How to Write about World War 2 – Essay Topics & Examples

The Second World War was a turning point in history that changed the world as we know it. Over two thousand days of hardship, courage, victory, and loss still fascinate and influence historians, filmmakers, novelists, and politicians worldwide. You may be asked to write a research paper or an essay on this 20th century conflict as part of your coursework. Our team has prepared several fascinating ideas you may explore in your writing.

🎖️ Top 10 World War 2 Essay Topics

We’ve compiled the topics that can inspire you to write an essay. To make the process simpler, we have included the main messages of each paper.

  1. Could the Axis powers have been defeated without opening the second front?
    Explore how the war would have gone without the invasion of Normandy.
  2. Why did Japan decide to side with Germany and Italy?
    List the social and political reasons that pushed the Empire of Japan to become an Axis power.
  3. Explore the impact of the battle for Stalingrad on the course of WW2.
    Show how the battle of Stalingrad turned the tide of war on the Eastern front.
  4. What were the causes of Germany’s military success in 1941?
    Name the main causes of Germany’s successful assault on the Soviet Union.
  5. Discuss the dissolution of the British Empire after WW2.
    Talk about the leading consequences of disbanding the British Empire in its former colonies.
  6. What led to the start of WW2?
    Explore political and economic factors that caused the start of the Second World War.
  7. Was the US justified in using nuclear weapons against Japan?
    Explain the reasoning behind USA’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  8. Discuss the role of the Munich Agreement in the rise of Nazi Germany.
    Explain how the Munich Agreement became one of the precursors of WW2 and the occupation of Western Europe.
  9. Explore the crucial battles of WW2.
    Discuss the pivotal conflicts of both the Western and Eastern fronts.
  10. Discuss the initial losses of the USSR in 1941-1942.
    Assess the reasons behind the colossal losses of the USSR in civilian and military casualties.

💡 Interesting WW2 Argumentative Essay Topics

Look at our list of the most intriguing titles dedicated to the cultural and military developments before, during, and after World War 2. You may find WW2 argumentative essay topics that will resonate with you and help you write an exceptional paper.

An argumentative essay is a piece of writing in which you should state your position.

WW2 Essay Topics: Culture

Here, we unearth how World War II impacted the world’s cultures, making it a captivating subject for social studies enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of this transformative era.

  1. Explain the cultural impact of WW2 on the movie industry.
    Tell your readers about how WW2 influenced the American cinematic landscape in movies like Casablanca.
  2. How WW2 impacted American culture during the Cold War.
    Explore how the war’s events influenced American society, including its vehement anti-communist sentiment.
  3. The role of traditional culture in WW2 Japan.
    Discuss the role of bushido and other traditional elements in Japan’s wartime culture.
  4. Explore the changes in the USSR’s culture during the war period.
    Show how WW2 shaped different cultural aspects in the besieged USSR.
  5. How WW2 influenced the 20th-century music scene.
    Determine how the war influenced the music scene of the 1940s.
  6. The cultural impact of WW2 on modern video games.
    Explore the influence of WW2 on modern video games such as Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, and World of Tanks.
  7. Art and propaganda in Nazi Germany.
    Explain how Nazi Germany used art and movies such as Triumph of the Will in its propaganda machine.
  8. How WW2 changed attitude towards art and architecture.
    Tell about the main changes in architecture and art in the post-war period.
  9. Explore Germany’s post-war culture.
    Explore the cultural landscape of West and East Germany after the war.
  10. Discuss the cultural differences in North and South Korea after WW2.
    Show how cultures developed differently on different sides of the Korean peninsula.
  11. Veteran narratives in WW2 literature: An examination of memoirs and fictional works.
    Analyze how veterans’ stories, whether based on personal experiences or fictionalized, contributed to the cultural understanding of the war and its enduring impact on society.

WW2 Essay Topics: Military

This section delves into military records. It offers diverse ideas, inviting you to explore the strategic and tactical facets of the Second World War’s unparalleled military campaigns and conflicts.

  1. Which factors helped launch the German war machine?
    Explain the laws and decisions that made Germany the military powerhouse of Europe.
  2. What gave the Japanese superiority in the Pacific Theater?
    Detail the tactics, strategies, and weaponry that helped the Japanese army wage war in the Pacific.
  3. How the Lend-Lease Act helped the Soviet war effort.
    Show the significance of American aid in the USSR’s battles across the Eastern front.
  4. Explore the main reasons for Italy’s military losses in Africa.
    Tell about the tactical and strategic factors that caused Italy’s defeat in Africa.
  5. Compare the Soviet and German military in 1941.
    Give a rough comparison of the different army types both sides possessed at the start of their conflict.
  6. Discuss the significance of operation Bagration.
    Describe the main results of Operation Bagration and its role in the liberation of Belarus and Poland.
  7. Explore the results of the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
    Explore the preparations, execution, and aftermath of D-Day.
  8. Could Germany have won WW2 with nuclear weapons?
    Analyze a scenario when Germany got hold of WMDs before the war ended and its consequences.
  9. Which military innovations spelled the turning point in the war?
    Tell about the most powerful weapons that helped the Allies win.
  10. Explore the military tech that was pioneered during WW2.
    Describe the most remarkable military technology that was developed during the conflict.

🏆 Best WW2 Research Paper Topics

We hand-picked a collection of interesting topics that will make your research paper shine and inspire you to write a great thesis statement. These WW2 research paper titles explore economic transformation and scientific developments during this period.

3 Tips for your research paper.

WW2 Research Paper Topics: Economy

Amid the tapestry of 20th-century wars, World War II emerged as a pivotal economic challenge. We present various research paper topics delving into the war’s economic dimensions. Expand your general knowledge by exploring the profound impact of economics on the global stage during this transformative period.

  1. What was the economic situation in Europe before WW2?
    Explore what the economy of European countries was before the war.
  2. Explore the factors that led to Germany’s economic rise in 1932-1939.
    Tell how Germany rose to economic power despite the catastrophe of the Weimar Republic.
  3. Discuss the causes of economic growth in post-war Japan.
    Describe laws and policies that caused the Japanese economic boom after WW2.
  4. What were the main factors of US post-war prosperity?
    Explain how the US enjoyed decades of prosperity post-conflict through generous loans to the suffering parties.
  5. Assess the impact of the war on the Italian economy.
    Describe the leading causes of Italy’s economic growth post-WW2.
  6. Explain the leading causes of industrialization in the pre-war USSR.
    Tell about the major decisions and policies that led to the USSR’s rapid industrialization in the 1930s.
  7. Discuss WW2’s impact on the developing world.
    Explore how the war impacted the developing countries outside the US and Europe.
  8. Which policies were used to fund the reconstruction of the European economy?
    Assess policies that led to progress in rebuilding post-war Europe, including the Marshall Plan.
  9. Explore the impact of war bonds on US military capacity.
    Showcase how war bonds were crucial in funding the US efforts in the Pacific and other war theaters.
  10. How the USSR funded its war machine.
    Explore the sources used for building and maintaining the Soviet military capacity.
  11. The global economic order and enduring issues: Post-World War II Bretton Woods Conference.
    Analyze how the decisions made at Bretton Woods, including the creation of the IMF or World Bank, continue to shape global economic policies and financial stability today.

WW2 Research Paper Topics: Science & Technology

Embark on a journey of historical research as we unveil captivating research paper topics in science and technology. You can explore remarkable breakthroughs, like innovations in the construction of planes.

  1. Could the atomic bomb have been made without WW2?
    Explain how World War 2 impacted the process of the creation of the atomic bomb.
  2. The role of German scientists in the NASA space program.
    Discuss the involvement of German scientists in various NASA projects, including the moon landing project.
  3. Explore the impact of jet engine development on aviation.
    Show how the creation of jet engines changed military and commercial aircraft.
  4. Discuss the impact of the first electronic computers made after WW2.
    Explore how the first ENIACs were used after WW2 and their influence on modern machines.
  5. Assess the main scientific breakthroughs of the post-war period.
    Showcase the main innovations that came around after WW2.
  6. How did WW2 influence the post-war automobile industry?
    Describe the influence of the war on the car manufacturing business.
  7. What were the leading causes of the American post-WW2 tech boom?
    Assess the main reasons behind post-war technological advancements in the US.
  8. Did the invention of the atomic bomb prevent future major wars?
    Explore how nuclear weapons helped prevent future global wars but still couldn’t stop lesser-scale conflicts.
  9. Discuss the importance of radar technology during and after the war.
    Show how radar technology was used during the war and beyond.
  10. Explore the impact of WW2 on developing body armor technology.
    Talk about the influence of the war in developing sufficient body protection for police, military, and civilians.
  11. Naval warfare in World War II: The role of technological advancements in shaping maritime strategies.
    Discuss how innovations reshaped naval tactics, affected maritime supremacy, and influenced crucial battles in the Pacific and Atlantic theaters.

📚 Top 8 WW2 Research Questions

  1. Who were the most important political figures during the conflict?
  2. What were the main events that caused World War 2?
  3. Which World War 2 battles were the most significant?
  4. Which countries participated in World War 2?
  5. What was the strategic significance of the battle of Britain for the Allied powers in WW2?
  6. When and how did World War 2 end?

✒️ Top 8 World War 2 Essay Questions

  1. What are the most impactful technologies that came out after WW2?
  2. Did the US play a major role in defeating the Axis powers?
  3. Which countries had the worst casualty rates?
  4. How were POWs treated by different sides?
  5. How WW2 changed the world?
  6. Is there one particular party to blame for the conflict?
  7. Who lost World War 2?
  8. How many lives were altered by World War II?

📝 Second World War Essay Examples

We have listed several essay examples to guide you and serve as real examples for your future work. They cover cultural, military, and political aspects in the aftermath of the war for the US and Japan. Each offers an extended response into what post-war societies looked like in these countries.

  • Cultural Changes in America after World War II
    This paper explores several things that defined the 1950s, including the budding civil rights movement, the baby boom, and the rise of anti-communist propaganda. These things shaped the cultural landscape, from arts and literature to music and movies.
  • American Power During World War 2 and the Cold War
    The essay centers around the height of America’s power after the end of WW2 and its inevitable clash with the communist ideology of the Soviet Union. It explores some less reputable tactics the US used to undermine the USSR’s influence on the world.
  • Japan and World War II
    Led by old rivalries with its neighbor China, Japan entered WW2 as a military powerhouse. The paper discusses its initial success in the war theater and the subsequent disastrous results.

🪖 World War 2: General Information You Should Know

Before you start working, it’ll be helpful to learn about the causes and consequences of World War II. These facts will help you better establish the theme of your future essay or research paper. Prepare to dive into one of the most critical periods and learn more about it.

World War 2: Significant Events

World War 2 was the biggest in the history of humankind. During over 2000 days of the conflict, several important events happened:

  1. September 1, 1939. Germany invaded Poland and started the war.
  2. April 9 to June 22, 1940. Most of Western Europe fell under German jackboots.
  3. July 10, 1940. Germany began a massive bombardment campaign in the United Kingdom.
  4. September 22, 1940. The signing of the Tripartite Pact and the birth of the Axis Powers.
  5. December 7, 1941. Japan launched the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  6. December 8, 1941. The US declared war on Japan.
  7. December 11, 1941. The US got into military conflict with Italy and Germany.
  8. June 4 – 7, 1942. America won the Battle of Midway.
  9. July 9, 1942. The Allies invaded Sicily.
  10. September 8, 1943. Italy surrendered, but its northern territory was still occupied.
  11. June 6, 1944. The US launched a landing operation in Normandy.
  12. August 25, 1944. Allies liberate Paris.
  13. December 16, 1944. Germany launched a counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge.
  14. February 19, 1945. US Marines stormed Iwo Jima.
  15. March 22, 1945. American troops crossed the Rhine River.
  16. April 1, 1945. The US military arrived on the island of Okinawa.
  17. April 25, 1945. Soviet and American troops encircled Berlin.
  18. May 8, 1945. Germany surrendered to the Allies, ending the war in Europe.
  19. August 9, 1945. America dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.
  20. September 2, 1945. The Japanese surrendered to the Allies.

World War 2: Crucial Facts

In this part, we present crucial facts about the war that shaped the world as we know it. Take a look at the most momentous events of this conflict:

The fact about Lend-Lease program created on March 11, 1941.
  1. The war involved 30 countries.
  2. It was the biggest war waged on the European continent.
  3. Europe was rebuilt through the Marshall Plan, which invested $12 billion in its economy.
  4. The Holocaust resulted in the death of almost the entire Jewish population in Europe.
  5. Germany occupied most of Western Europe and a big part of the USSR.
  6. Stalingrad became the turning point in the war for the Allies.

World War 2: Casualties

WW2 was one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, not even in military casualties. It was the first war that deliberately targeted civilians in various countries. Scientists and historians still can’t determine the exact number of deaths. Several countries paid the most horrific price in this conflict.

CountryMilitary lossesCivilian casualties

World War 2: Causes

Here, we highlighted the main factors that caused the global conflict and launched World War II. Take a look at its leading causes:

  • The unjust Treaty of Versailles. The leading cause of the war lies in the humiliating conditions Germany faced after WWI. Part of its territory was annexed, and the country had to limit its army seriously. The following 20 years of economic and cultural downfall became one of the factors for the rise of Nazism.
  • The failure of peace agreements. After WWI, there was a lot of hope for the League of Nations organization. Its main goal was ending wars and leading countries to solve their disputes diplomatically. Unfortunately, all of the efforts failed as military conflicts slowly but surely engulfed the world.
  • The rise of authoritarian movements. The failures of diplomacy and democracy in Europe made many nations abandon these principles. It caused the rise of many authoritarian governments in Spain, Italy, and Germany.
  • The formation of the Axis powers. In 1940, Italy, Japan, and Germany signed a political and military alliance, forming an anti-communist coalition of countries. They were the primary enemies of the Allies formed by France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA, and the USSR.
  • German aggression in Europe. Even before the official start of WW2, Germany conducted military operations on the continent. In 1938, it fully annexed Austria and took Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in the autumn of the same year.
  • The Great Depression. The European economy was highly indebted to the US. Governments in Germany, Italy, and France couldn’t manage economic growth sufficiently. On October 29, 1929, the US suffered the crash of the New York Stock Market and recalled all foreign loans soon after.

World War 2: Consequences & Results

World War II had long-lasting consequences that changed the world. This segment examines the major social, political, and economic transformations caused by this event.

Consequences and results of World War 2.
  • End of the euro-centric international power structure. WW2 ended the hegemony of Western Europe. The United States became less isolationist and more involved in global affairs.
  • Start of the Cold War. After the Second World War, the US and the USSR became the leading political poles of the world. Both sides wanted to curb the spreading influence of their opponent.
  • The end of empires. WW2 saw the disbanding of the French, British, Dutch, Portuguese, and Belgian empires. Many of their former colonies became independent states.
  • Democratization of foreign policy. After destroying authoritarian regimes, the US turned to a more democratic foreign policy regarding its close and distant neighbors. It was greatly formed by local and world public opinion.
  • A movement for independence in many countries. The fall of European hegemony worldwide caused many of its former territories to struggle for independence. Most prominently, it gave birth to the state of Israel.

We hope you found the right topic in the sea of WW2 research paper topics we offer in this article. Be sure to use our examples and short guide. Share this article with friends who’ll find it helpful.

🔗 References

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