Danila Smirnov
  • Member for 4 years, 3 months
  • Last seen this week
  • Novosibirsk, Новосибирская область, Россия
6 answers
63 votes
24k views
Why didn't Wehrmacht soldiers refuse to kill civilians?
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128 votes

Saying that no Wehrmacht soldier ever refused to kill civilians or PoWs is wrong, there are documented instances of this happening. It's just that this did not happen often enough to make a difference....

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19 answers
135 votes
27k views
Did the ancients or other pre-industrial civilisations engage in unsustainable practices?
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80 votes

Most ancient agricultural practices deplete soil to some degree, but are just fine when population does not exceed certain limits. There are some examples of ancient cultures exhausting natural ...

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3 answers
59 votes
13k views
Were ancient ships named?
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72 votes

Xenophon in his Hellenica (an account of the last yearsof the Peloponessian War and its aftermath) mentions several named ships, for example, "Paralus" and "Salaminia". Thus, we can infer that at ...

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3 answers
41 votes
6k views
How were concentration and extermination camp guards recruited?
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54 votes

Short answer – it was less "hiring" and more "drafting". No pre-screening happened that I could find evidence of (well, except for the general "has to be a good Nazi" principle, which might count ...

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6 answers
30 votes
7k views
What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?
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49 votes

Although the whole anti-"rootless cosmopolitan" campaign is now widely accepted as being antisemitic in nature, at the time it was framed as being directed against people who "lack patriotism and ...

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2 answers
14 votes
2k views
What did Yuri Gagarin do while waiting for his ride?
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38 votes

In 1991 Central Committee of the CPSU Archive released several documents related to Gagarin's flight. Amongst them was Gagarin's own after-action report to the government commission. Sadly, Russian ...

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3 answers
17 votes
6k views
How did the Japanese treat captured "Flying Tigers" in World War II?
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31 votes

According to Daniel Ford's "Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942" (and this page) only four Flying Tigers were ever captured by the Japanese. One of those, Arnold ...

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2 answers
22 votes
23k views
What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union
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28 votes

According to this article the ratio rose from 1.10 to about 1.54 (ratio of men/women fell from 0.91 to about 0.65) between 1941 and 1946 in the draft-age group (people born around 1887 to 1927), which ...

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4 answers
8 votes
2k views
Why didn't Soviet Jews flee east ahead of the advancing Nazis?
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24 votes

Short answer - they tried and many (although not the majority) did. Moishe Cohen is partly right in his answer - population movement in USSR was more restricted than in contemporary Europe, and even ...

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2 answers
16 votes
2k views
Was being in the KKK politically/socially acceptable in early 1900's American South?
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19 votes

At times, it was, but not in the period that movie is depicting. One should note that there were three organizations under that name in different historical periods. While similar in their goals, ...

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1 answers
10 votes
1k views
Why did South Korea (and the UN) accept an armistice line that put Seoul in artillery range of North Korea?
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18 votes

First of all, armistice was supposed to be a temporary measure on the way to an actual peace treaty, it was not expected to last as long as it did. But at the moment of its proposal it was not ...

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2 answers
9 votes
11k views
What does a leaning cross on a gravestone mean?
12 votes

It is a Portate Cross, also called cross of St. Gilbert. There were some pages which stated that "portate" derives from Latin "portare" (carry), and that it symbolizes the cross Christ carried, but I ...

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1 answers
2 votes
2k views
Why did Stalin exile Trotsky instead of killing or imprisoning him?
11 votes

According to Trotsky (excrept from Коминтерн и ГПУ, published in Бюллетень оппозиции (большевиков-ленинцев) № 85, translation mine): In 1928 […] not only the shooting squad, but even arrest would ...

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4 answers
3 votes
1k views
Did Stalin have full control of the government in 1936?
11 votes

Yes, by 1936 Stalin was firmly in control. In fact, any non-underground opposition was officially finished by the XVII Congress of the CPSU in 1934 - there, all the leaders of the former opposition (...

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3 answers
-7 votes
241 views
What were The Troubles in Northern Ireland really about?
10 votes

If one sees a conflict and thinks that there's very little to fight about - they are not looking close enough. Usually, underlying reasons are more complex than what is seen at a glance. And the roots ...

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1 answers
6 votes
465 views
What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?
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10 votes

First of all, if you go by the USA definition of "branch of the military", the Soviet VDV were not one. Until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, they were a part of Ground Armed Forces ...

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1 answers
6 votes
299 views
Were barcodes used in the Soviet Union?
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10 votes

Soviet Union did not have a barcode system, at least not one with any significance. However, GS1 Russia was founded in 1990, so technically you could say that it was possible for some soviet goods to ...

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2 answers
13 votes
860 views
How "successful" were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?
10 votes

Skinner's work was pretty good, but in his analysis on why it was discarded he might be ignoring several factors outside of his area of expertise. First of all - while in his " Pigeons in Pelican" ...

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1 answers
7 votes
865 views
Seeking explanation about Leicester's "mechanical dolphin" of 1575
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10 votes

There are two contemporary accounts of those festivities - "Langham letter" and "The Princely Pleasures at the Courte at Kenelwoorth". These have a certain discrepancy in how they describe this ...

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2 answers
3 votes
190 views
What was the first fossil fuel pipeline in the Soviet Union?
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10 votes

Strictly speaking, first fossil fuel pipeline in USSR territory would be the the Balakhanu-Black City pipeline, built in 1878 by Vladimir Shukhov, renowned for his innovations in oil industry and in ...

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1 answers
6 votes
515 views
Jerusalem 1187: How would Saladin's army have laid siege to the walls?
9 votes

A contemporary account of the siege states: The cruelest of tyrants [Saladin] also arrayed up to ten thousand armed knights with bows and lances on horseback, so that if the men of the city ...

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1 answers
8 votes
620 views
During WW2, did the USSR re-gauge railways in conquered areas?
9 votes

According to what I read about Russian railroad troops, their operations could be divided in two parts - before the pre-war border and after. Inside the old Soviet border there were the roads re-...

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4 answers
5 votes
2k views
Did B-17 crews run into difficulty releasing their bombs and does data exist on this?
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9 votes

B-17 had, in fact, two primary release mechanisms - electrical release device and a manual lever. The standard procedure would be to first use electrical release, in case of failure - the manual lever....

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1 answers
2 votes
6k views
Queen Victoria and the Tsar’s faberge egg
8 votes

This is most likely pure fiction. Faberge made his famous eggs for Russian royal family since 1885. Out of all of pre-1901 (i.e made before Queen Victoria's death) Faberge-made imperial eggs only one ...

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1 answers
7 votes
205 views
Is there evidence to suggest that vampire fiction was invented to satirize Lord Byron?
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8 votes

It is the universally accepted opinion that Lord Ruthven character in "The Vampyre" is based on Byron, but the author himself never confirmed this. The story itself was apparently written in 1816, ...

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1 answers
0 votes
300 views
What happened to people's houses during the Soviets' reign?
8 votes

Legal definition changed over time, but in practice the situation was perfectly defined by Constitution of USSR (1936), Article 6: "Land, its interior, waters, forests [...] and buildings are property ...

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2 answers
6 votes
446 views
Why was religion used as the basis of Turkey-Greece population exchange instead of language, ethnicity, etc.?
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8 votes

Ataturk was not the architect of this exchange. The idea of protecting minorities in former Ottoman Empire came from the western Allies - according to the wiki article on the Lausanne Conference, ...

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1 answers
4 votes
214 views
What did the Russian ambassador to Japan do during his trip to London?
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7 votes

According to Rezanov's journal, they spent those days sightseeing and visiting Russian diplomats in London. They visited Westminster abbey, London Tower, Greenwich observatory and Newgate prison, ...

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2 answers
3 votes
2k views
Was there an embargo of Soviet gold in 1932, and was grain the primary exportable good?
7 votes

This document from 1926 indeed mentions the gold embargo as detrimental to Soviet-British trade, thus the embargo did exist, at least for some states. On the other hand, it also mentions that in the ...

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1 answers
3 votes
200 views
Placard with 3 red crosses - probably WW1
6 votes

This is a Red Cross Service Flag. Image source: Library of Congress Each smaller cross indicates an additional Red Cross member in the house beyond the first. You can read more on the American Red ...

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