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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Does the reversal of the ribbon on a military medal (South Africa / UK; WWII) carry meaning or is it simply an error?

My father was showing me his father's WWII medals for service in the South African military. Having found images depicting the official order of wear I noticed that some had reversed ribbons. I ...
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222 views

Did the Dutch carry out trials for collaboration with the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies?

After the Second World War, the Netherlands tried Dutch citizens for acts of collaboration with the German occupation. Did they do the same (as the UK did on a limited scale in India and other areas ...
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Did defeated countries pay theirs war bonds? [closed]

This related question approaches how beneficial war bonds were to US during WWII. I would like to know what happen with war bonds when a country is defeated. What did happen in similar experiences? ...
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How important were “columnar” strategies in Japan's invasion of China?

In trying to invade a large country like China, there are at least two main strategies 1) a narrow "columnar" strategy, usually based along an artery such as the Yangtze River that provides a natural ...
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What effort did the Luftwaffe make to prevent Operation Torch landings in North Africa 1942? [closed]

Did the Germans know about the Operation Torch landings in late 1942 and if so what steps were taken in particular by the Luftwaffe to intervene?
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Parable of the broken window and 1929 crisis

I've read that, in 1938, economic crisis was taking back, and that it's the war effort that finally closed the 1929 crisis. Is it not a version of the parable of the broken window ? How a war effort ...
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378 views

Why are only the Normandy landings referred to as D-Day?

Thinking about the anniversary of the Normandy landings, I was struck that the terms D-Day and H-hour were used to denote the start time of all allied military operations. Are there any specific ...
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296 views

Did land based airpower give the Americans a decisive advantage at the Battle of Midway?

This question was inspired by another (on a different SE site) about the Avalon Hill board game. As told in many American history books, the battle of Midway featured four Japanese heavy carriers vs. ...
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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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Why did the Allies let Hitler break the Treaty of Versailles?

I was reading about what led up to ww2 and I noticed that Hitler broke several of the agreements in the Treaty of Versailles such as getting a army of more than 100000 men. I was wondering why the ...
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768 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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Does Japan have the legal right to have its own army or navy?

After WW2 Japan capitulated and was disarmed. And as I know Japan was not able to have its own army, and its boundary would be protected by the United States. So, does Japan have the legal right to ...
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196 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 ...
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779 views

Stalingrad - the German perspective?

I'm quite interested in Stalingrad and have started reading a bit regarding the battle itself and have seen that weather had played quite a significant factor in halting the German advance. (Reading ...
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279 views

Was the communication between Spitfire and other fighters' pilots encrypted?

If machines like SIGSALLY were occupying so much space like in the picture above, were the pilots' communication encrypted or somehow obscured in order to prevent the enemy from eavesdropping on the ...
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720 views

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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282 views

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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637 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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512 views

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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241 views

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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317 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. ...
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497 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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217 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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681 views

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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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 ...
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761 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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698 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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243 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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260 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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425 views

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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348 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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186 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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117 views

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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406 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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387 views

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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134 views

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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145 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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204 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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187 views

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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139 views

Did a German Jew in the US Army save his home district from bombing?

While visiting the Old Town of Düsseldorf, the guide told us that this district (now one of the most expensive places in Germany) was saved from WW2 bombings by a Jewish man who used to live there. He ...
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227 views

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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167 views

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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246 views

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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200 views

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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740 views

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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518 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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276 views

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 ...