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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Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

After WWII France was in rebuilding mode, and yet they insisted on trying to reclaim Indo-China. It would seem that in the new world order this did not make much sense for a country that was trying to ...
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Why the 12-inch guns of USS Wyoming were replaced by the 5-inch in 1944? [on hold]

I started playing a game called "World of Warships" in my spare time. One of the ships have in this game is the USS Wyoming. In the game he has 12x 12-inch. For my own curiosity I went to find out ...
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1answer
210 views

Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
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5answers
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What was the role of the Soviet Navy during WWII?

Most books of WWII speak of the naval battles of allied and axis powers during the war, but none about the Soviet navy. The soviets had an active fleet at the time, why did it not engage the Germans ...
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4answers
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Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
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1answer
127 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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1answer
142 views

High-altitude naval bombing in World War II

When reading through Wikipedia's articles on naval battles of World War II, you'll often encounter sentences like the following: Also during this time, several U.S. B-17 heavy bombers attacked the ...
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4answers
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Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

In WWII-era films and newsreels, aerial bombs are often shown making a whistling sound as they fall; starting high pitched, then decreasing as the bomb approaches the Earth (example here, starting at ...
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4answers
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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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6answers
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By mid-1945, was Japan capable of maintaining the war even in the absence of further direct American attacks? [closed]

The USA went to a great effort to defeat Japan, but do historians regard it as necessary? For example if the USA had just kept the naval action going to the extent of cutting of all shipping to ...
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2answers
293 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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1answer
186 views

What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believed this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
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5answers
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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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3answers
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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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4answers
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What benefits were there to the USA of developing both Uranium and Plutonium bombs in World War 2?

Clearly there was a large cost both in money and resources. Working on both very likely slowed down the production of the first nuclear bomb.
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4answers
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Why did the Japanese expect the United States navy would attack the Home Islands?

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval strategy for a Pacific war, amounted to (simplified) "The American fleet will cross the Pacific to attack Japan. At that time, we will engage and defeat them." ...
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13answers
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Did Imperial Japan choose to ally with Nazi Germany because of ideological similarity?

There are certain similarities that can be drawn between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Both were dictatorships, both believed in racism (though against different people), and both were wanting to ...
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2answers
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What were the 52 kinds of victims persecuted by the Nazis?

Out of the surviving 6,808 arrest files of Duesseldorf, a small city of half a million population, 1,440 were those of Communists alone. They were, however, only one among the 52 types of ...
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5answers
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Did a Kamikaze ever impact the hull of a ship, as opposed to the deck?

All kamikaze videos I've seen show the plane dive bombing into the deck of a ship. The photos I've seen also appear to always show a burning deck or tower. What I want to know is, did any kamikaze ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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2answers
484 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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4answers
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Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

Why was there lack of food during the WW2 in the UK? I understand the lack of food in the countries occupied by Germans, as they recruited a lot of agricultural products for their war machinery. But ...
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1answer
501 views

Why did the Allied Forces choose Normandy as their geographic point of invasion?

It seems that the fact that Normandy lies close to the United Kingdom must have played a role. However, parts of the Netherlands and Belgium are (almost) just as close, or even closer. So why not ...
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1answer
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What became of Nazi Germany's embassies in neutral countries?

This picture shows the German embassy in Stockholm very near the end of World War II (with the flag lowered to mark Hitler's death). Germany surrendered on the 8th May 1945. The Flensburg ...
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4answers
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How far were women able to advance in the Gestapo?

I'm trying to write a story happening during World War 2, and I'd like to include there a female Gestapo agent/interrogator as a main character. However, I've been searching and I can't find evidence ...
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3answers
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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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12answers
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Why didn't Imperial Japan attack the Soviet Union during World War 2?

Japan and the Soviet Union shared a common border in Manchuria and the German invasion of the Soviet Union weakened the Soviets greatly. In view of the advantages to Japan in seeing the Soviet Union ...
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5answers
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What kinds of WW2 POWs were treated best?

We all know that the harshest attitudes were toward Jews overall, and maybe Russian POWs in German concentration camps too. Conditions for German soldiers who were held as prisoners in USSR were also ...
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1answer
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What are we to consider Japanese Americans held in Concentration Camps in WWII [closed]

I claim that the Japanese Americans forced into concentration camps during WWII are POW'S. I don't see this violating the definition of POW: ...
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3answers
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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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9answers
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Why did Germany not attack Turkey during WW2?

Most of us might have heard something about the Geo-strategic position of Turkey. She connects two continents to each other and provides a bridge between the relatively advanced Europe and the ...
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2answers
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Were there any pilots that declined to carry out the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Were there any pilots that refused (or politely declined) to take part in the operations of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," knowing the destruction these would cause? Similarly, were there any scientists ...
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3answers
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What caused Yugoslavia to switch sides early in World War II?

In 1940,-41 Germany was able to enlist the support of Roumania, Hungary (the latter at the expense of the former), and Bulgaria, in the Balkans. Yugoslavia initially signed on with Germany, then soon ...
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Getting Access to News Reels Centered around the Liberation of Paris in 44

My dad fought in WW2 in France as a 2nd Lieutenant in an Artillery regiment which crossed over D-Day +6. As told to me before the liberation of Paris happened his unit got orders to not interfere / go ...
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7answers
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Why were Spain and Portugal neutral / not invaded in WWII?

Why weren't Spain and Portugal involved in World War II with either side? Was not Franco sympathetic with the Axis powers given the help they offered during the civil war? Also, given their ...
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1answer
122 views

What historical analyses are there to say whether or not the USSR really needed a second front (D-Day) in WWII?

I'm only generally familiar with the Eastern Front of WWII. My basic understanding is that the Soviet Union was pushed back to Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad, before finally turning things around ...
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2answers
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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 ...
11
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2answers
279 views

What did education look like in occupied countries during WW2?

For example, Germans occupied Poland, then Ukraine as a part of USSR. And this occupation went on for several years. Did universities keep on working? Schools? How did the curriculum change? I ...
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2answers
192 views

Why did Britain place naval mines in their own Channel in WW2?

Reading about Naval Mines, I came across a curious claim: for example, during World War II, Britain declared simply that it had mined the English Channel, North Sea, and French coast. It's not ...
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3answers
345 views

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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4answers
377 views

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, Dalmatians, Macedonians, Bosnians, and others. During World War ...
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10answers
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Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...
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0answers
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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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4answers
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Why did the Germans not encircle and besiege Stalingrad?

The Germans spent a large amount of manpower in adverse territory for this city, even after long exhausting continuous combat. After the war, Kliest wrote: The capture of Stalingrad was ...
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2answers
91 views

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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4answers
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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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3answers
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Who liberated Denmark in WWII?

The obvious encyclopedic site surprisingly has nothing on this in its article about Denmark in WWII. It alludes to a British occupation force after the war, but is not clear who actually liberated ...
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0answers
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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]

The Bolsheviks took power in 1917 and were able to achieve significant progress in the industrialization and militarization of the country. Even to the point that Hitler said, “Had I known they had ...
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4answers
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What did Germany do in World War II about the different rail gauge in the Soviet Union?

One reason it was so hard for Germany to invade Russia/the Soviet Union in World War II (and I) was because the Russians had a different (wider) railroad gauge than that of most of the rest of Europe, ...
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1answer
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Were the Axis Powers really obligated to attack USSR and USA? [duplicate]

EDIT: I don't think it's a duplicate of this. That question asks why attack USSR while still fighting Britain (and I think the OP has a misunderstanding there because the Battle of Britain was already ...