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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Was Hitler hostile to anglo-saxons before he became hostile to Jews?

The German daily FAZ recently ran a positive review of Irish historian Brendan Simms' article Against a ,World of Enemies‘: The Impact of the First World War on the Development of Hitler’s Ideology in ...
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How historically accurate Life is Beautiful is when it comes to Jewish extermination?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Is_Beautiful It is portrayed, in the movie, how that protagonist jew is sent to extermination camp in Italy. I thought jews in Italy are not usually sent to ...
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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; ...
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How was Australia able to start to demobilize in 1944?

Frank Welsh's mammoth history of Australia, Great Southern Land notes that From June 1944 ... the Australian government began demobilising its soldiers. Welsh doesn't go into detail but I'm ...
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551 views

Why would staff officers carry swords during combat, in World War II?

I realise one purpose as ceremonial, as depicted in Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's surrender (eg this picture), but when Isoroku Yamamoto was killed, his white-gloved hand [was still] ...
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Was the attempt to take Stalingrad a distraction to the original objectives of the German Sixth Army during Case Blue in 1942?

If the objective of Sixth Army was to close the Volga to Russian shipping while simultaneously protecting the left flank of the Caucasus forces, then attacking Stalingrad could be seen as a ...
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527 views

Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
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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. ...
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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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208 views

Medical personnel fighting on the battlefield

How common was it for Red Cross medical personnel to take part in military action on the battlefields (in both World Wars)? How was this received by the combatants (friendly and enemy)? The question ...
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Was India's independence inevitable after Cripps Mission?

In 1942, the British government had sent Sir Stafford Cripps to negotiate with the Congress. According to most sources (though this was not made public at that time), the Cripps Mission had proposed ...
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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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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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237 views

The role of the two world wars in the evolution of Fordism

What is the role of the two world wars in the evolution of Fordism ? I've read that Fordism entered Europe due to the WW I, but I've also read that the Fordism began to be effective after the WW II. ...
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243 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.
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UK involvement in Yugoslavia during WW2

What was the role and the level of involvement of the United Kingdom in Yugoslavia during the World War II ?
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278 views

How were snipers used on the western front during WW2?

When the topic of snipers in WWII comes up, it's almost always about Soviet snipers and the eastern front. What about the western front? I'm specifically interested in how or if the British, American, ...
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179 views

Did the Torch operation help doom the Germans at Stalingrad?

Amid calls for a "second front," the Anglo-Americans landed in North Africa Operation Torch, in early November, 1942. Some say that it was a "sideshow," others say that it was a "cross-ruffing" ...
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What does the forward “Bullnose” of a Bailey Bridge that is under construction look like?

I read an excellent book titled "First Across the Rhine: The 291st Engineer Combat Battalion in France, Belgium, and Germany". In it, they describe some of the many functions that are performed by a ...
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391 views

Is there a written history on the Sonderkommando Elbe?

I was watching a program called Dogfights where they were talking about the Sonderkommando Elbe and their tactic of ramming Messerschmitt Bf 109's into American bombers is a sort of suicide attack. ...
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What was American anti-tank doctrine during WWII on paper, and how did it differ from in practice?

What was the prevailing doctrine in the US Army on how to deal with German tanks during WWII? In an ideal situation, what sort of unit (anti-tank infantry, tank destroyers, towed AT guns, etc.) would ...
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Did the natives of North Africa resent the presence of the Germans during the Second World War?

During the Second World War, did the Arabs of North Africa care at all that the Germans were invading their countries, or did they think that there was no difference between the Germans and France and ...
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137 views

Did Japan use reconnaissance balloons in WWII?

I have heard that Japan had used reconnaissance balloons in WWII, especially in China as the Chinese lacked air power and effective anti-air weaponry. I know that balloons - airships to be precise - ...
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194 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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The original Lord Haw Haw's life in exile (Ireland)

I am writing a biography about my great uncle "Capt Tom Smith" who fought in WW1, WW2 and the Spanish Civil War During recent interviews the name Norman Baillie Stewart (wiki link) keeps cropping up ...
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Did De Gaulle really say “I am France” (Je suis la France)?

My great grandpa always told me WWII stories and he always told me De Gaulle said that, however, I can't find any reliable source for it. I have a book stating that supposedly he wrote that in a ...
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Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
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What preparations went into the Tehran Conference of 1943?

The Tehran Conference during World War 2 was a hugely important meeting, and perhaps more importantly, a hugely dangerous proposition. Having all those leaders together in one place risked utter ...
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Did Ivan Marchenko actually exist? [closed]

According to Wikipedia (and other sources I saw) so very little is known about Ivan Marchenko that his name is not even mentioned in official documents around that time; even his date of birth is ...
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What was the lena River Delta U-boat base in the Soviet Arctic used for?

In 1963 the body of a German navy NCO was found in Neelova Gulf with the remnants of his uniform and rifle ammunition. In 1985 Soviet helicopter pilot Peter Statsyukom discovered a small complex of ...
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Communist resistance groups in the Nazi German military

In a recent newspaper article about a Jewish man concealing his identity in Norway during the five years of Nazi German occupation, a reference is made to a "secret Communist group" among German ...
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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 ...
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What explanations have been given as to why the Jews were not killed in Italy?

Jews were mass murdered in Germany during World War II. Why did the same thing not happen in Italy?
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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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Effects of the successful defense of the Soviet Union against Germany on the opening of the western front in WW2

I remember reading somewhere that the Allies (USA/UK) was not really keen on opening a second front to help the Soviet Union until the Soviets started to make progress in defeating Germany around ...
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188 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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212 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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In U.S. military forces, did black soldiers suffer a heavy racial segregation during World War II?

Source: BBC In his book, Mr Hitchcock raises another issue that rarely features in euphoric folk-memories of liberation: Allied looting, and worse. "The theft and looting of Normandy ...
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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 ...
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281 views

What happened to the French soldiers evacuated at Dunkirk and elsewhere in 1940?

How many of them fought on in the Free French Forces and how many of them simply repatriated back to France?
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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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German offensives between Normandy and Bulge?

In regards to World War II, I always hear about the great number of Allied victories won between the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Very little is spoken of German victories. ...
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US Congress in WW2 Compared with other legislative bodies

As a British A Level Modern History student, I know that the British Parliament came together in a National Government, or a coalition of all parties during World War 2 and with the exception of a few ...
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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 ...
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231 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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Have historians envisioned how World II would have developed without Churchill as Prime Minister of Britain?

The question isn't about what would have happened in that event. It is: Have one or more recognized historians delved into this question (of what would have happened if Britain had surrendered to or ...
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159 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
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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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What made Stalingrad a turning point in the second world war?

Operation "Barbarossa" the German plan to invade the Soviet Union was a colossal success until Stalingrad. Capturing one third of the European Soviet Union and having the Luftwaffe taking monopoly of ...
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What percentage of eligible men were drafted during WW2 and Vietnam?

During the times of these conflicts I'm pretty sure the eligible ages to be drafted were from 18 - 25. During these times what percentage of US males between those ages were drafted. I'd like to be ...