World War II Special Topics

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World War II Web Sites for Special Topics

This PBS American Experience D-Day film is told entirely with rare archival footage and the voices of 43 people who were there. The special features of the companion web site include the "Did You Know?" section to learn about landing craft, battle reporting, the vast scale of the invasion, and what the "D" stands for; "Voices of D-Day" where the battle's fliers, the men who landed on Normandy's beaches, and German soldiers tell their stories; "Hot Off the Presses" where you can read a newspaper account and Americans' reactions to news of the D-Day assault; "Paratroopers" or soldiers who dropped behind enemy lines; and "Letters from the Front," first-hand accounts of soldiers' experiences after D-Day.

Enola Gay
The Enola Gay exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum closed on May 18, 1998. This web page provides a brief overview with images and highlights from that exhibition. The most luring feature of the site is a series of movie clips showing the interior cockpit and the exterior forward fuselage.

Homefront 1939-1945
This interactive UK National Archives Learning Curve exhibition examines 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.

Pearl Harbor: Remembered
This site is part of the USS Arizona Visitor Center located on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base adjacent to the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. The site provides an overview to the Pearl Harbour attack, a timeline of events, survivor remembrances, a map, audio files, and useful links.

World War II Poster Collection
The Government Publications Department at Northwestern University Library has a comprehensive collection of over 300 posters issued by U.S. Federal agencies from the onset of war through 1945. Posters are searchable by Date, Topic, or Title.

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, essays, and more. An impressive presentation.

Baatan Rescue
This PBS American Experience site relates the story of an elite Ranger battalion that went 30 miles behind enemy lines in the Philippines in 1944 to rescue 500 survivors of the Bataan death march who were held captive by the Japanese. There are interviews with liberated POWs, a tour inside a Ranger training camp, a teacher's guide, and more.

Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project
Densho collects and shares in an online digital archive the life stories of Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II. The web site offers more than 500 hours of indexed and transcribed video interviews, 9,000 historical photographs and documents, contextual articles and exhibits, and standards-based curricula. All these resources are provided free of charge to students, educators, historians, and the general public in the interest of promoting knowledge of our history and respect for civil liberties. Beyond Internet access, Densho's public lectures and presentations, teacher training workshops, and collaboration with schools, museums, and community groups expand the impact of this innovative heritage organization. Among other honors, Densho has received an ABC-CLIO Online History citation from the American Library Association.

World War II Posters: Powers of Persuasion (NARA)
An interesting National Archives exhibit that displays and explains American propaganda posters. It features 11 posters and 1 sound file from a more extensive exhibit that was presented in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The exhibit is divided into two parts, which represent two psychological approaches used in rallying public support for the war.

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
An online exhibit from the Smithsonian, this site explores how a government balances human rights with a need for national security. Immigration, Removal, Internment, Loyalty, Service and Justice are the areas available for viewing, with a special area for reflection by visitors. Classroom Activities are found under the Resources link at the bottom of the page.

Women Who Came to the Front (Library of Congress)
This exhibit tells the story of eight different women who participated as journalists, broadcasters, and photographers during World War II. The women featured in this exhibit were chosen because of the strength and variety of their collections in the Library of Congress.

Normandy is part of a World War II study guide by Britannica online. Sections include: The Invasion, Leaders and Generals, and Veterans' Oral Histories. There are also combat videos, interactive charts and maps, a photo Gallery, war Documents, and learning activities guide.

Women and the Second World War
This website examines the important role played by women in the war and includes biographies of twenty secret agents, twenty women involved in the anti-Nazi resistance movement in Europe and twelve women who risked their lives as war reporters.

The Winston Churchill Home Page
Produced by the Churchill Center, this site covers all aspects of Churchill's life. Included are sound recordings of Churchill's speeches, a radio interview, and other primary source documents.

Master Race: 1926-1945 (PBS)
Part of PBS's People's Century series, Master Race probes the Nazi takeover in Germany. In it, Germans talk candidly about the initial seduction of Nazism; Gypsies reminisce about life before Hitler; and Jews recall their persecution. There are eye-witness interviews, a teacher's guide, links to related sites, and a chance to tell your own story.

Total War (PBS)
Part of PBS's People's Century series, Total War discusses the contributions of civilians during WWII and their victimization. In Total War, eyewitnesses from Britain, Germany, Russia, Korea, Japan, and the United States tell the story of how millions of civilians participated and came to be legitimate targets in the Second World War. There are eye-witness interviews, a teacher's guide, links to related sites, and chance to tell your own story. (Holocaust) is an educational forum bringing together Holocaust survivors, children of Holocaust survivors, art by children, educational efforts, and Books by Survivors to promote learning and remembering. Founded in 1995, this site has reached over 3 million visitors a year and is a central tool for many traditional classrooms, sharing the best resources and giving access to projects like the upcoming Auschwitz Virtual tour.

The Holocaust - Crimes, Heroes and Villains
Started in 1996 The Holocaust - Crimes, Heroes and Villains is today one of the largest Holocaust websites in the world. It is based on more than 30 year's research by the site's creator into the topics of World War 2 and The Holocaust. Most of the articles have been published in newspapers and magazines.

Nuremberg - The Doctors Trial
This informative presentation is part of a larger site -- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum -- and contains the testimonies and evidence used during this trial against Nazi physicians who conducted scientific experiments on concentration camp prisoners. There are numerous primary source documents that describe the surgical atrocities.

A Thousand Suns (Atomic Bomb)
A Thousand Suns is a Flash-generated, interactive look at the science behind, and precedent set by, the first atomic bombs. It utilizes atmospheric audio, video and imagery to engage the user, and create a sense of time and place. Complex statistical data has been made both educational and entertaining. Site has a flash pop-up that can only be viewed once any pop-up blockers are removed.

National World War II Memorial
The National World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II. The memorial will honor all military veterans of the war, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms. The memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004 and was dedicated a month later on May 29.

Kamikaze Images
Kamikaze images explores "diverse portrayals and perceptions" of the young Japanese fighters who carried out suicide attacks near the end of World War II. The web site covers all of Japan's special attack forces, which carried out suicide attacks not only with planes but also with torpedoes, rocket-propelled gliders, explosive motorboats, and midget submarines. The first major section of this web site analyzes American and Japanese views of kamikaze pilots in and the second major section includes reviews of various forms used to create kamikaze images, including Books, Films, Museums, Monuments, Internet, Writings, and other forms.

Bismarck: The Final Days
This Discovery Channel interactive exhibit includes an interactive tour of the famous WWII battleship, a Flash presentation on "The Final Days'" discussion of the findings and historical relevance by James Cameron, a quiz and a "video peek" at the film.

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals
This United States Holocaust Memorial Museum online exhibition examines the campaign of persecution and violence against homosexuals in Germany under the Third Reich. The Museum offers online resources, bibliographies, personal histories, video clips, curator comments, and public programs.

Victory Mail
This Smithsonian's National Postal Museum site on V-Mail introduces V-Mail to the uninitiated and provides sections on "Operating V-Mail", "Using V-Mail", "Letter writing in WWII", and "References". Each section provides an introduction, several related links to additional resources or articles, and a series of relevant images. For WWII or postal historians and enthusiasts this site should prove quite a treat.

Paths of Memory
This multi-lingual European museums site has well organized sections on the First World War, Spanish Civil War, and the Second World War. In this developing project a team of European historians has included, in addition to well-known places, lesser-known sites that nevertheless were the locations of events that influenced conflicts in one way or another.

Hitler's Bunker
This Discovery Channel photo gallery explores what happened in Hitler's bunker during the final months of the war. View the photo gallery of the people who lived in the bunker and find out their fate. Also offers a quiz on the "last gasp" of World War II.

Oscar Schindler
Biography of the rescuer Oskar Schindler, who saved 1200 Jews during the Holocaust and World War II. Stories of war crimes, survivors, and the entire Schindler's List.

Facing History
Through the excellent Facing History workshops and institute, students learn how issues of identity and membership, inclusion and exclusion, play out at one particular moment in history. As part of the journey students engage in a rigorous investigation of Germany's transition from a democracy to a totalitarian regime. They see how the Nazis rose to power, culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust. Throughout, students confront the moral questions inherent in this history .

The Nanking Atrocities
Comprehensive accounts of the Nanking Atrocities that took place from 1937-38 in Nanking, China during the early stage of the Second Sino-Japanese War. This site includes interviews with leading historians in the field as well as historical photographs and video footages, and a number of other documented materials such as newspaper articles, diaries of former Japanese soldiers and American missionaries who were in Nanking when the incident took place, and the judgment of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.

Maps of World War II
Maps of World War II provides an overview of WWII through a collection of maps that present the battles and campaigns fought in the various theatres of war. The material is organized by theatre, in roughly chronological order. Most of these maps present operational level information.

Go for Broke (Japanese American World War II veterans)
The educational Web site is one of the leading resources for educators, students, researchers and the general public to learn about the legacy of the Japanese American World War II veterans. It features lesson plans, student activities, streaming oral history videos, glossaries, timelines, photos, interactive maps and more,

Films from the Home Front
Films from the Home Front provides free access to films illustrating life in Britain during the Second World War. The films, from archives around the UK, explore issues characterising life during the war including: Children, Civil Defence, Community Life, Displaced People, Home and Family Life, Women's Role and Victory Celebrations in 1945. They explain how the films reveal many dramatic changes that took place in the country during this period. In addition, each of the archives has its own section on the site highlighting how the films fit into the story of their region during the Second World War.

The Iron Men of Mentz
The Iron Men of Metz website is a bilingual French-English website designed to preserve the history of the U.S. 95th Infantry Division and to honor the memory of the veterans of this 95th. The website is focused on the fighting in and around Metz and contains a collection of Then-and-Now photos. On this website, you'll obtain info about battles of the division, testimonies of veterans, some great and uniques information about the Battle for Metz, The Fortress city.

Nga Toa
Nga Toa features a collection of oral history and personal accounts from WWII veterans of New Zealand's armed forces. Includes personal stories from major theaters such as Greece, Crete, North Africa, Italy and the Pacific.

Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window
This site offers a free Web-serialized multimedia book that tells the true story of six brothers in World War II told against the backdrop of world events.

World War II Poster Set
A Flickr user has compiled a fascinating set of World War II posters.

World War in Color
A site to upload, view, and comment on World War II photographs.

Military Channel: Pacific Video
Three historical Pacific campaign videos from Military Channel.

Hugh Ambrose on The Pacific
Hugh Ambrose speaks about his book, The Pacific, and his work on the HBO miniseries of the same name.

Hiroshima 64 Years Later
A Boston Globe article with stunning pictures of the effects of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.

World War II in Europe Timeline
A hyperlinked timeline with text and images by The History Place.

See also: World War II General Resources and World War II In The News.


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