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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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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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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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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340 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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Why were the Allies so much better cryptanalysts?

When I read about World War II, more specifically about the use of cryptography in that war, I get the impression that the Allies were much more successful in breaking the enemy codes than the Axis ...
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Did German aircraft operate off Lebanon in 1941?

During the Syro-Lebanon War in 1941, French forces fought British forces both on the ground, in the air and at sea. French airplanes attacked the British fleet multiple times. But according to Roald ...
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1answer
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What is this artillery shell?

I found this in my Grandfather’s basement. He served in World War 2, in the Pacific Theater. He sadly passed away and we have no idea if this is safe. Can anyone help with identifying this? It is 13 ...
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What is the origin of Americans sometimes refering to the Second World War “the Good War”?

WWII has gone down in American popular memory as "the Good War" (later criticized by authors like Studs Terkel, etc.). But who coined this term? I don't mean the concept, which refers to the ...
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Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain?

Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain? Say you are a citizen and you want your goverment to make peace with Hitler. You even want GB to become a puppet state ...
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Where can I find more information on the Federated Malay States V.F.? [closed]

badge has a crown on top with a shield in the middle. slider on back on front reads Federated Malay States V.F. I was wondering if anyone knows much about the badge as I have not found out much about ...
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Did the French violate the Washington Naval ConferenceTreaty limitations?

I was surprised to read in connection with Mers el Kebir that in 1940, France had the second largest navy in Europe, with seven battleships. The reason was France's participation in the 1922 ...
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Did the Germans try to “Pearl Harbor” Russia's Black Sea fleet?

Pearl Harbor of course, is a reference to the Japanese sneak attack that destroyed half the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Earlier in the war, the Germans managed to decimate the Russian ...
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658 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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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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264 views

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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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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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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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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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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222 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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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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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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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
239 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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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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379 views

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
271 views

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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