In September 1939, Britain entered into what would become the world’s most devastating war to date. Learn all about the events that changed the lives of millions in our World War 2 facts….


World War 2 facts

World War 2 facts

1. World War 2 was a battle between two groups of countries

– the “Allies” and the “Axis“. The major Allied Powers were Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States. The major Axis Powers were Germany, Italy and Japan.


2. Before World War 2 began, Germany was ruled by a man named Adolf Hitler

Together with the Nazi Party, he wanted Germany to rule Europe. To gain more land and power, on 1 September 1939 German troops invaded Poland. After Hitler refused to stop the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany – World War II had begun.

World War 2 facts

3. During the course of the war, German forces advanced through Europe

By the summer of 1941 they had invaded France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia* and the USSR*.


Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Second World War primary resource? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!


4. Millions of Germans were imprisoned and killed because they didn’t fit the image of the ‘perfect’ German

Hitler wanted to create what he thought was the “best” and strongest race – and to the Nazi Party, this excluded certain groups, such as Jews, Gypsies and those with physical and mental disabilities. In an attempt to eliminate a “racial enemy” outside of Germany, such groups were also persecuted in the countries invaded by German forces.

World War 2 facts

5. The group most heavily targeted by the Nazis were the Jews

Around six million Jewish people were killed during World War 2 in one of history’s most terrible events – the Holocaust. Racist in his views, Hitler blamed Jewish people for Germany losing World War I and claimed they were dangerous to German people and society.

6. Around the same time that Germany fought for power in Europe, Japan wanted to control Asia and the Pacific

In 1937 (before World War 2 had officially begun) under Emperor Hirohito, Japan attacked China, bringing the two nations into years of conflict.

World War 2 facts

7. The US didn’t join the war until 1941, when Japan attacked the United States

– at their Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On 8 December 1941 (the very next day), the US declared War on Japan and, in turn, its German allies.


8. Some countries remained ‘neutral’ in World War 2

Such countries were Spain, Sweden and Switzerland – who chose not to join either side.

World War 2 facts

9. The Germans surrendered on 8 May 1945

In 1944, an Allied army crossed from Britain to free France from Nazi rule. One year later, Allied armies invaded Germany, forcing the Germans to surrender. After nuclear attacks on Japan’s major cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan also surrendered to Allied forces in August the same year. World War 2 had ended.

Did you know we have a FREE downloadable Anne Frank primary resource? Perfect for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike, the resource introduces children to the young girl whose tragic tale from WWII became a story of hope.

10. Around 64 million people died in World War 2

– that’s more than the entire population of the United Kingdom.
World War 2 facts

With thanks to Dr. Matthew Thomas from the National Army Museum and Ian Kikuchi from the Imperial War Museum, London.

*Yugoslavia was a country established in 1918 in south-east Europe, which included modern-day Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
*USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the Soviet Union) was a former country which included modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Estonia, as well as other socialist states.


What did you think of our World War 2 facts? Let us know by leaving a comment below.




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  • ggggg


  • Cool Yutao

    Those facts are very important and I think it is very interesting.

  • Catlover

    Just sad on how many people died

  • Jaclyn


  • kittenlife02

    this was really helpful for school work!!!! And Hitler was the worst.

  • aimee

    thank you for teaching me more stuff about ww2 so i can bring it back to school as homework

  • I think I have learnt about more world war 2 facts because we're learning about it

  • Yazdan

    That I did not know but is was pretty scary and sad

  • hannah

    this has told me alot more about ww2 than i knew. thank you!:)

  • Nicholas

    These facts really have helped me on my homework!

  • Furqan

    awesome research

  • Takula


  • Reha

    I love this work

  • Reha

    There are lots of different facts

  • eleri

    they were really interesting as we are doing world war 2 as our topic when we go back to school

  • Kiera

    I love history and learning about World War 2 all of these facts were very interesting. I love to look at World War 2 facts because it is so much fun to learn about history it is sooooooooooooooooo mkuch fun to do. Thavnks for making this website and I loved it . Thanks again for making this website it is so much fun to learn abut history!!!!!!!!!!!

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    this is good info

  • Fjj

    Excellent work with your facts.

  • tuck

    thanks for the info

  • Lolly

    Thanks for the help

  • Siham

    Cheers for the facts

  • RileyRoo!

    I love to learn about ww2 very interesting!

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    very intresting

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    good info I liked it

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    very good info it helped me

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    gooooooood information

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    I learnt so much today

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    wow i did not know that

  • Thanks for the information. Helped a lot

  • Tashiya

    I learned so much

  • cheers for the key facts !

  • pinkypop10

    i have some newspaper clippings from then they are very interesting

  • Queen

    Wow.... It's very cool .but it must have been had living those days

  • D

    It must of been really bad to live in those days

  • Luke

    my Grandpa Percy was in the wold war 2

  • Ericaamarteifio

    That is sad news in the war.

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    Just amazing

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    i love history

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    I think that the world should be peaceful

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    Helped me with projects



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    Has a lot of useful information and a lot of facts, I would give it a ten out of ten

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    great information

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    Wow! Thanks, NatGeoKids.

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    good detail.

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    this helped me so much

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    World War 2 was a terrible and historic event of our planet.

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    I think it could be better with what the people did when they were at home and what was the daily routine

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    man this people didnt know the war was going on and they where working tss

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    Cool! Really helped with my homework. I really hate Hitler now!

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