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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1answer
440 views

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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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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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
268 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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Why did the allies not launch a full attack on western Germany while they were busy invading Poland in WW2? [closed]

The French even went so far as to lie to the Polish liaison that they were in full contact with the enemy and had forced them to divert divisions to the western border, which was plain untrue. Every ...
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Did Japanese war ideology include elements of overt racism and the praise of war for the sake of war?

The German public ideology during WWII officially praised racial inequality to the extent of calling other peoples "subhuman", enslavement, forced euthanasia, conquest of the land. Italian &...
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3answers
254 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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1answer
197 views

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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1answer
230 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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2answers
194 views

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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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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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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When was the holocaust widely known in WW2? [duplicate]

We often seem to think that the Holocaust was widely known and that is why everybody banded against the Nazis in a true Good vs Evil fight. But watching a few WW2 documentaries (like WW2 in real time ...
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What percentage of troops in the Wehrmacht were front-line combat troops?

As with every army, a given percentage of the troops are dedicated to the logistics and transport of supplies to support that army’s campaigns. The Wehrmacht of World War Two required a great deal of ...
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(Why) are there two different versions of the photograph of inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp?

It is alleged that the picture on the 42nd page of the May 6th, 1945 issue of the New York Times Magazine, depicting inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp, and taken five days after liberation, ...
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1answer
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How much did “Rhino” tanks improve the American advance in Normandy?

After leaving the beaches during the Battle of Normandy, the Americans confronted the Germans on the so-called "bocage", or pastoral land. This included large "hedgerows," that ...
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When did fluorescent lights become common in Europe?

In the OSS Simple Sabotage Field Manual, one suggestion for interfering with radio transmissions in occupied Europe is: Damaging insulation on any electrical equipment tends to create radio ...
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108 views

Did Jagdgeschwader 7 operate any Bf-109s?

I know the photo of "white 44" is JG 301, and that the photo of "yellow 20" is a training squadron. However, Revell of Germany came out with a kit that had II/JG 7 Bf-109G-10 "...
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Did Kampfgeschwader 6 operate Me-262s and Bf-109s from the same airfield? If so, which one?

I know that Kampfgeschwader 6 operated both Me-262 and Bf-109s, because they were retraining the extra bomber crew for fighter rolls, and that this was done from several airfields in Czechoslovakia: ...
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Were there German bomb disposal units in WW2?

There is lots of information about British bomb disposal units in Britain during WW2. Britain dropped a lot of bombs in Germany. Many of them didn't explode - they're still digging them up now. The ...
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1answer
177 views

Did the “unexpectedness” of key events argue against a “third strike” at Pearl Harbor?

Japan's Admiral Nagumo has been criticized for not launching a "third strike" at Pearl Harbor, specifically to destroy the dry docks, fuel stores, repair facilities and other key ...
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2answers
256 views

Why was artillery a more effective infantry support weapon on tanks than machine guns?

In supporting infantry, why are tanks equipped with large guns breach guns which seem more effective than assault vehicles with machine guns? For example, comparing the service of WW2 German Assault ...
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Was the town Jadovno near Gospić named after the concentration camp during World War 2, or was it the other way around?

What does the name "Jadovno", a town near Gospić where a concentration camp used to be during World War 2, mean? Was the town named after the concentration camp (from "jad" meaning ...
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2answers
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Were some groups in the Soviet Union more likely to collaborate with the Germans than others?

In the case of Yugoslavia, to take one example, there were three main groups: Croat Ustaze, the largely Serbian Chetniks, and the Titoites, who were largely drawn "neither of the above." ...
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Have Germans expelled from Eastern Europe been re-enfranchised?

After World War II, large numbers of ethnic-Germans who had lived in Eastern Europe were expelled - by the local (post-Nazi-occupation) government, by the USSR and even with some Western power ...
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364 views

How often did WWII bomber gunners actually shoot?

The Wikipedia page for recently deceased Leon Hale mentions he flew 50 missions as a gunner yet never fired at an enemy plane. Are there any statistics on how often gunners actually shot?
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In WWII, how were all pilots/soldiers able to identify enemy vehicles?

After watching Saving Private Ryan and other documentaries for WWII, they made it seem like everyone was able to identify enemy vehicles very easily. For example, in Saving Private Ryan, they were ...
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How efficiently did the Red Army conduct itself during the invasion of Poland in 1939?

In 1937, Stalin purged the majority of his top military officers, starting with Marshal Tukhachevsky This disorganized the Red Army, to say the least, and helped account for its later poor performance ...
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Why did the Metall und Lackierwarenfabrik company get asked to bid on the creation of the MG42?

The MG42. A very iconic machine gun built during World War 2. Known for its high rate of fire, three man operating squad and its ability to suppress advancing troops, was built by Metall und ...
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5answers
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What do we know about Hitler/OKW's plans concerning USSR if Molotov/Ribbentropp Pact hadn't happened?

Molotov/Ribbentrop was signed Aug 23, 1939 and Hitler invaded Poland Sept 1, 1939. Came as a bit of a surprise, considering how much Hitler hated both Communists and Slavic people. And the talks ...
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Why did Hitler send Manstein's army (and not some other) to Leningrad in the summer of 1942?

In July, 1942, Germany's General von Manstein won the siege of Sevastopol. Shortly thereafter, Manstein and his 11th Army were sent to Leningrad, which the Germans were also besieging. I don't ...
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337 views

Has anyone (other than Churchill) indicated that the Germans might have won a negotiated peace in World War II?

I have long believed that it was possible for the Germans to get to a strong position that might have led to a "stalemate" and hence a negotiated peace in World War II/ The main ways were: 1)...
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120 views

Post WWII Munich- U.S.occupation

Is there any way to find out which unit of the US army of occupation took control of US HQ in Munich after April 30th, 1945?
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Do we know if Patton ever said “l'audace l'audace toujours l'audace”?

Do we know if George S. Patton said that even though George C. Scott quoted Frederick the Great in the movie? If Patton did, what does the quote actually mean in the situation? Related question
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What did Douglas MacArthur mean by “In war, there is no substitute for victory?” [closed]

What does this quote mean? I didn't think it made much sense, since diplomacy exists and no country is unbeatable.
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What is the meaning of George S Patton's quote “Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more?” [closed]

George S Patton said that "Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more." What doe this mean?
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During the defense of the home islands, what was Japan's plan for its forces off-island?

It's July 1945. Okinawa is lost. Japan is preparing for an Allied invasion of the Home Islands. While they're arming civilians with spears and clubs, Japan still had millions of soldiers in Manchuria, ...
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1answer
184 views

Why were the allies so aggressive at the end of WW2? Battle of Berlin, Iwo Jima, Okinawa etc [closed]

Why were the allies so aggressive at the end of WW2? I'm referring to the Battles of Berlin (≈ 350 000 Russian casualties), Iwo Jima (≈ 25 000 US casualties), Okinawa (≈ 60 000 US casualties) etc. In ...
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Were kamikaze pilots an effective strategy for Japan?

history.howstuffworks.com claims kamikaze pilots were not overly effective. Wikipedia states that there was no noticeable increase in number of ships lost even as kamikaze pilots became more common, ...
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1answer
316 views

How effective was the (Western) Allies bombing campaign over Germany in drawing down the Eastern Front Luftwaffe?

The strategic air campaign over Germany by 8th US Air Force and "Bomber Harris" for the RAF has elicited decidedly mixed opinions. Depending on who you listen to it was a noble effort or it ...
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My father (DOB 09/03/1919) entered the army 01/1942. By 12/42 he made Sgt. He was a 1st Sgt. when separated 10/45. Is this unusual?

My father (DOB 09/03/1919) entered the army 01/1942. By 12/42 he made Sgt. He was a 1st Sgt. when separated 10/45. Is this unusual?
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478 views

What was Prince Philip’s surname (prior to Mountbatten)?

Prince Philip took the surname of Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British citizen in 1947. His name prior to that was Schleswig Holstein Sonderburg Gluckburg. Did he use the full name while ...
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643 views

During WW2, what B-29 crew role did the abbreviation EMG mean?

My grandfather was an EMG on a B-29 superfortress flying out of Guam during World War 2, but I can’t find what the abbreviation stands for. A friend told me that it’s likely he was an electrical ...
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Why were Soviet losses consistently so high?

The combat losses of Soviet Union were always higher than Nazi Germany, regardless of whether they won or lost. Even in Stalingrad or at the siege of Berlin the losses of Soviet Union were higher. In ...
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Why couldn't the US persuade Russia, Japan's neighbor to the west, to let it attack Japan from its territory in the later years of WWII?

The U.S. sure did a lot of time-consuming island hopping to get to Japan's mainland, but Russia is right next to Japan on the west. Setting up a front next to Japan in Russia would have been very ...
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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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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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3answers
593 views

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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369 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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1answer
158 views

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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