Questions tagged [world-war-two]

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, China, the USSR, and the USA. The conflict began with the German invasion of Poland and formally ended with the American victory over Japan.

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How efficiently did the Red Army conduct itself during the invasion of Poland in 1939?

In 1937, Stalin purged the majority of his top military officers, starting with Marshal Tukhachevsky This disorganized the Red Army, to say the least, and helped account for its later poor performance ...
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Why did the Metall und Lackierwarenfabrik company get asked to bid on the creation of the MG42

The MG42. A very iconic machine gun built during World War 2. Known for it's high rate of fire, three man operating squad and it's ability to suppress advancing troops, was built by Metall und ...
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What do we know about Hitler/OKW's plans concerning USSR if Molotov/Ribbentropp Pact hadn't happened?

Molotov/Ribbentrop was signed Aug 23, 1939 and Hitler invaded Poland Sept 1, 1939. Came as a bit of a surprise, considering how much Hitler hated both Communists and Slavic people. And the talks ...
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Why did Hitler send Manstein's army (and not some other) to Leningrad in the summer of 1942?

In July, 1942, Germany's General von Manstein won the siege of Sevastopol. Shortly thereafter, Manstein and his 11th Army were sent to Leningrad, which the Germans were also besieging. I don't ...
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216 views

Has anyone (other than Churchill) indicated that the Germans might have won a negotiated peace in World War II?

I have long believed that it was possible for the Germans to get to a strong position that might have led to a "stalemate" and hence a negotiated peace in World War II/ The main ways were: 1)...
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101 views

Post WWII Munich- U.S.occupation

Is there any way to find out which unit of the US army of occupation took control of US HQ in Munich after April 30th, 1945?
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Do we know if Patton ever said “l'audace l'audace toujours l'audace”?

Do we know if George S. Patton said that even though George C. Scott quoted Frederick the Great in the movie? If Patton did, what does the quote actually mean in the situation? Related question
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What did Douglas MacArthur mean by “In war, there is no substitute for victory?” [closed]

What does this quote mean? I didn't think it made much sense, since diplomacy exists and no country is unbeatable.
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What is the meaning of George S Patton's quote “Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more?” [closed]

George S Patton said that "Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more." What doe this mean?
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During the defense of the home islands, what was Japan's plan for its forces off-island?

It's July 1945. Okinawa is lost. Japan is preparing for an Allied invasion of the Home Islands. While they're arming civilians with spears and clubs, Japan still had millions of soldiers in Manchuria, ...
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Why were the allies so aggressive at the end of WW2? Battle of Berlin, Iwo Jima, Okinawa etc [closed]

Why were the allies so aggressive at the end of WW2? I'm referring to the Battles of Berlin (≈ 350 000 Russian casualties), Iwo Jima (≈ 25 000 US casualties), Okinawa (≈ 60 000 US casualties) etc. In ...
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Were kamikaze pilots an effective strategy for Japan?

history.howstuffworks.com claims kamikaze pilots were not overly effective. Wikipedia states that there was no noticeable increase in number of ships lost even as kamikaze pilots became more common, ...
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How effective was the (Western) Allies bombing campaign over Germany in drawing down the Eastern Front Luftwaffe?

The strategic air campaign over Germany by 8th US Air Force and "Bomber Harris" for the RAF has elicited decidedly mixed opinions. Depending on who you listen to it was a noble effort or it ...
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My father (DOB 09/03/1919) entered the army 01/1942. By 12/42 he made Sgt. He was a 1st Sgt. when separated 10/45. Is this unusual?

My father (DOB 09/03/1919) entered the army 01/1942. By 12/42 he made Sgt. He was a 1st Sgt. when separated 10/45. Is this unusual?
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What was Prince Philip’s surname (prior to Mountbatten)?

Prince Philip took the surname of Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British citizen in 1947. His name prior to that was Schleswig Holstein Sonderburg Gluckburg. Did he use the full name while ...
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During WW2, what B-29 crew role did the abbreviation EMG mean?

My grandfather was an EMG on a B-29 superfortress flying out of Guam during World War 2, but I can’t find what the abbreviation stands for. A friend told me that it’s likely he was an electrical ...
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Why were Soviet losses consistently so high?

The combat losses of Soviet Union were always higher than Nazi Germany, regardless of whether they won or lost. Even in Stalingrad or at the siege of Berlin the losses of Soviet Union were higher. In ...
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Why couldn't the US persuade Russia, Japan's neighbor to the west, to let it attack Japan from its territory in the later years of WWII?

The U.S. sure did a lot of time-consuming island hopping to get to Japan's mainland, but Russia is right next to Japan on the west. Setting up a front next to Japan in Russia would have been very ...
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Are there any books on the recruitment of scientists from the Third Reich (Operation “Paperclip” and others)? [closed]

Please advise the literature on the recruitment of scientists of the Third Reich after World War II ("Paperclip" and other operations). Language: preferably Russian, but also English will do....
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How secure was Germany's last foothold in the Caucasus in 1943?

In January, 1943, after the collapse of Fall Blau and just before the fall of Stalingrad, Germany withdrew most of Army Group A from the Caucasus. But they left a rearguard consisting of the ...
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Was the average lifespan of a soldier deployed within Stalingrad only 24 hours?

The military history YouTube channel The Armchair Historian opens their episode on the Battle of Stalingrad with the line "The average lifespan of a soldier in Stalingrad was just 24 hours." ...
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Why did Stalin pressure Allies to open second front even though his purpose was to grab as much land as possible for his future satellite states?

After the surprise German attack in 22 June 1941 on Soviet Union, the latter suffered a series of catastrophic defeats during the following months, up to the point it is still debatable today whether ...
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1answer
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Is Alexander Matrosov's service record publicly available?

Alexander Matrosov is a Hero of the Soviet Union who perished on the 27th of February in 1943 during the Battles of Rzhev (8th of January, 1942 - 31rd of March, 1943) when he blocked the fascist ...
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Were B-17s (rather than B-29s) ever used to bomb mainland Japanese territory during WW2 (at least before the capture of Okinawa)?

I am wondering if B17s ever flew bombing raids against the Japanese mainland, and if so, did they do it before the capture of Okinawa, which was much closer than the previously captured islands like ...
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Why did not US use solely (more) aviation and artillery when taking Okinawa during ww2?

I haven't investigated much of the topic, got curious after watching Hacksaw Ridge. I'm sorry if my question is silly or naive. After checking historical facts, I started to ask myself why couldn't US ...
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What operations were carried out by the partisans of the Chernihiv junction in the Great Patriotic War?

I am interested in finding out more about the Chernihiv partisan junction which was an important force throughout the Great Patriotic War, and their leader Alexei Fyodorovich Fyodorov. Unfortunately, ...
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Is it true that there were American POWs in Soviet captivity after the Second World War?

In a book titled The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia, the author Tim Tzouliadis asserted in Chapter 23 ("Citizen of the United States of America", Allied Officer Dale) that ...
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Did a unit of 40 men hold off Rommel's “ghost division” for 18 days?

I found the following baffling claim on a Wikipedia article regarding the "Chasseurs Ardennais" in World War II: A unit of only 40 men held off the combined arms of the German forces, ...
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Which operation came last in World War 2? [closed]

Which operation came last in World War 2? I know that the Kwantung Army was defeated on the 2nd of September 1945 during the Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (9th of August - 2nd of ...
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Did the Balkans campaign delay Operation Barbarossa for the Nazis and was it therefore an important reason why they lost against the Soviets in WWII?

I have heard it previously that the Balkans Campaign delayed Operation Barbarossa, but I found out that Antony Beevor wrote in his 2012 book "the Second World War" the following: Hitler was ...
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Are rural residents more likely to survive large scale war (> 1 million deaths) than urban residents? (Data based answers only)

On the surface, it seems logical that the probability of survival, during times of war, would be higher in rural areas. More reliable access to food. Lower probability of being targeted. (e.g. air ...
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What is the context of the use of injustice/unrightousness (不義/fugi) in WW2 era Japanese propaganda?

The Imperial Japanese military song Nihon Rikugun (日本陸軍) begins with the line "天に代わりて不義を討つ" ("defeat injustice in place of righteousness"). What exactly did they consider 不義/fugi ...
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Can anyone help identify this statuette?

The statuette has been in my family for 3 generations now. It is presumed to be from Morocco and was brought to us before the second world war. It is damaged and it had an ivory rosary that was stolen ...
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What organization/agency/unit wore this uniform?

The woman in the attached photo worked as a teletype operator for the Army Air Corps on Geiger Field, near Spokane, Washington 1941-44. I don’t believe that she was enlisted, but worked in a civilian ...
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242 views

Why didn't the Soviets keep their encircled forces supplied by airlifting supplies? [closed]

I was watching a video on World War 2 and learned that the Nazis kept their encircled troops supplied by air for weeks, till the pocket was liberated. I also know that earlier in the war, Soviet ...
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During the WWII, did the German Luftwaffe ever have mixed units of Bf-109s and Me-262s, and if so, which units and/or which airfields?

I have much information regarding the contemporary piston-engined Bf-109 units, as wells as the more advanced Me-262 units. However, I am wondering if any of these planes served together in the same ...
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How much did J. Robert Oppenheimer get paid while overseeing the Manhattan Project?

I am curious to determine how much J. Robert Oppenheimer got paid in today's dollars when he was the head of Los Alamos National Laboratory? Do we have any HR or accounting documents of the Los Alamos ...
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Is there a WW2 European bomb damage atlas?

For London there is a comprehensive and accessible (and readily available) atlas of damage done during the Second World War by German aerial bombing. Are there similar atlases available for Europe, ...
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Why did Churchill become the PM of Britain during WWII instead of Lord Halifax?

It looks as though both Churchill and Lord Halifax were considered for the top job in 1940, but Halifax turned it down and Churchill took it. History is not my area of specialization, so I cannot dig ...
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Why were Norwegian crews flying for Bomber Command paid more than other RAF crews?

In his book Bomber Command, Max Hastings mentions offhandedly that All the Norwegians were immensely rich by RAF standards because they received flying pay of eight shillings per hour operational in ...
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Would Stalin have dropped the nuclear bomb on Germany in 1945, if he had it then? [closed]

In an interview on RT Putin said, "I really doubt that Stalin, in the Spring of 1945, if he had a nuclear bomb, I doubt that he would have dropped it on Germany. In 1941 or 1942, when it was a ...
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Why were there so many Japanese Prime Ministers before and during WW2?

I had been reading about Tojo's history and was surprised that he was not Prime minister at the start of the war (Looking at other European Authoritarians and how they saw things through from start to ...
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What was Japan's grand strategy in WW2?

I am trying to understand the Japanese Grand Strategy in WW2 when it comes to handling the US. My current understand, based primarily on extensive Wikipedia reading is as follows: Motivation: The ...
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158 views

When did blackouts occur in Cairo during WW2?

In what date was Cairo blackout lifted in WW2? Was the date celebrated in the following years? And, not less important: what notable events were in December 21st 1944? A little background: Someone I ...
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Did the Allies try to “bribe” Franco to join them in World War II?

At a meeting in Hendaye, Spain, Franco presented a list of demands to Hitler that the latter would have to meet in order for Spain to formally join the Axis. This included the right to capture and ...
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How did a scientist who came from China in 1935, become US Army Colonel in 1945?

Qian Xuesen - Wikipedia In August 1935, Qian left China on a Boxer Indemnity Scholarship to study mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a Master ...
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Were there high-ranking Japanese POW as witness at the Trinity Atomic Bomb Test? [closed]

One argument was that providing a demonstration on an unpopulated island ran the risk of failure in front of Japanese observers. But I have not read any suggestion of using a Japanese POW of high ...
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How did US defense spending split on weapons categories in ww2?

How much of production was devoted to tanks, planes, ships, ammunition etc.? Links to published papers are very welcome, as well as sources for the other powers in the war. I'm not interested in ...
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359 views

Did Nazi party members request exemption for their pre-war Jewish acquaintances?

So I heard this tale from a teacher many years ago, but cannot find much about it on the internet. The story as far as I remember is as follows: That Goebbels complained on many occasions about the ...
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How was the Free Czech Army formed in World War 2?

I am researching my family's history in World War 2. I know that my grandfather joined the "Free Czech Army" and was evacuated from Sete France after France fell. I have found several online ...

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