World War II General Resources

Tip: Press ctrl and F (or Command and F on a Mac) to perform a keyword search of this page. To keyword search all Best of History Web Sites pages use the search engine located on each page.

WWII Web Sites

Encyclopedia of the Second World War
The Second World War is a Spartacus Educational website and enables one to research individual people and events of the war in detail. The sources are "hypertexted" so that the visitor can research the newspaper, organization, etc., that produced the source. There are several subsections including those on: Background to the War; Nazi Germany, Chronology of the War, Political Leaders, European Diplomacy, Major Offensives, British Military Leaders, USA Military Leaders, German Military Leaders, Japanese Military Leaders, The Armed Forces, The Air War, The Resistance, Scientists & Inventors, War at Sea, Resistance in Nazi Germany, The Holocaust, War Artists, Weapons and New Technology.

HyperWar: World War II
Hyper War is a "hypertext" history of the second World War and features diplomatic and political documents. The content is made up, primarily, of "public domain" (non-copyright) materials in English: Official government histories (United States and British Commonwealth/Empire); Source documents (diplomatic messages, Action Reports, logs, diaries, etc.); and Primary references (manuals, glossaries, etc). Wherever possible, hyperlinks between these histories and documents have been included.

World War II Sites
This site serves as a gateway to World War II sites appropriate for students and teachers. Links revolve around the following topics: The Rise of Fascism-Germany, Italy and Japan, Holocaust, Pearl Harbor and America's Response, D-Day and the War in the Pacific, The Home Front, Plans for Peace and the Atomic Bomb, Personalities, Literature, Propaganda, Women in the War, and Miscellaneous. Updated regularly, the site leads you to movie clips, virtual tours, stories of the war, biographies, films, photographs, a links, and even a test.

BBC Online: World War II
Covers various topics of the war such as campaigns and battles, politics, home front, and the holocaust. Multimedia zone offers interactive maps, photographs and audio and video clips. WW2 People's War is a new website from BBCi History, aspiring to create a new national archive of personal and family stories from World War Two.

Open Directory Project: World War II
This comprehensive directory contains roughly 900 websites on the Second World War in the following categories: Air Forces, Arts and Literature, Atomic, Directories, Documents, Manuscripts and other Primary Sources, Education and Academic, Land Forces, Naval Forces, People, Regional, Theaters of Operations, War Crimes and Weapons and Equipment.

Armies of the Second World War
"Armies of the Second World War" is an online database of day-by-day orders of battle and information about hundreds of division, brigade, and regiment-sized units in World War II. Information currently available in the database covers Commonwealth, Dominion, Colonial, Exile, and "Minor" Allied armies in Europe, Africa, and western Asia from 1 September 1939 through 7 May 1945.

Recollections of World War II
Recollections of WWII is a directory of oral history collections and projects in the UK which contain recorded memories of individuals who lived through WWII. The collections include interviews with servicemen and women from many nations, evacuees and refugees, people who experienced the home front, and Holocaust survivors. Some collections offer the opportunity to download transcripts, listen to MP3s, or watch videos interviews. The site is independent and non-profit and has been created to provide a resource for historians, students and researchers who wish to learn about the war from those who experienced it.

The World at War
The World at War, History of WW 1939 - 1945 is probably one of the best military history web sites of WWII. Its goal is to be as complete as possible about the history of WW 1939-1945 and serves as a well organized gateway to numerous sources. Information and links are organized around a timeline of events. The authors also provide a discussion forum, message board, and a mailing list and the site can be searched by keyword.

The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
This Smithsonian website skillfully integrates Flash video and text to examine armed conflicts involving the U.S. from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each conflict contains a brief video clip, statistical information, and a set of artifacts. There is also a Civil War mystery, an exhibition self-guide, and a teacher's guide. The World War II section contains an introductory movie and short essay on the conflict as well as historic images and artifacts.

Avalon Project: World War II Documents
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy offers a varied array of primary source documents on World War II as part of its major collections.

World War II Resources
Dedicated to combatting "history by sound bites," the "Pearl Harbor Working Group" has produced this varied collection of original documents regarding all aspects of the war.

BBC News On This Day | World War II
On This Day features significant stories broadcast by BBC News since 1950 and includes a World War II section. a choice of reports drawn that covers 1939-45. Nearly all the stories contain video or audio and are written as if the event had just occurred. drawing on archive media, old newspapers and historical reference books.

Saluting America's Veterans
Showcases first-person stories, memories, and tributes from veterans. Launched in conjunction with the highly-acclaimed Ken Burns' documentary series on World War II, the website has attracted dozens of personal accounts on America's 20th-century conflicts. In In addition to posting, viewing, and commenting on personal accounts, visitors can read feature articles about American veterans on both the battlefront and the homefront.

Hitler's Third Reich & World War II News
This website provides a daily hand-picked and edited review of World War II news. Each entry is placed in one or more categories, such as Waffen SS, Battle tanks, Nazi Memorabilia & Militaria, WWII & Nazi Uniforms, WWII Jeeps, Historical Tours or SS & Nazi Daggers. For older news and monthly 'most read' lists go to Archive Index. Tens of thousands of WWII news - categorized and hand-collected.

The World War II Sound and Image File
Part of the The Historical Sound & Image Archive, this WWII "Sounds and Pictures Page" features interesting graphics and radio excerpts. Topics include: Aircraft, Propaganda Posters, Warships, Sound Effects, and more. Has not been updated since 2001.

U.S. Army in World War II Series
The United States Army in World War II series describes the organization, plans, and operations of the War Department and the Army, in all of the Army's five theaters of operations from 1939 to 1945. Seventy-eight volumes have been or are being published and this website provides access to an extensive reader's guide to the series.

See also: World War II Special Topics and World War II In The News.

Lesson Plans, Animations, Activities, and more

BBC History Games: Battle of the Atlantic
Play this interactive game as Senior Officer Escort in charge of defending increasingly important convoys.

BBC History: The Fall of France Animation
Follow the progress of the German forces as they cross the border, occupy Belgium and the Netherlands and trap the Allied forces at Dunkirk.

Battle of the Bulge Interactive Essay
This Library of Congress presentation uses U.S. Army situation maps to illustrate this famous WWII battle. Students can benefit from the interactivity and the historical expertise shared by Library of Congress experts.

BBC History: The North Africa Campaign Animation
Follow the three years of battles in the North African desert, and see how Axis and Allied forces chased each other across this hostile terrain.

BBC History: Battle of El Alamein
In this BBC animation you follow the battle that signified 'the end of the beginning' of World War Two, as the Allies force the decisive breakthrough in the North African Campaign.

BBC History: Operation Overlord Animation
Follow the Allies as they land on the Normandy coast on 6 June 1944, and then battle their way into Brittany and on to liberate Paris.

BBC History: The Italian Campaign Animation
Follow the Allied forces as they invade Sicily and battle their way into Italy, all the way from Salerno in the south to the Alps in the north.

History Animated
History Animated depicts key naval and land battles using animation technology. The World War II Europe Animated section depicts the Battle of Britain, the Battle for Greece and Crete, and Operation Compass. The World War II Pacific section includes Pearl Harbor, Fall of Philippines, Battle of New Guinea, Guadalcanal, Burma, Island Hopping campaign, and more. The animations are often accompanied by audio excerpts and help visualize key military battles and strategies.

Science and Technology of World War II
Some of the most impressive technology advancements of the modern era occured during World War II and the National World War II Memorial has 8000 objects directly related to science and technology. This impressive exhibit contains an animated timeline, activities such as sending encrypted messages, expert audio responses to science and technology questions, lesson plans, a quiz, introductory essays, and more. The lesson plans include: Moon Phases and Tides in Planning the D-Day Invasion; How Waves Helped Win the War: Radar and Sonar; and Math in WWII Apllication Questions.

Learning Resources Open Hearts/Closed Doors: Teachers guide
This thirteen-page guide contains lesson ideas, discussion questions, extensions and supporting resources that relate directly to the Jewish orphans' narratives and nine different themes. It provides opportunities for individual student and small group work. You must download the file to view it.

WWII: A Soldier's View
"Imagine living in a fox hole for three days, praying that you live to see the next day. Wondering whether you will be blown to bits, shot or taken prisoner by the enemy." Internet-based activities help one try to imagine the horror and struggles of warfare in WWII. Topics include Bataan Death March, and D-Day.

Decision to Drop the Bomb
This WebQuest simulates the decision-making process that went into President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

Race for the Super Bomb
Research and debate the ethics, policy, and events that led up to Hiroshima. Students will also learn about the dawn of the Cold War, and how the Soviets joined the nuclear arms race.

Course Models: World War II
Part of the California History-Social Science content standards and annotated course which include: background information, focus questions, pupil activities and handouts, assessment, and references to books, articles, web sites, literature, audio-video programs, and historic sites. Recommended for Grade 11.

South Carolina Voices: Lessons from the Holocaust
A teacher's guide to teaching about the Holocaust and its aftermath. This page has several lesson plans as well as links to background information and printable handouts. Intended for grades 7-12

A teachers guide to the Holocaust: High School lesson plans
This Florida Center for Instructional Technology page has multiple lesson plans. Lessons analyze all aspects of the Holocaust and urge students to take advantage of primary sources. The lessons come with their own worksheets. These are High School level assignments.

America and the Holocaust
Complex social and political factors shaped America's response to the Holocaust, specifically the treatment of Jewish refugees from Europe. It was not until 1944 that a small band of Treasury Department employees forced the government to respond.

Teacher's Guide: Total War
In World War II, fire bombs, air raids, and the atomic bomb kill millions of civilians and leave many more injured and homeless. As the fighting grows more fierce and sweeps across nations, ordinary citizens join the war effort, often at great sacrifice. Explore the effects of World War II on civilians.

Was Hitler a Passionate Lunatic?
This exercise is aimed at getting pupils to look at conflicting evidence and assessing their reliability. It can be used as an introduction to looking at the issue of appeasement and the decisions that were made in the run up to the outbreak of the war. From Learning Curve. Key Stage 3-4.

Assassinate Hitler: How Did the British Plan to Kill Hitler?
In 1944 the SOE (Special Operations Executive) drew up some plans to kill Hitler and as Head of SOE it is your job to decide which of two ways of killing Hitler should be given the go-ahead. From the Learning Curve (UK National Archives). Key Stage 3-4.

Chamberlain and Hitler, 1938: What was Chamberlain trying to do?
Chamberlain's account of his meeting with Hitler over the Sudetenland crisis of 1938 is the centre of this activity. Is it unfair to criticize Chamberlain for mis-judging Hitler? Students could try to construct the case for Chamberlain. From the (UK) National Archives. Key Stage 3-4.

German Occupation of the Rhineland, 1936: What should Britain do about it?
Documents reveal the motives and attitudes of the British government as they discuss their options. The extracts from the Cabinet minutes also show how little room for maneuvering British politicians actually had. This provides a good case-study of British appeasement policy. From the Learning Curve (UK National Archives). Key Stage 3-4.

Junior General: 20th Century
This site, aimed at middle school students, attempts to illustrate military history through the use of tabletop simulations of historical battles. Ranging in time from ancient Egypt to World War II, to the Vietnam war, these simulations will be applicable to many history classes. Each simulation requires rulers, dice, and maps and paper soldiers printed out from the website. These complex simulations will require considerable amounts of class time, as well as preparation time by the instructor. However, they have the potential to create a unique and engaging experience. As well as providing extensive information about the simulations themselves, the website also lists books and other sites with more historical information about many of the conflicts.

The American People: World War II
PowerPoint Presentation on America and World War II as part of the online companion to The American People. Click Chapter 25.

Changing Perspectives on the Japanese Internment Experience
In this interactive and multi-disciplinary lesson, students learn about the role that perspective plays in the writing of history by focusing on the changing views about Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Students will demonstrate what they've learned by creating a project that demonstrates a biased view of the Internment camps. Along the way, students will be asked to identify the ways in which biases affect what gets retold as a "history".

Western Civilization: States in Conflict
The online study companion to Margaret King's Western Civilization: A Social and Cultural History has many features: chapter learning objectives, online quizzes, writing activities, essay questions, web links, built-in search engines, and faculty modules that include PowerPoint outlines, presentation graphics, and lecture hints and activities

Explore the career of a controversial leader and understand events in the Pacific theater during WWII.

Korematsu v United States: Japanese-Americans Interned
President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in 1942 that allowed government officials to move ethnic Japanese in certain states from their homes and businesses. This Awesome Stories lesson plan features primary sources, lessons and legacy, and recommended sources. Awesome Stories lesson plans are free to schools and libraries.

The Battle of the Bulge: Teacher's Guide
Presented by PBS, this teacher's guide is a springboard for WWII discussion. Many important issues are addressed and offered for student debate. The guide also has several class activities and projects (map making, research, etc.)

Teacher's Guide: Master Race
Study the racial philosophies and ethnic cleansing policies of Nazi Germany through this PBS People's Century teacher's guide.

Nazi Designers of Death
Nearly 50 years after the Holocaust, discover how a British historian gathered powerful evidence to show how Nazi death camps were planned and constructed. PBS activity for middle school students.

Drums of War: Exploring How Politics Shapes American War Policy
In this New York Times lesson, students will research the political climate prior to major American wars of the past, then reflect on the current call for power to confront Iraq.(September 23, 2002)

World War II: The Home Front
This ThinkQuest site includes a timeline, an artifact museum and a simulation that allows students to follow the lives of five American families during the school year of September 1943-June 1944.

Anne Frank in the World: Teacher Book
Produced by The Friends of Anne Frank in Utah and the Intermountain West Region the workbook features lesson plans and activities for grades 5-8, lesson plans and activities for grades 7-12, readings and overviews, timelines, and a glossary.

Interpreting Primary Sources
Digital History provides brief excerpts from primary sources and statistics and questions to think about World War II

History 20 (Normandy recreation)
The Saskatchewan Social Studies Curriculum has developed a "resource hot sheet" dealing with topics identified in the History 20 (Modern World History) curriculum. Each page has been supported with appropriate visual images, and where possible, first person accounts by individuals who were present during the event. In addition, a number of multimedia-learning objects have been place including sound bites, mini - movies and flash items. Two major simulations have been developed for students that can be used in a stand-alone delivery mode. Decision in Normandy provides students with the opportunity to recreate the events around the Normandy Invasion.

The Holocaust: A Tragic Legacy (Think Quest)
An impressive student-produced site on the Holocaust.

Prisoners of Another War
In this high school lesson plan students will be able to identify violations of the Geneva Convention in the treatment of American POWs at Berga and understand the role of international bodies in judging war crimes and crimes against humanity.

HomeFront 1939-1945: Bombing of Britain
This interactive UK National Archives Learning Curve exhibition examines around life in Britain during Word War II. Sections revolve around essential questions for students to answer and feature diaries, activities, worksheets, a timeline, and video. Try the activity at this page.

HomeFront 1939-1945: Evacuation
This interactive UK National Archives Learning Curve exhibition examines around life in Britain during Word War II. Sections revolve around essential questions for students to answer and feature diaries, activities, worksheets, a timeline, and video. Try the activity at this page.

War and Peace: Multiple Choice Quiz, Fill-in-the-Blank, Flashcards, American History Glossary, American History Appendix
The Student Resources section of The American Nation companion web site features introductions to chapters, interactive quizzes, flashcards, web links, an American History Glossary, and an American History Appendix

The United States in an Age of Global Crisis Practice Test
High School level quiz on America and World War II from Prentice Hall.

The United States in an Age of Global Crisis Document Based Essay
This Prentice Hall DBQ is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1-6).

Between the Wars Review Game
This exercise provides review for events, people, and terms associated with the period between World War I and World War II

World War II in Europe and the Pacific: Blank Maps
The companion web site to The American People offers blank maps related to various topics in American history. The maps can be printed or placed in a PowerPoint presentation. Click Blank Maps for Quizzes

Chronology of World War II Game - Pacific
Put WWII events in chronological order with this game.

Identify the World War II Leaders Game
Identify the World War II leaders through descriptions of their actions and decisions during the war.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance: Teacher's Resources
Includes a Multimedia Learning Center, Virtual Exhibits, and a Teacher's Resources section that has a glossary, a timeline, bibliographies, 36 questions and answers about the Holocaust, and curricular resources for teachers.

BBC History: Nazi Propaganda Gallery
Professor David Welch uses six Nazi-era posters to explain how Hitler used propaganda as a vehicle of political salesmanship.

BBC History: Advertising and Information Posters Gallery
The BBC offers these photos of magazine illustrations, advertisements and government information posters, published during World War II.

Navajo Code Talkers
A Thinkquest student-produced web site on the Nabajo Indians who created a secret code that made it possible for the United States to defeat the Japanese in World War II.

See also: World War II Special Topics and World War II In The News.


Sign Up for the EdTechTeacher Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required

From Our Participants

This was by far the most useful, impressive and energizing workshop I've attended. In only three days I learned what it would have taken me months and months to do on my own. My mind is spinning already with the many ways I could use technology to enhance my classroom.
– Heather Woodcock, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

The most hands-on, practical, and cutting-edge workshop I have ever attended.
– Carlo Palusci, Zurich International School, Switzerland

Visit our testimonials page to read what more participants have to say about our workshops and draw on the experience of hundreds of teachers, administrators, educational technology staff, library-media specialists, and others who have attended our workshops over the years.

Teaching for the 21st Century Program

You are here Home / World War II