World War II
World War II Timeline
World War II (WWII) was a long and bloody war that lasted for six years. Officially beginning on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, World War II lasted until both the Germans and the Japanese had surrendered to the Allies in 1945. Find out what happened in this timeline of World War II.
World War II Starts
No one wanted war. Yet, when Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, other European countries felt they had to act. The result was the six long years of World War II. Learn more about what led to Germany's aggression and how other countries reacted.
The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
The pact signed in 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union that enabled a one-front war when Germany started World War II.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the United States during both the Great Depression and World War II. Paralyzed from the waist down after suffering a bout of polio, Roosevelt overcame his disability and was elected president of the United States an unprecedented four times.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed. Find out more about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This collection of over 250 posters from World War II shows how the United States encouraged citizens to support the war through enlisting, buying bonds, and working hard at home. Some are funny, some are patriotic, and some seem strange.
Women and World War II
When men went off to war, roles for women expanded and changed. Learn more about women on the homefront, at new types of jobs, and those that helped the military.
The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On August 6, 1945, the United States used its massive, atomic weapon against Hiroshima, Japan. This atomic bomb, the equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT, flattened the city, killing tens of thousands of civilians. While Japan was still trying to comprehend this devastation three days later, the United States struck again, this time, on Nagasaki.
Avalon Project: World War II Documents
This wonderful site provides hundreds of historic documents about World War II, including a collection from the U.S. declaration of war on Japan, Germany, and Italy.
More of a glossary than an encyclopedia - this site offers basic definitions of over 150 WWII terms.
People at War
This fantastic online exhibition from the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration provides glimpses of a variety of individuals and their contributions to the war effort.
Private Art: Letters To and From Home
An extensive collection of letters to and from an American soldier overseas - an amazing look at daily life on the battlefield and at home. The only negative aspect is that the letters need to be read in a small, pop-up window that makes it difficult to navigate.
Rutgers Oral History Archive of World War II
Over 100 complete oral history interviews to record the personal experiences of the men and women who served on the home front and overseas.
World War II in Europe Timeline
A basic timeline of the years leading up to and through World War II.
The Bataan Death March
On April 9, 1942, the Battle of Bataan ended with the surrender of 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers to the Japanese. The attempt to transfer these POWs resulted in the bloody Bataan Death March. Learn more about the Bataan Death March.