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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
3answers
1k views

Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Did Hitler not intend a major war while invading Poland?

A J P Taylor in his book "The Origins of the Second World War" writes, "Hitler never intended a major war and at most was prepared for only a limited war against Poland." "In 1938-39, the ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Has Britain's 1940 invasion of Iceland been downplayed by historians?

On the face of it Operation Fork (Britain's invasion of Iceland in 1940) wasn't so terribly different from Germany's territorial landgrabs in 1939 and 1940. Britain and her allies will have ...
11
votes
2answers
790 views

Was there actually a project by the Nazis to create supernatural monsters/weapons? [closed]

In many American sci-fi/fantasy fictional works, there's a trope about Nazis creating/attempting to create/use supernatural weapons/monsters (examples Hellboy movie, Indian Jones movie etc.) What, if ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

How were the British and French Mandates in the Levantine area involved in WWII?

We all know the role of Egypt as a British protectorate at the time in WWII and the many battles fought in there. My question is, what is the role of the other British and French possessions in the ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How was the United States able to produce excellent tanks in 1942?

Most military histories of the war in North Africa, and especially those produced from a British point-of-view, emphasise the greenness of the American troops which landed there in 1942. There is a ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

Did Heisenberg undermine the German atomic bomb by deliberately hiding his expertise from the Nazis?

Source. In his massive book Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb, Thomas Powers says that Heisenberg, who never became a Nazi and balked at the immorality of building a bomb for ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

How did the way commanders ask their troops to deal with the immediate death of their comrades vary by country/culture during WWII?

I have researched extensively but may not be asking the right question. I am interested in learning how military forces were asked to deal with the death of their comrades immediately after the fact ...
17
votes
2answers
832 views

Were any German cities spared by by the Allies for personal or idiosyncratic reasons?

Histories of the bombing campaign against German cities in WW2 often mention that German civilians towards the end of war were prey to fantastical rumours that such-and-such a city "is being spared" ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

Was it impossible for the Germans to arrange a plane to East Asia for Subhas Bose?

Bose's journey from Germany to Singapore by submarine was a well-remarked incident of World War II history. But what was the need for the Germans or the Italians to use a submarine to transfer a ...
29
votes
7answers
4k views

Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?

There are accounts that British Prime Minister Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler because he just didn't want Britain involved in a war at that time. Others also argue that Chamberlain was naive and ...
59
votes
9answers
3k views

Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
8
votes
2answers
290 views

What were the military justifications for the bombing of Dresden?

I have seen an assertion that Dresden was the only major German city no to put up a protracted resistance to the Soviet Army. The person who asserted this declined to provide references; I still do ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

What was the efficiency of the “Gadget” bomb in the Trinity Test?

I've done a bit of searching and was unable to find what I expected to be a simple statistic. By "efficiency" I mean the percentage of the Plutonium in the bomb that actually fissioned.
5
votes
2answers
254 views

When did Australia declare war on Germany in WWII

In 1939, Australia had not ratified the 1931 Westminster Statute, and so lacked independent foreign policy. Menzies recognised this by saying in 1939, that as Britian was at war with Germany, so ...
10
votes
3answers
290 views

Were there any German operations to destroy supply routes in the Persian corridor in WWII?

Germany used its naval fleet to stop allied arctic supply route to the USSR. Were there any German operations, in Iran and Iraq (who were pro-German) to throttle allied supply routes through the ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Did the German Enigma machine use multiple encryption keys?

The German Enigma machines are the key for German victories during the early years of World War II. When the Allies managed to capture few Enigma machines and decode then the face of war began to ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Did Germany lose World War II when/because “kill ratios” started moving “against” her?

In the first major action between the Germans and Americans, at the battle of Kasserine Pass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Kasserine_Pass, the Germans inflicted casualties against ...
12
votes
2answers
83k views

How many troops died on D-day?

How many troops (allied and axis) died at Normandy beach on June 6th, 1944? I've searched all over the internet, but can't find an accurate number.
9
votes
1answer
869 views

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful?

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful? I know at least Great Britain and Japan had midget submarines and used them during the course of the conflict. Which WW2 combatant had ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Did Heydrich actually take orders from Himmler?

Formally, as head of the RHSA, Reinhard Heydrich was Himmler's subordinate. But did he actually take orders from Himmler, or was he effectively independent?
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Was the Soviet Union in 1945 seeking to capture German soldiers and civilians, or drive them west?

The latter part of Prit Buttar's Battleground Prussia deals with the desperate attempts by German soldiers and civilians to escape from the ports and peninsulas of East and West Prussia in early 1945. ...
12
votes
2answers
353 views

At which point in time did the majority of German population become aware of the Holocaust?

I've read the wikipedia pages on Responsibility for the Holocaust and German Resistance to Nazism but the answer is not clear. It's established that large numbers of Germans were aware of the ...
29
votes
3answers
8k views

Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

In WWII-era films and newsreels, aerial bombs are often shown making a whistling sound as they fall; starting high pitched, then decreasing as the bomb approaches the Earth (example here, starting at ...
-3
votes
1answer
155 views

Could Hitler have won WW II if he were nicer to the Jews? [closed]

In WW II, Jews were either killed or driven out from Germany (and all the area it conquered). What followed was the mass exodus of Jewish scientists to the US, which helped the US build the atomic ...
44
votes
10answers
7k views

Did Imperial Japan choose to ally with Nazi Germany because of ideological similarity?

There are certain similarities that can be drawn between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Both were dictatorships, both believed in racism (though against different people), and both were wanting to ...
3
votes
2answers
438 views

What caused Yugoslavia to switch sides early in World War II?

In 1940,-41 Germany was able to enlist the support of Roumania, Hungary (the latter at the expense of the former), and Bulgaria, in the Balkans. Yugoslavia initially signed on with Germany, then soon ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Impact of theoretical physics on the Nazi regime and vice versa [closed]

I am currently investigating the impact of the theoretical physics community and its developments on the progression of the second world war and the Nazi regime. I have read Cornwell's book on ...
4
votes
2answers
282 views

What was the alcoholic beverage of choice for British soldiers during WW2?

The British army has throughout history plied soldiers with rum and grog to boost morale and quiet dissent. Did this policy continue into WW2, and if so, what was the drink supplied by the state?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What did Germany do after World War II to recover so successfully that it became more prosperous than its WW2 victors?

Germany lost in World War II. Being the loser, its economy started at a disadvantage compared to her World War II victors in the aftermath of WW2. However, Germany managed to recover more ...
4
votes
4answers
474 views

What was the fate of most SS members after World War II?

What happened to most of the members of the SS after the war? Were they punished?
23
votes
4answers
7k views

How did Nazi Germany finance itself during WW2?

How did Nazi Germany finance itself during the war? They produced a large amount of war material during 1939-1945, but how was this production financed? What were Germany's revenue streams that ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Was there ever any doubt which side the USA would join?

From a British perspective in both WW1 and WW2 the USA have entered the war at a later stage and supported the allies. The decision for the US to enter the war has often been portrayed to be based on ...
10
votes
4answers
16k views

Why was Spain and Portugal neutral / not invaded in WWII?

Why was not Spain and Portugal involved in World War II with either side? Was not Franco sympathetic with the Axis powers given the help they offered during the civil war? Also, given their ...
8
votes
1answer
565 views

The last Japanese surrender after WWII was in the 1970s?

Wikipedia in its article on the Surrender of Japan, claims: Some Japanese holdouts, especially on small Pacific Islands, refused to surrender at all (believing the declaration to be propaganda or ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

When did Emperor Hirohito gave an address about suicides and non-productive jobs?

I heard in a conversation I got with a friend of a friend before, that during World War II apparently Emperor Hirohito of Japan, gave an address to his people after a long time in which talked about ...
6
votes
2answers
403 views

Why did Allied invasion of France occur only in 1944 and not earlier?

Stalin (quite understandably) had demanded that the Allies open a Second Front as early as 1942, yet this did not happen till June 1944. Why did it have to wait till so late?
4
votes
1answer
231 views

How did conditional POW exchanges work in WW2?

In Battleground Prussia Prit Buttar includes a chapter on the infamous sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in 1945. The author notes that the ship's captain, a Friedrich Petersen, had been captured by the ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

What was the standard pistol used in Yugoslavia during WWII?

I've looked into the firearms used during WWII, but I can't find what pistol was used by Yugoslavian infantry men at the time. What did they use?
11
votes
3answers
277 views

WWII boat-looking bus

What was the purpose of this WWII boat-looking bus? Description says: Royal Navy officers 'aboard' 'HMS SPURIOUS MARK II' - a bus converted to resemble the island of an aircraft carrier. The ...
32
votes
9answers
5k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the USA a superpower today because of WW2?

I understand that the USA funded the war effort against the Axis, although the Allies in Europe had to pay for this help in one way or another. It's fascinating to see how not that long ago ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Underwater U-boat battles [duplicate]

In the movie U-571 (IMDB) there's a scene where two U-boats fire torpedoes at each other, at close range, while both submerged. I always imagined U-boats would fight one another while on the surface, ...
10
votes
3answers
478 views

Did Hitler make the right decision for Germany when he called off Operation Zitadelle (during the Battle of Kursk)?

On the night of 9/10 July, the Western Allies mounted an amphibious invasion of Sicily. Three days later, Hitler summoned Günther von Kluge and Erich von Manstein to his Wolfsschanze ...
9
votes
3answers
235 views

What was (if at all) Hitler's Plan B if Molotov-Ribbentrop had not worked out?

As we know, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union amicably agreed to attack Poland and to share it between themselves. Did Hitler and his staff have a detailed or formal contingency plan in case the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between V-5 and V-12 Navy programs during WWII

I was curious if there was a difference between the V-5 and V-12 Navy programs during World War II. I have found a lot of information on V-12 program specifically but I haven't been able to find to ...
55
votes
10answers
10k views

Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

German Government branches during World War 2

During World War 2, what government branches, if any, existed in Germany? I've always heard about the Third Reich and Hitler, but I never heard about the rest of the government.
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Non-voluntary deferments in WWII?

This question comes from an interview I conducted many years ago. The question about drafts reminded me. The subject was a grad student and medical researcher. His research project was canceled and he ...