Questions tagged [world-war-ii]

Questions about World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War; a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

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124
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2answers
28k views

Did the Nazis kill Jews with gas chambers?

I just heard Holocaust denier and former academic, Robert Faurisson, explaining a few things about gas chambers. What he claims : The dilapidated chambers, thought to be gas chambers in the Nazi ...
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2answers
26k views

Did eight Jesuit priests survive the nuking of Hiroshima without serious injury?

It is being frequently claimed by Catholic sources (e.g. Catholic News Agency, Catholic Herald) and even Wikipedia that eight Jesuit priests survived the nuking of Hiroshima with very minor physical ...
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Did Obama defy precedent by not visiting the D-Day monument?

This seems like a very dubious picture, from a very clearly politically motivated website, but I was wondering if there was any truth to this picture?
67
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1answer
14k views

Did WWII Japanese soldiers engage in cannibalism of their enemies?

This Cracked article claims that Japanese soldiers in WWII would eat prisoners of war. The article claims that there were a number of documented cases of Japanese soldiers engaging in cannibalism: ...
64
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8answers
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Was the German V2 rocket the only weapon whose production killed more than its use?

Early in David Edgerton's history of technology, The Shock of the Old he discusses cost benefit analysis applied to some military weapons. He argues, for example, that the US would have caused a lot ...
59
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2answers
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Did the Allies reverse the threads on secret microfilm-hiding buttons to thwart the Germans?

Here is an anecdote that I recall reading as a child: During World War II, the English found a way to smuggle microfilm past the German authorities. They sewed a hollow button to their jackets that ...
53
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3answers
13k views

Does plutonium exist in the world, apart from being manufactured?

In reference to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, a mathematician, Peter Lax, described his time working there as "living science fiction". He said: we were told essentially the basic thing: ...
48
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4answers
13k views

Were Hitler and the Nazis obsessed with the occult?

The claim that Hitler and the Nazis were obsessed with the occult is embedded in our pop culture now, and often repeated in documentaries as if it is an established fact. (At least in the kinds of ...
37
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1answer
11k views

Did a nuclear blast devastate Port Chicago on July 17, 1944?

On July 17, 1944 at the Port Chicago naval base, near the San Francisco Bay area, an explosion of epic proportions occurred on a dock handling munitions. The Evening Independent, Jul 18, 1944, via ...
34
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3answers
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Has the Holocaust been exaggerated?

I am not a Holocaust denier but I am skeptical of some of the reported numbers and details of the historical event. Is there any evidence that 6 million Jews were executed as part of a plan to ...
32
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1answer
11k views

Were 1200 black soldiers massacred at Camp Van Dorn in 1943?

In 1998 a book was published called The Slaughter: An American Atrocity by Carroll Case. It alleged that in June of 1943 at an Army base in Mississippi 1200 black soldiers were massacred by white ...
30
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1answer
6k views

Were the Japanese suing for peace prior to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

In the United States, it is a widely-held belief that an invasion of the Japanese main islands would have been necessary were it not for the use of atomic bombs (putting aside the question of whether ...
30
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1answer
4k views

Do ~25% of Japanese people believe that USSR dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I have heard this claim a few times from some random people, and recently came across it in pravda.ru as well: from "Japan will never forgive USA" There is such a statistics: 25 per cent of young ...
27
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2answers
15k views

Is this a photo of the result of a kamikaze attack on a ship in WWII?

A Reddit user titled this photo "Kamikaze hit on HMS Sussex" and it currently has 5,532 points (96% upvoted). Here is a cropped version of that photo: Another user cites Wikipedia: On 26 July ...
27
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1answer
2k views

Did Germans receive corn instead of wheat and rye after WW2 due to a translation error?

After World War II, the U.S. army sent food supplies to Germany. There is a widespread legend that they delivered maize instead of wheat and rye because the Germans demanded "Korn" which means grain ...
24
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1answer
5k views

Did WW2 pilots lead a swinger's lifestyle to ensure that their friends would take care of their family if they died?

Cracked.com referenced this interview where author Christopher Ryan claims that: “World War II fighter pilots had the highest fatality rates of any division of the military. When they were back ...
23
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1answer
6k views

Is “Syphilis: All of these men have it” a WWII propaganda poster?

Spotted via https://twitter.com/LI_politico/status/692846941034549248 (courtesy of a parody picture in https://twitter.com/Megapope/status/692850205297741827), but described as real by Mother Jones in ...
22
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1answer
6k views

Did besieged Russians eat 'library candy' made from boiled down book binding glue?

David Benioff's 2008 historical fiction novel City of Thieves follows two youths during the siege of Leningrad in 1942. In one scene, the narrator explains how the starving inhabitants of the city ...
22
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1answer
153k views

Did a Jewish prisoner write this quote about God and forgiveness?

According to a number of social media sites, including Reddit: “If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.” — A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Do only 49% of Americans know which country bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

From Alternet: Ignorant America: Just How Stupid Are We?, July 1, 2008 (referring to polls conducted over the past three decades): Which country dropped the nuclear bomb? Only 49% [of Americans ...
21
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1answer
3k views

Was Oppenheimer a spy passing nuclear secrets to Soviet agents?

From Los Angeles Times: A Soviet spy chief's memoirs published here today claim that the late J. Robert Oppenheimer, head of the U.S. atomic bomb project during and after World War II, passed ...
21
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1answer
76k views

Did Winston Churchill say we should not cut art funding?

There's a famous quote by Winston Churchill that, when asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he replied: “Then what are we fighting for?” (it can be found here, among other places). ...
21
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1answer
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Did most of the American riflemen in combat during World War II avoid firing at the enemy?

cynical-c: Only 15 to 20 percent of the American riflemen in combat during World War II would fire at the enemy. Is this statistic accurate?
20
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3answers
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Do people exposed to high levels of radiation pose any risk to their children or other individuals?

An article from the Los Angeles Times regarding the concerns of individuals who live near the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant that appeared in my local newspaper this morning contained this interesting ...
20
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1answer
14k views

Was an argument over how many telegraph poles Germany needed to deliver cause to WW2?

I was reading a Batman comic where the Joker claimed: Do you know what triggered the last World War? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! This piqued my ...
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2answers
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Did Allied forces use chemical weapons in Okinawa during World War II?

A Japanese friend of mine claimed that Allied forces used poisonous gas during the Battle of Okinawa. I asked for a link to such a claim, and got a link to this section of the Japanese language ...
17
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0answers
529 views

Was the UK's drive to acquire civilian metals to use in WW2 necessary for the war effort?

This question was asked here recently: Were World War II scrap drives in the United States truly necessary for the procurement of raw materials? And it has produced some very solid analysis and ...
16
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1answer
12k views

Did the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron score the most kills in the Battle of Britain?

It's often claimed in Polish media that No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron scored the most kills in the whole Battle of Britain. This claim is repeated in Wikipedia, although with annotation [citation ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Prior knowledge of Pearl Harbor

An oft repeated conspiracy theory asserts officials in the US military had prior knowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed the attack to occur anyway. The conspiracy theorists point ...
15
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1answer
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Did Gandhi express admiration for Hitler early in WW2?

Early in his extremely readable and widely admired history of the Battle of Britain (The Most Dangerous Enemy), Stephen Bungay puts Britain's situation after the defeat of France in context by ...
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4answers
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Is Nazi a diminutive of Ignatius?

The German Wikipedia page for Nazi claims that the word Nazi is a diminutive form of Ignatius (Ignatz). The cited source is etymonline.com: The 24th edition of Etymologisches Wörterbuch der ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Was Truman told that the first atom bomb was going to be used on a military target?

In his diary entry for July 25, 1945, US President Harry S. Truman wrote: This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Were “comfort women” well-paid?

"Comfort women" is a commonly used euphemism for sex slaves used by the Japanese army during World War II. Negationists argue that "Comfort women" were not sex slaves, and make the specific claim ...
14
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2answers
4k views

Did the USSR have 21 thousand tanks at the beginning of WW2?

In the Icebreaker series by Viktor Suvorov, he says that at the beginning of World War 2, the Soviet Union had roughly 7 times as many tanks as Nazi Germany, which had 3000-4000 tanks. I can't ...
13
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2answers
16k views

Did 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 die in WWII?

I found this fact on OMG Facts: 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 died in WWII. Not surprisingly, Russia was the country with the highest WW2 causalities, with over 21 million. I can't find ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Did 57% of people in France believe that the USSR contributed the most to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945?

The following image is frequently circulating when WWII is discussed: Poll in France: "In your opinion, which country contributed most to the defeat of Germany in 1945?" (Source: polls IFOP 1945, ...
13
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1answer
24k views

Did Gen. Patton say “We defeated the wrong enemy?”

I've seen this quote in various far-right memes. Supposedly, Gen. George S. Patton, upon taking control of Berlin in 1945, said "We defeated the wrong enemy." The Communists, one supposes, were the ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Was the first German bombing of London an accident?

A 2002 Telegraph article reports: The first German bombing of London on the night of Aug 24, 1940, was an accident but sparked a war of attrition that would last for five years. German aircraft ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Did New York Times post this Hitler apology stating Jews baited the Nazis by trying to fight back on June 15, 1934?

Post from Revolution News reads, "By hating Hitler and trying to fight back, Jews are only increasing the severity of his policies against them. "If Jews throughout the world try to instill ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Did Winston Churchill say that proof of alien spacecraft would threaten the Church?

I heard that the historical basis for the ongoing denial of UFO's by most world governments is because Winston Churchill said it would threaten the legitimacy of the church. Did Winston Churchill ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Did Soviet soldiers commit two million rapes of German women in 1945?

During the Allied troops entry and occupation of German territory during the later stages of World War II, it is alleged that mass rapes were committed by Allied Forces. The Telegraph reported: ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Is this tweet about classes one month after the Hiroshima bombing, and the 2011 tsunami accurate?

https://twitter.com/TheKnowledge/status/593936133358276609 Japan. Top: One Month After Hiroshima, 1945. Bottom: One Month After The Earthquake and Tsunami, 2011. Incredible. Are the images ...
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2answers
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Was Stalin planning to attack Germany?

I have read a couple of books by Viktor Suvorov, such as Icebreaker as a child where he presents a theory that before World War 2, Stalin was planning to attack the West via Germany, and/or had set ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Did the German navy use UV lights for communication from submarines?

An article about vision anomalies claims that the increased sensitivity to UV light in aphakia sufferers has been put to use to detect UV signal lamps from German submarines in World War II. "Let the ...
10
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1answer
6k views

Did the “Russian Sleep Experiment” happen?

While talking about scary things and war, my girlfriend acted surprised when she found that I don't know what "Nikolayev gas" is. When I opened up wikipedia and didn't find anything she told ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Did Jews claim to be asians to Imperial Japan?

I came across the following anecdote from the Judaism Stack Exchange: https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/5940/jewish-community-in-china-around-ww2/5942 During the questions portion of the ...
10
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1answer
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Did Hiroshima change the layout of its streets subsequent to the war?

The following anecdote has gone viral, seen as a gaffe by someone ignorant of the atomic bombing of the city. From The morning catch-up: a Battlebus poll, a surprising secrecy advocate and a majestic ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Were the Dene people unaware they had mined ore for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki until the 1990s?

From a web project called The Forbidden Rock Prophecy (elsewhere it claims the atomic bombs were prophesied): Nor did they know what the materials they carried would be used for. So in addition ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Did Britain borrow $120 billion in 1945?

This copy-paste has being doing the rounds of local newspaper letters pages and dodgy hard-core pro-Brexit Facebook pages, etc: JEAN Claude Juncker should be forced to walk past every white ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Did 40% of the NKVD (Soviet police) leadership have Jewish nationality?

Timothy D. Snyder wrote a history book, Bloodlands about the mass killings of Central/Eastern Europeans between 1933-1945. Jewish Currents, a magazine of the Jewish Left, cite him in making claims ...