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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47 views

What is the minimum safe speed when dropping depth charges?

What is the minimum safe speed when dropping depth charges - especially if they are set for shallow depth ? I wonder if a slow merchant man really can use depth charges in a safe manner i.e. without ...
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679 views

Were armed merchantmen effective against submarines?

The armed merchantman Jervis Bay was no match for the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer in a ship to ship duel. Nevertheless, the merchantman put up a brave fight lasting over an hour, allowing ...
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What was the purpose of each project site during the Manhattan Project?

I'm looking for an answer as to what the purpose of each project site was during the Manhattan Project. The following image illustrates (but only includes some of the sites) where each site was ...
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1answer
118 views

How much support did America give to the scientists working on the Manhattan Project?

How much support did America give to the scientists working on the Manhattan Project, be it financial or otherwise? Did physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer who headed the project to develop the atomic ...
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How important were Einstein and Szilard and other scientists to the creation and ultimate success of the Manhattan Project?

How important was Einstein and Szilard and other scientists to the creation and ultimate success of the Manhattan Project? I understand that the Einstein-Szilard letter to President Roosevelt ...
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1answer
95 views

What was the total megatonnage of all munitions expended in World War 2?

I'm wondering about the total megatonnage of all munitions expended during World War Two in all theaters. I've seen estimates of 2, 3 and 5, but no concrete cited sources for a specific number.
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Did the fear of a militarily trained populace help motivate western leaders to offer social reform after WW2 [closed]

Did the fear of a militarily trained populace help motivate western leaders to offer social reform after WW2? I remember our history teacher saying something to this effect many years ago. I think we ...
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177 views

Why did the Manhattan Project succeed? [closed]

Looking for resources that directly answer the question of, why the Manhattan Project was successful? I have come to the following points: That the Manhattan Project reached its goal because all ...
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1answer
164 views

Who did Mussolini meet after Hitler, on arrival to Germany after rescue?

Mussolini was flown to Germany after the Gran Sasso raid. Who does Mussolini meet, after Hitler, in this video: https://youtu.be/zAWEoe1SwLs?t=24 What does the narrator say, in German? What does it ...
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162 views

Who exactly were the Slovene White Guard?

In World War II, there was a group in Yugoslavia called the Slovene White Guard. Concerning this group, the book If The Allies Had Fallen states that: If an Istrian landing was put into effect, the ...
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Why didn't Hitler attack Soviet Union before France? [closed]

Why didn't Hitler attack Soviet Union before France? I think if he did so then he will get the help and aid of America and European countries and after gaining the rich oil resources in Stalingrad and ...
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602 views

Why didn't the Japanese develop air defenses after the bombing of Tokyo?

So, I was reading some WWII questions, and a couple of them mentioned the bombing of Tokyo. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to read up on it. What I don't understand about it is Japan's ...
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262 views

Why were Axis bombings deadlier than Allied ones?

I had been gathering data on some bombings during WW2. I mainly used wikipedia articles, since they are very well sourced. I consider only city bombings, and civilian losses. The losses are ...
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Who decided to confront the Japanese at Midway?

George Walsh (The Battle of Midway: Searching for the Truth) points out that Operation Plan 29-42 says Inflict maximum damage on enemy by employing strong attrition tactics. Do not accept such ...
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281 views

Why did the Nazis collaborate with the Ustaše?

The Croats are linguistically, ethnically and culturally a Slavic people. While the Ustaše did not see themselves as such, why did the Nazis choose to collaborate with what was essentially a ...
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223 views

Why was King Leopold III so hated in Belgium after the Second World War? [closed]

Did the Belgians resent him for surrendering or was it something he did during occupation? His decision to stay with his soldiers instead of flee seems extremely admirable. Wikipedia says that after ...
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349 views

Is it true that Adolf Hitler foresaw a surrender on the Western front in the last week of April 1945? [closed]

David Irving's controversial book Hitler's War seems to imply that after his nervous breakdown during the battle of Berlin, Hitler realized that defeat was imminent and decided that surrendering in ...
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359 views

How “successful” were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?

In World War II, a prototype missile guidance system was developed in Project Pigeon, whereby a pigeon's pecks (or pecks by multiple pigeons) would be used to guide a missile. Test runs were ...
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438 views

What was the consequence of Gestapo being declared a criminal organization in the Nuremberg trials in 1945?

As read in Wikipedia's article on Gestapo: Between 14 November 1945 and 3 October 1946, the Allies established an International Military Tribunal (IMT) to try 22 major Nazi war criminals and six ...
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243 views

Did the US manage to eavesdrop on KMT communications during World War 2?

I was reading How frequently did the KMT use telegrams to communicate; from where (roughly) and to whom?, which contains a quote: Following is a telegram code "dictionary" used by Japan military ...
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466 views

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2?

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2? It seems like that would be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, while you are experiencing high-Gs and low oxygen. However, the above movie includes ...
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162 views

Who were the highest-ranking officers of each belligerent nation, who parachuted with troops in Operation Market Garden?

Was erstwhile (MG) James M. Gavin the highest-ranking US general officer? Please see the question's title. I know that U.K. soldiers parachuted, but don't know if any Canadians, Polish did. Gavin ...
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201 views

Did the Germans “mix up” Army Groups A and B during Fall Blau?

Fall Blau was the 1942 campaign conducted by Germany's Army Group South. This was subdivided during the campaign into Army Groups A and B. I was surprise to read that Army Group A was sent to the ...
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1answer
277 views

Were there trains to anonymous concentration camps?

At the start of this year, my family visited Terezin Ghetto and camp - the middle daughter was writing a school report about children in WWII. There were many dreadful and surprising pieces of ...
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348 views

How did Red Army achieve to manipulate German Army in 1942 and 1943?

I had read during past days some books and internet texts about the East front campaign, during WW2. I took some information out of that, and it is very surprising to me. First, I read that Russian ...
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What is the logic for the map maker classifying the map this way, specifically in Canada?

I recently came across the map displayed above. It is a map showing the spread of totalitarian and authoritarian governments right before WWII. The countries that are black are totalitarian ...
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202 views

Which Nazi functionary is shown here?

Wikipedia says that the following image depicts the Chinese leader of a Japanese puppet state, Wang Jingwei, with Nazis. The full information on Wikipedia reads: Wang Jingwei having a toast with ...
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Where was the operation Market Garden UK planning headquarters?

Can someone remind me of the name of the house and country estate in southern England where much of Operation Market Garden was planned. I have even been on a course there in the 1980s, but can't ...
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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 ...
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189 views

Could someone help me identify this button from a WW2 prison camp field?

I'm struggling to identify a button found in a field in Italy, where WW2's prison camps were built. Searching online I found a lot of American's Civil War buttons that could be related to it, based on ...
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301 views

Have any spies ever managed to keep their identity secret from their handlers?

Having just started reading up on spies throughout history, I've just realized a new risk I hadn't thought of before, namely that once you've started spying you're at risk of being blackmailed into ...
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341 views

Did some Nazi death camp guards use Lee Enfield rifles?

I was watching the Netflix series The Devil Next Door and there was was video footage of a Nazi death camp. What was strange was that one of the guards appeared to be wielding a Lee Enfield No4 rifle ...
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How extensive was the Allies use of inflatable decoy tanks during D-Day preparations?

I have seen in a couple WW2 documentaries, that inflatable decoy tanks were used during d-day preparations to fool the German military. How extensive was this use? How many inflatable tanks were ...
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230 views

What are some good sources on the everyday life of Soviet troops during WWII?

Imagine I wanted to get a basic understanding what the everyday life of a Soviet soldier (especially infantry, tank units, air force) during WWII was like. What books and other resources in English, ...
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1answer
161 views

How many RAF and USAAF/USAF airfields were built in the UK between the mid-1930s and 1960?

Whenever I fly over southern or eastern England I see a lot of runways, many of them disused. The majority were built during WW2 for the RAF and USAAF, others date back to the early cold war years. ...
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How could I estimate the total global environmental impact of WWII? [closed]

I've been long wondering, and pondering this question since I've been studying and researching WWII for the last 15 years. I know this is an impossible calculation to make, but I wonder if anyone has ...
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785 views

Were the Nazis actually ever horrified of anything that the Imperial Japanese Army did or vice-versa?

While reading Rationalwiki page on the Rape of Nanjing part of the article really stood out to me: …such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and ...
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Why did Japan never “apologize” enough for World War 2?

Although Japan kept "apologizing" for atrocities committed during World War 2 for more than 70 years, the apologies were deemed "not sincere enough" by the victims. This stands in huge contrast with ...
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258 views

Are views in Thailand on axis powers influenced by colonization?

John Oliver talked on how nazi depictions are used commercially in Thailand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Nqa4XKkXp4 However, Thailand regained land from the British and the French during WW2, ...
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Was Switzerland pressured either by Allies or Axis to take part in World War 2 at any time?

In the second world war, Switzerland mostly maintained it's neutrality and served as protecting power and mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers. A Wikipedia article Switzerland ...
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How were Kurds involved (or not) in the invasion of Normandy?

In defending his decision to withdraw from northern Syria and cease supporting Kurdish fighters in the face of the 2019 Turkish invasion, Donald Trump said: [The Kurds] didn’t help us in the second ...
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Why was the Deutschland so ineffective compared to the Admiral Graf Spee and the Admiral Scheer

Before World War II, Germany created the Deutschland Class of heavily armored cruisers in order to comply with the regulations in the Treaty of Versailles. Three of these cruisers (called pocket-...
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112 views

Help for identifying a shell

After a few hours of search, I can't identify this shell. I know it's a 75 mm shell, from one of the WW (probably WWI, but can't guarantee it), found in France, but that's about it. Could be from any ...
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5answers
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Were Allied high commanders that bad at the end of WW2?

I have heard by some friends, speaking of military history, that Allied commanders were well known for being, at best, mediocre in their performance of fight. They were not able to give precise ...
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Did the Soviet army intentionally send troops (e.g. penal battalions) running over minefields?

You can hear this story/claim stated in various way, from just regular troops doing it, to just penal battalions, to strenuous denial nobody ever did this in the Soviet army. (Just look at a Quora ...
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Why did the Soviet Union not “grant” Inner Mongolia to Mongolia after World War Two?

In the brief Soviet anti-Japanese campaign of 1945, Soviet and Mongol troops entered Inner Mongolia. Mongolia itself had been essentially a client state of the Soviet Union since 1921. Also the ...
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Do we know the situation in Britain before Sealion (summer 1940)?

Inspired by this other question, I had a look at the book (published in 1998/2003), and noticed this passage. When we captured Liège, we discovered a German map factory in full production. We ...
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Is this a Sherman, and if so what model?

A River Oaks, Houston, TX, attorney recently purchased and parked outside his home a fully functional World War Two tank. Note: The original newspaper article claimed the tank was "fully functional" ...
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383 views

How long did men have to serve in the US army until they were promoted to sergeants during WW2?

During the Second World War men rose through ranks much quicker than they do today due to heavy losses and they went from private to corporal and corporal to sergeant after serving only a small amount ...
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535 views

Which peace offer did Hitler give to Great Britain in 1940?

A few days ago, I finished reading John Lukacs' Five days in London: May 1940. I am puzzled by a passage of that book: When Hitler made his grand peace offer to England in his speech of 19 July, ...