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World War II

Examine collections of the Museum's key resources on major themes in American history and social studies teaching. Additional resources can be found in the main search areas of the website.

primary homework world war ii

Investigate the events and impacts of World War II with your students using primary resources, museum exhibits and learning activities from the National Museum of American History.

Image: Remember Pearl Harbor Pin

Colored poster depicting American soldiers from 1778-1943

"1778-1943 Americans Will Always Fight for Liberty" Poster

To control the form of war messages, the government created the U.S. Office of War Information in June 1942. OWI sought to review and approve the design and distribution of government posters. Posters such as this one and their messages were seen as "war graphics," combining the sophisticated style of contemporary graphic design with the promotion of war aims. Over time, OWI developed six war-information themes for its own internal use, as well as to guide other issuing agencies and major producers of mass-media entertainment.

Thumbnail image of Battle of the Bulge: Americans Respond to a German Surprise resource

Battle of the Bulge: Americans Respond to a German Surprise

Use a video clip and primary sources to develop an understanding of the challenges facing the ground troops during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge, then take on the role of one of those soldiers and write a letter home. This lesson plan (which includes background information and full-color primary sources) was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Thumbnail image of Camilla's Purse resource

Camilla's Purse

The story of America includes the history of those who have lived through extraordinary circumstances. One such person was Camilla Gottlieb, whose ordinary life in Vienna suddenly became endangered when the Germans invaded and annexed Austria in 1938. As a Jew, she confronted devastating changes. With their Jewish heritage reviled and their Austrian citizenship revoked, Camilla and her husband Hermann recognized their peril and attempted to come to the United States.

primary homework world war ii

Changing Gender Roles on the World War II Home Front

Kick-off a research project on gender roles on the World War II home front with two brief video clips and a selection of primary sources. Once students have analyzed the photographs and wartime advertisements, begin a research project on women during World War II. This lesson plan (which includes background information and full-color primary sources) was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Image of Metal ENIAC Accumulator #2

ENIAC Accumulator #2

The ENIAC was a large, general-purpose digital computer built to compute ballistics tables for U.S. Army artillery during World War II. Occupying a room 30 feet by 50 feet, ENIAC—the Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer—weighed 30 tons and used some 18,000 vacuum tubes. It could compute 1,000 times faster than any existing device. Technicians used external plug wires, like those shown here, to program the machine.

Image of a bottle of white leg paint with picture of a woman's leg on a black label

Leg Silque Liquid Stockings

While leg makeup has been commercially available since the 1920s, it wasn't until rationing was introduced during the World War II that the product became an essential commodity for many American women. Unable to procure silk or nylon hose, many women resorted to painting their legs with products such as Leg Silque Liquid Stockings, made in Boston, Mass., by the Langlors Company. Some industrious users even drew black lines down the backs of their legs to simulate the seams.

Thumbnail image of Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp homepage

Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp Homepage

In this OurStory module entitled Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp, students will learn about the lives of Japanese American children who were forced to leave their homes and move to internment camps during World War II. The module includes links to hands-on activities, pertinent websites, and a list of recommended readings. OurStory is a series of modules designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, OurStory resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.

Thumbnail image of Magazine Cover Gallery resource

Magazine Cover Gallery

Through the use of use of authentic magazine covers, objects from the museum's collections, a timeline and brief video news clips, students will explore the themes of the home front during World War II: the war effort; the ideals that were fought for, the diverse audiences that were targeted, and the varying uses of cover design by different companies. This resource is part of the online exhibition entitled July 1942: United We Stand .

Thumbnail image of Maritime Voices: Merchant Mariners and Shipyard Workers Remember World War II

Maritime Voices: Merchant Mariners and Shipyard Workers Remember World War II

Listen to oral history recordings and examine related primary source materials to learn the stories of the men and women who built and sailed on Liberty Ships to support the allied war effort during World War II. The Web site encourages students to take on the role of historian by presenting them with a variety of related primary source materials and historical questions. These resources are part of the online exhibition On the Water: Stories from Maritime America .

Thumbnail image of the Mobilizing Children on the World War II Homefront resource

Mobilizing Children on the World War II Homefront

Take a close look at propaganda cartoons and other primary sources to analyze how young Americans were mobilized for the War. This lesson plan (which includes background information and full-color primary sources) was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

primary homework world war ii

National Youth Summit: Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

During World War II, the United States government forcibly removed over 120,000 Japanese Americans from the Pacific Coast. These individuals, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, were sent to ten camps built throughout the western interior of the United States. Many would spend the next three years living under armed guard, behind barbed wire. In this webcast, the panelists explored this period in American history and considered how fear and prejudice can upset the delicate balance between the rights of citizens and the power of the state.

Soldier's pocket Bible with black cover

Soldier's Pocket Bible

Religion has an essential role in military history, which is reflected in military material. Steel-covered New Testaments were popular keepsake gifts for soldiers going off to fight in World War II. Advertised in newspapers and magazines as protection from bullets, the small books were designed to be carried in the pocket over one's heart as both symbol and shield.

Illustration of Japanese-American men and women in an internment camp

Teaching Japanese American Incarceration through Comics

Students will learn about the personal experiences of Japanese American incarcerees during World War II and will practice communicating information concisely by developing an original comic.

Thumbnail image of The Scott Family: Life of WWII Homefront resource

The Scott Family: Life on the WWII Homefront

Through the use of a description of the apartment, an excerpt from Mary Scott's diary, and artifact from the period, students will learn about life on the home front during World War II. The Scotts rented apartment on the first floor of an Ipswich, Massachusetts house became a home front battlefield during World War II. The Scotts are one of the families that lived in the Ipswich, Massachusetts house which is the focus of Within These Walls , an online exhibition.

primary homework world war ii

Women in World War II

This collection teaches students about the changing role of women during World War II: their role in the workplace, increasing presence in the military, and participation in voluntary organizations that supported the war. Students should think about how these activities reinforced traditional notions of gender divisions while they also allowed women to experience new activities.

Thumbnail image of World War II resource

Students will learn how Americans joined the Allies to defeat Axis militarism and nationalist expansion. Sixteen million Americans donned uniforms in this section of the online exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War . The millions more who stayed home comprised a vast civilian army, mobilized by the government to support the war effort. The world-wide conflict that led to the emergence of the United States as an economic and military superpower is divided into sections that allow students to focus either on a specific aspect of the war, or the conflict as a whole. The sections included are titled: Axis Aggression, America Enters the War, Mobilizing for War, "You're in the Army Now", Battle of the Atlantic, The Mediterranean Theater, Storming Fortress Europe, The Pacific Theater; So Others Might Fight; Morale Boosters and Victory and Peace. A non-flash version of the site is available: World War II .

World War II colored paper poster with American flag and yellow lettering

World War II Poster

This image, said to be the most popular poster design of World War II, appeared as a billboard in 1941. Carl Paulson created the design under the direction of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., for a U.S. Treasury Department campaign promoting the widespread public ownership of defense bonds and stamps. To demonstrate the power of advertising while selling bonds, the billboard industry displayed this image of the American flag at more than 30,000 locations in some 18,000 cities and towns across the country in March and April 1942. The Treasury brought back the billboard for campaigns in July 1942 and 1943. To meet public demand for copies of the billboard, the Government Printing Office printed 4 million small color reproductions.

Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.

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Visit the Contact us page to request a theme that would help you in your classroom.

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primary homework world war ii

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primary homework world war ii

Access this article and hundreds more like it with a subscription to Junior Scholastic magazine.

Junior Scholastic  Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of  junior scholastic , the middle school social studies classroom magazine..

primary homework world war ii

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about World War II in your classroom, courtesy of  Junior Scholastic , the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine

primary homework world war ii

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

This American History play tells the story of the shocking 1941 attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Accounts from real soldiers help bring this infamous day to life for your students.


Meet the Navajo Code Talkers

During World War II, information could be just as important as weapons. Learn how a group of young Navajo men helped win the war in the Pacific by creating an unbreakable code for the United States military.


Life in the Japanese Internment Camps

While the U.S. military fought overseas, a different battle was happening on American soil, as more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps. This American History play tells their story in dramatic detail.


Adolfo Kaminsky, A Hero of the Holocaust

Not all the heroes of World War II were soldiers. Find out how a shy Jewish teenager in France risked his life to help thousands of victims escape the Nazis by forging documents.


Want to see more from Junior Scholastic magazine?

Famous quotes from World War II

“Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford—we have no right—to look back. We must look forward.”

— British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, December 1936

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a 1941 speech asking Congress to declare war

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won.”

— U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied Powers, after Japan’s formal surrender in September 1945

Key Figures  

Four world war ii figures who made an impact.

primary homework world war ii

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt, who served as U.S. president from 1933-1945, tried to avoid U.S. involvement in World War II but changed course after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He partnered with Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China to defeat Germany and its allies.

primary homework world war ii

Born in 1929, Frank was 13 years old when she and her Jewish family were forced into hiding in the Netherlands to avoid Nazi persecution. They were discovered two years later and sent to concentration camps, where Frank died. After the war, her father published her diary, which has been read by millions of people.

primary homework world war ii

Adolf Hitler

Hitler ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945 and led the Nazi Party. He sought to reestablish Germany as a leading power in Europe by seizing land from other countries and eliminating European Jews. Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945, after realizing he faced certain defeat.

primary homework world war ii

Winston Churchill

As prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, Churchill gave powerful speeches and famously resisted tyranny. He is largely credited with Britain’s decision to ally with the United States and the Soviet Union--a strategy that helped end the war.

Supplemental resources that link to external websites about World War II

World War II Photos

The National Archives' collection of more than 200 World War II photographs, organized by topic

The History Channel: World War II

Film footage, interactives, and articles related to the war

World War II Artifacts

An interactive history of World War II told through artifacts and images

Terms and definitions that pertain to World War II


discrimination against Jews

concentration camp

a prison or place of forced labor; often a general term that includes death camps specifically designed by the Nazis as mass killing centers during World War II

a part of a city in which members of a minority race or group live, usually in poor conditions

the mass slaughter of millions of Jews and other people by the Nazis during World War II

internment camp

a place where enemies or suspected enemies are held

a member of a political party, led by Adolf Hitler from 1920 to 1945, that was dedicated to German dominance of Europe and the destruction of Jews

Explore Other Topics

Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources.

primary homework world war ii

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander-in-Chief to Chief-of-State, the President has many critical roles.

primary homework world war ii

The United States Constitution

primary homework world war ii

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

primary homework world war ii

The Civil Rights Movement

primary homework world war ii

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

primary homework world war ii

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

primary homework world war ii

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

primary homework world war ii

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

primary homework world war ii

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

primary homework world war ii

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

primary homework world war ii

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

primary homework world war ii


The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

Empower Your Students  to Explore Their World

Discover Junior Scholastic Magazine for Grades 6–8

narvikk/Getty Images (Plane); Illustration by Dave Seeley (Pearl Harbor); Bettmann/Getty Images (code talkers); Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images (internment camp); Courtesy Sarah Kaminsky (forging materials); Hulton Archive/Getty Images (FDR); Anne Frank Fonds Basel/Getty Images (Anne Frank); Bettmann/Getty Images (Adolf Hitler); Fox Photos/Getty Images (Winston Churchill)

Information about World War 2

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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World War II Worksheets, Crosswords, and Coloring Pages

On Sept. 1, 1939,  Germany  invaded Poland, prompting the beginning of  World War II . Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany.

Germany was ruled by a dictator named Adolf Hitler who was a leader of the Nazi political party. The German allies, countries who fought with Germany, were called the Axis Powers. Italy and Japan were two of those countries.

The Soviet Union and the United States would both enter the war two years later, allying with British and French resistance against the Nazis. These, along with China, were known as the Allied Powers. 

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union battled the Axis Powers in Europe and North Africa. In the Pacific, the U.S., along with China and the U.K. fought the Japanese across Asia.

With Allied troops closing in on Berlin, Germany surrendered May 7, 1945. This date is known as VE (Victory in Europe) Day.

The Japanese government didn't surrender until August 15, 1945, after the Allied Powers dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This date is called VJ (Victory in Japan) Day.

All told, some 20 million soldiers and 50 million civilians died in the global conflict, including an estimated 6 million people, mostly Jews, killed in the Holocaust.

World War II was the defining event of the mid-20th century, and no course in U.S. history is complete without a survey of the war, its causes, and its aftermath. Plan your homeschooling activities with these World War II worksheets, including crosswords, word searches, vocabulary lists, coloring activities, and more.

World War II Vocabulary Study Sheet

Print the PDF

Introduce students to terms associated with World War II using this vocabulary study sheet. This exercise is a great way to discuss the leaders of World War II and spark interest in additional research.

World War II Vocabulary

primary homework world war ii

See how well your students remember the terms associated with World War II using this vocabulary activity. Students must answer 20 questions about World War II, choosing from a variety of war-related words. It’s a perfect way for elementary-age students to become familiar with key terms associated with the conflict.

World War II Wordsearch

primary homework world war ii

In this activity, students will search for 20 words associated with the war, including the names of Axis and Allied leaders and other related terms.

World War II Crossword Puzzle

primary homework world war ii

Use this crossword puzzle to help students learn more about World War II by matching the clue with the appropriate term. ​Each of the key terms used has been provided in a word bank to make the activity accessible for younger students. 

World War II Challenge Worksheet

primary homework world war ii

Challenge your students with these multiple-choice questions about the people who played a major role in WWII. This worksheet builds upon vocabulary terms introduced in the word search exercise.

World War II Alphabet Activity

primary homework world war ii

This worksheet allows younger students to practice their ordering and thinking skills by alphabetizing a list of names and terms associated with World War II that were introduced in earlier exercises.

World War II Spelling Worksheet

primary homework world war ii

Use this exercise to help students improve their spelling skills and reinforce knowledge of important historical figures and events from the war.

World War II Coloring Page

primary homework world war ii

Spark your students' creativity with this coloring page, featuring an Allied air attack on a Japanese destroyer. You can use this activity to lead a discussion about important naval battles in the Pacific, such as the Battle of Midway.

Iwo Jima Day Coloring Page

primary homework world war ii

The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted from Feb. 19, 1945, until March 26, 1945. On Feb. 23, 1945, the American flag was raised at Iwo Jima by six United States Marines. Joe Rosenthal was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the raising of the flag. The U.S. military occupied Iwo Jima until 1968 when it was returned to  Japan .

Kids will love coloring this iconic image from the Battle of Iwo Jima. Use this exercise to discuss the battle or the famous Washington D.C. monument to those who fought in the conflict.

primary homework world war ii

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Life during World War II

primary homework world war ii

British people who weren’t fighting in World War II still had a very different life to the one they had before the war. For one thing, there wasn’t as much food around so every little bit had to be saved and used – even if it didn’t taste very nice! And clothes that were too small or had tears in them just had to be fixed and made bigger because there weren’t many new things around to buy. Everyone had to help each other get the things they needed to keep warm and healthy.

Many people – especially children – who lived in cities were evacuated to the country to keep safe from air attacks such as the Blitz .

Bombs dropped by German planes could flatten brick houses in seconds. Can you imagine going to school one morning, and coming back to find your house was gone? Or when packing your rucksack, popping in a gas mask to protect yourself in case of a gas attack?

Farms in the country became busy communities of people who moved in to help use every bit of the land to grow food. They might have moved there because they didn’t have a home anymore, or because they just wanted to help out as much as they could.

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Pictures of life during World War II

Have a look through the images in the gallery and see if you can spot the following:

primary homework world war ii

When most of the men in Britain went off to fight in the war, women stepped in to do some of the jobs left vacant. One of these groups was the Land Girls , who worked on farms to grow food, look after livestock and keep the buildings and grounds in good shape.

Not all the men could go overseas, though. Some were just too old or too young, and others had jobs that were thought to be too important for them to leave – these were called ‘reserved occupations’, and included farmers, coal miners and ship builders. Men who stayed in Britain could join the Home Guard, whose main job was to defend the land if there were a sudden attack by the enemy, holding them off until soldiers could get there. There never was an attack like this, but what members of the Home Guard did do was watch over important resources like factories that might have been key targets of an attack, and places like dark fields where enemy troops might parachute into thinking that nobody would see them land. The Home Guard also captured enemy pilots whose planes had crash-landed. The Home Guard was formed in 1940 and disbanded in 1945, and over 1 million men were part of it for most of this time.

Lots of things that people used to be able to pick up in shops around the corner weren’t available during the war. For instance, a factory that used to produce clothes would have been reassigned to produce items for the troops instead. Also, foods like bananas that would have come in on ships from other countries were unavailable because it was dangerous for ships to bring food to Britain. Convoys of ships were used to bring essential food items from other countries but many of these ships were destroyed by the Germans before they could get to Britain.

A system called rationing was set up in 1940 that restricted how much food, clothes and other supplies people could have in a week or month. Each person – both children and adults – had a ration book with coupons in it that they’d hand over to their local shopkeeper, who would give them items their coupons allowed them to have. This system meant everyone got something to eat, and something to wear, even if it wasn’t very much.

The first foods that were rationed were bacon, sugar, tea, butter and meat. This list grew and grew as the war went on, and people got used to making each little bit stretch as far as possible. For example, today you could go out and buy as a dozen eggs and as much milk as you like. But back in war time, people were allowed just one egg per week and three pints of milk per month! People could grow and eat as many vegetables as they wanted, so gardens of all sizes popped up wherever there was space for one – even in parks. Rationing carried on after the war was over because supplies were still low, but gradually items came off the rationing list so things were never as restricted as they was during the war. Rationing ended for good in 1954.

The Blitz lasted from September 1940 to May 1941. During this time, Britain was bombed very heavily in a number of air-raids. Major cities (like London), factories and seaside towns were all targeted because bombing them would cause the most damage – such as destroying rows of houses, production of weapons, or ports where ships carrying supplies would come to.

Loud air-raid sirens would warn people that enemy planes were on the way, and they would need to run to the nearest shelter – no matter if it were the middle of the day or night. Some people had Anderson shelters buried in their back garden, or Morrison shelters in their home. These were strong structures that were built to protect people inside from bomb explosions. In London, Tube (underground) stations were used as air-raid shelters too. Many people also owned gas masks that they could wear to breathe clean air after an explosion.

Because living in cities was so dangerous, mums and dads decided to send their children to the country. These children were called evacuees . This was a really hard decision because nobody wanted to say goodbye to their families, but it was the best way to make sure children stayed safe – nobody knew when the war would finally be over. Many children travelled by train to farms, to homes in the country or to large, stately homes that had lots of room. Some British children even went overseas to countries like Canada . They would write letters about their new adventures to their parents.

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10 facts about World War 2

Learn about this hugely important event in british history….

In September 1939, Britain entered into what would become the world’s most devastating war to date. Learn all about the events that changed the lives of millions in our World War 2 facts….

World War 2 facts

1.   world war 2  was a battle between two groups of countries.

– the “ Allies ” and the “ Axis “. The major Allied Powers were Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States. The major Axis Powers were Germany, Italy and Japan.

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2.  Before World War 2 began, Germany was ruled by a man named Adolf Hitler

Together with the  Nazi Party , he wanted Germany to rule Europe. To gain more land and power, on 1 September 1939 German troops invaded Poland. After Hitler refused to stop the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany – World War II had begun.

3. During the course of the war, German forces advanced through Europe.

By the summer of 1941 they had invaded France , Belgium , Holland , Luxembourg , Denmark , Norway , Greece , Yugoslavia * and the USSR *.

Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable  Second World War primary resource ? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

4.  Millions of Germans were imprisoned and killed because they didn’t fit the image of the ‘perfect’ German

Hitler wanted to create what he thought was the “best” and strongest race – and to the Nazi Party, this excluded certain groups, such as Jews , Gypsies and those with physical and mental disabilities . In an attempt to eliminate a “racial enemy” outside of Germany, such groups were also persecuted in the countries invaded by German forces.

5.  The group most heavily targeted by the Nazis were the Jews

Around six million Jewish people were killed during World War 2 in one of history’s most terrible events – the Holocaust. Racist in his views, Hitler blamed Jewish people for Germany losing World War I and claimed they were dangerous to German people and society.

6.  Around the same time that Germany fought for power in Europe, Japan wanted to control Asia and the Pacific

In 1937 (before World War 2 had officially begun) under Emperor Hirohito , Japan attacked China, bringing the two nations into years of conflict.

7.  The US didn’t join the war until 1941, when Japan attacked the United States

– at their Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii . On 8 December 1941 (the very next day), the US declared War on Japan and, in turn, its German allies.

8.  Some countries remained ‘neutral’ in World War 2

Such countries were Spain , Sweden and Switzerland – who  chose not to join either side.

9.  The Germans surrendered on  8 May 1945

In 1944, an Allied army crossed from Britain to free France from Nazi rule. One year later, Allied armies invaded Germany, forcing the Germans to surrender. After  nuclear attacks on Japan’s major cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki , Japan also surrendered to Allied forces in August the same year. World War 2 had ended.

10.  Around 64 million people died in World War 2

Find out more about the countries involved in World War 2 with our Germany , Japan and USA facts . Plus, learn about the life of Anne Frank , a young German girl who wrote a world-famous diary… 

With thanks to Dr. Matthew Thomas from the National Army Museum and Ian Kikuchi from the Imperial War Museum , London.

*yugoslavia was a country established in 1918 in south-east europe, which included modern-day serbia, montenegro, croatia, slovenia and bosnia-herzegovina., *ussr (union of soviet socialist republics, or the soviet union) was a former country which included modern-day russia, ukraine and estonia, as well as other socialist states., what did you think of our world war 2 facts let us know by leaving a comment below., leave a comment.

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this is so sad

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I knew seven of them already but the three I learned were interesting

Totally awesome

I loved it!!!

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it was so amazing

so sad so manny people died

This is ok, it did help me with my work, but the layout could be better

interesting facts! really nice

Nice, this really helped me with my school work, Thanks!!

This is nice, really helped me with school work, Thanks!! :D

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it was amazing learning about this.



this was a great website

Love them really helped my research

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Good job on the article, maybe include some more information on events though.

Let's take action!

sad stuff guys

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It was a transcendental event for humanity that we must avoid repeating because today there is greater military power and with several countries that have nuclear bombs. It would be a universal disaster without losers and winners.

this website is pretty good!

Really good facts helped a lot on my project :]

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Hey thanks nat geo! the facts were really interesting and helped alot with my project :) cya soon in another comment section:P

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Thank you Nat Geo, you helped me with my project!

amazing but sad

I learned so much from this and it really helped me with my task

3/ & in Africa they invaded Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, British Somaliland; & and Britain in the Channel Islands; 6/ & Italy wanted to control large tracts of Africa to include Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti & British Somaliland. 8/ Portugal was neutral and so was Eire: if the former held sympathies for Britain the latter was a non belligérant sympathiser of Nazi Germany to the extent of mourning Hitler’s death, generously welcoming German children after the War Marshall Plan funds asssisting the war weary countries, and responding to an invitation to join NATO with a “....only if you give back our six counties”. Who needs enemies with friends like that ?

you guys are nice

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my great-grandmother fought in WW2 aged only 15, and survived ! :)

Facts are true

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Just sad on how many people died

this was really helpful for school work!!!! And Hitler was the worst.

thank you for teaching me more stuff about ww2 so i can bring it back to school as homework

I think I have learnt about more world war 2 facts because we're learning about it

That I did not know but is was pretty scary and sad

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Primary History KS2: World War 2 Clips

BBC Teach > School Radio > History

Teaching resources for Key Stage 2 History - World War Two - with video clips using material from the BBC archive. Topics include evacuation, the Blitz, rationing, songs, news reports, speeches, eye-witness accounts.

WW2 Sounds

Some of the most evocative sounds of the War, including authentic air-raid sirens.

WW2 Evacuation

WW2 Evacuation

News reports and interviews with families and children about the Evacuation.

The Blitz

News reports on the Blitz and descriptions from adults and children of being bombed.

WW2 Speeches

WW2 Speeches

WW2 speeches including Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain.

WW2 Songs

Clips from some of the most popular songs and music from the War years.

WW2 News

News reports covering some of the key events of the War.

More from this topic

History KS2: World War Two

History KS2: World War Two

Using archive clips, images and first-person experiences this series of short films offers a comprehensive overview of World War Two from start to finish.

World War II

World war ii questions and answers, what were some similarities between the european and pacific theaters during world war ii, what were the similarities between wwi and wwii, what were the similarities between benito mussolini and joseph stalin, how did the league of nations respond to japan's invasion of manchuria, who was leader/president of france during world war ii  , to what extent did militarism contribute to the origin of world war ii, this photo shows which major difference between the war in europe and the war in the pacific, what were the short-term effects of world war ii, what were the causes and effects of pearl harbor, how did the united states gain the upper hand in the pacific sphere during wwii, what different challenges did the u.s. face fighting in the pacific versus fighting in europe war in the pacific, how did the us government mobilize the economy for war, compare and contrast the methods of dictatorship used by adolf hitler, benito mussolini, and joseph stalin., in president truman's press release of august 6, 1945, why does the atomic bomb's power have to be explained, how did the western democracies respond to the aggression of the axis powers during the 1930s, was world war ii a "just" war, why is d-day important in wwii, why did winston churchill oppose neville chamberlain, how did tanks change the way battles were fought, what did the motives of germany, italy, and japan have in common during world war ii, what were the perceived threats of hitler and mussolini, what were the main points of allied military strategy in europe, what role did geography play in japan's desire to expand its empire in the 1920s and 1930s, why shouldn't the united states have dropped the atomic bomb on japan please answer with three criteria., what motivated japanese, german, and italian aggression in the 1930s, how did the failure of the league of nations and the treaty of paris lead/cause world war ii, i have to analyze the speech at the red army parade on the red square (written and presented by joseph stalin on november 7, 1941 in moscow, russia) for rhetoric devices. any help would be appreciated., what happened to women's jobs after world war ii, 1. how did the allied forces win the war in europe 2. what were the major events leading up to the outbreak of war in europe and in asia 3. what effect did the second world war have on american society 4. how did the united states gain the upper hand in the pacific sphere 5. what efforts did the allies make to shape the postwar world, what were winston churchill's objections to the munich agreement , why did the japanese choose the date and time for the attack on pearl harbor, at the end of wwii, why was the fate of poland so important to the us and the soviet union, who was the president of the united states at the end of world war ii, name the axis powers and their leaders and the allied powers and their leaders during world war ii., why did japan attack pearl harbor, what factors led to the rise of the nazis and their power, what were the consequences of world war ii for the united states, what caused world war ii to break out in 1939, what was the sonderweg thesis, how did the end of world war ii shape the postwar world  , was appeasement a mistake in wwii, what is the significance of the invasion of italy (italians surrender to allies, september 1943), what were the consequences of president roosevelt's decision to issue executive order 9066, how did benito mussolini, adolf hitler, and joseph stalin rise to power, and what methods did they use to keep power, why weren't any american aircraft carriers sunk during the pearl harbor attack, how did the battles of iwo jima and okinawa influence the decision to use the bomb against japan, why were the japanese so successful in the early years (1937–1942) of the war against a variety of asian, european, and american powers, evaluate the domestic and international leadership of presidents roosevelt and truman during world war ii. be sure to include details on how they maintained relationships with allied leaders and how they were able to rapidly mobilize the u.s. industries for the war effort., why is world war ii known as the good war, axis controlled countries in ww2.

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Skip to Main Content of WWII

Ration books, rationing for the war effort.

Ask anyone who remembers life on the Home Front during World War II about their strongest memories and chances are they will tell you about rationing. You see, the war caused shortages of all sorts of things: rubber, metal, clothing, etc. But it was the shortages of various types of food that affected just about everyone on a daily basis.

Food was in short supply for a variety of reasons: much of the processed and canned foods was reserved for shipping overseas to our military and our Allies; transportation of fresh foods was limited due to gasoline and tire rationing and the priority of transporting soldiers and war supplies instead of food; imported foods, like coffee and sugar, was limited due to restrictions on importing.

Because of these shortages, the US government’s Office of Price Administration established a system of rationing that would more fairly distribute foods that were in short supply.  Every American was issued a series of ration books during the war. The ration books contained removable stamps good for certain rationed items, like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the right ration stamp.  Once a person’s ration stamps were used up for a month, she couldn’t buy any more of that type of food.  This meant planning meals carefully, being creative with menus, and not wasting food. More than 8,000 ration boards across the country administered the program.

Let's take a closer look at some WWII Ration Books. You’ll notice that they change slightly throughout the war. The first two images explain how ration books were to be used. It could get a bit complicated. As a matter of fact, when a Gallup Poll on March 5, 1943, asked Americans, Do you understand how the food point rationing system works?, only 53% of men answered “Yes”; 76% of women answered “Yes” (why do you think that was?).

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primary homework world war ii

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Adolf Hitler


Adolf Hitler in 1932, shortly before he became chancellor of Germany.

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria. He grew up in Linz, Austria. In about 1913 Hitler moved to Munich, Germany. When World War I began in 1914, he joined the German army.

After the war Hitler joined a tiny political group in Munich. In 1921 Hitler took control of the group. By then it was known as the Nazi Party .

The Third Reich

Adolf Hitler addresses a rally in the early 1930s.

Hitler soon put his beliefs into practice. Soon Jews were not allowed to own businesses or attend certain schools. Many were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Hitler also strengthened Germany’s military power.

World War II and the Holocaust

Hitler then moved to enlarge the Third Reich. He took over neighboring countries. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, World War II began.

During the war Hitler stepped up his campaign against the Jews. The Nazis killed many in the concentration camps . Others died while working as slave laborers. Eventually some 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.

By 1944 the war was going badly for Hitler. Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945, in Berlin, Germany. Germany surrendered, and the war in Europe ended on May 8.

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Courtesy The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Pennsylvania World War II pilot accounted for nearly 80 years later

by: George Stockburger

Posted: Mar 13, 2023 / 12:24 PM EDT

Updated: Mar 13, 2023 / 03:05 PM EDT

(WHTM) – The remains of a Pennsylvania World War II pilot killed in Europe have been identified nearly 80 years after his death.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says U.S. Army Air Forces 1 st  Lt. William B. Montgomery, 24, of Ford City was accounted for on Jan. 10, 2023.

In the summer of 1944, Montgomery was assigned to the 844th Bombardment Squadron, 489th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Eighth Air Force. On June 22, Montgomery was piloting a B-24H Liberator that was struck by anti-aircraft after a bombing raid on a German airfield in Saint-Cyr-l’École, near Versailles, France.

Despite the damage to the aircraft, Montgomery’s piloting skill allowed him to navigate the aircraft until it was over the English coast, whereupon he ordered his crew to bail out. Seven of the airmen parachuted successfully while the other three crew members, including Montgomery, were still on board. Two of the crew witnessed the aircraft crash into a farm in West Sussex, England.

primary homework world war ii

Montgomery had been declared non-recoverable in 1950 after investigators searched the crash site.

In June 2021 a recovery mission resulted in the recovery of human remains and material evidence. Scientists used anthropological analysis and material evidence to identify Montgomery’s remains.

Montgomery’s name is recorded on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, an  American Battle Monuments Commission  site in Cambridge, United Kingdom, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Montgomery will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined.

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  1. World War II

    World War II started in 1939. By the time it ended in 1945, the war involved nearly every part of the world. The two sides that fought the war were called the Axis powers and the Allies. Germany, Italy, and Japan were the major Axis powers. The major Allies were the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom (Great Britain), and France.

  2. World War Two (WW2) for Kids

    World War Two 1939 - 1945 Remembrance Day For almost six years from 1939 to 1945 Britain fought the toughest war it had ever experienced. World War II was total war - every person, every business, every service was involved. Britain did not fight alone, the war also involved many countries.

  3. World War II

    The ENIAC was a large, general-purpose digital computer built to compute ballistics tables for U.S. Army artillery during World War II. Occupying a room 30 feet by 50 feet, ENIAC—the Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer—weighed 30 tons and used some 18,000 vacuum tubes.

  4. World War II Teaching Resources

    As prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, Churchill gave powerful speeches and famously resisted tyranny. He is largely credited with Britain's decision to ally with the United States and the Soviet Union--a strategy that helped end the war. Resources Supplemental resources that link to external websites about World War II

  5. World War II

    World War II began when the UK and France declared war on Germany, after German troops led by Adolf Hitler had invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 to claim land there as their own. Hitler had already invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia, so the war began over his plan to take more land for Germany.

  6. World War 2 for Kids

    World War Two in Europe began on 3rd September 1939, when the Prime Minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, declared war on Germany. It involved many of the world's countries. Why did the Second World War start? why second world war The Second World War was started by Germany in an unprovoked attack on Poland.

  7. World War II Homework Help

    Evacuation during World War Two Primary Homework Help The major movement of people from danger to safety was done during the war by the British troops or on British soil. The first major evacuation called operation "pied piper" was done by the British two days before the declaration of war on 1st September 1939.

  8. World War II Printable Worksheets and Coloring Pages

    World War II was the defining event of the mid-20th century, and no course in U.S. history is complete without a survey of the war, its causes, and its aftermath. Plan your homeschooling activities with these World War II worksheets, including crosswords, word searches, vocabulary lists, coloring activities, and more. 01 of 09

  9. World War Two: An Overview

    World War Two was a global conflict that involved most of the world's countries. These countries formed two opposing military alliances , which fought against each other throughout the war....

  10. Life during World War II

    During World War II, Britain was called ' the Home Front ' - the war affected people not just fighting in armies on the front lines, but back in their own towns and neighbourhoods. All the different plans and ways to help get Britain through World War II was called ' the war effort '.

  11. World War 2 facts for kids

    To gain more land and power, on 1 September 1939 German troops invaded Poland. After Hitler refused to stop the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany - World War II had begun. 3. During the course of the war, German forces advanced through Europe. By the summer of 1941 they had invaded France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg ...

  12. America on the Homefront

    Introduction Rationing and Controlling Prices Defending the Homefront Wartime Research and Development War Work & the Role of Women Additional Online Homefront Resources Introduction The following is a selection of records compiled from the National Archives at Boston that illustrate different aspects of life on the homefront during World War II. More than any war before or since, the federal ...

  13. Primary History KS2: World War 2 Clips

    Teaching resources for Key Stage 2 History - World War Two - with video clips using material from the BBC archive. Topics include evacuation, the Blitz, rationing, songs, news reports, speeches ...

  14. KS2 World War 2 Homework

    This KS2 World War 2 Homework Pack is an excellent resource to reinforce your students' knowledge. You can easily print the homework tasks for your students to complete at home. The crossword task includes the answer key to save you time with checking your children's answers. The above video may be from a third-party source.

  15. World War II Questions and Answers

    What happened to women's jobs after World War II? 1. How did the Allied forces win the war in Europe? 2. What were the major events leading up to the outbreak of war in Europe and in Asia? 3. What ...

  16. Ration Books

    Primary Source Gallery . Every day, memories of World War II—its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs—disappear. Give Today. Open today 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 [email protected] 504-528-1944. About the Museum;

  17. Adolf Hitler

    Adolf Hitler ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. He called himself Führer (Leader). Hitler believed that Germans were born to rule over other peoples. This led to World War II . He also believed that there was no place in society for Jewish people. This idea led to the Holocaust , when millions of Jews were killed.

  18. Pennsylvania World War II pilot accounted for nearly 80 years later

    Updated: Mar 13, 2023 / 12:24 PM EDT. (WHTM) - The remains of a Pennsylvania World War II pilot killed in Europe have been identified nearly 80 years after his death. The Defense POW/MIA ...