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History Research Guide - World War II: A Soldier's Life

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

Group of U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal

Group of U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal
Group of U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal, 1942. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Books in the Library

Possible Topics

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

Life on a World War II battlefield was difficult as well as dangerous. What terrains did the soldiers fight in and how did they differ? What type of medical care did soldiers get? How soon did they get medical care? What types of things did soldiers see and do? What was the war like for American troops? What was the war like for European troops? What language did soldiers and the government use to describe the enemy? How did the government handle correspondence between the battlefield and home?

Camp life was anything but exciting. How did troops deal with boredom? What types of activities were availiable in camps? What types of rules were there? How were soldiers disciplined? How did they interact with support groups? How did they interact with local people in Europe and the Pacific? Was there a difference in their interactions with locals depending on the local? 

American didn't only send white to fight in World War II. What was the war experience for Blacks? What was the experience for Native Americans? What experience did Japanese-American soldiers have? How were these groups treated? Did any of these groups see any fighting? What roles did they perform in camp? Did their service differ if they were in the Army or Navy? How did minorities from other countries fare? Were they treated better? Did American troops have any trouble getting along with minorities of other countries?

Online Resources

Juvenile Non-Fiction Books