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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12
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3answers
910 views

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 ...
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0answers
35 views

What are some sources about nursing in Devon in WW2?

I am working with a South Devon village group putting a display etc together for the celebration of VE Day. I am a nurse and keen to do something about district nursing/midwifery for those left at ...
5
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1answer
214 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 ...
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0answers
88 views

If the Lorenz cipher machine was so much more advanced than the Enigma, how was it broken without having a physical machine? [closed]

The Enigma was commercially available before the war, and even during the war, they got their hands on "live" such machines, heavily helping them in breaking the encryption used by the Germans. The ...
3
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1answer
237 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
107 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 ...
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0answers
92 views

German Army + IJN in the Middle East? [closed]

Let me try to set this up again. I read this article about how Germany and Japan might have won the war: Now think about it. It is roughly September 1940. Japan and Germany and Italy have signed ...
2
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2answers
340 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 ...
3
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5answers
555 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 ...
2
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1answer
212 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 ...
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0answers
106 views

What were the procedures when the lead group bombardier missed the target? [closed]

When the lead group bombardier missed the target for any reason what were the procedures for a 2nd bomb run on the target? What factors were considered prior to the attempted 2nd run? I'm talking ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
194 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 ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
2
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1answer
213 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 ...
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0answers
226 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 ...
-1
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1answer
260 views

What is this smoke or steam coming from the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero Plane (WW2)? [closed]

What is this smoke/steam think behind the Japanese fighter planes like the Zero?
6
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3answers
297 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
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1answer
234 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 ...
28
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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
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1answer
149 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 ...
3
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1answer
239 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 ...
7
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1answer
219 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 ...
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2answers
172 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 ...
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4answers
927 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
2
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1answer
118 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
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1answer
189 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 ...
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1answer
179 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 ...
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4answers
728 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 ...
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1answer
392 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 ...
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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
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3answers
305 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
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1answer
240 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 ...
2
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3answers
398 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 ...
14
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2answers
387 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 ...
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3answers
462 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
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1answer
251 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 ...
5
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1answer
481 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 ...
0
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1answer
164 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 ...
4
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1answer
210 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
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1answer
355 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 ...
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2answers
367 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 ...
43
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4answers
4k 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 ...
4
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1answer
206 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 ...
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1answer
89 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 ...
26
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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
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0answers
191 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 ...

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