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The Second World War

The Second World War

It was a conflict that involved every continent in the world, during the years from 1939 to 1945. A fight between the Axis powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan and the Allies France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history. The war started when Germany invaded Poland, which led Britain and France to declare war on Hitler’s Nazi state in retaliation and ended when Japan signed the surrender in 1945.

The dictators

Among industrialized nations, politics divided into two opposing camps. Some, like the U.S., championed democracy. Others looked for strong leadership at almost any cost. In these countries, dictators came to power: Adolf Hitler in Germany; Benito Mussolini in Italy; General Francisco Franco in Spain; Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union.

Main events of the war

D-day

In 1944 Germany was being attacked on three fronts:

1) From the west, as the allies launched Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings) in June, when France was successfully invaded by sea from Britain.

2) From the east as the Russians entered Poland.

3) From the south as the allied forces captured Rome and then entered southern France. Japan was also being driven out of Burma and US forces were starting to recapture Pacific islands from the Japanese.

 

Pearl Harbor

One sleepy Sunday morning, on December 7, 1941 Japanese planes made a dramatic attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This one act changed the course of the war irretrievably. America. The Axis powers would soon discover just what a formidable and determined opponent she would be.

The Holocaust.

Right from the start, the Nazis had reserved a special hatred for the jews-blaming them for all of Germnay’s ills, especially defeat in the First World War and the economic upheavals that followed. Before war broke out in 1939, over 735.000 German and Austrian jews suffered from fierce persecution, and the majority fled abroad. After the starling German victories at the beginning of the war, millions more fell into the clutches of the Nazis.

 Nazis has a fascination with producing a "racial pure" culture led to a campaign to eliminate "Untermensch" ("sub-humans"). The largest of these groups were European Jews but also included Gypsies, some Slavs, the mental ill, homosexuals, communists, socialists, and any other group termed undesirable. Millions—six million Jews alone—were executed; some were tortured, shot or hanged; others gassed or starved to death in concentration camps (death camps), were worked to death as slave labor, or killed by other means. This systemic murder is known as The Holocaust, a Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire." Any nation that fell under German dominance, whether by conquest or political agreement, was expected to join in the purging of the Untermensch.

 

Check all the material we have at the library.

The Usborne introduction to the Second World War by Paul Dowswell

From 1939 to 1945, an estimated 50 million people died. This book tells you why the Second World War exacted such a bloody toll. Find out about huge battles and mighty weapons, the bombing of cities and the treatment of occupied nations, the Holocaust and D-Day. Discover how Adolf Hitler led his once-unbeatable armies to annihilation, and why Pearl Harbor was the greatest mistake of the war. Stunningly illustrated with dramatic contemporary photographs, and useful maps, this is an accessible and thought-provoking introduction to the most destructive conflict the world has ever known.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor an interactive history adventure by Allison Lassieur

Describes the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, as Japanese forces surprised Americans at the U.S. military base, and explains the significance of the attack today. The reader's choices reveal the historical details from the perspective of a Japanese pilot, a U.S. sailor, and an American nurse.

True stories of D-day by Henry Brook

In a move that amazed the world, the Allied nations shipped an army across the English Channel and stormed into Nazi-occupied Europe. Millions of people were caught up in the struggle for the Normandy beaches, but victory or defeat came down to the bravery of individuals. From tank commanders to paratroopers, commando raiders to French Resistance fighters, they all have D-Day stories to tell.

True stories of the second world war by Paul Dowswell

Recounting the stories of some of the most heroic, devastating and pivotal moments of World War II, this book gives young readers a strong sense of the suffering, but also the bravery involved in the war. It also gives an understanding of the experiences which may have affected their grandparents. From the voyage of the Bismarck and the Battle of Iwo Jima to Cracking Enigma, the story of Violette Szabo, the Manhattan Project and attacks on Japan, this book provies an unpatronizing and approachable insight into this conflict. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

True stories of the blitz

In 1940, the German air force launched the biggest bombing raid the world had ever seen - first on London and later on towns and cities all over Britain. These thrilling tales tell how people survived their country's finest and darkest hour. From firefighters and fighter pilots, to children sent away as evacuees, each one tells an unforgettable story of their time in the Blitz. The True Stories: The Blitz, from Usborne Books, is a great book for kids. Filled with interested information, yet presented in a friendly way.

The holocaust by Susanna Davidson

Under the cover of the Second World War, the Nazis set out to kill every Jewish person in Europe, in what is now known as the Holocaust. This book looks at the events leading up to it and describes what happened, using historical fact and survivors' stories to give a moving and sensitive account.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941

70 years later, the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes to life for a new generation of readers!History's most terrifying moments are brought vividly to life in the action-packed fictional I SURVIVED series! Do you have what it takes to survive ... the bombing of Pearl Harbor?Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

Anne Frank by Susanna Davidson

At the age of thirteen, Anne Frank went into hiding with her family to escape from Nazis. For two years, she couldn't go outside or run or shout or laugh too loudly. Instead, she poured her thoughts and feelings into her diary, which is now famous all over the world. This story of her life begins when she was still a carefree girl like any other.

Winston Churchill by Katie Daynes

Even as a child, Churchill was strong willed and defiant. His appetite for adventure and success took him from the front line of battle to the forefront of politics. But his finest hour didn't come until his sixties, when he led his country in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler by  Katie Daynes

How hid an unremarkable boy from rural Austria become the dictator who led Germany into a bloody world war? Follow Hitler's rise to power, through failure as a student to success as a speaker, and discover how his bitter determination led ultimately to destruction.

More Resources

http://www.history.com/search?q=second%20world%20war

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/ww2_summary_01.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/world_war2/

http://www.jeron.je/anglia/learn/sec/history/personal/index.htm

 

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