The Topic:
World War II

This World War II 42eXplore project encompasses numerous websites. In order to organize some of those sites, two additional pages were constructed: (1) Battles, Campaigns, & Events of W.W.II and (2) Biographies of World War II. Be sure to visit those supplemental pages and check out the hundreds of additional resources that are arranged there.
Easier - World War began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and ended in 1945 with the surrender of Germany and Japan. The allied nations including Australia, Canada, Great Britain, France, Soviet Union, United States, and New Zealand defeated the Axis countries of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Harder - The United States entered the War on December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. By the end of the War, more people were killed, more property destroyed, more people's lives were disrupted, and probably more far-reaching consequences were caused than any other war in history. World War II brought about the downfall of Western Europe as the center of world power, led to the rise of the Soviet Union, set up conditions leading to the 'Cold War,' and opened the nuclear age.
Lest We Forget: World War II
This is a comprehensive website containing information about World War II.
Other Selected Comprehensive World War II Sites:
2) HyperWar: World War II (Links-site)
3) World War II at BBC Online
4) World War II at Britannica
5) World War II, Analyzed!
6) World War II Sites
Children of World War II from BBC
This site focuses on what life was like for children during W.W.II.
Other Home Front Websites:
2) Child in London - 1940 by M. Hoffman
3) Civvy Street in World War II
4) Midnight Watch
5) Private Art - World War II Letters to and from the Home Front
6) Sinews of War: The Industrial Front: 1939-1945
Drop Zone: The World War II Oral History Project
The oral histories and photos are representative of the airborne and Ranger experience during W.W.II.
Other Oral History Projects:
2) Home of the Brave
3) Memories of War
4) War Time Memories Project
5) World War II Living History Project
6) World War II Oral History
Pearl Harbor Remembered
Here you learn about the Pearl Harbor memorial, the attack, a timeline of events, map of attack, survivor’s recollections, and audio clips.
Other Pearl Harbor Websites:
2) A Day That Will Live in Infamy: The Bombing of Pearl Harbor
(ThinkQuest Junior Project)
3) Attack at Pearl Harbor: 1941
4) Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941
5) Pearl Harbor Anchorage, 7:55 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941
6) Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941
7) Remembering Pearl Harbor from National Geographic
8) Remembering Pearl Harbor
9) Today in History: December 7 from American Memory
10) USS Arizona Memorial from the National Park Service
First visit a number of the websites. Then complete one or more of these World War II projects.
Analyze the Causes of the War. Visit sites like (1) Causes of War, (2) War in Brief at Grolier Online, (3) Chamberlain - Appeasement - Causes of World War II, and (4) Outbreak of the First World War. Identify the causes for World War II. Present your findings in a chart or bulletin board display.
Write a W.W.II Poem. War and conflict have often been the subject of writing and poetry. You can find several examples of student poetry about World War II at Canada Remember's Participating Schools page. Write your own poem about World War II. Submit it to an Internet poetry site. You can find help locating possible posting sites at the eduScapes 42eXplore Poetry for Kids project.
Complete a World War II WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at these webQuest sites:
1) Decision to Drop the Bomb
2) Second World War - The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb by J. Webster
3) Under the Blood-Red Sun by C. S. Dewey
4) WebQuest World War II
5) World War II Web Quest by D. Welshman
6) World War II WebQuest
7) WWII: A Soldier's View
Collect the Memories of the War Years. Interview relatives, friends, and neighbors who are old enough to remember the War. Gather the memories of veterans, women, men, people who remained on the home front, and children. Find our more about this type of study at the eduScapes 42eXplore Oral History project. Publish the results; publishing possibilities include making your own book and posting to a website.
Compare and Contrast to Other U.S. Wars. You may want to spend some time at one of the projects like Revolutionary War, Civil War, or Vietnam War. If you focus on a different war, the library and the Internet can provide lots of needed information. After you have selected your other war, analyze the likes and differences that you identify through your research. Think in global terms that include the technologies of warfare, political climate in the countries involved, causes for the war, public opinion and support, the wartime economy, and the postwar results. Present your findings in a wall chart display. Include visuals that illustrate your main findings.
Focus On One Person's Life. Select an individual whose wartime experience you would like to learn more about. A good starting point would be the Biographies of World War II page. Don't limit your research to just the websites, but also look for information in your school media center and library. Write your own biography of the person.
Create a World War II Poster. Posters were used to influence public opinion and support for the War. You can find lots of examples at (1) World War II Posters: Powers of Persuasion, (2) World War II Poster Collection from Northwestern University Library, and (3) Propaganda Posters. Now create your own original poster for World War II. Be sure that your subject, the main message, is clearly identified. Display your WWII poster. An up-to-date alternative approach would be to produce a 30-second public-service message. Remember television was not widespread in homes in the early Forties, but radio was a popular public media - you pick which medium you want to use.
Debate the Use of the Atomic Bomb. President Truman had to make the decision that propelled the nation and the world into the nuclear arms race and set up conditions for the 'Cold War.' Debate the development and use of the atomic bomb. Was it the best decision. What would likely have happened if the bombings had not been carried out on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Consider alternate scenarios.
Write Some WWII Speculative Fiction. Pick a potential turning point for the War. For example , you might write about an alternate outcome for the assassination attempt on Hitler, D-Day invasion or other major battle, Germany's two-front war, use of the A-bomb, the timing of U.S. involvement, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the breaking of the German Enigma code, or some other facet of the war. Speculate on what might have happened if a historical event was changed or never occurred. Write up your new scenario and share it as a 'what if' publication.
Websites By Kids For Kids
A Day That Will Live in Infamy: The Bombing of Pearl Harbor
(2001 Award-winning ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Study the events leading up to the attack and the losses and lessons gained from this tragic event.
Atrocities of World War II (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site examines the atrocities committed by Germany and Japan during World War II.
Related Websites:
2) Ash Rain - The World War II Death Camps (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
3) Ethics in War (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Birth of the Atomic Bomb: With One Leg Painted Red
(2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
In 1943, two young machinists volunteered to work on a top secret project. They didn't know what they were getting into but their journey took them from Chicago to a windswept mesa in Los Alamos, New Mexico where they helped build the first atomic bomb.
Related Website:
2) Hiroshima & Nagasaki: The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
D-Day: The Day of Doom (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Learn about the D-Day invasion of Normandy and Omaha Beach.
Guardians of Freedom
This great student project contains oral histories of World War II veterans as well as student reflections on the project. You can also find some great World War II resources. Materials are also available for teachers development these types of projects.
Japanese Occupation (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site begins with the events leading to the Japanese conquest of Singapore and Malaya, and then focuses on the Singapore occupation. It features oral and written accounts of survivors.
Luftwaffe: Everything About the German Air Force ( 2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site focusses on the Luftwaffe, the German air force in the years 1939-45. It includes photographs, precise descriptions, drawings, and technical data.
Second World War: The Pacific Theatre (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
More than fifty years ago, all eyes were on Pearl Harbor and the battle that brought the U.S. into World War II.
Spying in World War II (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Find information on spying in World War II including codes and code breaking, famous spies, and spy equipment.
Related Websites:
2) Enigmatic (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
3) Unbreakable Code (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
4) World War II: Battles & Heroes (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Through Our Eyes and Hearts and Minds--World War II: Past, Present, and Future
(2001 Platinum Award ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site examines Japanese internment camps, Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor, the causes and decisions of war and preserving peace from different perspectives.
What Did You Do In the War Grandma? (South Kingstown High School)
This site contains the oral history of Rhode Island women in World War II.
World War II (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Here you find information on World War II from its origins, to the technology of war, and its final outcomes and aftermath.
Related Website:
2) World War II: History Unleashed (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
World War II (1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site examines the war in terms of the varied government forms involved, the effects of the war on people, and the decision to use the atomic bomb.
Similar ThinkQuest Projects:
2) United States in World War II (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
3) World War 2 (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
4) World War II: The Plunge into Conflict in Europe and the Pacific (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
5) Kids Guide to World War II: The War to End All Wars
(1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
World War II: An American Scrapbook (1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This project includes stories, memories, and reflections of the war that were collected by students from their grandparents.
World War II: The Homefront (1998 ThinkQuest Project)
This award winning website allows you to follow a typical American family through a school year during WW II.
World War II Page (1997 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site covers the major battles and events of the war in both Europe and the Pacific.
More World War II Websites
African Americans in World War II by B. J. McRae, Jr.
This site focuses on military service of African Americans in World War and includes photos, narratives, personal accounts and more.
American Aircraft of World War II
The website contains photos, data, and information about all American aircraft designed or used during World War II.
Related Websites:
2) Air Combat Films at Grolier Online
3) Developments in Air Warfare at Grolier Online
4) Naval Aviation Chronology in World War II
5) Planes and Pilots of World War II
6) Spitfire and Messerschmitt BF109
Atomic Archive
Examine the history of the invention of the atomic bomb.
Related Websites:
2) A-bomb WWW Museum
3) Atomic Bomb at Grolier Online
4) Atomic Bomb: Decision
5) Enola Gay
6) Hiroshima: A Survivor's Story
7) National Atomic Museum
Charles Fraser-Smith - The Man Who Was 'Q'
His name was Charles Fraser-Smith, the man who during World War Two, was the real Q.
Codes and Ciphers in the Second World War
This website details efforts of the allies to break the German codes.
Related Websites:
2) Codebreaking and Secret Weapons in World War II
3) Codes, Ciphers & Secret Messages at eduScapes 423Xplore
4) Decoding Nazi Secrets at PBS Nova Online
Combat in the Pacific from the U.S. Air Force Museum
Study the history of the air war in the Pacific Theatre.
Other Websites on the War in the Pacific:
2) Aleutian World War II National Historic Area
3) Frankel-y Speaking About World War II in the Pacific by S. A. Frankel
4) World War II in the Pacific at The History Place
George Rarey's World War II Air Force Cartoon Journals
Examine the cartoons that depicted the daily life of fighter pilots.
German Armed Forces from 1919 to 1945 at FeldGrau
This site focuses focuses on operational histories of the German military with an emphasis on service during the inter-war period and the Second World War
Related Websites:
2) Afrika Files
'Loose Lips Sink Ships'
Read the government instructions given to soldiers on what to say and not say when writing home, carrying on a conversation, or if captured.
Japanese History: Militarism and World War II
This site concentrates on the developments that took place in prewar Japan.
Japanese American Internment from the U.S. Department of Justice
This brief website provides an overview of the internment of over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the west coast of the United States.
Related Websites:
2) Children of the Camps
3) Conscience and the Constitution from PBS
4) Japanese Internment Camps at eduScapes 42eXplore
Memories of the White Rose by G. J. Wittenstein
Here you can learn about anti-Nazi resistance group and their tragic end.
Second World War America Audio & Video Archive
Here you find an archive of sound and video clips from the war.
Related Website:
2) Songs of World War II
Tuskegee Airmen from the U.S. Air Force Museum
Here you can learn about the highly decorated black fighter pilots of World War II who trained near Tuskegee, Alabama.
Related Websites:
2) Tuskegee Airmen
3) Tuskegee Airman
4) Tuskegee Airman from Lest We Forget by by B.J. McRae, Jr.
5) Tuskegee Airmen of World War II
6) Unofficial Tuskegee Airmen Home Page
U.S.S. Indianapolis
This website tells the incredible and tragic story of the USS Indianapolis.
Related Websites:
2) Battleship Bismarck
3) British Submarines in World War II
4) U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II
5) U-Boat War 1939-1945
6) War at Sea: 1939-1945
Valour and the Horror
This site examines the Canadian perspective of World War II.
Women Come to the Front from the Library of Congress
This exhibit documents the role of female journalists, photographers, and broadcasters who worked in the battle zones of World War II.
Related Website:
2) 'Rosie the Riveter' Dies at 77
3) Soviet Women Pilots in the Great Patriotic War
4) Women at War: Redstone's WWII Female 'Production Soldiers'
5) Women's Army Corps: A Commemoration of World War II Service by J.A. Bellafaire
6) Women Who Served from the National Archives and Records Administration
World War II at Grolier Online
This site summarizes the events leading up to the war and the military operations, diplomacy, statistical data, and results of the war itself.
Related Website:
2) World War II Photo Gallery at Grolier Online
World War II in Europe at The History Place
This site provides a timeline, photographs, and information about events in the European Theatre.
World War II Posters: Powers of Persuasion
This online exhibit features 33 posters and a sound file used to rally public support for the war.
Related Websites:
2) 'Orphan Ann' ('Tokyo Rose')
3) PosterHome at Valour and Horror
4) Propaganda Posters
Websites For Teachers
'A Date Which Will Live in Infamy' (Grades 6-8)
This lesson plan is about Roosevelt’s declaration of war.
Related Websites:
2) Entry Into the War
3) Foreign Policy of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Entry into World War II by H. J. Brajkovic
Atomic Weapons
This links-site connects to lots of information related to the atomic bomb, their development and use to end World War II. Some sites contain graphic and explicit material.
Identification, Mapping, and Personification of Countries Involved in World War II (Grades 10-12)
This activity is designed to help students examine the geography, actions, and relationships of countries involved in World War II.
It's Up for Debate (Grades 9-12)
Teams of students explore issues related to World War II. They review decisions made at the time and debate their correctness.
Women and World War II
The objective of this lesson is for students to understand the impact of World War II on the advancement of women in society.
World War II at TeacherVision
This lesson site has lots of secondary lesson plans.
Another Lesson Plan Collection:
World War II by C. L. O'Keefe (Grades 10-12)
These activities help students to understand the various causes of World War II.
World War II: An Interdisciplinary Unit by M. Elliott & A. Jackson (Grades 5-12)
In this unit, students study Hitler, propaganda, genocide, and the atom bomb.
World War II Unit
This unit plan includes (1) political cartoons, (2) production and propaganda, (3) WACS - women in the war, (4) needs of a soldier, (5) German prisoners in Alabama, (6) home front - 'Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without!', (7) sacrifice and service at home, and (8) VE Day.
Another Unit Plan for Study of World War II:
2) World War II
WWII Personal Account Book (Grades 7-9)
Students will use personal stories and biographies of people involved in WWII to develop a chapter in a classroom book of WWII memories.
World War II
Munich Pact
Potsdam Conference
National Socialism
Maginot Line
Navajo Code Talkers
war crimes
Yalta Conference
PT Boat
Nuremberg Trials
Tokyo War Crimes Trials
'Mae West'
Fireside Chats
Mein Kampf
Higgins Boat
Mary of the Wacs
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
VE Day
Enola Gay
oral history
codes, ciphers & secret messages
VJ Day
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99, Updated 2/02.