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
386 views

Why didn't the Allies use a naval invasion to retake Norway?

Norway was captured by Germany during WWII, and been liberated from Germany after Karl Dönitz signed the surrender treaty with the Allies. But there were some chances for Allies to create an assistant ...
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1answer
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Which arresting wire did Japanese carrier pilots aim for?

I'm reading an alternate-WWII story where one of the characters, an elite Japanese Navy fighter pilot, is routinely described as catching the first wire when landing his plane on a carrier. American ...
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How has the slogan "Bis in den Tod, Rot-Weiss-Rot" been used before and after the Anschluss, and in modern times?

I am curious about Austrian slogan "Bis in den Tod! Rot-Weiss-Rot! Österreich!", usually rendered in English as "Red-White-Red until we are dead!", where "Red-White-Red" ...
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Does anyone know the history on this artillery shell I found in my grandfather’s shed?

The shell is 57 mm in diameter and 170mm long. There is a hole in the bottom of the shell 13 mm in diameter. Any information on this shell would be greatly appreciated. I would like to keep it in my ...
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2answers
186 views

Given the concern about Soviet oil in World War II, why is so little mention made of captured Soviet coal reserves?

Fall Blau, and a lot of the eastern campaign was centred around capturing Soviet oil reserves, particularly around Maikop, Grozny, and Baku in the Caucasus. But the Germans captured the majority of ...
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1answer
149 views

What was the timetable for the arrival of the 100,000 man Japanese garrison at Rabaul?

Early in 1942, the Japanese seized the natural port of Rabaul on New Britain Island. This was to protect its existing base at Truk, in the Carolines, and also to provide a forward base for operations ...
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2answers
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Did allied soldiers in the WWII Pacific Theater use the term 'flak' for anti-aircraft guns?

I just stumbled upon a clip from the movie 'Unbroken', where the crew of a bomber stationed in the Pacific refer to anti-aircraft fire as 'flak'. Flak, of course, is short for 'Flugabwehrkanone', the ...
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Is Bulgaria the only country in modern history to have gained territory after being on the losing side of a war?

According to the sources I could find, Bulgaria was given a piece of land called 'Southern Dobruja' at the end of WW2 even though they officially were part of the Axis powers from 1941 up until 1944, ...
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3answers
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Why was the US so pro-China and so anti-Japan before WW2?

There is little doubt that the US embargoes on Japan pushed an already aggressive Japan towards Pearl Harbor. Japanese Navy doctrine had already been contemplating a conflict with the US and this ...
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155 views

What is the source of this quote about hope and POWs?

I seem to recall someone who was a POW, possibly held by Japanese, saying something like that the people that survived were the ones that gave up hope of getting out and the people that died were the ...
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How well did American bombers fight enemy fighters in World War II?

Normally, fighters shoot down bombers. but sometimes bombers "turn the tables" and destroy enemy fighters. My understanding is that American bombers did this from time to time against weaker ...
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330 views

Was game theory used during World War II?

The mathematical theory of game theory is about finding optimal srategies for games such as rock-paper-scissors. I have heard it claimed several times that game theory was used during World War II by ...
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487 views

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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296 views

Was it viable to continue the battle of France in the French colonies in 1940?

Was continuing the battle of France in the French colonies a viable option in 1940? This option was advocated by de Gaulle, Churchill, and many leading political figures in France at the time. De ...
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Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

After WWII France was in rebuilding mode, and yet they insisted on trying to reclaim Indo-China. It would seem that in the new world order this did not make much sense for a country that was trying to ...
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356 views

Did the Soviets lack ball bearings in WWII?

There is a good discussion on this site of the German situation during World War II concerning ball bearings. Does anyone know what the Soviet situation was? I have heard as a result of Barbarossa ...
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What concessions did Hitler demand from the Poles before 1939?

On Wikipedia, it is stated that: Earlier, Hitler's foreign policy worked to weaken ties between Poland and France, and attempted to manoeuvre Poland into the Anti-Comintern Pact, forming a ...
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4answers
393 views

Did Hitler have any plans in regards to the troops he had stationed in Norway throughout the war?

Throughout WW2 Germany had 400,000 troops stationed in Norway essentially doing occupation duty and fighting of partisans after Norway's surrender. Now as the war started to turn against the Germans ...
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278 views

How were German soldiers chosen to be flown out of Stalingrad?

During the siege of Stalingrad, something like 300,000 Axis soldiers were killed, wounded and captured. There was an airlift to bring ammunition and other supplies to the trapped forces. According to ...
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Is there a breakdown for transported goods on different routes in the Persian corridor in WWII?

In August 1941, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom together occupied Iran. One motivation for that invasion was the establishment of a supply line to the Soviet Union through Iran, the so-called ...
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4answers
300 views

How did Charles de Gaulle become the leading figure of French liberation movement?

How did Charles de Gaulle become the leading figure of French liberation movement? While acknowledging his talents and the personality, I find it hard to believe that he was the only or the most ...
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How did Nazi Germany justify the attempted invasion of Britain?

Virtually all modern nations offer a justifying reason why they're engaging in any war, if only to convince their own people that they're fighting on the side of right and justice. What justification ...
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In WW2 USN ships, what was the weight of a typical boiler?

I've been searching for this for days, but cannot find it. What is the weight of a typical boiler on a WW2 US Navy ship? Example: Fletcher Class DD had a total weight (displacement) 2100 to 2500 tons ...
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4answers
312 views

How did East Indies oil lose its "top billing" in the Pacific War as the war went on?

The road to Pearl Harbor appeared to begin with the American embargo of oil (and other items) in July 1941. The Japanese decided that they had to 1) cripple the American Pacific fleet and 2) obtain ...
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Why did Winston Churchill say "perverted science" in his Finest Hour speech?

What exactly was Winston Churchill referring to when he said "perverted science" in his Finest Hour speech? http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1940-the-finest-hour/their-finest-hour ...
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Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
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Do any historians consider superior German airpower as the most important factor in the Battle of France?

In the Battle of France, the Allies and Germans had roughly equal number of divisions and troops, and the Allies actually had more artillery and tanks. But the one area where the Germans had a clear ...
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How were Japanese elite divisions defeated? [closed]

During the early months of the involvement of Japan in World War 2, Japanese land armies performed well against British, American and other Allied (Filipino, Dutch) troops. From my research, on books ...
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How useful were Chinese contributions to the defeat of Japan in WWII?

While there is no doubt China contributed a lot of blood and treasure in the War with Japan, how useful were those contributions given that Japan was strangled by a the navy, bombed by the air force ...
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Why did the British leave Kohima and Imphal "lightly" defended in 1944?

In 1942, the answer would have been, "because Britain didn't have enough troops." They were then weak "everywhere" along the line. But by early 1944, after two years of the Burma Campaign, Britain ...
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Did the Germans fuel the general's purge?

In the book A Man Called Intrepid the author claims that the Germans contributed greatly to Stalin's purge of the generals. I know this is a poor source yet I have found nothing to confirm nor deny. I'...
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Did the Germans "mix up" Army Groups A and B during Fall Blau?

Fall Blau was the 1942 campaign conducted by Germany's Army Group South. This was subdivided during the campaign into Army Groups A and B. I was surprise to read that Army Group A was sent to the ...
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794 views

During WW2, why did the USA occupy Clipperton Island?

Clipperton Island is a little place southwest of Mexico. It is a very small island, owned by France, but I'm not sure if anyone inhabited it at the time of WW2. Wikipedia says the US occupied this ...
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1answer
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What does this acronym and the symbol in the middle represent?

One of my Polish friends just bought a ruined old brick house in a village in Poland, which was supposedly reigned by Germany during the second world war (I didn't ask the name nor the location of the ...
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How many of the Frenchmen who volunteered for service in the Wehrmacht were former POWs?

During World War II, a number of Frenchmen volunteered for service in the Wehrmacht. For the purposes of this question, these men came from two sources: 1) genuine volunteers (freiwillige or "...
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1answer
336 views

Why did Nazis flee to South America?

The wikipedia article on Josef Mengele states: After the war, Mengele fled to South America. He sailed to Argentina in July 1949, assisted by a network of former SS members. He initially lived in and ...
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3answers
3k views

What did Winston Churchill mean by this quote?

What did Winston Churchill mean by the quote below? The Almighty in His infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen in the image of Englishmen.
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293 views

After World War II, what happened to the Soviet industrial facilities that had been evacuated?

In late 1941, some 1500 Soviet factories were relocated to the Urals, or other areas east of European Russia to keep them safe from German bombing, or worse, occupation. (My understanding is that ...
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When did the allies find out about the killing of Jews during WW2

When watching "Saving Private Ryan" I noticed during the opening scene that one of the soldiers (who is Jewish) gets emotional when he discovers a Hitler Youth knife, I could only assume it was ...
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During World War II, were there any parts of the Japanese overseas empire that was capable of local re-supply?

During World War II, the Japanese Home Islands stood at the center of an empire, to which raw materials were sent, and from which manufactured goods, included arms, were dispatched. Toward the end of ...
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Was the British Empire financially capable of maintaining India as a colony after WW2?

In India, it is generally accepted that Indian Independence from the British was the culmination of the 190 year long freedom struggle; from the armed conflicts of the mid-1800s to the more peaceful ...
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What quality were Japanese troops in Japan in 1945?

Sources such as Basil Collier's "The Second World War: A Military History" list the Japanese forces during the war as being 6 million. My understanding is that the background of these troops ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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Given their reputation for fighting to the last man in the Pacific, why did 700,000 Japanese troops surrender in Manchuria?

I just read this. It says: On August 8, 1945 ... the Soviet Union launched the invasion of Manchuria, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against one million Kwantung Army ...
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What was the price of a theatre ticket in London during WW2?

I would like to know the price of a theatre ticket in the city of London during the second world war. I can't find this information anywhere.
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Could the Japanese garrison at Rabaul have fed itself if it had been spread out over New Britain Island instead of being concentrated at Rabaul?

Early in 1942, Japan seized the fine port at Rabaul on New Britain Island. They later concentrated around 100,000 men at Rabaul, many of whom starved after the Allies encircled and blockaded the base ...
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1answer
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How did Italy and Germany get rubber in WWII?

Japan invaded Southeast Asia and Indonesia to obtain rubber in WWII. Germany and Italy clearly used large amounts of rubber in WWII to build vehicles and planes, but in the 1940s rubber was only ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Poland help Germany take Czechoslavakia before Germany invaded Poland?

In March of 1939, "with Germany's permission" (WW2 for dummies), Poland invaded Czechoslovakia while Germany was annexing the Sudetenland per the Munich agreement. Only 6 months later, in September, ...
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Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941

In the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, did non-military Americans see Japan as a potential threat to the USA?
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Were any Japanese defendants at the far east war criminal trials after WW2 IQ tested by the allies?

Since the Americans tested the IQ of the defendants of the Nuremberg trials I was wondering if there was an analogous deed done to the Japanese war criminals after the WW2. I can't find anything ...

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