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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44
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1answer
6k views

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
2k views

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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6answers
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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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3answers
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Why couldn't Japan crack the Navajo Code in WW2, when they captured a Navajo native speaker?

All quotes come from r/askhistorians comment by User druidofdarrowdelf, but it doesn't answer my own questions. The Japanese captured a Navajo POW, Joe Kieyoomia, who wasn't part of the Code Talker ...
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1answer
321 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 ...
3
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1answer
227 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
150 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
323 views

Why did Fall Blau start at Voronezh instead of further south?

The main objectives of Fall Blau, the German 1942 summer offensive, were the Volga River, to cut off Soviet oil supplies from further south, and the Caucasus oil fields themselves, for German use. ...
11
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5answers
647 views

Why did the Germans build battle cruisers with a different profile than the British?

Battle cruisers of the Scharnhorst class had a displacement of 32,000 tons and a speed of 31 knots, but carried only 11 inch guns. On the other hand, British) battle cruisers like the Renown had a ...
4
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1answer
112 views

How many naval mines were cleared for D-Day?

I was interested to read in this question about the clearing of naval mines for D-Day in 1944. There are estimates of the frequency of the mines on the beach -- history.com says there were "4 million ...
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2answers
147 views

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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3answers
478 views

Can the German success on the Eastern front be largely explained by superior air power?

My understanding is that the Russians were mostly superior on the ground to the Germans (except for armor, in the early stages of the war), and the main German advantage was in the air. The ...
47
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2answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Is there any way to get a list of Germans who were interned in American camps during WWII?

I am trying to see if any ancestors that immigrated from Germany in the 1800's were sent to the American interment camps during WWII. Is there a list of names for the Germans who were considered “...
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1answer
185 views

Where was Mao Zedong during the Japanese surrender in Zhijiang (芷江) at the end of WWII in 1945?

Timeline for context: 9 August, 1945: atomic bomb on Nagasaki. 15 August: the Japanese announced their acceptance of the unconditional surrender (Potsdam Proclamation). 21-23 August: the Japanese ...
8
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1answer
423 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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2answers
72 views

What are the themes of post-WW2 Polish immigration to the United States? [closed]

What are the themes of post-WW2 Polish immigration to the United States? What was life like for this immigrant community?
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0answers
116 views

Did the Japenese consider the atomic bomb no worse than any other bomb? [duplicate]

I read another article asserting that the US needlessly dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, but this one had a different spin: the Soviets had already defeated the Japanese. It basically lays out the ...
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0answers
122 views

Why did Lovett, McCloy and Bundy want to resign from their US cabinet positions in September 1945?

Why did Robert Lovett (Assistant Secretary of War for Air) John J. McCloy (of the War Department) Harvey Hollister Bundy (liaison to the Office of Scientific Research and Development) want to ...
8
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1answer
844 views

What was the estimated malaria death toll for US Forces during World War II?

Recently I run onto an article listing 10 most deadliest epidemics in the human history, this contradictory article was from Russian website that looks rather low quality, but what attracted my focus ...
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1answer
314 views

Why didn't the Wehrmacht pull back to a short frontline in 1945? [closed]

At the time the Russians were at the gates of Berlin, the Germans still had forces in Italy, Yugoslavia, even Denmark(and Norway?). Even then, the Germans were holding the lines and conducting ...
10
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4answers
532 views

How did Soviet soldiers resist tanks during the battle of Shumshu?

During the battle of Shumshu, it is claimed in the Wikipedia article that forces ratio was as follow: Japan side: 8 500 personnel (combatant and non combatant?) and 77 tanks Russian side: up to 9 000 ...
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1answer
1k views

Based on his service record, where was this soldier deployed in WW2?

I am trying to work out where my grandmother's cousin, Henry Adler, saw action during WW2. Henry was born June 14th 1917 in Glasgow. I have his Soldier's Service and Pay Book as well as his Soldier's ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Was the de Havilland Mosquito ever deployed on an aircraft carrier?

The de Havilland Mosquito was a highly versatile aircraft of World War II, designed as a light bomber, but also used as a fighter, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft among other things. The ...
2
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1answer
171 views

What was the effective sight radius of World War II naval reconnaissance aircraft?

At the battle of Midway, the Japanese launched eight reconnaissance aircraft, which failed to find the American fleet in time to take effective action. I'm not sure what altitude they were operating ...
3
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2answers
346 views

When did the allied “Desert Air Force” in North Africa smash Axis armour?

In the answers to this question, it is mentioned that allied air power "smashed" Axis armour in North Africa. Is there a major battle at which it occurred? Or did it happen during a longer ...
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1answer
196 views

What was the extent of military conscription by the German Army during World War 2? [closed]

I have three questions about this that I hope people can help me out with: How many soldiers were conscripted in total (in all countries)? What was punishment like if you refused? How many conscripts ...
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1answer
112 views

Did Stukas support Schmalz Panzer corps and what about air interdiction?

During the campaign of Sicily, mid-summer 1943, British forces of the 8th army fought along the East coast of Sicily against Axis forces. Mid-July, the 5th British division encountered an opposing ...
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0answers
182 views

How did U-boats enter and exit the submarine pens at Brest?

I was reading about the Brest submarine pen/bunker complex and looking at pictures of it. I was even able to locate a set of blueprints of the base here. But because of the poor quality of the image ...
5
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1answer
230 views

Request for information about an Auschwitz-Birkenau story

Two months ago, I visited Auschwitz, and our guide told us a story during the tour: In Auschwitz-Birkenau, there was a place intended for the Jews to sleep that had a drawing of a few kids ...
3
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2answers
760 views

Did any “tanks in front” tactic exist during WW2?

I am searching for a tactic that would be in service in the British and/or French army during WW2. It would consist in placing the tank on forward position of other elements, especially in front of ...
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3answers
457 views

Which factors led to the different casualty ratio betwen British and German forces during the Battle of Normandy?

I take for example the VIIIth corps of the British Army, which was part of multiple operations in Normandy in 1944. If you go through the different operations listed in the article, there are very ...
2
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1answer
342 views

Why did Allied Command maintain passive, especially Indian units in Middle East during the years 1942 and 1943?

I have found, going through stack exchange questions, a pair of links that speak about the presence. Those links are: Statistics on the number of divisions during WWII and the deployment of a (mostly ...
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3answers
2k views

Did they really have automatic anti-aircraft cannons in WW2? [closed]

I tried to find it before asking, but I couldn't. A few years ago, I read in a Wikipedia article, and saw photos of, what apparently was a fully automatic anti-aircraft cannon which, if I didn't get ...
2
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1answer
115 views

Would League of Nations and U.S. sanctions/trade embargo against 1930's Germany had notable consequences in Germany?

My research shows that trade between the U.S., France, and Britain with Germany during the mid 1930's was lower than it had been and was on a decline. This has lead me to ponder the following ...
2
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2answers
218 views

What jobs exempted one from being conscripted in the UK during World War 2? [closed]

During the Second World War, what jobs in the United Kingdom meant that their holders were exempt from being called up for military service?
6
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1answer
1k views

What happened to Wilhelm Hoffman?

Wilhelm Hoffman was a Wehrmacht soldier trapped in Stalingrad, whose diary survived the war and provides a rare look at what it was like to be an average German soldier on the Eastern Front. My ...
7
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4answers
645 views

How obvious was lend-lease equipment to the average Soviet soldier?

As the question says, was the average USSR soldier aware that the equipment isssued to them had come from the United States? Jeeps and aircraft are well known to have been sent to the USSR - would the ...
4
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2answers
458 views

Was the 1939 Red Army more disciplined / better behaved than the 1943-1945 Red Army?

The Soviet Union Red Army had two westbound offensives into Central Europe (approximately the territory that is currently Belarus, Kaliningrad, Poland) as part of World War II: The Soviet invasion of ...
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1answer
289 views

What evidence is there of tank-vs-tank combat in Asia during the second world war?

It has been known that the Japanese army during the Second World War did not value tanks highly and as such they were not always used effectively and had significantly worse characteristics than ...
8
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3answers
526 views

Did the Allies ever seriously contemplate a “Northern Intervention” in Russia during World War II?

Late in World War I, Britain and America conducted a Northern Intervention around the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to try to prevent the occupation of northern Russia by either the Germans ...
2
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1answer
636 views

How did British aircraft fare against Japanese aircraft during the Second World War? [closed]

It goes without saying that both the Supermarine Spitfire used by the UK and the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero are iconic fighter aircraft of the Second World War. But how did these aircraft fare when they ...
3
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4answers
434 views

Why was America much better prepared earlier in World War II in the air than in other respects?

According to sources such as Paul Kennedy's "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, America's total armaments spending in 1941 was about half that of the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan). It was also ...
4
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0answers
85 views

Did any Western consulates remain open or re-open after WWII in the same buildings in which they had resided in Wuhan, Hebei, China?

The recent CNN article From one-time Chinese capital to coronavirus epicenter, Wuhan has a long history that the West had forgotten Two generations ago, this city of 11 million people, on the ...
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4answers
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Why were the drawings of Colossus burnt after WW2 and why was its very existence “of course” kept secret?

After VJ Day, suddenly it was all over. Eight of the ten Colossi were dismantled in Bletchley Park. Two went to Eastcote in North London and then to GCHQ at Cheltenham. These last two were dismantled ...
6
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3answers
519 views

Why was there no “Atlantic Wall” equivalent on the Mediterranean coast of France?

During World War II, Germany built the Atlantic Wall, a series of fortifications covering the Atlantic coasts of France, the Low Countries, Norway, etc. But that effort didn't seem to extend to the ...
3
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1answer
286 views

In what incident did a resistance press leak cause a concentration camp commander demotion?

I recall reading about an atrocity in a concentration camp in the Occupied Netherlands. The atrocity is notable (perhaps even unique) because news leaked out via the underground resistance press, and ...
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1answer
145 views

Was the decrypting of communications in WW2 a one-sided effort, or did Germany also do it? [closed]

Lately, I've read a lot about how the "Allies" in WW2 (I always found that term strange since the others were also "allies", just not with the USA!) kept breaking all the German ciphers from both the ...
2
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2answers
554 views

If the Allies had invaded Japan in 1945, would they have been fighting the “weakest” Japanese troops?

Sources such as Basil Collier's "The Second World War: A Military History" list the Japanese forces during the war as being 6 million. My understanding is that the background of these troops is ...
4
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5answers
747 views

What military power would ever pre-announce an attack to give the enemy time to work up a defense?

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of ...

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