Skip to main content

History Research Guide - World War II: The Navy

A guide to the resources available in the library on World War II.

Books in the Library

USS BUNKER HILL Burning After Jap Suicide Attack


USS BUNKER HILL Burning After Jap Suicide Attack, May 11, 1945. Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Possible Topics

Here are some topic questions to help you get started on your paper.

What did it take to be a sailor in World War II? Who served in the Navy? Did minorities serve in the Navy? What positions did they hold? What were the tasks that sailors had to perform regularly? In battle? How dangerous was it to be a sailor? How did the men get along with one another in close quarters?

What role did the Allied Navies play in World War II? What role did they play in the Atlantic? What role did they play in the Pacific? What role did the Axis Navies play? How did commanders in the Pacific utilize naval power? Were there any major naval battles?

Germany relied heavily on their U-boats in the Atlantic. How were submarines used in the war? Were submarines used more in the Pacific or the Atlantic?  Did the Allies utilize submarines as well? What did ships do to adapt to submarine attack? What safety rules did sailors have to follow in case of submarine attack? How many ships survived submarine attacks?

Another problem Allied ships encountered were attacks from Kamikaze pilots. How did the American Navy adapt to Kamikaze attacks? What did they do to prevent them? What skill did Kamikaze pilots need in order to take out a ship? How were aircraft able to destroy giant carriers?

Online Resources

Reference Books