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Questions tagged [20th-century]

For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-history tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

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25
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5answers
12k views

How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

According to Wikipedia: a Soviet archival document recorded the loss of 3,922 Soviet aircraft in the first three days against an estimated loss of 78 German aircraft. How were German combat ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Did Russia support both Georgian nationalists and the Georgian government during Georgian civil war?

I am trying to understand the history of Georgia after the independence from Russia reading the French Wikipedia article about it. Yet I don't understand the position of Russia during the Civil War. ...
8
votes
1answer
287 views

Were any works completely lost during the Nazi book burnings?

When the Nazis rose to power, they began a campaign of burning books deemed incompatible with the Nazi ideology. During these book burnings, were there any works that were completely lost? By "...
20
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3answers
973 views

In the early 1900s, how did US politicians treat black dignitaries from other countries?

Are there any historical records of US politicians (especially southern politicians) treating black dignitaries (especially royalty) with great pomp and ceremony, while simultaneously and ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

What does “MET HLS INDIA” inscribed on a bottom of brass sugar bowl mean?

I've recently inherited two old Indian brass items, bought in 1970s (or earlier) in Poland, and I'm trying to work out where they come from. I've easily identified the origin of the ice bucket, since ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

What exactly was the Philby Plan?

From what I gather it was some sort of idea for an amicable settlement between Jews and Arabs in Palestine and somehow involved Ibn Saud. Weizmann and Churchill apparently supported it but Ibn Saud ...
23
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5answers
4k views

How popular was the Soviet Union?

How much popular support was there in the Soviet Union? How did this popular support increase and decrease with time? Here is an infographic that sort of summarizes my question. It shows that even at ...
12
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1answer
3k views

What was Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War: historycy.org (in Polish) Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and ...
7
votes
2answers
661 views

Which method of telephone calls was more popular: station-to-station or person-to-person?

My question is related to this question I asked earlier on the cost of a telephone call in the 1920s in the United States of America. Now, I am interested in the whole period from 1920 until 1960 and ...
22
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1answer
412 views

What did Zhang Zuolin say after his train blew up?

Zhang Zuolin was an early 20th century Chinese warlord of Manchuria. He was fatally wounded by the Japanese Army on June 4, 1928, using a bomb laid beneath tracks where his armoured train travelled ...
63
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5answers
33k views

How did Israel win the Six-Day War?

Considering Israel fought several Arab countries, which had troops largely outnumbering the Israeli, how did they manage to win the war decisively, with much fewer casualties than the Arab countries? ...
4
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2answers
418 views

What were traffic lights like in the USSR?

I'm interested in the design of illuminated traffic lights (for automobiles) in the USSR, especially the old history. I tried to google this for what year the first illuminated traffic light was ...
37
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8answers
13k views

Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?

There are accounts that British Prime Minister Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler because he just didn't want Britain involved in a war at that time. Others also argue that Chamberlain was naive and ...
49
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9answers
9k views

Has Britain's 1940 invasion of Iceland been downplayed by historians?

On the face of it Operation Fork (Britain's invasion of Iceland in 1940) wasn't so terribly different from Germany's territorial landgrabs in 1939 and 1940. Britain and her allies will have ...
4
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0answers
170 views

What uniform is my great great Cossack grandfather wearing?

The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really ...
12
votes
3answers
445 views

What is Poosball, an early 1900s women's team sport?

My girlfriend recently showed me a 1908 yearbook in which several women are marked as playing "Poos-ball" or "Poosball." An internet search for this reveals mostly misspellings of "Foosball," however, ...
5
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0answers
132 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

If this question is better suited for a more aviation-oriented forum, please let me know. During World War II SOE agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the RAF. This ...
38
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1answer
11k views

Why does this London Underground poster from 1924 have a Star of David atop a Christmas tree?

There is currently an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago displaying posters promoting London Underground transit from the 1920's and 30's. This interesting piece comes from 1924. A full ...
2
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2answers
3k views

Who wrote the “Mi General Augusto Pinochet” Song?

It is available here. According to Wikipedia, mi general was a nickname sometimes used by General Pinochet's supporters. Is it modern or contemporary? In the former case I would like to know who ...
10
votes
1answer
231 views

When in September 1939 did the British diplomatic mission leave Warsaw?

On September first 1939, at 4:45 in the morning, the Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Danzig/Gdansk. September twenty-second is when German troops completed their encirclement of Warsaw. Somewhere in ...
11
votes
1answer
260 views

When were public roads cleaned electromagnetically?

In the first half of the 20th century, tires were more often punctured, so metal waste on the roadway was a bigger problem. The book "Lorries, Trucks and Vans 1897-1927" features an electromagnetic ...
16
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1answer
4k views

German Government branches during World War 2

During World War 2, what government branches, if any, existed in Germany? I've always heard about the Third Reich and Hitler, but I never heard about the rest of the government.
29
votes
2answers
4k views

Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
10
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2answers
998 views

Why was an independant Saarland country created twice after each world war?

After World War I, some territories were removed from Germany, most of them had either a majority or a significant minority of non-german-speaking populations. The exception that comes to mind to me ...
23
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2answers
1k views

What set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the other border checkpoints in Berlin during the Cold War?

How did "Checkpoint Charlie" become known as the border crossing between East and West Berlin? Out of the countless border checkpoints, what set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the rest for defectors?
6
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1answer
311 views

What possible uniform with decoration is my ancestor from New South Wales in the early 1900's wearing?

I have found the below picture of my ancestor. It was taken approximately in the early 1900's in New South Wales, Australia. I don't think he was knighted. I have found a census record that he was a ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

What, if any, futurists that went to war actually denied the movement later?

When I studied art in high school my teacher mentioned that most futurists that went to war later denied the movement. I couldn't find anything relating to this in the interwebs, other than the fact ...
1
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0answers
85 views

What does this signature say?

I’m having difficulty of reading what this fancy signature or fancy writing says on my great grandfather’s ring?
5
votes
1answer
410 views

Were Communists drafted for the Vietnam war?

Given that it wasn't illegal to be a member of a Communist party in the US, how did the military handle draftees who might be sympathetic to North Vietnam? Were men who were members of the Communist ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

What was the reason the Maronites lobbied for a state of Greater Lebanon?

I'm currently reading A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered (1988) by Kamal Salibi. In the first chapter he argues that it was initially the Christian minorities of historic ...
9
votes
2answers
748 views

Who first conceived and developed the acoustic homing torpedo, and when?

Acoustic homing torpedoes did not see action until 1943 with the Falke/T4 from Germany and the Mark 24 Mine from the USA. These torpedoes were passive in that they homed in on the loudest sound that ...
4
votes
1answer
539 views

Why don't the Americas use ISO paper sizes?

In the mid-sixties, most countries standardized on ISO paper sizes (A-series, B-series, etc.). The Americas didn't. Why not? (Around the same time there was a failed push in the US to switch to ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

What are some important female names who participated in the first human genome sequencing project?

Specifically, females involved in the human sequencing project, from between 1990 and early 2000s (I'm especially interested in medical doctors, but tech experts or of other branches of science are ...
-6
votes
1answer
129 views

What caused the rise of international anti-semitism during the early 20th century? [closed]

In the years before 1914 violent pogroms were directed against Jews, who were made scapegoats for the problems of the Russian Empire. The flight of Jews from the east, first to escape the violent ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the Soviet role in Syria during the Cold-War?

It is my understanding that the Soviet Union supported governments in Syria during the cold-war primarily as a counter-balance to American influence over regional powers particularly Saudi Arabia and ...
10
votes
0answers
487 views

What is this old dual-disc metal object with a spindle? [more pictures added]

[Updated: There are now pictures of both top and side views. Scroll to bottom of post to see the side views.] While sorting through family artifacts, I found a black metal two-layer disc with a long ...
1
vote
2answers
336 views

Why the M24 Chaffee was not used as a tank at Dien Bien Phu?

According to the Wikipedia page of the M-24 Chaffee, ten of these tanks were sent to the french forces in Dien Bien Phu, where they provide "fire support". Considering the French were outgunned by ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why did the USA sell so many airplanes prior to WW2?

I am wondering why there are so much airplanes made in USA in the world's air forces prior to WW2, since I don't think the US Air Force had the better reputation. You can count the: Glenn Martin ...
40
votes
10answers
5k views

What were Hitler's religious beliefs?

Hitler is often cited as an example of an evil atheist (along with Stalin and Mao). But there are several quotes from him that seem to indicate he believed in the Christian God - and even used this to ...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

What publication claimed that Michael Jackson died in a nuclear holocaust?

I have a question about some paragraph in Finkelstein's Holocaust Industry. He writes that Some years back, the parody of a New York tabloid was headlined: “Michael Jackson, 60 Million Others, Die ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Reference request - Books on Israel-Palestine conflict [closed]

I am searching for a good even-handed account of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I read James Gelvin's book which was ok but I found lacking in detail when it came to the situation in more recent times....
-2
votes
3answers
297 views

How is it possible to be ambushed twice at the same place?

How is it possible for an army to: go to some place be ambushed repel or see the attackers falling back Go to a place and fight retreat and be ambushed at the first place It is the battle of ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Did America help the Chinese nationalists to repel the communist advance?

As an answer said in this subject (What are some major military successes the Soviet Union achieved against the Western World?), it seems that the politics of USA had a great issue on the help of ...
0
votes
2answers
275 views

Has anti aircraft artillery ever repelled an air attack?

Anti aircraft artillery has been developed as soon as during ww1, but it seems, according to my research, that it has never been very efficient. In fact, it has never repelled an air offensive, and ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What role did Lucky Luciano play in faciliting South Europe invasion?

On the night of July 9, 1943, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the extreme southwestern shore of Sicily. After securing a beachhead, Gen. George Patton's U.S. Seventh Army launched an offensive into ...
12
votes
2answers
767 views

What land did Polish nationalists claim in 1914?

In the early 20th century, Poland was split between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However, clear borders of the "country" did not exist. When the country was finally re-created after the Great ...
12
votes
3answers
796 views

Were any of the major battle plans in WWII changed last minute by officers on the ground?

I haven't found any consistent reference to a particular battle wherein the battle plans were changed by a lower level officer on the ground at the last minute. Specifically, a major battle plan, not ...
7
votes
2answers
544 views

What demographic of people were the Ford Motor's Company biggest customers during the car boom of the early twentieth Century?

Who were the primary customers buying up the automobiles steadily decreasing in cost during the 20th century? Was it rural people replacing horses with vehicles? Would it have been inner city people ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What happened to all the nuclear material being smuggled after the fall of the USSR?

I'm currently on my lunch break and deep in the Wikipedia hole which brought me to this article that details thwarted nuclear smuggling incidents in 1993/6. Many of the incidents involve elements that ...
12
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...