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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 were the day-to-day activities of the French Resistance financed?

Fighting a war, even as loosely-organised or underground force, is expensive - you need places to stay and keep things; you need to feed and equip people; you need to obtain, maintain and fuel ...
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Where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were?

I am looking for a fairly comprehensive source where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were? I mean, I want to look up this information ...
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Who were the police of Vichy France?

I'm starting a small project with some friends, but before I got started, I wanted to make sure I had all my facts straight. My question is about France in 1940, during the Second World War. When ...
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Where can I find documents from the Nuremberg trials about war crimes of the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union?

I want to read documents that were used to prove German war crimes in the Soviet Union, incl. crimes against civilians and treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. So far I found the following: ...
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Why did the Germans forbid the possession of pet pigeons in Rostov-on-Don in 1941?

Photograph made by Max Alpert shows a dead boy holding a pigeon. It seems that the child has been tortured before he was killed. Source: Federal Archive Agency of Russia, Russian state archive of ...
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Why did the USSR stop in the Winter War against Finland in 1940?

To me, this is one of the biggest history mysteries. By the end of February 1940, the USSR breached the Mannerheim line, and the Finnish troops were exhausted and short of ammunition. I have little ...
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187 views

How long did it take US fleet submarines during World War 2 to charge their batteries?

How long did it take a US fleet submarine running on the surface to recharge its battery fully for maximum duration submergence? I realize that the answer depends on how many engines were being used ...
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243 views

Are these outfits of children of Nazis historically accurate, and if so, what is their meaning?

In the Spanish film the photographer of Mauthausen there is a scene of a party held to celebrate the birthday of the son of Mauthausen Concentration Camp commander (Franz Ziereis). In the party at ...
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Help to identify WW1 or WWII badge

Can someone identify this badge please. It has a number on the back that looks like 742299. What is the significance of the number and why is there a 60 in the crown on the front of the badge.
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How did the forces required for invading Norway compare to those actually used for invading North Africa?

During World War II, Churchill envisioned a possible Allied invasion of northern Norway called Operation Jupiter. This idea was "tabled" (postponed) in 1941, because Britain felt that it lacked the ...
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Difference between acts of “merit” and acts of “valor” in military decorations? (e.g. V device)

I used to think valor is for combat and merit is non-combat. Then I realize Purple heart, a successor of Badge of Military Merit, is awarded for "being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy"...
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What was the timetable for Germany's Invasion of the Low Countries (Fall Gelb) in WW2?

I was watching the 1969 classic movie 'Battle of Britain' the other day and noted numerous scenes where the British were very concerned about a German invasion; "what are they waiting for?" was a ...
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159 views

What was the postage from Japan to US in 1945?

I was wondering how many postage stamps it would require to send a letter from Japan to the US (and vice versa) around 1945, and during the occupation? And perhaps you might know what the stamps ...
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Number of foreigners in the Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht during WWII

During World War II, thousands of non-German men fought in the Waffen-SS and in the Wehrmacht. People from all Europe, volunteers from neutral and occupied countries and enemy prisoners. Even Russian ...
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What changes were made to address the Junkers 88 initial high accident losses?

There were three main German bombers in use during the Battle of Britain: the Dornier Do 17, the Heinkel He 111, Ju 87 Stuka and the Junkers Ju 88. The Dornier 17 was an old bomber, no longer in ...
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Which historians argue that WWII was caused by Fascism as a reaction to Communism?

It's been suggested that fascist movements of post-WW1 Europe emerged in reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and against worker sympathies to similar internationalist socialist movements ...
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What “class” of soldiers were these soft targets?

In "The Battle for Stalingrad," Russia's Vasily Chuikov wrote that to the extent possible, Russian guerrillas and snipers tried to avoid "duels" with enemy fighting men, instead seeking out "soft" ...
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Does the ≈400,000 figure for US soldiers killed in WW2 include the ≈80,000 MIA?

There is general consensus that there were roughly 400,000 U.S. deaths in WW2, and 80,000 MIA: Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. At ...
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185 views

Did Japan have secret films about going into the US in the 40s?

This film (narrated by Ronald Regan) was produced in the 40s. It discusses detailed planning for an air mission into an area in Japan. Did Japan have similar fims in the time period to aid them in ...
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3answers
447 views

Why didn't Spain and Portugal become industrial powerhouses in the 20th century?

Although Spain experienced a gruesome civil war, neither Spain nor Portugal participated in either the first or the second world wars. Despite their losses of millions of people, widespread ...
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632 views

Were railway guns ever critical in any battle during WWI and WWII?

Note: this is a question about railway - mounted artillery, NOT about armored trains (which were more akin to tanks-on-rails and had much smaller guns) The idea behind railway gun is quite sound: a ...
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Which RAF squadrons and aircraft types took part in the bombing of Berlin on the 25th of August 1940?

The first RAF raid of Berlin in WW2 took place on the 25th of August 1940 in retaliation for German bombing of London. The accounts I can find claim that there were 81 or 95 aircraft involved, (...
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Were there any sanctions put on Germany after the war? [closed]

During and before the war, WW2, sanctions were put on Germany. After WW2, Germany was helped by the Allies to reconstruct its economy, but were any sanctions put on Germany post-war? If so, what kind ...
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Was there a pre-determined arrangement for the division of Germany in case it surrendered before any Soviet forces entered its territory?

Listening to the audiobook D-day through German eyes, I thought: what if Germany had surrendered before any Soviet force entered its territory? In the book, a German soldier says that his motivation ...
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2answers
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Did the Axis engage in trade with other countries during the war?

In Europe, Germany had occupied several countries while actively being at war with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States while Japan had been expanding through most the ...
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71 views

Hugh Dowding v. William Sholto Douglas? [closed]

Would Hugh Dowding have been a better tactician against the London Blitz (night bombing) as compared to William Sholto Douglas?
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1answer
137 views

Did the citizens of US really back the declaration of war on Japanese Empire as it was implied by F.D. Roosevelt in his Pearl Harbor Speech? [closed]

December 7th, 1941, was the date that was to live in infamy, as mentioned by F.D. Roosevelt in his Pearl Harbor speech. Overall, the speech was quite straightforward in its goal: assurance to the ...
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242 views

World War II Standing Orders

I remember reading that Hitler had a standing order in place that if anyone should capture Clark Gable, who was flying in bomber crews over Germany, that Gable must NOT be harmed and must be brought ...
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1answer
487 views

U-Boat Mutiny in WW2?

In the 2018 'Das Boot' TV series, the crew of the U-Boat mutinies against their captain as they perceive him to be too cautious and unwilling to engage the enemy. Is there any historical record of a ...
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344 views

How low on ammunition were the Germans at Stalingrad when they surrendered?

Hitler ordered his forces in Stalingrad to fight to the “last man and last round.” A century and half earlier, a more respected German commander, Marshal Blücher claimed upon his surrender to the ...
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8answers
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Operation Vengeance and Individual Targeting of Enemy Commanders

Operation Vengeance (1943) was a US military operation aimed specifically to kill Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. It looks like something weird in contemporary era: are there any similar military ...
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Can anyone tell me what uniform this man is wearing. .

It was thought he was a member of the Coast Guard or Civil Defence. The picture was taken in S.Wales just before the War.
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Are there any reliable documented records of members or operations of the French Resistance during World War 2?

I am working on a research project in which a Polish World War 2 veteran has received a number of medals from France. These medals are as follows: Commemorative Medal of the War 1939 - 1945 War ...
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Was the tugboat ever part of a WWII battle group?

It would seem a pretty logical addition to a WWII battle group to have one of more tugs for the capital ships (heck, any ship), yet I don't see much evidence of that. Let me elaborate. I was an Army ...
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290 views

Is it really true that more high-ranking Nazis died in Tatra cars than in combat?

I find this citationless claim hard to believe: "More high-ranking Nazi officers were killed in Tatra-manufactured cars than in active combat" Telegraph
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373 views

Which SF author was unable to check his own work out of the library due to insufficient security clearance?

Following up on the question Public knowledge of hypothetical nuclear weapons before Hiroshima?: I recall reading (many many years ago) an autobiographical anecdote by a science fiction author who ...
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Besides the USO, were there other organizations in New York City during WWll that provided entertainment for the troops?

I know the USO had the Stage Door canteen in NYC during the war, but were there other organizations that hosted dances/concerts at less permanent venues like at armories or community centers around ...
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254 views

Why were the Soviets better at replacing their lost men and material? [duplicate]

Battle of Kursk is considered a Soviet decisive victory, no doubt it was the last major German offensive at the Eastern front. But why so? Casualties indicate the Soviets suffered 1 million ...
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How did the HMAS Sydney know the real Straat Malakka's secret callsign, “IIKP”, but not HSK Kormoran?

It's outlandish that the Kormoran didn't know the secret callsign of the ship they were imitating. Please see the question in my title, and the emboldened sentence underneath. I quote Wikipedia. ...
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Did German civilians really offer the Red Army to publicly shoot 30-40 civilians in exhange for free food?

According to this article (Russian), in June 1945 General Serov reported to Beriia about the following incident. On May 28th, 1945, a Red Army soldier was shot at by someone from a window in Berlin’s ...
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287 views

Why was the WW2 air war over Europe fought considerably higher than the Eastern Front?

I have read on various Wikipedia pages on WW2 aircraft that the tactical situation of the western European theater and the Eastern Front led to very different engagement altitudes for air warfare. See ...
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441 views

Did the British really bail out the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge?

Just read this article on the Battle of Kasserine Pass America's Most Humiliating Defeat The author made the following statement regarding British help during the battle: As at the Battle of the ...
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416 views

Did Imperial Japan persecute Slavic people, as European fascists did?

Over the interwar period, fascist governments in Europe heavily promoted anti-Slavic propaganda. In Germany, they were labelled as Untermensch alongside the Jews, and in Italy, Slavic media, languages,...
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Are there any images of the USS Enterprise at night?

As the title says, are there any images of the (CV-6) USS Enterprise at night? To specify I'm looking for the 1942 (or similar built version). I'm especially interested in the runway lights, but in ...
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1answer
105 views

What were Stilwell's plans had his coup succeeded?

Joseph Stilwell, the caustic American Chief of Staff assigned to Chiang Kai-Shek, famously clashed with his superior over the prosecution of war in the China-Burma-India theatre. Things came to a head ...
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158 views

At Pearl Harbor was a Japanese Third Wave of attack in the original plan or was Nagumo expected to improvise?

I was having an interesting conversation about Pearl Harbor and Japans third wave of attack which never occurred with David Thornley in the related question: Was the attack on Pearl Harbor totally ...
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How did age affect the probability of being drafted during WWII?

Did the Selective Service System and the draft boards select younger registrants first? Were 30-year olds less likely to be selected in the early years of the war, or more likely to be selected in ...
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Has a German U-Boat ever transported an American during WW2?

In the new TV series Das Boot (not the movie), a German U-Boat is used to transport an American civilian during the war. Is this inspired by real events in any way, or is this pure fantasia nonsense?
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How motivated were the Australian, Canadian and NZ soldiers in the British army during the two world wars? [closed]

How motivated were the Australian, Canadian and NZ soldiers in the British army during the two world wars? Did they feel that their homeland was under threat or did they have problem understanding why ...
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530 views

Is the UK the last Allied nation closing the bases established in post-WW2 Germany?

An article in The Irish Times, titled "Fintan O’Toole: The second World War will finally end in 2019" says that At some point in 2019, British troops will withdraw from Germany. This has nothing ...