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The Second World War (1939-1945) was a time of global conflict. The two sides were known as the Allies (led by Great Britain, the USA, France and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (led by Germany, Italy and Japan).

After the war, the United Nations was formed to try to prevent such a terrible war ever happening again.

Teach your children about World War 2 using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

  • Our World War 2 Pack is full of information and resources for teaching this topic.

The World War 2 Pack

World War 2 Knowledge Organiser

Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference and research, along with a timeline, vocabulary and more.

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World War 2 Facts

  • World War 2 began on the 3rd of September 1939, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany.
  • The war in Europe ended on the 8th of May 1945 (VE day) and the war officially ended on the 2nd of September 1945, when Japan formally surrendered.
  • Although it is described as a world war, some countries, including Sweden and Ireland, did not fight. They are known as neutral countries.
  • Technology developed quickly during the war, and among the innovations of this time are radar, rockets and jet engines.
  • The German Nazi party killed millions of people in the genocide know as the holocaust. Jewish people, Roma people, gay and disabled people, among others, who were hated by the Nazis, were sent to camps where they were forced to work as slaves and killed.

Videos

A Brief Overview of World War II

This video gives a brief overview of the war.

Running time: 3:28

Anne Frank, the Graphic Biography 

A graphic biography of Anne Frank.

Running time: 3:07

Horrible Histories (RAF Pilot Song)

Sing along with the RAF pilot song from Horrible Histories.

Running time: 2:47

Horrible Histories (The World War 2 Girls Song)

Learn about the roles women took on during World War 2 with Horrible Histories.

Running time: 2:16

Books

My Secret War Diary

The events of World War 2, seen through the eyes of Flossie Albright.

Friend or Foe

Evacuees David and Tucky are evacuated to the safety of Devon. When a German bomber crashes on the moor, the boys go looking for it…

The Umbrella Mouse

When mouse Pip’s home (an umbrella shop) is hit by a bomb, she has to find a new home.

Goodnight Mister Tom

Evacuee Willie forms a deep and lasting friendship with his host Tom.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

A classic tale of a Jewish family fleeing Germany before the outbreak of World War 2.

World War II Visual Encyclopedia

A comprehensive encyclopaedia that brings this period of history to life through vivid images.

World War II (Sir Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders)

Tony Robinson guides you through the strange and sometimes disgusting history of World War 2.

The Usborne Introduction to The Second World War

This book shows the effect of the war on people around the world, using hand-coloured black and white photos.

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