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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What happened to the French gold at Martinique during WW2

I am curious as to what happened to the gold stored on the island of Martinique by the French during WW2, I know that the French controlling the island switched sides a few times, and that there were ...
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What Was the State of German Tank Design In Between the World Wars?

I am reading about the Spanish Civil War in a book by Antony Beevor entitled "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939". According to Beevor while the nationalists were able to control ...
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What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
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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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Why didn't Germany attack US ports with U-boats during WW II?

During WW2, Germany owned ships along the eastern US coast with U-boats pretty much unopposed. So... why didn't Germany head into US ports and destroy infrastructure? Why did they keep their actions ...
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What was Finland's position in World War Two? [closed]

What was Finland's position in World War Two? Apparently, they were fighting against the Soviet Union, but not as Nazi Germany's ally. Are there reasons for this, and were they actually on Germany's ...
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To what degree did women participate in the air war during WW2?

I read that Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak and Katya Budanova, the latter is in the above picture, were fighter pilots in the Soviet Air Force during World War II. Since I cannot find other fighter ...
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Were there reasons for Japan to go to war with US aside from US owning Philippines?

Right after the Spanish-American War in 1898, the US acquired the Philippines from Spain. At that time, local leaders desired Philippines independence. The Philippines-American War was fought around ...
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Treatment of Jewish WWI Veterans

I was just wondering if during WWII or any time during Hitler's tenure (1933-1945), did the Germans give any special consideration to Jewish veterans of the First World War? By special consideration I ...
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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?
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Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
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What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
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Was the attack on Pearl Harbor totally unexpected?

According to "British Intelligence in the Second World War: Security and Counter-Intelligence", by Francis Harry Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins, Tricycle, a British double agent, complained that the FBI ...
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Why the six hour gap between British and French declarations of war?

In Britain the story (and the audio) of the events of 3rd September 1939 are so well known and Neville Chamberlain's moving broadcast so cherished that the it's strange that the French declaration of ...
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478 views

Was the death toll in the atomic bombing of Japanese territory greater than was expected by the US?

It is known that the US tried to justify their atomic bombing of Japanese cities by claiming they were aimed at military targets such as a plant and a bridge. Yet the bombs destroyed much more than ...
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About the reasons for the US involvement in WW2 in Europe

From this question: World War II - Have Historians Envisioned How The Axis Powers Might Have Won? I understand that it is unlikely that Germany with its allies could have won WW2 even if they had ...
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992 views

When did the Luftwaffe lose air-superiority over the Reich?

To me one of the many crucial stages of WWII was when the Luftwaffe were no longer able to mount serious resistance to the Allied bombing raids. While the effect of the raids if often debated, it ...
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501 views

What other war crimes trials besides Nuremberg were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
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What was the maximum percent of the Soviet territory that was under Nazi control?

What was the percent of the Soviet territory that was under Nazi control at maximum extent?
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Did the commonwealth surrender prematurely at Crete?

In the Battle of Crete in 1941, the numbers were around equal but the British have supremacy in the sea and in land equipment. The only advantage the Germans had was air supremacy. So why did the ...
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599 views

How do functionalists explain the fact that Holocaust continued until the very end of the war?

While I haven't read Goldhagen or scholars with a similar viewpoint directly, I frequently encounter the following argument that seems very Goldhagenite to me: "The Germans tried to murder Jews up ...
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242 views

Why would the heads of the Manhattan Project have been imprisoned in the event of its failure?

In The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, Secretary of War Henry Stimson is quoted as saying, after the Trinity test and Potsdam declaration but before the bombing of Hiroshima: I have ...
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How besieged was Leningrad after Operation Iskra?

Wikipedia's timeline for the siege of Leningrad is a little puzzling. It has: 12–30 January 1943: Operation Iskra penetrates the siege by opening a land corridor along the coast of Lake Ladoga into ...
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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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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 ...
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Is there any footage and/or photos of Germans surrendering towns and cities in the Western Front?

I heard that unlike the surrender ceremonies in the Eastern front, those on the western front were arranged to be solemn, festive and pompous, especially when the cities were conceded without ...
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410 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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212 views

What was the Nature of Resistance in 1938 Czechoslovakia?

I wonder if someone might help me. I'm writing a novel. My protagonist is a dual national (English born, German parents) bio chemist contracted to work for Freiburg University 1938. At the time ...
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162 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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Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
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What is the historical evidence behind the claim that the Soviet armies perpetrated mass rapes during their stay in Germany?

Besides accounts from Anthony Beevor's book and research done by Sander & Johr, which some members of the amateur historian community dismiss as biased and revisionist, are there any other source ...
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296 views

Was Japan really part of the Axis?

I recall in history class learning that the Japanese could have attacked the USSR in the 1940s and potentially split Stalin's forces - which presumably would have been more useful for the Nazis than ...
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Where was the Japanese surrender signed on Okinawa in June 1945?

On the 21st of June, Japanese defences on the southern fringe of Okinawa collapsed. The following day General Mitsuru Ushijima and chief of staff Isamu Chō committed suicide. Colonel Yahara was denied ...
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Were some Yugoslav “nationalities” more pro-Axis/Allied than others during World War II

"Yugo" (South) slavia, is actually a motley collection (mixed bag in the American idiom) of groups such as the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Dalmations, Macedonians, Bosnians, and others. During World War ...
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Was the battle of Stalingrad “unique” in the annals of history?

I'm referring to the fact that BOTH sides ordered their troops to fight for the city "to the last man and last round." (Hitler). The Soviet Union's General Vasili Chuikov echoed this by saying "We ...
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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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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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When did the allies start evacuating from the Dunkirk mole during the Dunkirk evacuation?

I have two dates in mind, 22 May 1940 and and 27 May 1940. It makes more sense that they started evacuating from the mole the 22 of may but I've also heard the 27 from BBC. The 22 of May was the date ...
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Why did Central and South American nations participate in WWII?

Somewhat related question: Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America? I've always been interested in why so many South American and Central American countries took the side of the ...
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806 views

How was Munich Captured in WWII?

How was Munich captured in WWII and how much time did it take? For example was it on a scale of three days? This question is because in one of the war-time German films one character hypotizes that ...
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What was Hitler like in private?

The image of Hitler is very well-formed in the modern public imagination: stern, stoic, focused, commanding and intimidating, with a powerful oratory skill and a terrifying ability to stir up passion ...
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267 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 ...
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What was the role of Nikita Khrushchev during the battle of Stalingrad?

In the movie Enemy at the Gates there is a moment when Nikita Khrushchev comes to take control over the Soviet forces defending Stalingrad, even making previous commander commit suicide (is this ...
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What was the civil weapons legislation under Hitler?

Was possession of weapons prohibited, encouraged, allowed to members of some organizations, or what?
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202 views

How much firepower did the British navy represent in 1940?

A question was recently asked about how Britain would have defended herself against a cross-channel invasion by Hitler. A key element in the British defense would be the Royal Navy. At the beginning ...
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1answer
165 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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1answer
257 views

Did the Germans use a “Verdun”-like strategy at Stalingrad?

In February 1916, the Germans might have captured the fortress of Verdun (France), quickly through an all-out assault. Instead, the German General Falkenhayn initially elected to make an artillery ...
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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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What was the argument for the Japanese pursuing the Northern Expansion Doctrine during WWII?

The Northern Expansion Doctrine was the idea that Japan should pursue its imperialist objectives through Siberia, which was diametrically opposed by the Southern Expansion Doctrine which was the idea ...
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What were the Japanese defenses for an allied invasion of Kyushu?

At Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other island bases of the Japanese forces, the Japanese created a network of deep tunnels and bunkers that made US attempts to evict Japanese forces extremely difficult, time ...