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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38
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2answers
11k views

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 ...
23
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
13
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
349 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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4answers
5k views

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" ...
4
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1answer
522 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
609 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, ...
7
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0answers
144 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 ...
7
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1answer
336 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 ...
2
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1answer
268 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 ...
5
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0answers
147 views

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 ...
23
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1answer
9k views

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'...
2
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1answer
715 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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17answers
23k views

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?). ...
10
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1answer
304 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
405 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?...
10
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1answer
865 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 ...
16
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1answer
833 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
571 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 ...
7
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2answers
238 views

Did Germans and Soviets count casualties differently 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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0answers
217 views

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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1answer
4k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
507 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,...
3
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1answer
874 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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2answers
658 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 ...
1
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1answer
349 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
161 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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2answers
445 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 ...
5
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2answers
617 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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0answers
105 views

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 ...
16
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
0
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4answers
807 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 ...
5
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1answer
562 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 ...
24
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3answers
11k views

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. ...
8
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1answer
511 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 ...
2
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1answer
607 views

Were the Japanese aware of Desmond Doss's actions?

I read about the amazing story of Desmond Doss and wonder if the Japanese at all aware, during the Battle of Okinawa of the extent of his actions at the time? I know a few individual Japanese would ...
1
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
1
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2answers
554 views

How many troops did Hitler send back from the Eastern front to face the Allies' assault?

After the Battle of Kursk, Hitler called back a lot of his forces to defend against the British and American invasion. My question is how much of his forces did he call back from the Eastern front?
7
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1answer
398 views

Identification of harbor and ships

Identification of port and country. Identification of ships. WWII era, from a German Kriegsmarine album
6
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3answers
508 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 ...
3
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3answers
261 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
163 views

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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0answers
204 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
208 views

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). ...
1
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1answer
171 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
75 views

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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0answers
47 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
4k views

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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