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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2answers
314 views

Were there any top Nazi generals who opposed the idea to invade the USSR?

Did any one of the top Wehrmacht generals, who was a war-monger and agreed with Hitler's doctrine of expansion by force in principle, ever attempt to dissuade him from the idea to invade the USSR? If ...
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17answers
18k views

Was Switzerland really impossible to invade during WW2?

My question is not about an alternative scenario, nor about the reasons that caused Switzerland to not get invaded (as could be seen here: Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?). ...
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1answer
299 views

Did an Irishman talk a German unit out of a bridge in World War 2?

A friend of mine has often related a somewhat humourous story of an Irishman in World War 2 (presumably fighting in the British Army) who captured a bridge using "The Gift of The Gab". Apparently he ...
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1answer
201 views

When in September 1939 did the British diplomatic mission leave Warsaw?

On September first 1939, at 4:45 in the morning, the Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Danzig/Gdansk. September twenty-second is when German troops completed their encirclement of Warsaw. Somewhere in ...
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1answer
3k views

How many British prisoners of war were taken by the Wehrmacht and how many died?

I've read here that 3.5% of British POW's held in Germany died. But haven't been able to find an estimate with sources of how many were taken and how many died. Here it says 170,000 were captured and ...
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1answer
295 views

Was WWII Systemic Drug Use by Axis and Allies Supported By Scholarship?

Both sides in WWII widely used addictive drugs in an attempt to boost the performance of their soldiers and sometimes even their leadership. The American Military institutionalized this practice in ...
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1answer
182 views

Would Lauri Törni have recieved the Waffen-SS blood type tattoo?

Lauri Allen Törni served with Finland during the Winter war, and due to being an officer, visited Vienna to obtain Waffen-SS training. Does this mean he would have had the SS blood type tattoo applied?...
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1answer
656 views

Did the USA have a plan to defeat Germany without Britain?

If Britain had surrendered during World War II (eg. during the May 1940 crisis), what was the American plan for defeating Germany? Without the British Islands as a staging area, an amphibious assault ...
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1answer
493 views

What is the full text of the song about the failed battle of Kiska?

I came across a mention of the song about the failed battle of Kiska in the audiobook "The Rising Sun". I started googling, but found only two mentions, both on Google Books. Is there the full text of ...
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4answers
998 views

Did Japan ever attack Vladivostok in WW2? Why or why not?

That's a screenshot from Battlefield Season 4 Episode 3. I added the location of Vladivostok. In all my readings, I have never found a Japanese attack on Vladivostok during or right before WW2. You ...
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2answers
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Nursing in Bude, Cornwall, UK during WW2

I am working on a writing project and the main character is a young nurse in Bude during WW2. I'm not quite sure how to put her there or get her there -- would there have been nurses stationed at RAF ...
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7answers
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Why didn't battleship Bismarck have more support with it?

The primary objective of battleship Bismarck was to sink transporters coming from the US and sailing to Europe in order to transport goods (oil, food..). It encountered HMS Hood and sank it. German ...
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0answers
101 views

Confusion on the Tabulation of Casualties on the Eastern Front of WW2, Particularly at the Battle of Kursk

I've been reading a good bit on the Soviet-Axis war of World War 2 as of late. Something that continually strikes me is the large variation in casualties for any given operation or battle that ...
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1answer
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German Government branches during World War 2

During World War 2, what government branches, if any, existed in Germany? I've always heard about the Third Reich and Hitler, but I never heard about the rest of the government.
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5answers
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How did the Axis intend to hold the Caucasus?

We all know how the Axis offensive in 1942 led to the "turning point" battle of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of the Third Reich, and that this offensive had been launched in order to capture and ...
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0answers
115 views

What happened to Johannes Heinrich Louis Munt after his trial in 1945?

I was curious what happend to Johannes Heinrich Louis Munt. He was a SS-Hauptsturmführer and Kriminalkommissar during World war 2 in the Netherlands. He ordered the execution of more than 50 people ...
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0answers
204 views

What uniform is this man wearing in South Wales just before World War 2?

This picture is from a Swansea Facebook group. It was taken in South Wales just before World War 2. He was thought to be a member of the Coast Guard or Civil Defence. What uniform is this man wearing?...
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1answer
4k views

Did the Americans trade destroyers in the “destroyer deal” that they would later need themselves?

In the fall of 1940, the U.S. and Great Britain made the so-called "destroyer deal," of 50 old American destroyers in exchange for the use of British bases ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. ...
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1answer
524 views

What transit restrictions were in place in Occupied Germany limiting military and civilian movement between the four occupation zones?

Question What provisions or restrictions (civil and/or military) were in place in the summer of 1945 which governed movement between the four partitioned zones of occupation (British, American, ...
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1answer
286 views

Was Operation Kugelblitz really a success for the partisans?

Every source that I have looked at says that the Germans practically accomplished nothing during this offensive. Yet at the same time it is claimed that the Partisans suffered a staggering 9,000-11,...
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3answers
581 views

Why did Hitler order counter-attacks as late as 21/04?

On the 21st April 1945, Hitler ordered the Armeeabteilung Steiner (and the ninth Army) to execute a counter-attack on the approaching Soviet forces. How and why did Hitler become deluded enough to ...
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1answer
429 views

How strongly defended was Baku in 1942?

Baku was the single largest source of oil in the Soviet Union in World War II. The Germans captured Maikop and seemed on the verge of capturing Grozny. But Baku was much larger than either of the ...
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4answers
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Why did the Japanese attack the Aleutians at the same time as Midway?

Here's where I am starting from: Aleutians, Battle of Dutch Harbor - June 3–4, 1942. 2 smaller aircraft carriers. Main Midway battle. June 4-7. 4 big carriers, with 2 smaller that weren't right ...
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2answers
592 views

Why did conquered countries after WWII recover, but countries conquered later continue suffering? [closed]

Nations damaged severely in WWII (suffered major economic collapse and civilian casualties) such as Japan, Germany and Poland have not only recovered but are doing better than ever before. Most of ...
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0answers
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Why did Henry L. Stimson, US Secretary of War, believe that “race mixture by marriage” is impossible? [closed]

Henry L. Stilton, US Secretary of War, recalling his attempt to persuade Archibald MacLeish not to speak out against the Army's discrimination against blacks, wrote the following in his diary on ...
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1answer
269 views

Were American mortars better than Soviet ones during WWII?

In this question, the OP says that the American mortars where better than the Soviet ones. Nobody went further on that point. But I am surprised: It appears from my research that the Soviets had ...
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2answers
303 views

Did Midway provide the strategic opportunity Japan sought? [closed]

We all know that the Battle of Midway was a disaster for the Japanese Empire, and a turning point of the Pacific War. Events did not turn out as the IJN had hoped. But the result by no means was a ...
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6answers
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What happened to US's Lend-Lease machinery given to the Soviet Union?

Although most sources say that the Russians were supplied with great amounts of equipment and food as part of Lend-Lease program, I have not in all my years living in Russia seen US labeled machinery. ...
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3answers
6k views

Why were so few Luftwaffe attacks flown against the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944?

Why were so few Luftwaffe attacks flown against the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944? I understand there were roughly 200 aircraft available in France/Belgium, and yet there were only 2 aircraft that ...
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1answer
126 views

Was Ludwig von Mises a holocaust survivor? [closed]

Von Mises left Europe to avoid the Nazis. Does that make him a Holocaust Survivor?
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2answers
37k views

Were soldiers in the World Wars paid?

There have always been professional soldiers however during the world wards there were vast conscription to encourage young men to join up for "King and Country". Presumably there was some sort of ...
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2answers
357 views

Did any Nazi court convict officers of atrocities that went “too far” even by SS standards?

The English language Wikipedia article on the Dirlewanger Brigade in Belarus quotes Martin Kitchen, The Third Reich: Charisma and Community, p. 267, stating that the unit: committed such shocking ...
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6answers
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How did Nazi Germany produce such an impressive portfolio of officers for WW2?

von Runstedt Model Dietl Guderian von Manstein Rommel Kesselring (who was an able commander both on land and in the air) Richtofen Donitz Raeder All of these German names have been featured heavily ...
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5answers
1k views

Did it matter that the Red Army clung on to Stalingrad's West bank in 1942?

All histories of the Stalingrad battle emphasize the heroic defense of the west bank of the Volga by the Red Army in 1942. It implies that if the German 6th Army had just managed to oust the last ...
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0answers
62 views

What percentage of buildings in Greater London were destroyed during WWII?

I would like to do as direct as possible comparison with the bomb damage which occurred in German cities. This is listed as percentage buildings destroyed in Max Hasting's Bomber Command. I already ...
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3answers
368 views

Did the Germans attempt the easier or harder of two possible objectives in the Caucasus?

During the summer and fall of 1942, German Army Group A advanced into the Caucasus pursuant to Fall Blau. This consisted of two armies, the First Panzer Army and the Seventeenth Army. The advanced ...
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2answers
691 views

Who first conceived and developed the acoustic homing torpedo, and when?

Acoustic homing torpedoes did not see action until 1943 with the Falke/T4 from Germany and the Mark 24 Mine from the USA. These torpedoes were passive in that they homed in on the loudest sound that ...
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3answers
1k views

Did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral?

All things considered and with perfect hindsight, did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral? I was inspired to ask this question after reading Paul ...
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6answers
10k views

Was a medical ship sunk during the evacuation from Dunkirk?

In the trailer for the upcoming movie Dunkirk, a scene implies the Axis forces struck and sunk a medical ship carrying the red cross. Can anyone tell me if this was considered unlawful engagement of ...
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3answers
10k views

Was there a contingency plan in place if Little Boy failed to detonate?

It's August 6th, 1945. The first atomic bomb ever dropped hurtles to the ground. Its fuse fails and with a thunk it buries itself in the ground. The Enola Gay flies home, its crew worried they did ...
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1answer
908 views

Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide?

The corpse of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor of British 2nd Army HQ, May 23, 1945. Source: Rare Historical Photos Background - I'm intrigued by Martin Allen's theory that Himmler ...
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2answers
11k views

Did Stalin kill all Soviet officers involved in the Winter War?

Did Stalin kill all of the Soviet officers involved in the Winter War, when it ended? A documentary called "Warlords: Hitler vs Stalin" made this claim, but Wikipedia doesn't seem to mention this. ...
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1answer
351 views

How was the border between Vichy and German Occupied France decided?

The border between Vichy France and German-Occupied France strike me as exceptionally strange. The stated intent for Germany separating the two was to give Germany exclusive control of all areas ...
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4answers
3k views

When planning Barbarossa, did Germany conceive of the Soviet migration of heavy industry?

Wikipedia has a very tiny article on this. Basically, when Barbarossa was launched, the Soviet Union started evacuating the factories. They were migrated to places beyond the Ural Mountains. I'm ...
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0answers
111 views

Were the Japanese aware of Desmond Doss's actions?

I read about the amazing story of Desmond Doss and wonder if the Japanese at all aware, during the Battle of Okinawa of the extent of his actions at the time? I know a few individual Japanese would ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did the British “Indian” army come disproportionately from particular regions?

During World War II, the British field several armies that included Indians, but the most "Indian" of these, was the 14th Army, in which 8 of 13 divisions were predominantly "Indian." Of the ...
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1answer
248 views

Did Britain call up veterinarians in World War Two?

My question is inspired by the final episode of "All Creatures Great and Small" where James Herriot gets his call up letter to fight for Britain in World War Two. My question is: was this realistic? I ...
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1answer
3k views

Can anyone identify this tank?

It is from this BBC page on landmarks being preserved from D-Day. The body looks a bit like a Sherman, but the turret isn't like anything I've ever seen before.
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3answers
222 views

How accessible was the port of Archangelsk from the east?

During World War II, something like one half of Lend Lease supplies reached Russia via Vladivostok and the Trans Siberian railroad (what I call the eastern route); one quarter to south Russia from the ...
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2answers
338 views

How many troops did Hitler send back from the Eastern front to face the Allies' assault?

After the Battle of Kursk, Hitler called back a lot of his forces to defend against the British and American invasion. My question is how much of his forces did he call back from the Eastern front?