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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Should Hitler or Mussolini be held accountable for World War II?

Il Duce As far as I know, Hitler should hold accountability for World War II, but according το the attached link this isn't the case. The writer of the artcile is blaming Benito Mussolini instead. Is ...
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Did the Axis use Villa Cisneros during WW2 for contact with South America?

I have read that a German U-boat refueling at Villa Cisneros was attacked and sunk. I have also read that After Germany Invaded Russia in 1941 a Japanese technical mission returning to Japan was flown ...
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Was the average lifespan of a soldier deployed within Stalingrad only 24 hours?

The military history YouTube channel The Armchair Historian opens their episode on the Battle of Stalingrad with the line "The average lifespan of a soldier in Stalingrad was just 24 hours." ...
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Did Germans and Soviets count casualties differently 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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How secure was Germany's last foothold in the Caucasus in 1943?

In January, 1943, after the collapse of Fall Blau and just before the fall of Stalingrad, Germany withdrew most of Army Group A from the Caucasus. But they left a rearguard consisting of the ...
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Are there any books on the recruitment of scientists from the Third Reich (Operation “Paperclip” and others)? [closed]

Please advise the literature on the recruitment of scientists of the Third Reich after World War II ("Paperclip" and other operations). Language: preferably Russian, but also English will do....
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Were B-17s (rather than B-29s) ever used to bomb mainland Japanese territory during WW2 (at least before the capture of Okinawa)?

I am wondering if B17s ever flew bombing raids against the Japanese mainland, and if so, did they do it before the capture of Okinawa, which was much closer than the previously captured islands like ...
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322 views

Why did Stalin pressure Allies to open second front even though his purpose was to grab as much land as possible for his future satellite states?

After the surprise German attack in 22 June 1941 on Soviet Union, the latter suffered a series of catastrophic defeats during the following months, up to the point it is still debatable today whether ...
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Is Alexander Matrosov's service record publicly available?

Alexander Matrosov is a Hero of the Soviet Union who perished on the 27th of February in 1943 during the Battles of Rzhev (8th of January, 1942 - 31rd of March, 1943) when he blocked the fascist ...
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Did the Balkans campaign delay Operation Barbarossa for the Nazis and was it therefore an important reason why they lost against the Soviets in WWII?

I have heard it previously that the Balkans Campaign delayed Operation Barbarossa, but I found out that Antony Beevor wrote in his 2012 book "the Second World War" the following: Hitler was ...
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Why did not US use solely (more) aviation and artillery when taking Okinawa during ww2?

I haven't investigated much of the topic, got curious after watching Hacksaw Ridge. I'm sorry if my question is silly or naive. After checking historical facts, I started to ask myself why couldn't US ...
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What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
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Is it true that there were American POWs in Soviet captivity after the Second World War?

In a book titled The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia, the author Tim Tzouliadis asserted in Chapter 23 ("Citizen of the United States of America", Allied Officer Dale) that ...
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Did a unit of 40 men hold off Rommel's “ghost division” for 18 days?

I found the following baffling claim on a Wikipedia article regarding the "Chasseurs Ardennais" in World War II: A unit of only 40 men held off the combined arms of the German forces, ...
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What operations were carried out by the partisans of the Chernihiv junction in the Great Patriotic War?

I am interested in finding out more about the Chernihiv partisan junction which was an important force throughout the Great Patriotic War, and their leader Alexei Fyodorovich Fyodorov. Unfortunately, ...
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Which operation came last in World War 2? [closed]

Which operation came last in World War 2? I know that the Kwantung Army was defeated on the 2nd of September 1945 during the Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (9th of August - 2nd of ...
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How did the Weygand Line collapse so quickly?

The Weygand Line I am referring to is the line established by Maxime Weygand in the aftermath of the hugely successful Fall Gelb. Immediately after the evacuation of Dunkirk, French soldiers were ...
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How was the administration of the liberated part of The Netherlands organised between 12 September 1944 and 5 May 1945?

The Allied Liberation of The Netherlands lasted from 12 September 1944 (when the first villages were liberated) to 5 May 1945, when the German capitulation took force (not counting a few German ...
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What did this WWII combat medic insignia represent?

Regarding the arm patch on the combat medic, I've been unable to find its meaning online. Could someone help me identify this? I'm 99% sure the person (who is actually in the Air Force) is dressed as ...
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Are rural residents more likely to survive large scale war (> 1 million deaths) than urban residents? (Data based answers only)

On the surface, it seems logical that the probability of survival, during times of war, would be higher in rural areas. More reliable access to food. Lower probability of being targeted. (e.g. air ...
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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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How was the United States able to produce excellent tanks in 1942?

Most military histories of the war in North Africa, and especially those produced from a British point-of-view, emphasise the greenness of the American troops which landed there in 1942. There is a ...
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What is the context of the use of injustice/unrightousness (不義/fugi) in WW2 era Japanese propaganda?

The Imperial Japanese military song Nihon Rikugun (日本陸軍) begins with the line "天に代わりて不義を討つ" ("defeat injustice in place of righteousness"). What exactly did they consider 不義/fugi ...
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Did Joseph Stalin kill anyone personally?

I read "Stalin: Triumph and tragedy" by Dmitri Volkogonov and (I believe) it said that Stalin didn't kill anyone with his own hands. He signed a lot of "death lists", but those are just pieces of ...
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Why were Japanese submarines not able to defend in the Battle of the Philippine Sea?

During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Japanese lost 2 fleet carriers due to actions by American submarines. Why were the Japanese not able to defend against such attacks, and why were the ...
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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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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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How widespread was pacifism in the WW2 USA?

Approximately what percentage of people supported pacifism during WW2 in the USA? I'm not interested just in the opposition to war, since some people could protest against US involvment from ...
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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 were the drawings of Colossus burnt after WW2 and why was its very existence “of course” kept secret?

After VJ Day, suddenly it was all over. Eight of the ten Colossi were dismantled in Bletchley Park. Two went to Eastcote in North London and then to GCHQ at Cheltenham. These last two were dismantled ...
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How long did it take for Japanese high command to believe 1 bomb could destroy a city? [closed]

In 1776, had a man walked into the Continental Congress and told the Founding Fathers that the city of Boston seemed to be "gone". A few days prior, as he approached Boston, in the distance he'd seen ...
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What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

I can imagine that after World War 2 the ratio of women versus men changed drastically. During World War 2, Soviet casualties amounted to over 20,000,000, and as military casualties were almost all ...
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Were there military operations that targeted individual 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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759 views

Did any “tanks in front” tactic exist during WW2?

I am searching for a tactic that would be in service in the British and/or French army during WW2. It would consist in placing the tank on forward position of other elements, especially in front of ...
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When did the Luftwaffe lose air-superiority over the Reich?

To me one of the many crucial stages of WWII was when the Luftwaffe were no longer able to mount serious resistance to the Allied bombing raids. While the effect of the raids if often debated, it ...
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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 many of Japan's 29 lost Pearl Harbor aircraft have been accounted for?

I've seen varying numbers regarding the amount of Japanese aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but the number of attacking planes that failed to return to Japan's carriers remains ...
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WW2: Did US marines and soldiers really go into action with unbuckled helmet chin straps?

(Note: links go to realistically portrayed scenes of WW2 combat.) I am watching Youtube clips of WW2 miniseries, like The Pacific and Band of Brothers. Based on a non-scientific survey of these ...
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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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Was Marshal Foch predicting WW2 20 years in advance just a coincidence?

The Allied Supreme Commander at the end of WW1, Ferdinand Foch, seemingly predicted at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles hostilities with Germany recurring in the future. His prediction for the ...
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When did FDR announce he was running a 3rd time, and was there any outrage?

When did President Franklin Roosevelt announce he was running again for a 3rd term? And was there any shock or outrage at this? I noticed the Vice President, John Garner, actually ran against FDR in ...
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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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How historically accurate is “Life is Beautiful” when it comes to Jewish extermination?

I want to ask about the movie Life is Beautiful It is portrayed, in the movie, how that protagonist Jew is sent to extermination camp in Italy. I thought Jews in Italy were not usually sent to ...
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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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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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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 didn't the Allies wait for the nuclear bomb before invading Normandy?

Congruent to the argument that dropping the bomb on Japan saved US and axis lives.
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Did the Soviets have an alternate source of oil in Iran during World War II?

Much has been made of the fact that the area around the Caspian Sea was oil rich. Specifically, west of the Caspian Sea, with Soviet oilfields at Maikop, Grozny, and Baku, which were threatened by the ...
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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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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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