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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1answer
568 views

What alternate north-south supply routes did the Soviet Union have when the Volga and Stalingrad were under attack?

During World War II, an important route for getting supplies to Russia was the Persian Corridor. After landing on the south coast of Iran, Lend Lease supplies could be transported north across the ...
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Why were Japanese escort ships not numerous at the battle of Bismarck Sea?

During the battle of Bismarck sea, Allied units performed air attacks that resulted in the nearly destruction of Japanese fleet. I understand the reasons why the Allies obtain such a success, namely: ...
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Where did the British Indian Army train at during WW2? [duplicate]

During World War 2, where did the British Indian Army train at? (Like where it was and what the name of it was.)
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Where did the British Indian Army train, wear, and ranks during World War 2? [closed]

During World War 2, where did the British Indian Army train at (what type of place, what it was called)? As well as what uniform did they wear for both enlisted and officer and insignia on their ...
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3answers
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At the end of WW2, multiple German leaders either committed suicide or made preparations to do so — was this unprecedented?

I have read nothing of German officers and/or political leaders committing suicide after WWI and it is my sense that WW2 might have been the first time that so many people planned or actually went ...
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What WWII fighter raid did my great-uncle misremember?

My great-uncle Kevin Riordan was an Australian WWII fighter pilot. Some time around the year 2000, not long before he died, he wrote up his war memoirs. According to his memoirs: Joined the RAAF on ...
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3answers
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When did soldiers begin wearing ballooned pants? [duplicate]

I was told by a veteran that it was not until the Korean war that American soldiers began to balloon their pants. Prior to that it was only paratroopers. Can this be validated?
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Why were so many Soviet films shot in 1938–39 about a future German invasion?

Why were so many Soviet films about an anticipated Nazi German invasion into the USSR shot in 1938–1939, both before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and after it? Before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Nazi ...
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Did German submarines communicate with allied convoys during battle?

In the movie Greyhound a German submarine communicates with an allied convoy during battle by radio to intimidate the crew. Are there historical accounts of such behaviour or is this purely fictional?
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1answer
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What was G. K. Zipf's opinion of the Nazis?

Zipf was a professor of German at Harvard. he is credited with inventing the rank size rules that suggested that of we rank many different sets of objects from big to small, they follow a power law. ...
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Are there unsigned copies of the German instrument of surrender in existence? [closed]

My question is intended to solicit advice and guidance with regard to several documents that I purchased as part of a lot of historical documents at an auction. When I started to look through the ...
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Did the US really consider demonstrating the atomic bomb to the Japanese by “blowing the top” off of Mt. Fuji?

In reading this Washington Post article titled Five myths about the atomic bomb, it's mentioned: The decision to use nuclear weapons is usually presented as either/or: either drop the bomb or land on ...
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3answers
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What prompted Yamaguchi to split his airgroup when attacking the Americans at Midway?

This is a followup to a previous question here Why did the Hiryu perform two small attacks rather than a single larger one at the battle of Midway? As noted in Shattered Sword (Ch 14), Nagumo ordered ...
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Why did Roosevelt and Churchill use voice-based telecommunication, instead of simpler text-based options which were easier to encrypt?

Roosevelt and Churchill used an extremely sophisticated telephone encryption system, SIGSALY, to communicate during WWII. In fact, they did not use it all the time because apparently it changed the ...
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1answer
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Did any of the Flying Tigers lead a US Navy squadron?

I came across a couple of passages on the Flying Tigers, mercenary armies and famous volunteers I saw how one pilot became an ace in Europe and another became a General in the 10th Air Force after ...
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3answers
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What acts of violence happened during the Nazi German annexation of Austria in 1938? [closed]

There is a memorial stone on Mexikoplatz in Vienna which looks like shown below. The text on the stone means the following (my emphasis): In March 1938 Mexico was the only country that officially ...
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1answer
204 views

What were common crew ranks on US Navy flying boats and bombers?

historians! I asked this question over on the Aviation SE, but was also suggested to ask here. Below is a copy of my question from over there. I have been trying to figure this out for some time, but ...
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3answers
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Why did the US Navy and Marine Corps use satanic symbolism in WW2?

When you look at certain names and symbols used by the U.S. Navy (USN) and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) during WW2, you could see they are heavily loaded with satanic symbols. You have the F6F Hellcat ...
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1answer
162 views

How strong was pacifism in interwar Germany?

During the rearmament of Germany operated by Hitler and especially during the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the French Republic stayed by and, in doing so, probably failed to seize the last ...
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0answers
296 views

What led to Japan committing war crimes in WWII? [closed]

Japan committed cruel war crimes during World War 2. According to this article WW2 Japanese war crimes - Japanese Invasion of China 1937-1944 (World war II two -Asian Holocaust) and this The Asian ...
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1answer
223 views

How did the “weather conditions” for an invasion at Pas de Calais compare to those of Normandy?

During World War II, Normandy was chosen as the northern France invasion site over the Pas de Calais. This was in spite of the fact that "weather" made a landing at Normandy a very iffy ...
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107 views

Has anyone seen a bracelet like this one? (WW2 Cairo)

My mother-in-law has this bracelet. It was her father's who died in Egypt in WW2. We'd love to know more about it. Has anyone ever seen one of these?
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What was the average age of tank crews, in particular commanders, in WW2?

It's somewhat difficult to find reliable figures for this, but it's an interesting question. Michael Wittmann, the German tank ace, was 30 when he was killed on the western front in 1944. Would this ...
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3answers
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To what extent is the flora and fauna on Guadalcanal edible?

At the battle of Guadalcanal,, the initial wave of 11,000 Americans were stranded with something like two weeks' worth of food (five days worth of "landed" rations, nine days worth of ...
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1answer
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Why were the Marines so badly outnumbered at the critical point at Guadalcanal?

Prior to the battle of Guadalcanal,, the Americans had landed 11,000 men on the island in August, 1942. This compares to the 5,000 or so men that the Japanese had on the island by the first week of ...
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Why didn't the German population leave Dar es Salaam before the outbreak of WWII?

In the chapter 'The Beginning of the War' of his autobiography Going Solo, Roald Dahl recounts his role in stopping the German population of Dar es Salaam from fleeing to Portuguese East Africa (the ...
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Did the Soviet Union's successful northern campaign have an impact on Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany?

Late in World War II, the Soviet Union successfully invaded Finland and forced her to disassociate herself from Nazi Germany. This happened to the point where the Finns were forced to allow Soviet ...
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What was the treatment of Polish POW in British or Soviet uniform in WW2?

Suppose that Polish soldier, member of Polish Armed Forces in the West, becomes a German POW. How good or bad would have be treated ? Like UK/US POW (relatively mildly) or like Polish POWs from 1939 (...
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538 views

What was the capacity of Vemork power station?

The Vemork power station was once the largest power station in history and target of the famous Norwegian heavy water sabotage in WW2. Yet there seems to have very different data on its capacity. Some ...
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1answer
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How were ship kills accounted in WWII?

In the movie Greyhound, at the end, the fleet requests an oral report of the incidents in which the captain says "My escort group sank three others...". But in the movie it is seen that ...
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1answer
299 views

How dangerous was it to be a coast watcher during the Pacific War?

The movie, South Pacific featured two "coast watchers" as heroes, the American, Lt. Joseph Cable, and the Frenchman, Emil de Becque, who observed, and reported on Japanese naval movements. ...
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1answer
501 views

Did the 1st Marine Division use the M3 carbine on Okinawa?

I wanted to know if the 1st Marine Division used the M3 infrared sniper carbine on Okinawa during World War II.
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What's the meaning of the title of Manstein's book, 'Lost victories' - missed victories or victories won in vain?

I recently shot through Manstein's Lost victories in its English translation and am curious as to what is the precise or intended meaning of its title. The original German title is Verlorene Siege, ...
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1answer
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How did militaries dispose of their rubbish in WWII?

Just wondering about this recently - An army must create a lot of rubbish. Disposable food packaging, ammunition packaging and shell cases, etc. How did militaries dispose of rubbish during WWII? ...
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Why was there a fierce resistance to Axis occupation in Yugoslavia during World War II? [closed]

First of all the resistance against Germans and Italians erupts straight after the conquering of the country, whereas per example at nearby Greece the guerrilla groups become numerous only at 1943. ...
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173 views

Where were Allied soldiers in Switzerland typically kept?

I've been researching for a short story, but I've been having trouble working out the exact trajectory of POWs who escaped from German camps into Switzerland. I know many were put up in hotels for the ...
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1answer
253 views

What tanks/armored vehicles are in these pictures?

Need help in identifying the tanks/armored vehicles in the picture. Date - 11 Aug 2019 Location - Birmenstorf, Switzerland Event - “A Convoy to remember” commemorating 75 Anniversary of WW2 Normandy ...
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1answer
243 views

Why did the Irish Free State suppress news of the Holocaust in 1945? Reaction once it became known?

Paul Bew's book Churchill and Ireland mentions the following in connection with the Irish Free State (forerunner of the present Republic of Ireland)'s Prime Minister De Valera's visit to the German ...
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3answers
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In the Battle of the Coral Sea, how could two Japanese scouts grossly mis-identify two American ships?

I've been reading the Wikipedia pages about the Pacific theatre in WW2; in the page describing the battle of the Coral Sea there is the following passage: [...] the scout [from Shōkaku] confirmed ...
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What were Helfrich's orders for Doorman in 1942 prior to the Battle of the Java Sea, and did he comment on these in later life?

I've been trying to understand what went in prior to the Japanese invasion of Java. From my understanding thus far, Vice-Admiraal (Vice Admiral) Conrad Helfrich took command of the ABDA naval forces ...
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2answers
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Could the Soviet Union have supported Czechoslovakia primarily by air in 1938?

The Soviet Union was bound by treaty to support Czechoslovakia in 1938. One "sticking point" was that the Soviet Union would have to cross Polish and/or Romanian territory to do so. Was ...
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1answer
97 views

Please help with identifying this uniform, taken in Turkey 1940s

My Greek uncle worked in the American Embassy in Turkey and this picture I believe was taken in the embassy, circa 1940s - he was about 20+ then. I have researched epaulettes, uniforms of the Turkish ...
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1answer
245 views

Was the M4 Sherman used frequently in artillery capacity?

I've heard the M4 Sherman had instruments on it that allowed it to act as an artillery piece. Is there any evidence to suggest this was effective? I've heard that the Sherman had of course, its High ...
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1answer
231 views

Why couldn't the Allies clear out D-Day gun emplacements before landing troops? [closed]

It's common knowledge that the D-Day assaults on the beaches were a horrific "meat grinder" due to Allied troops having to face the suicidal conditions of charging gun emplacements on high ground ...
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3answers
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Was the Volga really Russia's last line of defense before the Urals?

That was a claim made by General Vasily Chuikov in "The Battle For Stalingrad." He even went so far as to postulate a German column heading for Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan), toward the Chinese border. That ...
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2answers
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Why was capturing the south of Okinawa necessary?

The Battle of Okinawa was one of the bloodiest and most difficult of WW2. But, if I understand correctly, most of the casualties were incurred during the fighting for the southern part of the island. ...
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3answers
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Why did the film “The Longest Day” have the “cricket” training scene if the Allies received no intelligence about the hedgerows in Normandy?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's book "Citizen Soldiers" and he says that the allies had no intelligence about the high hedgerows in Normandy. This shocked me, because I remember clearly the scene in ...
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5answers
215 views

Up to what levels were World War II commanders known for fighting at the battle front? [closed]

I've heard someone saying: The general is at the front, the colonel is at the front, the captain is at the front. Our heroes in the second world war were at the front in the battlefield. Don't ...
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2answers
306 views

Were fighters used as a carrier group defense tactic? [closed]

Okay, i know this is probably a silly question, but were carrier based fighters ever used as a defense during an air attack combined with the use of ship based AA weapons. I mean, i know they probably ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Which names are correct? Mala vs Malka Zimetbaum and Edward vs Eduard Galinski?

I was deeply affected by the story of Mala Zimetbaum and Edward Galinski in Auschwitz. However, the telegram informing about the escape of Mala mentions her name as Malka Zimetbaum. The telegram ...

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