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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626 views

Why did conquered countries after WWII recover, but countries conquered later continue suffering? [closed]

Nations damaged severely in WWII (suffered major economic collapse and civilian casualties) such as Japan, Germany and Poland have not only recovered but are doing better than ever before. Most of ...
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Were American mortars better than Soviet ones during WWII?

In this question, the OP says that the American mortars where better than the Soviet ones. Nobody went further on that point. But I am surprised: It appears from my research that the Soviets had ...
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Did Midway provide the strategic opportunity Japan sought? [closed]

We all know that the Battle of Midway was a disaster for the Japanese Empire, and a turning point of the Pacific War. Events did not turn out as the IJN had hoped. But the result by no means was a ...
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What happened to US's Lend-Lease machinery given to the Soviet Union?

Although most sources say that the Russians were supplied with great amounts of equipment and food as part of Lend-Lease program, I have not in all my years living in Russia seen US labeled machinery. ...
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Why were so few Luftwaffe attacks flown against the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944?

Why were so few Luftwaffe attacks flown against the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944? I understand there were roughly 200 aircraft available in France/Belgium, and yet there were only 2 aircraft that ...
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Was Ludwig von Mises a holocaust survivor? [closed]

Von Mises left Europe to avoid the Nazis. Does that make him a Holocaust Survivor?
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Were soldiers in the World Wars paid?

There have always been professional soldiers however during the world wards there were vast conscription to encourage young men to join up for "King and Country". Presumably there was some sort of ...
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Did any Nazi court convict officers of atrocities that went “too far” even by SS standards?

The English language Wikipedia article on the Dirlewanger Brigade in Belarus quotes Martin Kitchen, The Third Reich: Charisma and Community, p. 267, stating that the unit: committed such shocking ...
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How did Nazi Germany produce such an impressive portfolio of officers for WW2?

von Runstedt Model Dietl Guderian von Manstein Rommel Kesselring (who was an able commander both on land and in the air) Richtofen Donitz Raeder All of these German names have been featured heavily ...
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Did it matter that the Red Army clung on to Stalingrad's West bank in 1942?

All histories of the Stalingrad battle emphasize the heroic defense of the west bank of the Volga by the Red Army in 1942. It implies that if the German 6th Army had just managed to oust the last ...
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What percentage of buildings in Greater London were destroyed during WWII?

I would like to do as direct as possible comparison with the bomb damage which occurred in German cities. This is listed as percentage buildings destroyed in Max Hasting's Bomber Command. I already ...
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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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Who first conceived and developed the acoustic homing torpedo, and when?

Acoustic homing torpedoes did not see action until 1943 with the Falke/T4 from Germany and the Mark 24 Mine from the USA. These torpedoes were passive in that they homed in on the loudest sound that ...
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Did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral?

All things considered and with perfect hindsight, did the Allies benefit, by having Italy fight on Germany's side rather than remain neutral? I was inspired to ask this question after reading Paul ...
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Was there a contingency plan in place if Little Boy failed to detonate?

It's August 6th, 1945. The first atomic bomb ever dropped hurtles to the ground. Its fuse fails and with a thunk it buries itself in the ground. The Enola Gay flies home, its crew worried they did ...
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Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide?

The corpse of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor of British 2nd Army HQ, May 23, 1945. Source: Rare Historical Photos Background - I'm intrigued by Martin Allen's theory that Himmler ...
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How was the border between Vichy and German Occupied France decided?

The border between Vichy France and German-Occupied France strike me as exceptionally strange. The stated intent for Germany separating the two was to give Germany exclusive control of all areas ...
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When planning Barbarossa, did Germany conceive of the Soviet migration of heavy industry?

Wikipedia has a very tiny article on this. Basically, when Barbarossa was launched, the Soviet Union started evacuating the factories. They were migrated to places beyond the Ural Mountains. I'm ...
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1answer
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Did Britain call up veterinarians in World War Two?

My question is inspired by the final episode of "All Creatures Great and Small" where James Herriot gets his call up letter to fight for Britain in World War Two. My question is: was this realistic? I ...
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Can anyone identify this tank?

It is from this BBC page on landmarks being preserved from D-Day. The body looks a bit like a Sherman, but the turret isn't like anything I've ever seen before.
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How accessible was the port of Archangelsk from the east?

During World War II, something like one half of Lend Lease supplies reached Russia via Vladivostok and the Trans Siberian railroad (what I call the eastern route); one quarter to south Russia from the ...
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Identification of harbor and ships

Identification of port and country. Identification of ships. WWII era, from a German Kriegsmarine album
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How fortified was Cyprus during WW2?

How fortified was Cyprus during WW2? By that I mean how many Allied naval ships were defending it, how many aircraft and airbases, and how many troops with what equipment? The period I'm most ...
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Were RMS Lancastria survivors strafed?

The bombing and sinking of RMS Lancastria popped up in the "on this day" Wikipedia feed. RMS Lancastria In the article there is this paragraph: When German aircraft began strafing survivors in ...
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What were the original casualty projections for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I remember hearing several times that the bombs dropped on Japan were a lot deadlier than expected. What were the original projections for casualties for both and how much less than the actual ...
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WWII: What navy controlled the Mediterranean during the North African Campaign?

Inspired by the question about the Strait of Gibraltar, I wondered how Germany was able to get troops to North Africa, given the naval power of Britain? Based upon this question, I would doubt that ...
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Is it true that Winston Churchill said 'I bet my head on Crete' (or a similar statement)?

Long ago, I saw a Nazi propaganda caricature showing a headless Churchill serving his own severed head on a plate, the joke being that he foolishly claimed the Germans would be unable to take Crete. I ...
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How do functionalists explain the fact that Holocaust continued until the very end of the war?

While I haven't read Goldhagen or scholars with a similar viewpoint directly, I frequently encounter the following argument that seems very Goldhagenite to me: "The Germans tried to murder Jews up ...
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Why was Operation Felix cancelled?

Operation Felix was the seizure of Gibraltar (a British naval base at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea) by the Nazis during World War 2. The Nazis believed if they could take control of Gibraltar, ...
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If Nietzsche was against anti-semitism, how did he become an inspiration to Hitler? [closed]

I recently read that Nietzsche was against anti-semitism, though I understand that that doesn't exempt him from being anti-Judaism (though, I'm not entirely sure how one would distinguish the two). ...
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What does “SS” mean in box 5 of the WD AGO 53-55 form?

I have my father's WD AGO 53-55 form. He was a WWII D Day veteran. I have not been able to decipher the Component code in Box 5. I've seen many examples with AUS (for Army of the United States) and a ...
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What led to American air superiority over the Axis in World War II

In his 1943 "State of the Union" Address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt commented, "in Africa, we are shooting down two enemy planes to every one we lose, and in the Pacific and the Southwest ...
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What happened to the cavalry corps of Simon Boudienny?

According to this question, there was a campaign led by the Russians in Ukraine where they engaged a cavalry unit. I imagine it was in 1941, and according to Wikipedia research, it might be the ...
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What tactical situations made the use of traditional horse cavalry effective in World War II?

In another question When was the last cavalry charge?, answers discussed several occasions where horses were still used in combat, including in cavalry charges. I thought that the invention of the ...
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Were some Yugoslav “nationalities” more pro-Axis/Allied than others during World War II

"Yugo" (South) slavia, is actually a motley collection (mixed bag in the American idiom) of groups such as the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Dalmatians, Macedonians, Bosnians, and others. During World War ...
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What role did Lucky Luciano play in faciliting South Europe invasion?

On the night of July 9, 1943, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the extreme southwestern shore of Sicily. After securing a beachhead, Gen. George Patton's U.S. Seventh Army launched an offensive into ...
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Why was Franklin D. Roosevelt pro-intervention?

In the lead-up to WW2, most Americans were in favor of neutrality and isolation. President Roosevelt, however, was privately in favor of intervention. One paragraph from Wikipedia summarizes it ...
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What was the combat effectiveness of German infantry in the western front of the Second World War?

I am specifically looking for statistics that estimate man for man what Wehrmacht infantry units were worth compared to allied infantry (principally British and American) after the opening of the ...
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Operation Biting: Composition of the German Naval Patrol

Before the British paratroopers were rescued during Operation Biting in 1942, it was reported that a German naval patrol was operating nearby, which delayed the rescue of the paratroopers by the Royal ...
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How were snipers used on the western front during WW2?

When the topic of snipers in WWII comes up, it's almost always about Soviet snipers and the eastern front. What about the western front? I'm specifically interested in how or if the British, American, ...
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Were any of the major battle plans in WWII changed last minute by officers on the ground?

I haven't found any consistent reference to a particular battle wherein the battle plans were changed by a lower level officer on the ground at the last minute. Specifically, a major battle plan, not ...
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What role (if any) did lend-lease equipment play in the Second Battle of El-Alamein?

I'm specifically thinking military materiel and its significance in the outcome of the Allied victory.
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Where can I find a high tide for the Atlantic coast of France from 11 July to mid August 1941?

I am researching an alternate-history novel and have the raid on St. Nazaire happening in 1941. I need a high tide for the night-time raid. Is there any place I can find tide tables for that time ...
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1answer
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Number of foreigners in the Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht during WWII

During World War II, thousands of non-German men fought in the Waffen-SS and in the Wehrmacht. People from all Europe, volunteers from neutral and occupied countries and enemy prisoners. Even Russian ...
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How many rapes did the Wehrmacht commit in the Soviet Union during World War II?

German Wikipedia says that until 1944 5394 German soldiers were convicted for "moral crimes", but the Wehrmacht leadership regarded that sexual crimes in accordance with the racial ideology (...
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1answer
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Was there a revised English version of General Order 1 re: the division of Korea?

I stumbled upon this document (in Russian, use Google Translate). It seems to be a translation of the beginning of General Order No. 1 (Wikipedia, Wikisource). I noticed 2 peculiar differences in ...
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What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
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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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Did German soldiers receive pay after the Allied invasion?

The German war machine was well organized, the logistics were quite accurate and I can only imagine that they also were quite on time with wages payment before the Allied invasion in France. My ...
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Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...

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