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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21
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3answers
4k views

Why did the film “The Longest Day” have the “cricket” training scene if the Allies received no intelligence about the hedgerows in Normandy?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's book "Citizen Soldiers" and he says that the allies had no intelligence about the high hedgerows in Normandy. This shocked me, because I remember clearly the scene in ...
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1answer
185 views

How were soldiers positioned on a platoon-sized amphibious landing craft in WWII?

Did the military think through who might need to have the highest survival rate as they offloaded onto a defended beach? Were the men with different roles (radio, machine gun, medic, platoon leader, ...
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Were fighters used as a carrier group defense tactic? [closed]

Okay, i know this is probably a silly question, but were carrier based fighters ever used as a defense during an air attack combined with the use of ship based AA weapons. I mean, i know they probably ...
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Why was the British army so short of rifles after Dunkirk?

After the battle of Dunkirk, the U.S. shipped something like 500,000 rifles to Britain. This compares to about 400,000 Allied troops at the port (counting captured French), 338,226 actually rescued, ...
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1answer
61 views

Which names are correct? Mala vs Malka Zimetbaum and Edward vs Eduard Galinski?

I was deeply affected by the story of Mala Zimetbaum and Edward Galinski in Auschwitz. However, the telegram informing about the escape of Mala mentions her name as Malka Zimetbaum. The telegram ...
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1answer
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How many pens were used by MacArthur to end the final chapter of World War II and where are they now?

General Douglas MacArthur counter-signs the Japanese instrument of surrender as Supreme Allied Commander aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. Standing behind him are Generals ...
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Hand signal for suppressing enemy position in World War 2

I've seen this in some movies and video games about world war 2. Basically whenever a ranking officer wanted to signal his troops to suppress an enemy position, he would sort of punch 2-3 times in ...
3
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1answer
225 views

Did British WWII generals have a choice which uniform to wear?

Could the generals of the British army choose what kind of uniform to wear? I am mainly asking because Bernard Montgomery is very often photographed in a battle dress even in very official events like ...
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What was the reason for Soviet troops to withdraw from Yugoslavia in World War II?

For all these countries that the Red Army entered (Poland, Romania, part of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary), the procedure was straightforward. Once the Soviets beat the Germans they become de facto ...
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1answer
408 views

How much debt did Italy remit Germany in the London Debt Agreement?

Italy was one of the signatories of the London Debt Agreement in 1953, pardoning part of previous German debts. Is there an estimate of the amount owed by Germany to Italy? Various sources cite the ...
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Were the NKVD hated by the regular army like the SS was?

I remember reading about how the Wehrmacht and the SS soldiers never got along, and I was wondering if it was the same way in the Soviet Union, with the regular Red Army not liking the NKVD?
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Did war bonds have better investment alternatives during WWII?

The American government put a lot of effort into convincing the American populace to purchase WWII bonds. But did American citizens have good alternatives for investment during the same years? For ...
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Was the danger of Germany bombing the US East Coast taken seriously and were measures taken to address it?

In this CNN article an old lady from Dillon, South Carolina, recalls her memories from World War II and mentions not just fearing bombs from airplanes, but actual measures being taken against aerial ...
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Was there a plan “B” for the D-Day?

I could find only debates on the subject whether there was a plan "B" or not in case D-Day landing would have had actually failed. I wonder if there was an idea to make an alternative invasion plan. ...
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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
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Why didn't Hitler decide to wait until after winning WW2 to implement the final solution? [closed]

My question is based on the following assumptions. Hitler believed he will eventually win WW2. Hitler wanted to implement the final solution as part of the Nazi ideology. Implementing the final ...
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What were French collaborators specifically accused of after the Liberation of France in WWII?

I came across the title of a book, 'France: The Tragic Years, 1939-1947' by Sisley Huddleston, which struck me as odd, as I supposed France's tragedy to have ended with the retreat of the Germans in ...
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0answers
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Why has Witold Pilecki not been included in the Righteous Among the Nations? [closed]

Witold Pilecki was a Polish resistance fighter who volunteered to enter the Auschwitz I concentration camp. From there, he organised a resistance movement and gathered intelligence on the atrocities ...
3
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1answer
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What is this medal ribbon? WAAF

This is my mother in 1944 or 1945. I never knew she was entitled to wear a medal ribbon. Being black and white, I have to take a guess based on the layout, and I think it may be the Defence Medal but ...
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1answer
313 views

How long did Jews in hiding take to reveal themselves at the end of WW2? What was their reception?

When Jews found out about news of Allied victory, were hiding Jews able to simply come out openly in safety? Why might that not be the case? How did they know that this, or other information, wasn’t ...
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1answer
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Was Robert McNamara present at Los Alamos, 1945?

In this photo, a group of important people involved in the Manhattan Project can be seen at an award ceremony in 1945. The description says Presentation of Army-Navy E Award at Fuller Lodge, Los ...
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Did the leaflets from the US to Hiroshima/Nagasaki civilians on bombing cities reduce the civilian casualties of the two nuclear bombs in August 1945?

I read on Wikipedia Various leaflets were dropped on Japan, three versions showing the names of 11 or 12 Japanese cities targeted for destruction by firebombing. The other side contained text stating ...
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Why did the Allies Invade French North Africa?

Question: Why did the allies invade Vichy French North Africa? Operation Torch was the name of the Anglo American Invasion of French North Africa. Both of the American most ...
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When the outbreak of World War II was foreseeable, were any European commoners able to pre-emptively emigrate?

When the outbreak of World War II was foreseeable, or at least a conflict of some proportions was, were any common Europeans able to preemptively emigrate? From reading some other questions and ...
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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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1answer
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Could the Germans have “sealed off” the Sea of Azov in World War II?

After the fall of Sevastopol in June, 1942, the Soviet navy retreated to the east coast of the Black Sea. North of the Black Sea is the much smaller Sea of Azov, with a narrow access through the ...
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Did the Torch operation help doom the Germans at Stalingrad?

Amid calls for a "second front," the Anglo-Americans landed in North Africa Operation Torch, in early November, 1942. Some say that it was a "sideshow," others say that it was a "cross-ruffing" ...
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What damage did anti-tank rifles hope to inflict on tanks in WW2?

Initially I was surprised to learn that such a thing as an anti-tank rifle even exists. It seems a ludicrous idea to try to shoot a tank with a rifle. But let's suppose that the bullet really hits a ...
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What factors discouraged the Nazis from focusing all their forces on the Caucasus region during Operation Barbarossa?

Instead of splitting his invasion force into three groups, it appears it would have been more sensible to focus on taking over the Caucasus region first. At the time, Baku, a Caucasus oil metropolis, ...
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Why did the Allies lose the Battle of France (1940)?

I know for a fact that Allied forces were slightly inferior to German forces on some points. I know that the Ardennes was ill-protected on the French side. The defenses were poorly constructed, and ...
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Why did the Germans not encircle and besiege Stalingrad?

The Germans spent a large amount of manpower in adverse territory for this city, even after long exhausting continuous combat. After the war, Kliest wrote: The capture of Stalingrad was ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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How (and why) did Hitler create “the world's largest traffic jam?”

This is not a reference to "current events" but to Fall Blau the 1942 attack on the southern Soviet Union by Army Group South. The campaign started smoothly enough, with the approach to (and capture ...
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Did the Germans use a “Verdun”-like strategy at Stalingrad?

In February 1916, the Germans might have captured the fortress of Verdun (France), quickly through an all-out assault. Instead, the German General Falkenhayn initially elected to make an artillery ...
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Did the Soviet Union need both prongs to succeed at the Battle of Stalingrad?

In November, 1942, three months after the battle of Stalingrad began, the Soviet Union, launched Operation Uranus, a counterencirclement of the German forces in and around the city, in two prongs. ...
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Was there a plan from the USSR to invade Germany before Barbarossa? [closed]

Were there any intentions from the USSR to invade Germany before Operation Barbarossa? Did the USSR intelligence services know that Hitler had intentions to invade them?
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Did Erwin König Exist?

Erwin König Was a sniper supposedly killed by Vasily Zaytsev in the Battle of Stalingrad. The diary of Vasily Zaytsev mentions killing Erwin Konig, and there is a sniper scope in Russia, but there is ...
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Did the Germans attempt the easier or harder of two possible objectives in the Caucasus?

During the summer and fall of 1942, German Army Group A advanced into the Caucasus pursuant to Fall Blau. This consisted of two armies, the First Panzer Army and the Seventeenth Army. The advanced ...
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Was Germany's “Fall Blau” plan in the Soviet Union partly aimed at Mediterranean neutrals or Japan (a neutral vis-vis the Soviets)?

In 1942, Germany adopted Fall Blau, a plan for a southward push in the Soviet Union toward the Caucasus, and the borders of Turkey and Iran. (Stalingrad was added to the plan later.) Decrypts by "...
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How did the Axis intend to hold the Caucasus?

We all know how the Axis offensive in 1942 led to the "turning point" battle of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of the Third Reich, and that this offensive had been launched in order to capture and ...
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1answer
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How long might the campaigning season in the Caucasus have lasted for the Germans?

The Caucasus Mountains included some of the most southerly points in the former Soviet Union, but also some of the highest altitude points. The book, "Marching Orders" referred to "ice and snow" for ...
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How close did Germany come to interdicting Soviet oil shipments from the Caucasus in 1942?

In 1942, the Germans captured a relatively small oil complex at Maikop in the North Caucasus, and got within 25 miles of a larger one at Grozny. But the biggest prize was at Baku, on the "far" (...
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Was one of the main reasons Hitler attacked the Soviet Union due to oil?

Some people say the reason for Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union was due to the oil fields in the Caucasus. Which, according to many historians, was the fact he prioritized his armies south rather ...
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2answers
389 views

Did Army Group Center have easier going up to Smolensk than between Smolensk and Moscow?

To try to get an answer to this question, I would like to explore its factual bases, including, but not limited to the following: 1) How did the road/railroad communication network west of Smolensk ...
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What was the strategic importance of Moscow to the Soviet Union in Dec 1941?

According Rodric Braithwaite the British Ambassador to Russia in 2005 "Four-fifths of the fighting in Europe took place on the Eastern Front, and that is where the Germans suffered 90% of their ...
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1answer
231 views

What would have happened had Stalin not had the Siberian forces help? [closed]

During World War II, part of the reason that Germany was stopped cold(pun intended) on the Russian front was due to the fact that Stalin was able to move all the Siberian troops that had been ...
5
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1answer
785 views

How was Russian AFV production affected by the relocation of factories during WWII, after the German invasion of 1941?

How was Russian AFV production affected by the relocation of factories during WWII, post the German invasion of 1941? They went on to out-produce the Germans by around 3-1 in tanks from 1942 onwards. ...
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What was Finland's role in the siege of Leningrad?

My understanding was that Finland was not really pro Nazi Germany, but merely wanted to recover the lands lost to the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-40. That is, "the enemy of my enemy is my ...
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Why couldn't Germans and Finns capture Leningrad? [closed]

The Siege of Leningrad lasted for about 2,5 years. And Germans cooperated with Finns during the siege. As we know Wehrmacht dominated the battlefield in 1941 and 1942. So why couldn't they capture ...
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How besieged was Leningrad after Operation Iskra?

Wikipedia's timeline for the siege of Leningrad is a little puzzling. It has: 12–30 January 1943: Operation Iskra penetrates the siege by opening a land corridor along the coast of Lake Ladoga into ...

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