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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Japan is a nation of twelve year olds: Why?

MacArthur famously uttered the words, "Japan is a nation of twelve year olds". Why?
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176 views

Before Pearl Harbor, what percentage of Americans believed the US would stay out of the war?

Let us say on July 1st, 1941 (after the USSR entered the war), what percentage of Americans were confident that the US would stay out of the war? (I am thinking there might be polling data or ...
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2answers
1k views

Are the “bone fields” of the Stalingrad encircled battlefields real?

In this podcast by Dan Carlin's Hardcore history show, Dan mentions that there are areas inside of the Stalingrad pocket where human remains are openly visible above ground, exposed to the weather. ...
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1answer
110 views

Looking for the source of a quote on Nazi ideology [closed]

I am researching a project on totalitarianism and am trying to find the source of a quote that I read once, but now, cannot find. The quotation, in essence, was: "Nazi ideology can never be ...
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4answers
246 views

At what point did Soviet armored units have qualitative parity with Wehrmacht armored units?

Was the T-26 a match for the Panzer II,III, and IV in the early stages of Barbarossa? The T-34 has been given a lot of credit as the tipping point where Soviet technology created a weapons platform ...
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264 views

What was the combat effectiveness of German infantry in the western front of the Second World War?

I am specifically looking for statistics that estimate man for man what Wehrmacht infantry units were worth compared to allied infantry (principally British and American) after the opening of the ...
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127 views

What determined the duration of preliminary bombardment at Omaha beach? [closed]

Why was there so little bombardment done to prepare the Omaha beach for invasion? What factors affected the decision about how much preparation would take place and the overall invasion schedule? ...
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2answers
134 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?
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83 views

Croatia's reparations to Serbia after WWII [closed]

How Croatia avoid to pay reparations to Serbia after the WWII for something like this?
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239 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 ...
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3answers
649 views

How did the Soviets decide what to annex in WW2?

During and after World War II Soviet Union annexed some countries while others eventually became member states of the Warsaw Pact. What is known about how the Soviets made the decisions about which ...
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3answers
523 views

“More Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War”?

True or false? This is claimed by Andrew Roberts in The Storm of War. Quote: As more Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War, it is unsurprising that ...
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1answer
328 views

How did the Nuremberg Trials decide whether a guilty defendant was to be sentence to death or life imprisonment?

This page contains a list of Nuremberg defendants, their verdict and sentence. While explanations for lighter sentence (e.g. Dönitz was only sentenced to 10 years) can be found quite easily, many Nazi ...
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366 views

Were soldiers in the World Wars paid?

There have always been professional soldiers however during the world wards there were vast conscription to encourage young men to join up for "King and Country". Presumably there was some sort of ...
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32 views

world war 2 Germany v Russia [duplicate]

Why did the German's invade Russia? What was the intention behind it? I know the German's wanted power but why would they go after Russia? They had a peace agreement and it was a territory that was ...
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2answers
594 views

Was the Italian campaign a strategic mistake?

Background In September 1943, the Allied forces invaded Southern Italy in combined amphibious operations in Reggio di Calabria (Operation Baytown), Salerno (Operation Avalanche) and Taranto ...
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2answers
197 views

Why did America not know about soviet espionage in manhattan project

I was watching pbs documentary Behind Closed doors. According to that documentary Churchill and Roosevelt were not really sure if Stalin really understood about 'the new kind of weapon' when they ...
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1answer
95 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
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42 views

Was hitler trying to start a world war by invading Poland? [duplicate]

when it comes to the topic of "Was Hitler trying to start a world war by invading Poland?" I only hear about AJP Taylor's view which is yes. What are some other reason that may appose AJP Taylor? The ...
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365 views

Did the German people actually know Joseph Goebbels as the “Minister of Propaganda”?

I've been trying to understand this for some time now. It seems to me that propaganda should only work if the audience doesn't know that it's propaganda. So if the Nazis' goal was to control its ...
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2answers
266 views

Was Rommel an Anti-Semite?

I've heard that he was not. Latter I've heard that he would have joined the fray if not because of political consideration. I forgot the source.
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3answers
255 views

Post-war plan for Nazi Germany in Russia?

Do we have any records about what Nazi Germany planned to do if the Soviet Union had surrendered? I can't imagine they wanted to swallow that entire country whole, all the way to the Pacific. They'd ...
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3answers
240 views

Did Hitler have an end goal during the “appeasement” phase, or was he just picking a fight?

Do we have any indication what Hitler's plans would have been had the Allies continued to appease him? If the invasion of Poland had been allowed, do we know what he would have done next? Some ...
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247 views

What led to American air superiority over the Axis in World War II

In his 1943 "State of the Union" Address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt commented, "in Africa, we are shooting down two enemy planes to every one we lose, and in the Pacific and the Southwest ...
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6answers
678 views

Why did the British have so few destroyers going into World War II?

In September, 1940, Britain traded a number of its New World naval base sites for 50 "overaged' (old) destroyers in the so-called "Destroyer Deal." That doesn't seem like a large number of destroyers, ...
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62 views

What was the extent of influence of James Byrnes on President Truman in the decision to use nuclear weapons?

Secretary of State James Byrnes was a very influential man and played a key role in foreign policy and the negotiations during WW2. It is known that after the death of FDR, he was the one who informed ...
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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 ...
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72 views

Why did the US fleet not take defensive action against the U-Boats in 1941 despite intelligence from Britain's Enigma deciphering [closed]

Why did the US fleet within US littoral waters not take significant defensive action against the U-Boats in 1941/2 despite detailed intelligence from Britain's Enigma deciphering?
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434 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?
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145 views

To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese?

There's general agreement that the Japanese invasion of China benefited the CPC by interrupting the civil war, forcing the KMT to fight the Japanese instead of continuing the CPC purge, which they ...
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1answer
152 views

Italian & Italian-American Internment camp locations in the United States in WWII

So I am making a Power Point for my American History class, and I cannot for the life of me find a map marking Italian American internment camps. I found German American and Japanese American ...
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1answer
159 views

Was Casablanca a “safe” place for the Allies to hold a global conference in January, 1943?

In January 1943, America's President Roosevelt and Britain's Winston Churchill held a conference in Casablanca, Morocco. Russia's Stalin declined to attend (citing the fighting at Stalingrad). One ...
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155 views

Rommel's letter to his wife from November 16, 1942

I'm looking for the original German version of Erwin Rommel's letter to his wife Lucie Rommel from November 16, 1942. You can find the English translation on page 354 of "The Rommel Papers". The ...
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202 views

What were French actions against Germany during September 1939?

In Poland "Phoney war" is treated as betrayal by UK and France, who only declared war against Germany and did not perform any other actions. This combined with Soviet attack on 17th September is said ...
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237 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who preformed it and who was in charge of this operation?
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157 views

When was General Douglas MacArthur made aware of the Manhattan Project?

Considering the US government's low opinion of General MacArthur* even before he almost performed a military coup in the 1950s: Was Douglas MacArthur ever made aware of the Manhattan Project before ...
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2answers
220 views

What factors discouraged the Nazis from focusing all their forces on the Caucasus region during Operation Barbarossa?

Instead of splitting his invasion force into three groups, it appears to be more sensible to focus on taking over the Caucasus region first. At the time, Baku, a Caucasus oil metropolis accounted for ...
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1answer
350 views

German influence if the Nazis had won [closed]

By German influence I am referring to the German language. I hear all the time that if Germany won the war we would be speaking German right now. Clearly there is a lot of exaggeration there and the ...
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1answer
155 views

Which sources should I believe regarding CV-8 Hornet? [closed]

According to wikipedia's The Battle of Midway, the Naval Carrier CV-8 "Hornet" participated in the Pacific theatre in 1942. Where could I find more confirmation on the Hornet?
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111 views

Nicknames of M36 Gun Motor Carriage

During World War 2 and Korean War United States Army used tank destroyer M36 (90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36). British soldiers gave one of nicknames to it, "Jackson", after general Thomas Jonathan ...
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1answer
193 views

Why were all Y-12 operators of Manhattan Project women?

I have searched a while and I have not found any evidence of why all operators at Y-12 had to be women. I am interested especially in in two aspects: Who was the person from inside of the project ...
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402 views

How many Axis troops fought on D-Day?

How many Axis troops fought on D-Day, I've tried many sources and they have focused primarily on the Allied Forces.
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711 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" ...
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209 views

Did France & Italy continue to develop and manufacture sophisticated military hardware once under German control?

Both France and Italy were designing and building advanced vehicle engines, motorcyles, aero engines and airframes through the 1930s and early 1940s. In the case of those advanced economies of ...
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4answers
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How many lives were saved by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs?

**President Truman in a August 9, 1945 radio address to the American people, outlined the reasons why we dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (and later Nagasaki) I realize the tragic significance ...
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2answers
129 views

Why weren't R-4 helicopters used in the European theatre in 1944-5?

Early helicopters it seems were deployed by the American military in WW2 in the Burma and China theatres, and in the South Pacific. Their principal use would appear to have been small scale rescue ...
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153 views

How much of the success of the Soviet forces in WWII can be attributed to the modernization efforts enacted by the Soviet/Bolshevik leadership? [closed]

Many Tzars tried but failed to modernize Russia throughout its history. Then the Bolsheviks took power in 1917 and were able to achieve significant progress in the industrialization and ...
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2answers
100 views

Where can I find more information on the Katyn massacre?

I want to research the Katyn massacre; I've reviewed the Memo from Beria to Stalin, proposing execution of Polish officers. Are other documents (e.g. protocols of NKVD, logistics) available? Why are ...
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201 views

Why did antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian War make part of the demilitarization program to which Germany was subjected?

As is well known, after the WW2 ended, the U.S. imposed a strong program of demilitarization to Germany. Can anybody explain the reason why the "antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian ...
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466 views

Why did Japan not withdraw from China as its pacific front was crumbling and the threat of US invasion imminent?

Even in August, Japan still kept garrisons in China totalling around 3 million men. They were second-line troops and poorly equipped, yes, but why did Japan not recall everyone to defend the home ...