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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
289 views

Could the U.S. have used “Lend Lease” to force Germany onto the horns of a dilemma?

During the fall of 1941 (but before December), the United States waged a "war short of war" against Nazi Germany's submarines using escort vessels, the Reuben James, the (James) Greer, and the Kearny ...
48
votes
4answers
19k views

Why did the Germans use the Enigma machine rather than the far superior “Lorenz” cipher machine?

Basically, the only good thing about the "Enigma" cipher machine was its name. Other than that, it was grossly inferior to the "Lorenz" one, apparently only used by some of the main, top-ranking ...
-4
votes
2answers
279 views

How long did it take for Japanese high command to believe 1 bomb could destroy a city? [closed]

In 1776, had a man walked into the Continental Congress and told the Founding Fathers that the city of Boston seemed to be "gone". A few days prior, as he approached Boston, in the distance he'd seen ...
-3
votes
1answer
150 views

How do we know the tonnages U-boats sank?

In the videogame series, Silent Hunter, which simulates being a submarine captain in WW2, after a patrol you are told how much tonnage you sank. I always thought that was just a reward mechanism to ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How important was the Suez Canal to the Allies during WWII?

The Suez Canal allows one to travel from the Mediterranean or North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean without having to circumvent the continent of Africa. A ship traveling from the UK to India could ...
1
vote
1answer
565 views

What language did Nazi German occupying forces speak in France?

I am watching the TV series "Das Boot", playing in La Rochelle in occupied France during the second world war. Partially, the German occupying forces are speaking English when working together with ...
7
votes
3answers
618 views

Did the Germans consider an amphibious landing for Fall Blau?

In the operation Fall Blau (Case Blue) the German Wehrmacht advanced towards the Don river, and then sent Army Group A into the Caucasus region to take the oil fields in the region. They managed to ...
1
vote
1answer
471 views

What two direct orders did FDR issue to his commanders in all of WWII?

Operation Torch Anglo-American invasion of north-western Africa President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a direct order that Torch was to have precedence over other operations and was to take place at ...
29
votes
5answers
9k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Where can I find information on American born WWII soldier locked up until they could prove they had an American birth certificate?

My American born father, who has German ancestry was in World War II. He was one of many men held until their birth certificates could be checked out. People with German heritage like him, along ...
5
votes
2answers
622 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
299 views

Did any relatives of Fritz Haber (the inventor of poison gas) die in the gas chambers?

I am sorry if this seems a ghoulish question. However, German scientist Fritz Haber (1860-1934), winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry and co-inventor of the Haber-Bosch process to make nitrates ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

What is the minimum safe speed when dropping depth charges?

What is the minimum safe speed when dropping depth charges - especially if they are set for shallow depth ? I wonder if a slow merchant man really can use depth charges in a safe manner i.e. without ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Were armed merchantmen effective against submarines?

The armed merchantman Jervis Bay was no match for the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer in a ship to ship duel. Nevertheless, the merchantman put up a brave fight lasting over an hour, allowing ...
-4
votes
2answers
213 views

What was the purpose of each project site during the Manhattan Project?

I'm looking for an answer as to what the purpose of each project site was during the Manhattan Project. The following image illustrates (but only includes some of the sites) where each site was ...
0
votes
1answer
184 views

How much support did America give to the scientists working on the Manhattan Project?

How much support did America give to the scientists working on the Manhattan Project, be it financial or otherwise? Did physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer who headed the project to develop the atomic ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How important were Einstein and Szilard and other scientists to the creation and ultimate success of the Manhattan Project?

How important was Einstein and Szilard and other scientists to the creation and ultimate success of the Manhattan Project? I understand that the Einstein-Szilard letter to President Roosevelt ...
3
votes
1answer
400 views

What was the total megatonnage of all munitions expended in World War 2?

I'm wondering about the total megatonnage of all munitions expended during World War Two in all theaters. I've seen estimates of 2, 3 and 5, but no concrete cited sources for a specific number.
2
votes
1answer
245 views

Who did Mussolini meet after Hitler, on arrival to Germany after rescue?

Mussolini was flown to Germany after the Gran Sasso raid. Who does Mussolini meet, after Hitler, in this video: https://youtu.be/zAWEoe1SwLs?t=24 What does the narrator say, in German? What does it ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

Who exactly were the Slovene White Guard?

In World War II, there was a group in Yugoslavia called the Slovene White Guard. Concerning this group, the book If The Allies Had Fallen states that: If an Istrian landing was put into effect, the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why didn't the Japanese develop air defenses after the bombing of Tokyo?

So, I was reading some WWII questions, and a couple of them mentioned the bombing of Tokyo. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to read up on it. What I don't understand about it is Japan's ...
1
vote
1answer
446 views

Why were Axis bombings deadlier than Allied ones?

I had been gathering data on some bombings during WW2. I mainly used wikipedia articles, since they are very well sourced. I consider only city bombings, and civilian losses. The losses are ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Who decided to confront the Japanese at Midway?

George Walsh (The Battle of Midway: Searching for the Truth) points out that Operation Plan 29-42 says Inflict maximum damage on enemy by employing strong attrition tactics. Do not accept such ...
2
votes
3answers
361 views

Why did the Nazis collaborate with the Ustaše?

The Croats are linguistically, ethnically and culturally a Slavic people. While the Ustaše did not see themselves as such, why did the Nazis choose to collaborate with what was essentially a ...
0
votes
1answer
312 views

Why was King Leopold III so hated in Belgium after the Second World War? [closed]

Did the Belgians resent him for surrendering or was it something he did during occupation? His decision to stay with his soldiers instead of flee seems extremely admirable. Wikipedia says that after ...
1
vote
3answers
542 views

Is it true that Adolf Hitler foresaw a surrender on the Western front in the last week of April 1945? [closed]

David Irving's controversial book Hitler's War seems to imply that after his nervous breakdown during the battle of Berlin, Hitler realized that defeat was imminent and decided that surrendering in ...
13
votes
2answers
745 views

How “successful” were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?

In World War II, a prototype missile guidance system was developed in Project Pigeon, whereby a pigeon's pecks (or pecks by multiple pigeons) would be used to guide a missile. Test runs were ...
8
votes
3answers
723 views

What was the consequence of Gestapo being declared a criminal organization in the Nuremberg trials in 1945?

As read in Wikipedia's article on Gestapo: Between 14 November 1945 and 3 October 1946, the Allies established an International Military Tribunal (IMT) to try 22 major Nazi war criminals and six ...
6
votes
1answer
280 views

Did the US manage to eavesdrop on KMT communications during World War 2?

I was reading How frequently did the KMT use telegrams to communicate; from where (roughly) and to whom?, which contains a quote: Following is a telegram code "dictionary" used by Japan military ...
6
votes
1answer
787 views

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2?

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2? It seems like that would be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, while you are experiencing high-Gs and low oxygen. However, the above movie includes ...
1
vote
2answers
243 views

Who were the highest-ranking officers of each belligerent nation, who parachuted with troops in Operation Market Garden?

Was erstwhile (MG) James M. Gavin the highest-ranking US general officer? Please see the question's title. I know that U.K. soldiers parachuted, but don't know if any Canadians, Polish did. Gavin ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
374 views

Were there trains to anonymous concentration camps?

At the start of this year, my family visited Terezin Ghetto and camp - the middle daughter was writing a school report about children in WWII. There were many dreadful and surprising pieces of ...
0
votes
2answers
519 views

How did Red Army achieve to manipulate German Army in 1942 and 1943?

I had read during past days some books and internet texts about the East front campaign, during WW2. I took some information out of that, and it is very surprising to me. First, I read that Russian ...
44
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the logic for the map maker classifying the map this way, specifically in Canada?

I recently came across the map displayed above. It is a map showing the spread of totalitarian and authoritarian governments right before WWII. The countries that are black are totalitarian ...
5
votes
3answers
409 views

Which Nazi functionary is shown here?

Wikipedia says that the following image depicts the Chinese leader of a Japanese puppet state, Wang Jingwei, with Nazis. The full information on Wikipedia reads: Wang Jingwei having a toast with ...
-1
votes
1answer
94 views

Where was the operation Market Garden UK planning headquarters?

Can someone remind me of the name of the house and country estate in southern England where much of Operation Market Garden was planned. I have even been on a course there in the 1980s, but can't ...
25
votes
5answers
13k views

How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

According to Wikipedia: a Soviet archival document recorded the loss of 3,922 Soviet aircraft in the first three days against an estimated loss of 78 German aircraft. How were German combat ...
2
votes
0answers
197 views

Could someone help me identify this button from a WW2 prison camp field?

I'm struggling to identify a button found in a field in Italy, where WW2's prison camps were built. Searching online I found a lot of American's Civil War buttons that could be related to it, based on ...
6
votes
1answer
346 views

Have any spies ever managed to keep their identity secret from their handlers?

Having just started reading up on spies throughout history, I've just realized a new risk I hadn't thought of before, namely that once you've started spying you're at risk of being blackmailed into ...
1
vote
3answers
498 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
130 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

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, ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

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. ...
1
vote
0answers
155 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
373 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
32
votes
2answers
7k views

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 ...

1 2 3
4
5
28