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
374 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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1answer
558 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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281 views

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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1answer
198 views

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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178 views

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

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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97 views

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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2answers
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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
510 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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330 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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151 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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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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139 views

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 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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453 views

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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1answer
111 views

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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314 views

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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4answers
323 views

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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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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159 views

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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220 views

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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239 views

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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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 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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244 views

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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4answers
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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 were Norwegian crews flying for Bomber Command paid more than other RAF crews?

In his book Bomber Command, Max Hastings mentions offhandedly that All the Norwegians were immensely rich by RAF standards because they received flying pay of eight shillings per hour operational in ...
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194 views

Would Stalin have dropped the nuclear bomb on Germany in 1945, if he had it then? [closed]

In an interview on RT Putin said, "I really doubt that Stalin, in the Spring of 1945, if he had a nuclear bomb, I doubt that he would have dropped it on Germany. In 1941 or 1942, when it was a ...
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295 views

Why were there so many Japanese Prime Ministers before and during WW2?

I had been reading about Tojo's history and was surprised that he was not Prime minister at the start of the war (Looking at other European Authoritarians and how they saw things through from start to ...
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What was Japan's grand strategy in WW2?

I am trying to understand the Japanese Grand Strategy in WW2 when it comes to handling the US. My current understand, based primarily on extensive Wikipedia reading is as follows: Motivation: The ...
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158 views

When did blackouts occur in Cairo during WW2?

In what date was Cairo blackout lifted in WW2? Was the date celebrated in the following years? And, not less important: what notable events were in December 21st 1944? A little background: Someone I ...
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3answers
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Did the Allies try to “bribe” Franco to join them in World War II?

At a meeting in Hendaye, Spain, Franco presented a list of demands to Hitler that the latter would have to meet in order for Spain to formally join the Axis. This included the right to capture and ...
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1answer
177 views

How did a scientist who came from China in 1935, become US Army Colonel in 1945?

Qian Xuesen - Wikipedia In August 1935, Qian left China on a Boxer Indemnity Scholarship to study mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a Master ...
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121 views

Were there high-ranking Japanese POW as witness at the Trinity Atomic Bomb Test? [closed]

One argument was that providing a demonstration on an unpopulated island ran the risk of failure in front of Japanese observers. But I have not read any suggestion of using a Japanese POW of high ...
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101 views

How did US defense spending split on weapons categories in ww2?

How much of production was devoted to tanks, planes, ships, ammunition etc.? Links to published papers are very welcome, as well as sources for the other powers in the war. I'm not interested in ...
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1answer
358 views

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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1answer
141 views

How was the Free Czech Army formed in World War 2?

I am researching my family's history in World War 2. I know that my grandfather joined the "Free Czech Army" and was evacuated from Sete France after France fell. I have found several online ...
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Why were the Allies so much better cryptanalysts?

When I read about World War II, more specifically about the use of cryptography in that war, I get the impression that the Allies were much more successful in breaking the enemy codes than the Axis ...
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1answer
187 views

Did German aircraft operate off Lebanon in 1941?

During the Syro-Lebanon War in 1941, French forces fought British forces both on the ground, in the air and at sea. French airplanes attacked the British fleet multiple times. But according to Roald ...
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1answer
252 views

What is this artillery shell?

I found this in my Grandfather’s basement. He served in World War 2, in the Pacific Theater. He sadly passed away and we have no idea if this is safe. Can anyone help with identifying this? It is 13 ...
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What is the origin of Americans sometimes refering to the Second World War “the Good War”?

WWII has gone down in American popular memory as "the Good War" (later criticized by authors like Studs Terkel, etc.). But who coined this term? I don't mean the concept, which refers to the ...
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336 views

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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192 views

Where can I find more information on the Federated Malay States V.F.? [closed]

badge has a crown on top with a shield in the middle. slider on back on front reads Federated Malay States V.F. I was wondering if anyone knows much about the badge as I have not found out much about ...
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207 views

Did the French violate the Washington Naval ConferenceTreaty limitations?

I was surprised to read in connection with Mers el Kebir that in 1940, France had the second largest navy in Europe, with seven battleships. The reason was France's participation in the 1922 ...
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2answers
327 views

Did the Germans try to “Pearl Harbor” Russia's Black Sea fleet?

Pearl Harbor of course, is a reference to the Japanese sneak attack that destroyed half the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Earlier in the war, the Germans managed to decimate the Russian ...
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679 views

What alternate north-south supply routes did the Soviet Union have when the Volga and Stalingrad were under attack?

During World War II, an important route for getting supplies to Russia was the Persian Corridor. After landing on the south coast of Iran, Lend Lease supplies could be transported north across the ...
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2answers
284 views

Why were Japanese escort ships not numerous at the battle of Bismarck Sea?

During the battle of Bismarck sea, Allied units performed air attacks that resulted in the nearly destruction of Japanese fleet. I understand the reasons why the Allies obtain such a success, namely: ...
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463 views

At the end of WW2, multiple German leaders either committed suicide or made preparations to do so — was this unprecedented?

I have read nothing of German officers and/or political leaders committing suicide after WWI and it is my sense that WW2 might have been the first time that so many people planned or actually went ...
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412 views

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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293 views

When did soldiers begin wearing ballooned pants? [duplicate]

I was told by a veteran that it was not until the Korean war that American soldiers began to balloon their pants. Prior to that it was only paratroopers. Can this be validated?

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