of most of the rest of Europe, ...
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1answer
190 views

Is there any evidence that WW2 pilots lead a swinger's lifestyle to ensure that their friends would take care of their family if they died? [closed]

Cracked.com referenced this interview where author Christopher Ryan claims that: “World War II fighter pilots had the highest fatality rates of any division of the military. When they were back ...
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1answer
248 views

What did the Soviets know about the Hunger Plan during WWII?

The Hunger plan was a plan of the Nazis to feed their army and population at the expense of the population of the occupied territories in the east. From the minutes of a meeting in May '42: 1) The ...
8
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1answer
308 views

Did Japan make a contribution to World War II way out of proportion to its estimated relative GDP? [closed]

I was surprised to read these 1938 figures (admittedly estimates) of 1938 GDP for the major combatants of World War II. In round figures, the U.S. had $85 billion, the Germans $42 billion, Britain ...
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2answers
223 views

Why did the British “Indian” army come disproportionately from particular regions?

During World War II, the British field several armies that included Indians, but the most "Indian" of these, was the 14th Army, in which 8 of 13 divisions were predominantly "Indian." Of the ...
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1answer
228 views

End of WWII: potential U.S. atomic bomb production rate

Inspired by Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan? . Imagine Japan did not surrender after 2 bombs (just preferring to die), or a war with Soviet Union brakes out, or for any ...
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1answer
199 views

How was the naval battle of Guadalcanal affected by Japanese ships loading bombardment shells rather than Armor Piercing?

During the first Naval Battle of Guadalcanal an American flotilla of five cruisers and eight destroyers challenged a Japanese group of two battleships, one cruiser, and eleven destroyers that was ...
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1answer
199 views

German submarine force ceasefire on May 4 1945

Many sources say that a general ceasefire order was issued by Doenitz to German submarines on patrol on May 4, 1945. We know that the German instrument of surrender was signed in the early morning ...
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1answer
105 views

I'm Looking for a picture of a 5 masted sailing ship called Capitan Hilgendorf. (Barquentine)?

The Germans trained sailors and Navy Infantrymen on this ship. I have looked at several sites with numerous information and listings. Can anyone steer me in the right direction? I know that most all ...
12
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3answers
486 views

How were the holes for the guns in battleships' turrets protected?

I'm interested in knowing how the guns' holes in battleships' turrets protected, if and when they were, and how was that protection designed and arranged, specially in relation to the guns' elevation ...
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3answers
345 views

Was the Night of the Long Knives principally a means to obtain loyalty of the German military leadership?

Two History professors in my school say that Hitler had to execute the leaders of the SA principally because the generals of the German army asked him to do it: The generals were Teutonic nobility; ...
11
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2answers
429 views

What changed Japanese attitude to POWs in inter-war period?

I have read this excellent answer in which @Semaphore provides sources confirming that German defenders of Tsingtao were treated very well during World War I, which even lead to some tradition in ...
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3answers
4k views

Did a Japanese medieval castle withstand US battleship fire during the Pacific War?

I have overheard the story from an US soldier that during the Pacific War the Japanese mounted a defense in an old medieval castle. The Americans asked for support from a battleship. The battleship ...
13
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4answers
511 views

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely “separate peace” in 1945?

Anyone familiar with the history of WW2 will know that the Germans hoped for and the Russians feared the British and Americans in 1944/45 might make a separate peace with Hitler and even join together ...
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3answers
531 views

What was Finland's role in the siege of Leningrad?

My understanding was that Finland was not really pro Nazi Germany, but merely wanted to recover the lands lost to the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-40. That is, "the enemy of my enemy is my ...
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1answer
170 views

Does any evidence exist that suggests Hitler’s primary reason for declaring war on America was an attempt to draw Japan into his war with Russia?

During the first few months of the Nazi invasion of Russia, Stalin feared a Japanese attack from the east would create a two front war. In August, he was finally convinced by intelligence reports that ...
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0answers
56 views

Why didn't Germans use chemical warfare during WW2? [duplicate]

(I have read this discussion but I feel it does not answer completely) Why haven't Germans massively use chemical warfare during WW2? The Wikipedia has a text, but for me the reasons are weak: ...
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10answers
4k views

Are tanks the only reason for the abandonment of trench warfare?

The First World War in the West was for 4 years restricted to trench warfare. Gaining enemy territory cost many human lives for both sides. The main (or maybe most spectacular) battles were Verdun and ...
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1answer
165 views

Did Hitler plan a war with his allies?

Nazi Germany's allies, Italy and Japan displayed a lot of ideological dissimilarities with the Nazi Germany's ideology and also Germany had some Germans-populated regions inside Italy (South Tyrol). ...
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1answer
141 views

Borisov aktion of 23 July , 1941 [closed]

I'm looking, following a similar former request, for info, regarding certain actions performed by einsatzgruppen of the SS in Barysaw on 23 July, 1941....couldn't find anything on the web but could be ...
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2answers
163 views

Were naval mines an underutilized weapon in WW2? [closed]

Why did the Germans (and Allies for that matter) not devote more energy to the mining of enemy controlled waters (in the Med, British and North American waters for the Germans and Med, Baltic and ...
4
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1answer
211 views

Does the reversal of the ribbon on a military medal (South Africa / UK; WWII) carry meaning or is it simply an error?

My father was showing me his father's WWII medals for service in the South African military. Having found images depicting the official order of wear I noticed that some had reversed ribbons. I ...
4
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1answer
212 views

Usage of German camoflage during World War II

Although most do not know this, Germans used camouflage during the war. The grey uniform was only ceremonial. However, they are pictured without the camo 99% of the time so I'd like to ask, during ...