02 07

World war 2 history essay topics

world war 2 history essay topics

It is very important to focus in on a narrow topic when writing a research paper, but this is a skill that challenges many students.

Sometimes students have difficulty when it comes to picking a narrow topic because they're used to writing about broad time periods or events. But as student progress into higher grades, teachers expect more focused discussion and examination.

For example, it is common for the instructor to require a paper on a topic as broad as World War II, but you should know that the instructor will expect you to narrow your focus until your thesis is very specific.

This is especially true if you are in high school or college.

When you are given a broad subject as a starting point, you should start to narrow your focus by conducting a simple brainstorming session. Start by making a list of words, much like the list of words and phrases that are presented in bold type below. Then begin to explore related questions, like those that follow the words in this list.

The answer to questions like these can become a good starting point of a thesis statement.

You will find that many of the terms below could relate to any topic, like animals, advertising, toys, art, and more.

World War II Topics

  • Advertising - How did food packaging change during the war? How did advertisements change in general?
  • African Americans and rights - What impact did the war years have on the rights of African-Americans?
  • America's entry into the war - How is the timing significant? What factors are not so well known?
  • Animals - How were horses, dogs, birds, other animals used? Did they play a special role?
  • Art - What art movements were inspired by wartime events? Is there one specific work of art that tells a story about the war?
  • Bridges and roads - What transportation-related developments came from wartime or post-war policies?
  • Clandestine operations - Governments went to great lengths to hide the true date, time, and place of their actions.
  • Clothing - How was fashion impacted? How did clothing save lives or hinder movement?
  • Communication - How did radio or other types of communication impact key events?
  • Destruction- Many historic cities and sites were destroyed in the UK (Liverpool, Manchester, London, Coventry) and elsewhere.
  • Domestic violence - Was there an increase or a decrease?
  • Families - Did new family customs develop? What was the impact on children of soldiers?
  • Fashion - Did fashion change significantly?
  • Food preservation - What new preservation and packaging methods occurred during and after the war?
  • Food rationing - How did rationing impact families?
  • Hawaii - How did events impact families or society in general?
  • Hitler - His rise to power was quick. Why?
  • Italy - What special circumstances were in effect?
  • Jet engine technology - What can be traced to WWII needs?
  • Love letters - What do letters tell us about relationships, families, and friendships? What about gender roles?
  • Motorcycles - What needs led to development of folding motorcycles? Why was there widespread use of military motorcycles by the government?
  • Nationalist Socialist Movement in America - What impact has this movement had in society and government since WWII?
  • New products - What products were invented and became a part of popular culture?
  • New words - What new vocabulary words emerged during and after WWII?
  • Nutrition - Were there battles that were lost or won because of the foods available? How did nutrition change at home during the war because of the availability of certain products?
  • Occupations - What new jobs were created and stayed?
  • Penicillin and other medicine - How was penicillin used? What medical developments occurred during and after the war?
  • Political impact - How was your local town impacted politically and socially?
  • POW camps after the war - Some were turned into race tracks after the war!
  • Prisoners of War - What were some long-lasting effects?
  • Propaganda - How did society respond to the war? Do you know why?
  • Radar - What role did radar play, if any?
  • Resistance movements - How did families deal with living in an occupied territory?
  • Rockets - How important was rocket technology?
  • Sacrifices - How did family life change?
  • Ship-building achievements - The achievements were quite remarkable during the war. Why and how did this happen?
  • Spies - Who were the spies? Were they men or women? What side were they on? What happened to spies who were caught?
  • Submarines - Were there enemy submarines on a coast near you?
  • Surviving an attack - How did it feel to jump from a plane that was disabled?
  • Technology - What technology came from the war, and how was it used after the war?
  • The Holocaust - Do you have access to any personal stories?
  • Toys - How did the war impact the toys that were manufactured?
  • Troop logistics - How were troop movements kept secret? What were some challenges of troop logistics?
  • TV technology - When did televisions start to appear in home and what is significant about the timing? What TV shows were inspired by the war, and how realistic were they? How long did World War II affect TV programming?
  • Views on freedom - How was freedom curtailed or expanded?
  • Views on government's role - Where was the government's role expanded? What about governments elsewhere?
  • War crime trials - How were trials conducted? What were political challenges or consequences? Who was or wasn't tried?
  • Weather - Were there battles that were lost or won because of the weather conditions? Were there places where people suffered more because of weather?
  • Winston Churchill - What role did this leader play that interests you most? How did his background prepare him for his role?
  • Women in warfare - What surprises you about women's work in World War II?
  • Women's work at home - How did women's work change at home during the war?

Essays Insightful World War 2

It's more useful and interesting to learn about World War 2 that way.

Sections: Strategy , Battles , Weapons , People , Intelligence

Strategy

The "Big picture" perspective of the strategy and war effort of the warring nations in World War 2.

Battles and operations

The dramatic battles and operations, from vast campaigns to small but important raids, in land, at sea, and in the air, that decided the outcome of World War 2.

  • The Battle of Britain - the key causes for the German defeat in the Battle of Britain.
  • Kursk - the greatest tank battle of the war, and the last major German offensive in the East.
  • Stalingrad - the German army's greatest defeat, and a major turning point of the war.
  • Midway - in this battle of aircraft carriers, Japan lost the initiative in the Pacific.
  • Blitzkrieg - the German tactic of rapidly advancing tank forces and massive air support.
  • Dambusters - the daring special air attack on German dams, using bouncing bombs.
  • RADAR - the technology which revolutionized air and naval warfare.
  • Stuka dive bomber - the airborne element of the German Blitzkrieg weapons.
  • Ships and naval weapons:

    • Submarines - they almost defeated Britain, and paralyzed Japan. Also about frogmen and human torpedoes.
    • PT boats, Torpedo boats - The fast night raiders of the sea.

    Leaders, Generals, Heroes

    Despite the mobilization of millions, individual people greatly affected the course and outcome of wars. National leaders, Generals and Admirals, aces and heroes, and brilliant scientists.

    • Leaders - a complete list of the national leaders of the countries which participated in World War 2 .
    • German Field Marshals - a chronological review of the German field marshals of World War 2.
    • Heinrich Himmler - the power-hungry head of the Nazi SS.
    • Adolf Hitler - founder of Nazism, dictator of Germany 1933-1945.
    S. military decoration.
  • George Patton - the master of mobile warfare.
  • Knight's Cross - the medal awarded to Germany's greater heroes and commanders, and its recipients.
  • Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto - Japan's best Admiral, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Otto Skorzeny - Germany's commando leader, nicknamed "The most dangerous man in Europe".
  • Erich Hartmann - a young German fighter pilot who became the highest scoring ace in history, with 352 victories.
  • Hans Joachim Marseille - the most amazing fighter pilot of World War 2 .
  • Quotes - a few selected wartime quotes which are still very meaningful today.
  • Intelligence

    In World War 2, military intelligence dramatically advanced. The use of new scientific methods and technologies, as well as great human efforts involving endless work, great risks, and brilliant thinking, made intelligence become an equally important part of the armed forces, a crucial element for victory.

    But as student progress into higher grades, teachers expect more focused discussion and examination.

    For example, it is common for the instructor to require a paper on a topic as broad as World War II, but you should know that the instructor will expect you to narrow your focus until your thesis is very specific.

    This is especially true if you are in high school or college.

    When you are given a broad subject as a starting point, you should start to narrow your focus by conducting a simple brainstorming session. Start by making a list of words, much like the list of words and phrases that are presented in bold type below. Then begin to explore related questions, like those that follow the words in this list.

    The answer to questions like these can become a good starting point of a thesis statement.

    You will find that many of the terms below could relate to any topic, like animals, advertising, toys, art, and more.

    World War II Topics

    • Advertising - How did food packaging change during the war?
  • America's entry into the war - How is the timing significant? What factors are not so well known?
    • Animals - How were horses, dogs, birds, other animals used? Did they play a special role?
    • Art - What art movements were inspired by wartime events? Is there one specific work of art that tells a story about the war?
    • Bridges and roads - What transportation-related developments came from wartime or post-war policies?
    • Clandestine operations - Governments went to great lengths to hide the true date, time, and place of their actions.
    • Clothing - How was fashion impacted? How did clothing save lives or hinder movement?
    • Communication - How did radio or other types of communication impact key events?
    • Destruction- Many historic cities and sites were destroyed in the UK (Liverpool, Manchester, London, Coventry) and elsewhere.
    • Domestic violence - Was there an increase or a decrease?

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