47

No, it wouldn't have worked. ... what reasons could have led the Allied decision makers ... You're making a mistake here: before hostilities began, both The Netherlands and Belgium had (repeatedly) declared neutrality. Allied decision makers had no business there. It was actually one of the reasons why the Maginot line eventually failed: In 1936 King ...


28

The NYT article is entirely based on the book "History of the Second World War" by B.H. Liddell Hart, 1971. I checked the book. Here is the complete citation: Nevertheless, the extent to which the Germans still held firm in face of such odds was evidence — even before two years’ prolongation of the war confirmed it — that the Russian forces were ...


15

Most likely this "Olitei" means indeed Olita or modern day Alytus. The passage quoted dates from mid-July 1944, and at just that time Olita started to get into the focus of Soviet ambitions and German defensive efforts. The official German language transcript seems to read "Olitei": »Das Kommando ist weiterhin mit der Überführung in das ...


15

As noted (paywalled) the majority of POW could not escape, and many did not try to for various reasons including those in the original question and the simple fact that if several thousand POW try to escape at once people die. The key part is that some did want to escape, and got movies made about them (there were 10,000 people in Stalag Luft III, and only ...


13

Deceptive spring of 1943 The general situation on the Eastern front in late February, early March of 1943 was this: the German summer offensive Fall Blau have failed, and the Germans did not capture desperately needed oil. The Soviets have counter-attacked with Operation Uranus and later with Operation Little Saturn, destroying the German Sixth Army in the ...


13

I think this is more of an ELL question but from what I understand from the context as well as this article, the boarding of the patrols is to apprehend the Jews, not to help them. As per the article, emphasis mine: During the first days of the rescue action, Jews moved into the many fishing harbors on the Danish coast to await passage, but officers of the ...


8

About peace offers in general The thing about peace offers is simple, and do not rely on Hitler's craziness, but on the principles of Hitler and the Nazi movement: According to them (it is explained in Mein Kampf for example), the ultimate goal was not to conquer the whole world, or the United Kingdom nor the USA. It was to submit and/or destroy "...


7

Get to the end of the book I've also read this book. Towards the end of the war the German guards were ordered to kill all of the remaining prisoners in Stalag Luft III, and presumably the same orders were given to guards in other camps. In Stalag Luft III they declined to do that - to what extent fear of reprisals, principle, and anger towards their country'...


6

Maginot, whose name has became synonymous with failure in France, and Petain - the symbol of national treason, were in fact quite competent and their plan of defense, on which they frequently clashed, was a sound plan. It required the extension of the Maginot line through Belgium which was obviously the weak point. Finally, it was the political leadership ...


6

It was not, but reaction was not adequate First of all, it should be mentioned that both Germans and Romanians recognized weakness of Romanian armies on flanks of Army Group B already in late September, early October of 1942. This happened practically immediately as Germans were pulling away their divisions from the flanks in order to employ them in the city ...


5

The D-Day Landings. The British Security Service (MI5) were operating a number of double-agents in UK territory, pretending to their German controllers that they were still diligently spying on the UK, but actually sending back misinformation. Because Enigma was cracked, MI5 realised that every single message being sent back to the German intelligence ...


5

Modern armies do not carry officially issued national flags into battle. There are three reasons for that: One) Conspicously carrying a flag into battle attracts a lot of attention from the enemy and is highly dangerous. Two) Modern armies usually fight in dispersed formations where only a small percentage of the troops in a unit would be aware of their ...


4

Duty, Boredom, Chance of Success Why would a service member escape? A prisoner in a POW camp is, almost by definition, being kept by his/her captor as cheaply as possibly without actually being killed. A POW camp might have hundreds or even thousands of prisoners with a relative handful of guards. The more the POWs attempt even unsuccessful escapes, the ...


3

Relative obsolescence and lack of mobility 75/32 Mod. 1937 was apparently never used in North Africa. This was relatively modern gun, with dual purpose (indirect artillery and anti-tank role, similar to Soviet ZiS-3). However, production was slow, with only 5 pieces completed in 1937-39, up to 30 in 1940-41, 44 in 1942, and 98 in first half of 1943 before ...


2

The battle of Medenine, March 6th 1943, was influenced by ENIGMA. Before this battle started, the situations was as follows: In Souh-East of Tunisia, Montgomery was pushing hard but slowly In the West, Rommel had used the time to defeat American forces Rommel had to group again his forces to stop Montgomery Now, why had the Germans the use of radio ...


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