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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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11
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4answers
3k views

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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What is the historical evidence behind the claim that the Soviet armies perpetrated mass rapes during their stay in Germany?

Besides accounts from Anthony Beevor's book and research done by Sander & Johr, which some members of the amateur historian community dismiss as biased and revisionist, are there any other source ...
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3answers
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Was Rommel anti-semitic?

I've heard that he was not. Later, I've heard that he would have joined the fray if not because of political consideration. I forgot the source.
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440 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
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What is the equivalent buying power of one 1945 Reichsmark in 2016 Euros?

Inspired by this question How much is one 1945 German Mark to one 2016 Euro?, for example how many Reichsmark would I need to buy a loaf of bread and how many Euros compared to that?
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WWII: Did the entire war depend on breaking the ENIGMA cipher? [closed]

I recently watched this great historical movie called Enigma (2001) As I saw the movie, a British general claimed that the entire war was depended on breaking the Enigma cipher? Is this really a ...
38
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7answers
8k views

Was it militarily possible to “island hop” the Philippines if not for MacArthur?

The battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines led to the destruction of half of what remained of the Japanese navy. It also "sucked in" all the troops that Japanese could spare from elsewhere, leading ...
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1answer
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What was the plan for an abort of the Enola Gay's mission to drop the atomic bomb?

Following up on this answer... @mark, in the answer, writes that "[i]n the event that the crew of Enola Gay had to abort their mission, they had no intention of trying to land with the bomb still ...
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6answers
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What was the role of the Soviet Navy during WWII?

Most books about WWII speak of the naval battles of Allied and Axis powers during the war, but none about the Soviet Navy. The Soviets had an active fleet at the time - why did it not engage the ...
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9answers
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Why weren't aircraft carriers utilized during D-day?

Why were aircraft carriers not used during and following D-Day? They could have added a great deal of range to the air support operations.
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3answers
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Why did US Navy WW2 torpedoes detonate at the end of their run?

I'm listening to James Scott's "The War Below". In World War II, US Navy torpedoes detonated at the end of their range if they hadn't hit anything. So if a torpedo was fired and went its maximum ...
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Were there any attempts to assassinate Joseph Stalin?

Were there any attempts to assassinate Stalin? I haven't learned of any attempt to kill him, was he so brutal that no one tried to kill him?
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Why was Eisenhower chosen to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?

Dwight D. Eisenhower "Ike", graduated from West Point in 1915 ranked 61st in a class of 164 better known for his abilities on the football field than in the classroom. Upon graduation from West Point ...
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1answer
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Austria and Iron Curtain during Cold War

Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech from 1946 contains the following famous passage: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. ...
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2answers
737 views

What did the average German citizen know about the war?

How much did the average German citizen know about the advancements and losses of the German armed forces; more specifically, did the citizens know in 1943 to 1945 that German forces were being pushed ...
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Did WWII Delay Indian Independence?

During WWII, Gandhi said that Indians should adopt a compromising attitude towards the British due to the stresses of war. Did this prolong the (near) inactivity of the Indian National Movement? Or ...
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What other war crimes trials, besides those of Nazi war criminals, were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
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Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources first before invading Soviet Union?

Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources instead of Soviet Union? Or at least invade Middle East first to secure the resources needed for sustained military operation? I understand Hitler ...
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1answer
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Why did Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia remain loyal to France during and after World War II?

During WW II Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia did not revolt against either Vichy France or Free France. Not only did they not take advantage of the initial French defeat and its occupation by Axis powers,...
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2answers
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Why did American public opinion move away from isolationism in 1940-41?

In Lynne Olson's recent interview in the New York Times dealing with her book Those Angry Days she notes that isolationism was "finished" by late 1941 and that a "sea change" occurred in American ...
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1answer
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Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base in the Kuril Islands in 1943?

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated two all-weather, heated, lit runways on Matsuwa Island in the Kuril island chain. This island is littered with German fuel drums manufactured in 1943. It also has ...
11
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2answers
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Percentage of the draft pool that were conscripted during WW2 and Vietnam

During the times of these conflicts I'm pretty sure the eligible ages to be drafted were from 18 - 25. During these times what percentage of US males between those ages were drafted. I'd like to be ...
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Did Goebbels really say “Truth is the enemy of the state”? If so, when?

One of the most famous so-called quotation attributed to Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels is: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The ...
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1answer
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How did the civilian population of Nazi Germany react to Operation Overlord

How did the civilian population of Germany react when it became known that the Allies had finally launched their attack on the Atlantic Wall?
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During the Normandy landings, were any German naval assets brought to bear against the Allies?

I know the allied fleet suffered heavy losses during the operation: Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged. ...
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995 views

Was the Soviet Union in 1945 seeking to capture German soldiers and civilians, or drive them west?

The latter part of Prit Buttar's Battleground Prussia deals with the desperate attempts by German soldiers and civilians to escape from the ports and peninsulas of East and West Prussia in early 1945. ...
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1answer
384 views

During WW2, did the USSR re-gauge railways in conquered areas?

Basically, Germany uses 1435 mm gauge train track while Russia used 1524 mm. I recently came across this question about the Germans re-gauging the track that they could during their invasion of Russia....
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Scaffoldings on Taj Mahal?

I recently came across this picture (removed now, look at wiki article instead), saying that it is a scaffolding erected during WW2 over Taj Mahal to protect it from Japanese Air Force. Even the ...
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776 views

Did the Germans have enough bombers to conduct “strategic” bombing of the Soviet Union?

The Germans have been criticized for not using strategic bombing against Soviet factories, oil fields, etc. to suppress Soviet weapons production. On the other hand, it is hard to argue with the ...
8
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1answer
464 views

How common was the German desire for revenge for the humiliation of 1918 armistice?

The author of the article "How Peace Kept WWI Alive" (here in English) at spiegel.de writes about the relationship between the two World Wars. The article says (emphasis added) that The experience ...
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What was Nazi Germany's end goal?

This is something I've always wondered but couldn't imagine what the answer could be and haven't found much material elsewhere. Nazi Germany, paired with Italy and Japan was waging war on the world ...
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4answers
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Was the Waffen-SS an elite force? [duplicate]

I often hear that the SS were "the elite troops of the Reich" and I seriously doubt it without being able to explain why it wasn't despite having read two entire books on the Waffen-SS. I think it's ...
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3answers
387 views

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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1answer
643 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
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5answers
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What was the most important cause of the Second World War? [closed]

What was the most important cause of the Second World War? Obviously there was the Treaty of Versailles which played a significant part; the War Guilt Clause, Reparations, Disarmament and territorial ...
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5answers
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Did Germany lose World War II when/because “kill ratios” started moving “against” her?

In the first major action between the Germans and Americans, at the battle of Kasserine Pass , the Germans inflicted casualties against (mostly) the inexperienced Americans at the rate of about 5 to 1....
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5answers
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Was “Death Traps” by Belton Y. Cooper historically accurate?

Was the WW2 memoir "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper historically accurate?
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4answers
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Is this true that the Soviet Army soldiers had no helmets in the beginning of WW2?

Is this true that the Soviet Army was so poorly equipped by the WW2 that soldiers had no helmets?
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3answers
986 views

What was the mechanized/motorized distribution in German Panzer divisions?

I've read a lot of organization charts for German Panzer divisions. In most of them, they have one panzer (tank) regiment, one artillery regiment, two or three panzergrenadiere (mobile infantry) ...
4
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2answers
321 views

Where is signed original Donitz's authorization to German representatives to ratify “Instrument of surrender signed at Berlin”?

Where is the signed original of Reichspräsident Dönitz's authorization to German representatives to ratify the "Instrument of surrender signed at Berlin" stored today? Is a facsimile of the original ...
4
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1answer
241 views

How did the supplies shipped in winter over the “Road of Life” to Leningrad compare to those at other times of the year?

A key factor in the survival of Leningrad during its 900 day siege was the "Road of Life" built across a frozen Lake Ladoga during the winter months of 1941, 1942, and 1943, and lasting nearly half a ...
4
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3answers
374 views

What were Albert Speer's specialties, and how did he apply them when he led Organisation Todt?

I know that Speer was the Minister of Armaments and Munitions as well as the head of the Organisation Todt, but what exactly did he do to make the war production so productive? What changes did he ...
3
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1answer
588 views

Is there a written history on the Sonderkommando Elbe?

I was watching a program called Dogfights where they were talking about the Sonderkommando Elbe and their tactic of ramming Messerschmitt Bf 109's into American bombers is a sort of suicide attack. ...
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Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
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4answers
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M4A1 sherman vs StuG III ausf. G — what were the odds in favor of the Sherman?

We've all heard stories after stories of how a lone Tiger or Panther made a practical scrapyard of Shermans by ambushing all day. But I can't find enough information on what happened when a Sherman ...
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3answers
669 views

Was “Blitzkrieg” at least partly intended for trapping the Jews?

I encountered a point of view that the German tactic of "Blitzkrieg", besides purely military purpose to achieve victory as quick as possible, was in fact designed to trap the Jews so that they could ...
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Was the tugboat ever part of a WWII battle group?

It would seem a pretty logical addition to a WWII battle group to have one of more tugs for the capital ships (heck, any ship), yet I don't see much evidence of that. Let me elaborate. I was an Army ...
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Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?

Why in WW1 or WW2 or ever nobody invaded Switzerland? All other countries was in some wars. How Switzerland do it and should we learn from them? I hear that many people with power have money in swiss ...
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What was the meaning of the following Neville Chamberlain quote?

In 1938, during the Munich (Czech) Crisis, then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain expressed his distaste for making war preparations over "a quarrel in a faraway land between people of which ...
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Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...