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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377 views

Did some Nazi death camp guards use Lee Enfield rifles?

I was watching the Netflix series The Devil Next Door and there was was video footage of a Nazi death camp. What was strange was that one of the guards appeared to be wielding a Lee Enfield No4 rifle ...
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0answers
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How extensive was the Allies use of inflatable decoy tanks during D-Day preparations?

I have seen in a couple WW2 documentaries, that inflatable decoy tanks were used during d-day preparations to fool the German military. How extensive was this use? How many inflatable tanks were ...
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What are some good sources on the everyday life of Soviet troops during WWII?

Imagine I wanted to get a basic understanding what the everyday life of a Soviet soldier (especially infantry, tank units, air force) during WWII was like. What books and other resources in English, ...
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1answer
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How many RAF and USAAF/USAF airfields were built in the UK between the mid-1930s and 1960?

Whenever I fly over southern or eastern England I see a lot of runways, many of them disused. The majority were built during WW2 for the RAF and USAAF, others date back to the early cold war years. ...
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How could I estimate the total global environmental impact of WWII? [closed]

I've been long wondering, and pondering this question since I've been studying and researching WWII for the last 15 years. I know this is an impossible calculation to make, but I wonder if anyone has ...
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907 views

Were the Nazis actually ever horrified of anything that the Imperial Japanese Army did or vice-versa?

While reading Rationalwiki page on the Rape of Nanjing part of the article really stood out to me: …such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and ...
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Why did Japan never “apologize” enough for World War 2?

Although Japan kept "apologizing" for atrocities committed during World War 2 for more than 70 years, the apologies were deemed "not sincere enough" by the victims. This stands in huge contrast with ...
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366 views

Are views in Thailand on Axis powers influenced by colonization?

John Oliver talked on how Nazi depictions are used commercially in Thailand. However, Thailand regained land from the British and the French during WW2, which maybe could be partially attributed to ...
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1answer
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Was Switzerland pressured either by Allies or Axis to take part in World War 2 at any time?

In the second world war, Switzerland mostly maintained it's neutrality and served as protecting power and mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers. A Wikipedia article Switzerland ...
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How were Kurds involved (or not) in the invasion of Normandy?

In defending his decision to withdraw from northern Syria and cease supporting Kurdish fighters in the face of the 2019 Turkish invasion, Donald Trump said: [The Kurds] didn’t help us in the second ...
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3answers
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Why was the Deutschland so ineffective compared to the Admiral Graf Spee and the Admiral Scheer?

Before World War II, Germany created the Deutschland Class of heavily armored cruisers in order to comply with the regulations in the Treaty of Versailles. Three of these cruisers (called pocket-...
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1answer
127 views

Help for identifying a shell

After a few hours of search, I can't identify this shell. I know it's a 75 mm shell, from one of the WW (probably WWI, but can't guarantee it), found in France, but that's about it. Could be from any ...
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5answers
813 views

Were Allied high commanders that bad at the end of WW2?

I have heard by some friends, speaking of military history, that Allied commanders were well known for being, at best, mediocre in their performance of fight. They were not able to give precise ...
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Did the Soviet army intentionally send troops (e.g. penal battalions) running over minefields?

You can hear this story/claim stated in various way, from just regular troops doing it, to just penal battalions, to strenuous denial nobody ever did this in the Soviet army. (Just look at a Quora ...
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1answer
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Why did the Soviet Union not “grant” Inner Mongolia to Mongolia after World War Two?

In the brief Soviet anti-Japanese campaign of 1945, Soviet and Mongol troops entered Inner Mongolia. Mongolia itself had been essentially a client state of the Soviet Union since 1921. Also the ...
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Do we know the situation in Britain before Sealion (summer 1940)?

Inspired by this other question, I had a look at the book (published in 1998/2003), and noticed this passage. When we captured Liège, we discovered a German map factory in full production. We ...
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1answer
244 views

What was a “cable station” in WW2 Pacific War?

I'm listening to Fluckey's "Thunder Below" about the USS Barb's exploits. He mentions a mission to shell a Japanese "cable station" in the Kuril Islands, but doesn't explain what it is for. He does ...
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Is this a Sherman, and if so what model?

A River Oaks, Houston, TX, attorney recently purchased and parked outside his home a fully functional World War Two tank. Note: The original newspaper article claimed the tank was "fully functional" ...
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1answer
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How long did men have to serve in the US army until they were promoted to sergeants during WW2?

During the Second World War men rose through ranks much quicker than they do today due to heavy losses and they went from private to corporal and corporal to sergeant after serving only a small amount ...
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1answer
554 views

Which peace offer did Hitler give to Great Britain in 1940?

A few days ago, I finished reading John Lukacs' Five days in London: May 1940. I am puzzled by a passage of that book: When Hitler made his grand peace offer to England in his speech of 19 July, ...
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134 views

How many Me Bf 109 were produced in Czechoslovakia during WW2

It is known fact that Czechoslovak factories(or at least Avia) produced Messerschmitt Bf 109 during WW2. After the war ended, they for some time continued production, called Avia S-99 and when engines ...
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1answer
258 views

Did the German ship SS Hansa (former Albert Ballin) continue her journey to the West after 30 January 1945?

Looking for refugees or families of refugees who were on board the Hansa on January 30th 1945 when she left Gotenhafen with the Wilhelm Gustloff. I am trying to find out what happened to the Hansa ...
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1answer
253 views

How many crew for the LT vz 38?

I have seen a claim in some English online encyclopedias claiming that LT vz. 38 was originally supposed to have a crew of 3 and only after it fell into hands of Nazis was it changed to 4. However, I ...
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Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

If this question is better suited for a more aviation-oriented forum, please let me know. During World War II SOE agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the RAF. This ...
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Who was the most successful German spy against Great Britain in WWII, from the contemporary German perspective?

Reading up on this it appears to me many of Germany's spy operations inside the UK were pretty quickly shutdown. I investigated a half dozen spies who were captured by the end of 1942. Dorthy O'...
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1answer
687 views

Were there any top Nazi generals who opposed the idea to invade the USSR?

Did any one of the top Wehrmacht generals, who was a war-monger and agreed with Hitler's doctrine of expansion by force, ever attempt to dissuade him from the idea to invade the USSR in principle (not ...
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Was Switzerland really impossible to invade during WW2?

My question is not about an alternative scenario, nor about the reasons that caused Switzerland to not get invaded (as could be seen here: Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?). ...
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When in September 1939 did the British diplomatic mission leave Warsaw?

On September first 1939, at 4:45 in the morning, the Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Danzig/Gdansk. September twenty-second is when German troops completed their encirclement of Warsaw. Somewhere in ...
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1answer
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How many British prisoners of war were taken by the Wehrmacht and how many died?

I've read here that 3.5% of British POW's held in Germany died. But haven't been able to find an estimate with sources of how many were taken and how many died. Here it says 170,000 were captured and ...
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330 views

Would Lauri Törni have recieved the Waffen-SS blood type tattoo?

Lauri Allen Törni served with Finland during the Winter war, and due to being an officer, visited Vienna to obtain Waffen-SS training. Does this mean he would have had the SS blood type tattoo applied?...
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702 views

Was WWII Systemic Drug Use by Axis and Allies Supported By Scholarship?

Both sides in WWII widely used addictive drugs in an attempt to boost the performance of their soldiers and sometimes even their leadership. The American Military institutionalized this practice in ...
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Did the USA have a plan to defeat Germany without Britain?

If Britain had surrendered during World War II (eg. during the May 1940 crisis), what was the American plan for defeating Germany? Without the British Islands as a staging area, an amphibious assault ...
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564 views

What is the full text of the song about the failed battle of Kiska?

I came across a mention of the song about the failed battle of Kiska in the audiobook "The Rising Sun". I started googling, but found only two mentions, both on Google Books. Is there the full text of ...
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Confusion on the Tabulation of Casualties on the Eastern Front of WW2, Particularly at the Battle of Kursk

I've been reading a good bit on the Soviet-Axis war of World War 2 as of late. Something that continually strikes me is the large variation in casualties for any given operation or battle that ...
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What happened to Johannes Heinrich Louis Munt after his trial in 1945?

I was curious what happend to Johannes Heinrich Louis Munt. He was a SS-Hauptsturmführer and Kriminalkommissar during World war 2 in the Netherlands. He ordered the execution of more than 50 people ...
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Did the Americans trade destroyers in the “destroyer deal” that they would later need themselves?

In the fall of 1940, the U.S. and Great Britain made the so-called "destroyer deal," of 50 old American destroyers in exchange for the use of British bases ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. ...
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5answers
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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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481 views

Was Operation Kugelblitz really a success for the partisans?

Every source that I have looked at says that the Germans practically accomplished nothing during this offensive. Yet at the same time it is claimed that the Partisans suffered a staggering 9,000-11,...
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1answer
659 views

How strongly defended was Baku in 1942?

Baku was the single largest source of oil in the Soviet Union in World War II. The Germans captured Maikop and seemed on the verge of capturing Grozny. But Baku was much larger than either of the ...
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632 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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1answer
319 views

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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1answer
140 views

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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387 views

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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536 views

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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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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Why did the Japanese attack the Aleutians at the same time as Midway?

Here's where I am starting from: Aleutians, Battle of Dutch Harbor - June 3–4, 1942. 2 smaller aircraft carriers. Main Midway battle. June 4-7. 4 big carriers, with 2 smaller that weren't right ...
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4answers
775 views

Why did Hitler order counter-attacks as late as 21/04/1945? [closed]

On the 21st April 1945, Hitler ordered the Armeeabteilung Steiner (and the ninth Army) to execute a counter-attack on the approaching Soviet forces. How and why did Hitler become deluded enough to ...
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1answer
454 views

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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3answers
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Did Stalin kill all Soviet officers involved in the Winter War?

Did Stalin kill all of the Soviet officers involved in the Winter War, when it ended? A documentary called "Warlords: Hitler vs Stalin" made this claim, but Wikipedia doesn't seem to mention this. ...
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1answer
491 views

Did an Irishman talk a German unit out of a bridge in World War 2?

A friend of mine has often related a somewhat humourous story of an Irishman in World War 2 (presumably fighting in the British Army) who captured a bridge using "The Gift of The Gab". Apparently he ...

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