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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Is the assertion that the A-bomb deterred Stalin plausible? [closed]

An answer on Quora asserted that if the USA had not dropped the a-bomb on Japan that Stalin would've invaded France and not stopped to meet the rest of the allies in Germany? Is there any evidence to ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Help identifying my great grandfather’s WWI Italian Army uniform, rank, regiment

My great grandfather was an immigrant to the USA in 1907 but wasn’t a citizen yet so couldn’t enlist. He went back to Italy to fight in the war. He was from Sellia Marina. From the research I’ve done, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is a WW2 German bank note with a LITZMANNSTAND symbol possibly fake?

Was German currency used in the Lodz ghetto? I recently bought a 50 reichsmark bank note which has got a LITZMANNSTAND symbol stamped on it in red ink, are these fake? Here's what the seller replied ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is this Tiger tank wingman UGV?

Schneider, Tiger Battalion 507: "For some time it was expected that in action every Tiger commander would ‘pull the strings’ of two midget panzers loaded with explosives. The idea was eventually ...
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3 answers
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Had anyone envisioned a "wipeout" scenario for Japan in the Pacific for World War II? [closed]

By "anyone," I mean experts such as military or political leaders contemporaneously, or professional historians in retrospect. By "wipeout," I mean a scenario in which Japan sinks ...
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Was there anything similar to the World War 1 Christmas truce in World War 2?

I know that there was an unofficial Christmas truce during World War 1, now my question is this: was there anything similar during World War 2? It’s close to the holidays as of writing this question ...
2 votes
1 answer
121 views

What does "APT" mean in box 34 of the WD AGO 53-55?

Reviewed my father's WD AGO Form 53-55 discharge papers from the army (Nov 1945). Does anyone know what the acronym "APT" in block 34 mean. Block 34 is titled "Wounds Received in ...
3 votes
0 answers
71 views

What battle did the German and US join forces in WW2? [duplicate]

I remember learning about a battle towards the end of WW2 when some German and American forces fought side by side. What was that Battle? and Were they both fighting against the SS?
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3 answers
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How possible was it for Japan to convert her naval aircraft to land uses?

Some years ago, I created a World War II computer game in which I obtained interesting results by having Japan use her naval aviation (the planes that fought at Coral Sea, Midway, and elsewhere in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
193 views

How have estimates of the deaths in WWI and WWII changed over time?

I am curious about what the generally accepted death figures in the two world wars were at times between the wars and the present time. There are many sources on the internet today which give numbers ...
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1 answer
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Were North African silver certificates actually printed in 1935?

The U.S. government printed special silver certificates (U.S. Banknotes) with yellow seals (instead of red or blue seals) so if the North African campaign failed, we could devalue those notes after ...
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1 answer
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Which WWII Medal and ribbon are these?

I am trying to identify a possible medal that my great grandfather was awarded as I am putting his medals together for my grandmother. Though I'm not quite sure it's a medal. I looked through his ...
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24 votes
1 answer
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What was the strategy to protect the British Museum during the World Wars?

Today I was surprised with the claim by the CNN, that the Rosetta Stone was: on display in The British Museum since 1802 with only one two-year break during World War I I assumed at first that it ...
-5 votes
1 answer
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When Hitler started WW2, did he realize that if he lost he would die? [closed]

Was it the rule back then "if you start a war for no reason, you should die"? I know that it was a question for the Nuremberg trial, but was there an informal rule that "starting wars ...
2 votes
0 answers
136 views

What is the origin of the claim of the 27 million Soviets dead in WWII? [closed]

All throughout the existence of the USSR, there was always the claim that the number of USSR citizens who died in WWII was 20 million. Lately, I am seeing a persistent claim that that number was 27 ...
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1 answer
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Why did Hitler's order to give SS members German Citizen remain in force until the 1960s? [closed]

Heinrich Boere was allowed to find refuge in Germany while under death sentence from the Dutch. I guess the obvious answer to why Germany honored laws that applied to a criminal organization is that ...
-1 votes
2 answers
261 views

Is there any evidence that the US strategy at Midway was deliberate?

The Battle of Midway was a crushing US victory over the Empire of Japan that, at face value, appears to be due to good SIGINT and a huge amount of luck by the Americans. In particular, the piecemeal ...
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What happened to the British universities during WWII?

For one of my courses at university, I chose to work on the topic of British students during the Second World war. I suppose many of them interrupted their studies to go and fight, but what was the ...
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

Where can I find all Hitler speeches in original German?

I would like to find all Hitler speeches in original German, but the more I look, the less I find. Sure there are a few here and there, but his complete speeches in German are nowhere to find. I did ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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Was the use of captured tanks an effective strategy for Germany?

Throughout WWII it was not uncommon for armor to be captured and reused by belligerent nations. It seems like Germany was the leading force on this, being recorded as frequently incorporating captured ...
0 votes
0 answers
183 views

What happened on July the 5th, 1943, at the Gerbini airfield on Sicily?

I read on this site an event that happened on July, the 5th 1943: About 30 Flying Fortresses which set out to bomb the Sicilian airfield at Gerbini are attacked by more than 100 enemy fighters, 35 of ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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Why are early submarines faster on the surface, while later types are faster when submerged?

In early submarine designs we see that a surfaced submarines are faster, while submerged submarines are slower, but gain the obvious benefits of stealth and being harder to target (requiring ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Why were some German conquered territories (eg: Poland) referred to as 'Generalgouvernement'?

In 1939-45 Germany - the German ocupying forces - referred to Poland as a Generalgouvernement. What in German eyes merited this title for Poland, a title which was not applied e.g. to Bohemia or ...
4 votes
1 answer
220 views

Did any French generals or politicians argue for pressing the Saar offensive?

There is still considerable controversy on the question of whether Gamelin could have ordered a SERIOUS offensive in the Saar in early September, 1939 with the operation having a decent chance of ...
2 votes
0 answers
153 views

How accurately did Victory Through Air Power portray the state of the war at the time?

I have just watched Disney's 1943 wartime propaganda film, Victory Through Air Power. The film (which was based on Alexander P. de Seversky's book by the same name) was intended to convince government ...
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1 answer
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Who destroyed the leading brigade of the 6th Guards Tank corps?

From Tony Le Tissier, Slaughter at Halbe: With Koniev’s exhortations urging it on, 3rd Guards Tank Army succeeded in covering sixty kilometres on 20 April [1945], taking Baruth during the course of ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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What other ships were with USS Saratoga when it was hit by a torpedo on 1942 Jan 11?

USS Saratoga (CV-3) was a Lexington-class Carrier of the USN. On 1942 Jan 11 it was hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-6, and then went in for repairs. However, I would like to know what ...
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2 votes
0 answers
120 views

Were deportations committed by Stalin during WWII covered in Allies' press? [closed]

Was the deportation of the Chechen and Ingush populations (carried out in 1944) covered in the media of the Allied powers?
2 votes
0 answers
211 views

What led Chiang Kai-shek to do a U-turn against the Japanese?

The Japanese feel that Western countries are unfair in imposing the status quo on Japan and calling it “peace.” Their whole conception of diplomatic machinery and collective security is that it is ...
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Which specific equipment did Italian submarines lack for Atlantic?

I read the book Kretschmer, in which the author Lawrence Patterson quoted one of Dönitz's report concerning the collaboration with the Italian submarine service. One element given for the bad ...
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3 votes
2 answers
217 views

Could the "Taffy" Groups have been reinforced by air during the battle of Leyte Gulf?

During the Battle for Leyte Gulf, most elements of the American fleet fought two "side" groups of the Japanese fleet to the south and north of the main action, which would take place off ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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What German torpedo problem was discovered in 1942?

I am reading a book about Otto Kretschmer, and the author speaks about a problem of German torpedoes. The only thing said in the book is: Torpedoes needed to be ventilated during some time because ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What was the process to join the army in WW2 England?

I'm currently (at the beginning of) researching the process people would go through for joining the British army (including the RAF and navy) during WW2 in England for a story I'm writing. ...
-10 votes
1 answer
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How did Hitler view Fr. Denis Fahey, Fr. Leonard Feeney, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis?

Fr. Denis Fahey, Fr. Leonard Feeney, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were pretty famous names in the Christian West in the 1930s and 1940s. Is there any information concerning Hitler having views on any ...
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the purpose of the iron structures seen on the sides of many WW2 flak towers?

I was researching World War 2 flak towers, and was unable to find the purpose of these iron(?) structures seen underneath the main walkway of many flak towers. My first thought was that it would ...
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1 answer
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Molotov-Ribbentrop pact - Where was Hitler?

Why didn't Hitler attend the negotiations of the pact in August 1939, but Stalin did? He was afraid of being assassinated by the Soviets or what?
2 votes
2 answers
271 views

Is there anything to back up Mearsheimer's claims that Roosevelt pushed the Japanese to attack the United States and tried to get the US into WW2?

In this video at 1:20:05 (and a little bit of the part preceding it), Mearsheimer claims that Roosevelt "was deeply committed" to get the United States into the second world war and "...
14 votes
5 answers
5k views

Were British infantry trained to shoot attacking aircraft with rifles?

In WWII the Allies were surrounded at Dunkirk as they waited for the Navy to ferry them back to England. In the movie "Dunkirk" there are entire Battalions of British troops standing in huge ...
18 votes
2 answers
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Did a British civilian row across the channel and shoot 6 Luftwaffe pilots?

As we were studying WWII, our history teacher told us a story that, to me at least, seemed apocryphal. But given that she didn't provide any citations, I was unable to confirm our falsify her story. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Which part of Japanese air forces fought in Burma and how much was destroyed?

My current understanding of WW2 involving Japan is that US forces destroyed the brunt of Japanese air and naval forces in the Pacific. I know however that land battles occurred on large scale in Burma ...
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1 answer
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Can you recommend books on WW2 Allied conferences?

Are there recommended books that analyze and present a history of the Allied conferences of WW2? I looked at the references here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_history_of_World_War_II and a ...
-4 votes
1 answer
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Why didn't Germany bomb the crap out of Stalingrad to win the city? [closed]

Why didn't the Germans bomb Stalingrad to the ground and destroy everything in it? Did the Russians have underground bunkers to stay alive? How did the Russians survive the bombardment?
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2 answers
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Could Japan buy natural resources from European colonies before WW2?

Internationally, this was a time when "free trade" was in disrepute. The great powers not only jealously protected their special economic rights within their colonies and spheres of ...
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1 answer
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Do negotiations/concessions to dictatorial powers always bring them to wanting more? [closed]

Let's focus on European powers that existed from the 18th century until today. There's a common theory which basically says: giving concessions or not being firm enough towards dictators always ...
4 votes
0 answers
267 views

During the Allied invasion of Sicily, when were 400 soldiers killed due to a sentry sleeping on the job?

In Patton's speech to the Third Army, he refers to an incident in Sicily where 400 men died because a sentry was caught sleeping on the job: There are four hundred neatly marked graves in Sicily, all ...
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1 answer
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How does a commander estimate enemy's losses? [closed]

"Overclaim" is a common military problem. My primary example is Stalin thought that Wehrmacht lost 4.5M people in 1941 (the actual losses ~1M) and expected to win the war in 1942. Did ...
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1 answer
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Why was the German Jewish population declining so much that some statisticians predicted its disappearance even before the 3rd Reich?

I was reading Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism where she claims that German Jewry was declining at such fast rates that for their raw numbers the Holocaust could be seen as statistically '...
-6 votes
2 answers
293 views

Why are there no statistics on how many ships were sunk by carriers in Ww2?

This is something that always puzzled me. There seems to be major gaps in historical data, in facts that should be easy to compile. If we know all the Japanese destroyer losses we should know how many ...
2 votes
0 answers
228 views

Why did Italy wait 45 days to exit WWII after the fall of Mussolini?

Benito Mussolini was deposed on the 25 of July 1943. From reading the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_the_Fascist_regime_in_Italy), it seems that the main reason is that the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why were P-39/P-400 sent to Henderson Field?

According to wikipedia, P-400 (export version of P-39) were part of the Cactus Air Force early in the battle of Guadalcanal, as soon as August 1942. This airplane was heavily armed but, according to ...
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