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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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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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Did Truman really believe that Hiroshima was a military base?

Harry Truman claimed, in his July 25, 1945 diary entry, that: I have told [Stimson] to use [the first nuclear bomb] so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women ...
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Hugh Dowding v. William Sholto Douglas? [on hold]

Would Hugh Dowding have been a better tactician against the London Blitz (night bombing) as compared to William Sholto Douglas?
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What problems did the United States faced after becoming independent? [on hold]

What problems did the United States faced after becoming independent? Did any other countries after World War 2 face the same problems? I have been able to find some problems that the United States ...
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What treatment did Allied Jewish POWs get when captured by the Germans?

According to Wikipedia, there were about 500,000 American Jews serving in the US forces during World War II, and another 500,000 Jews served other Allied nations. Some of these servicemen would have ...
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When did the Soviet Union stop blaming the Entente for WW2?

In the fall 1939 the SU blamed Britain and France for starting WW2 exclusively (i.e., no blame was put on Germany). It shifted the blame to Germany after 1941-06-22 (obviously). When was the last time ...
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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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Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

During World War 2, Hitler was fighting a war with Great Britain, but while fighting that war, he attacked the Soviet Union. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad......
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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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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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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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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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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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Why was Eisenhower chosen to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?

Dwight D. Eisenhower "Ike", graduated from West Point in 1915 ranked 61st in a class of 164 better known for his abilities on the football field than in the classroom. Upon graduation from West Point ...
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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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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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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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Were US decision makers aware of the destructiveness of the Bomb of Nagasaki?

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped on August 6th and 9th respectively. According to this answer, the second bomb was tested once. Must I assume that US leaders were well aware of the ...
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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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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. How were they unaware? Clumsiness? Couldn't the Kriegsmarine inform them? Please see the question in ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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What is the basis of Russian criticism of Antony Beevor's work? [closed]

Some Russian sources make claims to the effect of "Beevor is revisionist and anti-Soviet propagandist". What is the basis for this criticism? For the antecedents of the question, see here.
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How many men were lost on the USAT Arcata and was she loaded with troops when she was hit?

On the 14th of July 1942 the 2,722-ton US Army Troopship (USAT) Arcata was attacked and sunk by Japanese Submarine I-7 at 53-41N, 157-45W. The records that I could find show that this ship as a ...
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What did Germany do in World War II about the different rail gauge in the Soviet Union?

One reason it was so hard for Germany to invade Russia/the Soviet Union in World War II (and I) was because the Russians had a different (wider) railroad gauge than that of most of the rest of Europe, ...
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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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Articles 3 & 5 of the Tripartite Pact are unclearly formulated. Was this standard for the period?

Tripartite Pact: ARTICLE 3 and ARTICLE 5 ARTICLE 3. Japan, Germany, and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all ...
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Normandy: Why did the landing craft open on the front?

I assume this beach scenario was typical on D-Day. (Graphic violence) It shows a landing craft reaching the shore, where it lowers a hatch on the front of the craft, exposing the invading soldiers to ...
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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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Why is a pocket-battleship large in size ?

Why is it called a pocket-battleship when it’s large in size? Isn’t anything with pocket as prefix meant to be small ? I was reading up on Graf Spee - The German pocket-battleship.
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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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Was the attack on Pearl Harbor totally unexpected?

According to "British Intelligence in the Second World War: Security and Counter-Intelligence", by Francis Harry Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins, Tricycle, a British double agent, complained that the FBI ...
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What was the purpose of Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews' flight when he was killed in the Iceland crash on May 3, 1943?

Lt. General Frank Maxwell Andrews. Source: Wikipedia Question What was the purpose of Lt. Gen. Andrews' flight in May, 1943 aboard the B-24 Liberator Hot Stuff? Was it a routine inspection tour of ...
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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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Why are military uniforms often flared or poofy above the knee?

I've often wondered why do various uniforms have those "poofs" on the outsides of the legs just above the knee? Was there a particular purpose to this, or a practical reason, or was it just the result ...
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What were the flaws in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey?

According to this source, "Some historians have identified flaws in the [U.S. Strategic Bombing] survey, based on contemporary evidence." I have unsuccessfully searched the internet for these ...
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Was the option of setting up a Jewish state in defeated Nazi Germany ever considered?

Since there were a lot of Jews pre WW2 in Germany, and Germany was responsible for the many deaths of Jews during the Holocaust, it seems logical to suggest, that a new Jewish state should maybe be ...
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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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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 ...
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What is Street’s Jorrocks?

In the book “All Hell Let Loose” by Max Hastings, the writer mentions about the condition of British farmers during WWII: "Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ...
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Is there a location to find the personnel roster of the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron during WW2?

I'm working on a research project and I am looking to confirm that certain individuals were part of the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron during WW2. Is there a place online or offline where one could ...
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What is the name and meaning of a World War 2 CCC Medal with both the Polish Eagle and British Statant Gardant Lion?

While looking through a collection of World War 2 medals, I came across this one (picture attached) and have been unable to identify it. It is in the form of a shield, appears to have a Polish eagle ...
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Why did Yamamoto reprimand Nagumo after Pearl Harbor?

I am reading the book "Shattered Sword" and it states that Yamamoto "rebuked" Nagumo after Pearl Harbor. I thought Pearl Harbor was considered a great success? Anyone know why Yamamoto thought it ...
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After the Japanese declaration of War, what happened to the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC? [duplicate]

The Japanese Declaration of War against the UK and USA was given on 1941 Dec 7. This happened in Washington DC via the Japanese Embassy. I would like to know what happened to that embassy and the ...
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Before entering WW II, why was the US so against Japanese aggression in China but did nothing about Germany in Europe?

The US was very vocal against Japanese aggression in China in the 1930's and early 1940's but said nothing against German aggression in Europe. The US finally placed an embargo on sending oil and ...