World War 2 Essay: Outline + 100 WW2 Research Topics

This time you have to write a World War II essay, paper, or thesis. It means that you have a perfect chance to refresh those memories about the war that some of us might forget.

So many words can be said about the war in that it seems you will simply get lost in a variety of WW2 research topics and questions.

Still, you do not know what to write about in your World War 2 essay for middle school. Of course, you may look through several free essays in search of ideas. However, you may find our suggestions interesting or get instant writing help right here.

🔝 Top 10 WW2 Essay Topics

  1. Was the battle of Dunkirk a failure?
  2. WWII technologies that changed our lives
  3. The outcome of the Nuremberg trials
  4. Medical experiments during the Holocaust
  5. Battle of Midway as a turning point in WWII
  6. Why is penicillin a wonder of World War 2?
  7. Why is the Bataan Death March a war crime?
  8. The impact of propaganda during WWII
  9. Racial segregation in the armed forces during WWII
  10. What makes the Battle of Stalingrad the deadliest in WWII?

🎓 WW2 Essay Topics for Student

  1. Contributions of women pilots in World War II 
  2. “Gesture Life” and “Maus”: post-World War II injuries 
  3. The federal government’s actions during World War II 
  4. Rebuilding Europe after World War II 
  5. World War II in Europe: development and costs 
  6. World War II: maskirovka military deception and denials operations
  7. World War II in the Pacific region
  8. The second World War’s historical aspects
  9. The rise and fall of communism after World War II
  10. South Africa in World War II
  11. Battle of the Midway during World War II
  12. World War II: the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  13. What effect did the World War II wartime experience have on African Americans?
  14. The battle of Britain during World War II
  15. World War II was a continuation of World War I
  16. Communism in Europe and America after World War II
  17. Camps for displaced persons after the end of World War II
  18. Nazis prosecution for the World War II crimes
  19. World War II was avoidable
  20. Nazi Germany’s resources and demise in World War II
  21. The United States and East Asia since World War II
  22. Japan after World War II: main events and modifications
  23. Atomic bomb technology and World War II outcomes
  24. Pacific theater of World War II
  25. Impact of World War II on Balkan nationalism, states and societies
  26. World War II: internment of the Japanese Americans
  27. World War II in “The Rape of Europa” Documentary
  28. The characteristics of successful warfare after the second World War
  29. Great Depression and World War II impact on the United States economy
  30. Battle of the Bulge during World War II
  31. Escape from Sobibor: World War 2 holocaust
  32. World War II: why Germans lost and allies won
  33. World War II impact on racial issues in the United States
  34. Women’s representations before and after World War II
  35. United States-Japan relations during World War II
  36. Second World War: cause and technology
  37. American foreign policy since World War II
  38. World War II, the Cold War and New Europe
  39. The Crete battle of World War II
  40. Home front of the United States during the second World War

🎖️ WW2: Argumentative Essay Topics

As it happens quite often, teachers like to ask students to write an essay on World War II. However, don’t expect it to be easy. It should be something more narrow than the essay about the causes of World War II.

You can use some practical techniques to come up with a suitable topic. For instance, some of the most popular ones are mind mapping and brainstorming. Don’t forget to use questions to create a perfect thesis statement.

But we have made your life so much easier and prepared this comprehensive list of WWII argumentative essay topics. There are also short hints to help you start with your paper.

🔫 World War 2 Essay Topics: Military

  1. Exploring the effects of WWII on life in Hawaii. Research the impact of those events on the social life of families living there.
  2. Family memories of the Holocaust. Dig deep and see if you have any (distant) relatives who were the witnesses.
  3. Something unique about Italy in WWII. Look into some exceptional circumstances that occurred there at the time of the war.
  4. The origins of the phrase “Kilroy was here.” It is quite a controversial topic, so you might want to study all the sources you can find.
  5. Nationalist Socialists: examine the importance of the movement in the US. What was its social impact since the war? Describe this in your WW2 essay.
  6. Write about your town/city. Conduct research to find out about the political changes in your hometown related to war.
  7. The transformation of the prisoner-of-war camps. Write about what happened to the POW camps after the end of the war.
  8. The fate of the prisoners of war. Study the documents to get to know what happened to them and whether they continued their healthy lives.
  9. Describe the spies that participated in WWII. Who were they? What usually happened to those who were caught by different sides?
  10. The role of women. Discover the contribution of the weaker sex in warfare and write about the most surprising facts.
  11. How important were the weather conditions for the outcomes of WWII? Find out which battles were lost or won due to the weather.
  12. War crimes: consequences. Conduct research to answer the questions about the war crime trials, their outcomes, and the most notorious cases.
  13. Research the role of the US government in WWII. Compare it to the other governments and analyze the strategies they were using.
  14. The sense of freedom during the war. For this WW2 essay topic, you would need to look critically at how freedom was suppressed or expanded.
  15. What was so special about the movements of the troop? Here, you would be expected to provide the answers concerning the secrecy and challenges.
  16. The experiences of the attack survivors. Find out what was happening during the attack on the military units and the planes.

🤖 World War 2 Essay Topics: Technology

  1. The role of the submarines in the war. This World War II research topic is all about the importance of the submarines.
  2. Estimate the destruction in the UK. Find out how many historical places were wiped out as a result of the war.
  3. Was Winston Churchill prepared for it? Write about the background of that influential leader and how it helped him at the wartime.
  4. Write about the time the US entered the war. Are there any facts that we still don’t know well enough? What about the timing?
  5. The miracle of the radar. This WW2 essay topic would be interesting for those who are fascinated by technology. What was the role of that device in WWII?
  6. Rocket technology and the war. Write about the importance of the rockets and what the moment when they changed the course of the war.
  7. Building the ultimate warship. What was the driving force of the developments in the field of shipbuilding during WWII?
  8. Describe the main means of communication during the war. Don’t forget to mention the radio and its impact on the major events in your World War 2 essay.
  9. The development of bridges and roads. What were the main technological achievements in this field that still impact our everyday life?
  10. Explain the rise of the popularity of motorcycles during the war. Feel free to mention the folding bikes and their invention.
  11. The technology we have thanks to the war. Dedicate your WW2 essay to the inventions we can’t live without nowadays that were created during the war.
  12. What about TVs? You can narrow down this World War II essay question as you wish. For example, write about the shows dedicated to the war.
  13. The jet engines developed by the needs of war. Look into the reasons why those engines were created during WWII.

💰 WW2 Research Topics: Economy

  1. What about propaganda? This WWII essay should describe how people in the US were reacting to the war and why.
  2. The product of war: pop culture elements. Think about products that became popular and maybe even stayed a part of culture after the war ended.
  3. Toy story: WWII edition. Find out how the war influenced the toy production and whether it was a part of propaganda.
  4. The major changes in the job market sponsored by WWII. What new roles suddenly appeared on the job market, thanks to the war?
  5. The power of advertising. To narrow it down, you can even mention how the food packaging was adjusted and why.

🎨 WW2 Research Topics: Culture

  1. Discover the world of fashion during the wartime. It is one of the cool WWII essay topics. It should be about the new trends for civilians at the time.
  2. The analysis of artworks created during WWII. Choose a piece of art inspired by war and analyze it. What is its story?
  3. New times require new family traditions. How were the customs inside the families changed by the war? What about raising children? Highlight these issues in your World War 2 essay.
  4. The secrets of the love letters during the war. This short essay would require you to dig into the archives and find out what the letters could tell us about the relationships back then.
  5. What was the unique role of animals in WWII? Dedicate your writing to some type of animal and discuss how they were used.
  6. The rights of African-Americans during the time of war. Write about how their civil rights were changed and try to find the root causes.
  7. Food preservation methods: another revolution. This example is all about food and how it was packed and preserved during the war.
  8. The cases of domestic violence during the cold war. Were the rates higher at the time? Did political tension cause it? This is also a great World War 2 essay topic.
  9. Expanding the vocabulary. Just like any other part of life, the language also went through some changes. What were the new words that emerged?
  10. The troubled life of housewife during WWII. Describe the work women used to do at the wartime and how it was changed.
  11. Still resisting: the movements created by families. Here, you should concentrate on the experience of the families that live in the occupied territories.
  12. Lifesaving food: the role of nutrition in WWII. Try to research and find the battles that were lost or won due to the availability of food.
  13. The impact of food rationing on soldiers and families. Write your WW2 essay about the struggles of families and different groups of people.
  14. What were the common sacrifices of families during the war? In this essay, you would need to look into the negative changes in families’ lifestyles.
  15. The miracle of penicillin: WWII. This research aims to uncover the importance of penicillin or any other medicine of your choice.
  16. The clothes that saved lives. Write about different types of clothing and materials that were used to help the soldiers on the battlefield.

💡 World War 2 Essay: More Topic Examples

Below, other suggestions on what you might write about in essays on World War II are presented:

Present in Your World War 2 Essay Alternative Decisions That Could Have Changed the Course of the War Dramatically

Such World War 2 essay will aim to explore some of the greatest decision making mistakes of the world leaders. We do not mean that you should discuss some miraculous history events like “what if Hitler had a heart attack.” In the World War 2 essay devoted to this problem, give realistic alternative decisions that were considered but not realized. Analyze those alternatives that could have changed the end of the war.

“In Your World War Ii Essay, Try to Answer the Question “When Did Hitler Lose the War?”

When did Adolf Hitler lose his chance to win World War II? What was it? These are the World War 2 essay questions you have to answer. Analyze different viewpoints of historians and present your opinion in the essay on World War 2.

Cover the Themes of Atrocity and War-Crimes in the World War 2 Essay

Acts of genocides and atrocity against civil population occurred in such countries as Japan, the Soviet Union, and Germany. Some of them were so horrific and immense that they changed the psyche of many people and different nations. When disclosing this theme in the Second World War essay, tell about Nazi concentration camps, “Death-camps,” the Holocaust, etc.

If you are interested in other history essay  topics, read our hints for writing terrorism essays. And don’t forget to tell us in comments below your opinion about the World War 2.

📑 World War 2 Essay: Outline Examples

The next is creating a neat outline, which would become a massive help for you during the process of writing. Find examples of World War II essay outlines below!

Example 1. Analyze how some alternative decisions could have changed the course of World War II


Try to pick something realistic. Merely writing that if Hitler suddenly died and the war had never happened is just dull. Get creative and maybe take as a basis some real facts that were considered but never came into life.

  • In your World War II essay introduction, present the chosen decision. Include your thesis statement in this part as well. It should be your hypothesis concerning the topic.
  • In the main body, give at least three arguments why and how that decision would have changed things. Here, you prove your hypothesis to be right. You may add one counter-argument if you wish. For instance, include the opinion of a historian saying that it wouldn’t change anything.
  • In conclusion, state your opinion once again, which is now supported by arguments.

Example 2. When did it happen that Germany lost the war?


Think about when Adolf Hitler might have missed his chance to win World War II. What was it? Include some details. Once again, do your research and consider the opinions of different historians.

  • In the introduction to this World War 2 essay, present your point of view. In the thesis statement, write the answer to World War II essay questions clearly and coherently.
  • The main body here is for you to include three to five pieces of evidence that may prove you right. If you decide to write an argumentative essay, you might add some contradicting facts, too.
  • In the last part of your writing, focus on paraphrasing your thesis statement.

Example 3. World War II: discuss war crimes and atrocity


This essay title is related to all acts of cruelty against the civil population, including genocides. You may want to narrow it down according to your preferences. For instance, you can talk about how concentration camps created by Nazis have changed the people’s psyche.

  1. Introduce this WW2 essay topic by stating how people have changed after surviving the Death Camps. It might be a good idea to include a sentence at the beginning that may serve as a hook to make your readers interested.
  2. In the body, present not less than three examples of what you think might be relevant. Those should be proven historical facts if you want your essay to be persuasive.
  3. Conclude by providing a summary of the facts presented in the main body. Add the paraphrased thesis statement.

💁 World War 2: General Information

World War II: Timeline

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. And on September 3, 1939, France and Britain, fulfilling their obligations to Poland, declared war on Germany and World War II began.

However, the beginning of World War II was preceded by some events, inextricably related:

  • September 18, 1931. Japan attacked Manchuria
  • October 2, 1935 – May 1936. Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia, conquered and annexed it
  • October 25 – November 1, 1936. On October 25, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy concluded a cooperation agreement. November 1 announced the creation of the “Rome-Berlin Axis
  • November 25, 1936. Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan concluded the Anti-Comintern Pact, directed against the USSR and the international communist movement
  • July 7, 1937. Japan invaded China. The World War II began in the Pacific
  • 11-13 March 1938. Germany joins Austria (the so-called Anschluss)
  • September 29, 1938. Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France signed the Munich agreement obliging the Czechoslovak Republic to cede Nazi Germany to the Sudetenland (where the critical Czechoslovak fortifications were located)
  • 14-15 March 1939. Under pressure from Germany, the Slovaks declared their independence and created the Slovak Republic. The Germans broke the Munich agreement, occupied the Czech lands, and established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
German and French guns WW2.
  • March 31, 1939. France and the United Kingdom provided guarantees of the inviolability of the borders of Poland
  • 7-15 April 1939. Fascist Italy attacked Albania and annexed it
  • August 23, 1939. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact and a secret annex to it, according to which Europe was divided into spheres of influence

Some scientists think that the World War II was a continuation of the World War I ended in 1918.

September 2, 1945, is the date when the World War II ended. Japan, agreed to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, officially capitulates, thereby putting an end to World War II.

World War II: Key Facts

  • Perhaps, the World War II was one the most destructive wars in modern history. About 27,000 people were killed each day from September 1, 1939, to September 2, 1945.
  • The primary opponents were Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, Imperial Japan on the one hand, and the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France the United States, and China on the other.
  • Germany capitulated on May 7, 1945. At the same time, Japan continued to fight for another four months before their capitulation on September 2. Atomic bombs, dropped by American troops on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were first used against Japan.
  • The end of the war was marked by Britain losing most of its empire. At the same time, World War II accelerated the revival of the US and Soviet economies as global superpowers.
  • After the end of the World War II, the “Cold War” between the US and the USSR started.

World War 2: Casualties

The exact World War II casualties remain unknown. However, historians name that the total number of victims was over 60 million people including military and civilians killed. Below you’ll find the list of states suffered the highest losses:

  • 42,000,000 people–USSR
  • 9,000,000 people–Germany
  • 4,000,000 people–China
  • 3,000,000 people–Japan

World War II: Causes

Perhaps, there were many prerequisites for World War II:

  • Japan’s victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) opened the door for Japanese expansion in the Asia-Pacific region
  • The US Navy first developed plans to prepare for a naval war with Japan in 1890
  • The Great Depression, and the global recession that followed
  • The coming to power of Hitler and his statement about the injustice of the Versailles Treaty, signed in 1918
  • The creation in 1935 of the Luftwaffe, as a direct violation of the 1919 treaty
  • Remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936
  • Anschluss of Austria and the annexation of part of Czechoslovakia
  • Italy’s desire to create a Third Rome and Japan’s goal to create an independent state with the Pan-Asian sphere of influence

World War II: Results

The results of World War II are not limited to losses and destruction. As a result of the war, the face of the world changed: new borders and new states appeared, new tendencies of social development emerged, and significant inventions were made.

The war gave a strong impetus to the development of science and technology. Radar, jet aircraft, ballistic missiles, antibiotics, electronic computers and many other discoveries were made or entered into widespread use during the war. The foundations of the scientific and technological revolution were laid, which transformed and continued to change the postwar world.

The ideology of fascism, Nazism, racism, colonialism thoroughly discredited itself; on the contrary, the ideas of anti-fascism, anti-colonialism, democracy, and socialism gained wide popularity.

The human rights recorded in the UN Charter are internationally recognized. The influence of parties and groups that fought for democracy and social transformations–communists, socialists, social democrats, Christian democrats and other democratic forces, has sharply increased.

In many countries, significant reforms carried out: partial nationalization of industry and banks, the creation of a state system of social insurance, the expansion of workers’ rights. In some countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Japan, have adopted new, democratic constitutions. There was a profound renewal of the society, democratization of state and public institutions.

Auschwitz deadliest concentration camp.

The colonial system disintegration was another significant result and consequence of the Second World War. Before the war, the vast majority of the world’s population lived in colonies, the area, and population of which many times exceeded the metropolitan countries: Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Japan.

During the World War 2 and after its end, part of the dependent and colonial countries (Syria, Lebanon, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma, Philippines, and Korea) declared itself independent. In 1947, India became independent, divided into two dominions: India and Pakistan. The intense process of liberation of the colonial peoples began, which continued until the complete abolition of the colonies in the second half of the twentieth century.

As a result of the war, the balance of forces in the world has changed dramatically. Germany, Italy, Japan were defeated, for a time turned into dependent countries, occupied by foreign troops. The war destroyed their economy, and they for many years could not compete with their former competitors.

Compared with the pre-war time, the positions of France and even Great Britain weakened considerably. The USA came out of the war significantly strengthened. Having surpassed all other countries economically and militarily, the United States became the sole leader of the capitalist world.

The second “superpower” was the Soviet Union. By the end of the war, the Soviet Union had the most massive land army in the world and substantial industrial potential. The USSR Armed Forces were in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe, East Germany and North Korea.

Some countries liberated by the Soviet Union took the road of non-capitalist development. After the liberation from the occupiers in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, people’s democratic governments were established with the participation or under the leadership of the Communists, who began profound social transformations. By the Yalta agreements, these countries were considered to be the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and were in fact under its control.

If the United States became the leader of the capitalist world, then the Soviet Union led the social forces that opposed capitalism. Two main poles of attraction of the world forces, conventionally called the East and the West, were formed; began to build two ideological and military-political blocs, the confrontation of which largely determined the structure of the post-war bipolar world.

The anti-fascist coalition split. Its participants came into conflict with each other, and the “Cold War” that lasted more than 45 years, until the collapse of the USSR.

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🔗 References

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Comments (2)

Monica L.
Monica L.

Thanks for these ideas for essays on World War II. These are what I need for my paper about WWII. Now I can start writing my essay on World War II.

Bobby Grimes
Bobby Grimes

To write World War II essays is very instructive – to know the reasons, the course of war events, the results. These all are necessary to comprehend and debar World War III as humanity won’t go through it!