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 (2)

7
votes
4answers
395 views

Has any other book in history been as “prescriptive” as Mein Kampf?

Hitler's signature work, "Mein Kampf", was written while he was in prison (!), following the failure of his so-called "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich in 1923. In the book, he laid out in excruciating ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
167 views

Where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese?

I was wondering where can I find digitised versions of Japanese war documents in original Japanese? I can read Japanese but I cannot seem to find any primary sources that relate to the Japanese army ...
7
votes
2answers
991 views

Why did American public opinion move away from isolationism in 1940-41?

In Lynne Olson's recent interview in the New York Times dealing with her book Those Angry Days she notes that isolationism was "finished" by late 1941 and that a "sea change" occurred in American ...
7
votes
2answers
120 views

Total budget of Nuremberg trial

I am trying to estimate the total budget of the Nuremberg War Criminal trial. Any help with reference, please?
7
votes
2answers
578 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
372 views

How were middle ranking Nazis known to the allies before the end of the war?

According to Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding near the end of WW2 the allies created a large database ... known as CROWCASS, of war criminals which they intended to target once victory was achieved. ...
7
votes
0answers
152 views

Why was Villa Gaggia chosen as the setting for Hitler & Mussolini's July 1943 meeting?

Ian Kershaw's Hitler biography Nemesis describes Hitler's hurriedly arranged summit with Mussolini in July 1943: After landing at Treviso, Hitler and Mussolini travelled in the Duce's train to a ...
7
votes
0answers
107 views

When were the “War Relief Toy Works” set up and by whom?

There are a number of toys in existence - particularly Noah's Arks - which originate from the 'War Relief Toy Works', which was based in Stoke Newington, a suburb of London, UK. A representative ...
6
votes
9answers
915 views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How close was the Soviet Union to collapsing during WW2?

Are there any sources or reports which explain how close the country was to collapsing under the Nazi assault? By 'collapse' I mean 'completely lacking either the willpower (as seen by France in 1940 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

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. ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
451 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
832 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
717 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
269 views

Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?

Many far flung garrisons and especially islands were still in German hands at the end of the war in May 1945. Parts of Crete, Dunkirk, the Channel Islands, La Rochelle, St Nazaire and several other ...
6
votes
3answers
581 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
471 views

How close did Germany come to interdicting Soviet oil shipments from the Caucasus in 1942?

In 1942, the Germans captured a relatively small oil complex at Maikop in the North Caucasus, and got within 25 miles of a larger one at Grozny. But the biggest prize was at Baku, on the "far" ...
6
votes
2answers
410 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
252 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
994 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
227 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
465 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
594 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
558 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
265 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

It is said that Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he ...
6
votes
2answers
829 views

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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
293 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
449 views

Scaffoldings on Taj Mahal?

I recently came across this picture (removed now, look at wiki article instead), saying that it is a scaffolding erected during WW2 over Taj Mahal to protect it from Japanese Air Force. Even the ...
6
votes
1answer
869 views

How many Axis troops fought on D-Day? [closed]

How many Axis troops fought in France, and specifically Normandy, on D-Day, I've tried many sources and they have focused primarily on the Allied Forces.
6
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
170 views

How many of Japan's 29 lost Pearl Harbor aircraft have been accounted for?

I've seen varying numbers regarding the amount of Japanese aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but the number of attacking planes that failed to return to Japan's carriers remains ...
6
votes
0answers
291 views

What relief efforts did the Japanese attempt after the atomic bombings?

Obviously, once the atomic bombs dropped in 1945, the war was almost over. There wasn't much time to rebuild, or even offer aid, to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before the Japanese ...
6
votes
0answers
266 views

Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base in the Kuriles in 1943?

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated two all-weather, heated, lit runways on Matsuwa Island in the Kurile island chain. This island is littered with German fuel drums manufactured in 1943. It also ...
6
votes
0answers
185 views

The Rosenberg diary and the functionalist-intentionalist debate

Today it was announced that the diary of Alfred Rosenberg was been found, after it had disappeared in 1946. Prima facie, this would seem to be a major piece of historical evidence for the ...
6
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

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. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why was the 1944 surrender of 20,000 Germans on the Western Front remarkable?

I remember very well those days last September when we first heard the rumor that General Elster would surrender to the 99th Division, no one would believe it. "20,000 German troops and their ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

What was the most important cause of the Second World War? [closed]

What was the most important cause of the Second World War? Obviously there was the Treaty of Versailles which played a significant part; the War Guilt Clause, Reparations, Disarmament and territorial ...
5
votes
3answers
475 views

What is the most noteworthy defection of a member of the Nazi party to the Allies during WWII?

During WWII, before it became clear the Nazis were going to lose, is there any especially noteworthy examples of a member or members of the Nazi party defecting to the Allies? I'm aware noteworthy is ...