Introduction to World War II

FACT! World War II began in 1939 and finished in 1945. Every one including businesses and services all around the world were involved and effected by the war.

There were a total of 61 countries that were a part of the war. 1.7 billion people in total - that's 3/4 of the world's population, were a part of the war!

World War I saw Germany lose and give up their land. Six years before the start of the second war, the German nation voted Adolf Hitler to be their leader. Hitler led the German army and headed to Poland on 1st September 1939. Two days later, the Prime Minister of Britain - Neville Chamberlain, alongside neighbouring country France, declared war on Germany.


Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minster from 1937 - 1940, Winston Churchill then took over as Prime Minister after. Winston Churchill led Britain for majority of World War II.

There is a statue of Winston Churchill in London, close to the Big Ben clock tower.

steam train




Children were evacuated from the cities and moved to the countryside to be safe from air raids. Some children who lived in London were sent to Devon, Cornwall and Wales. These journeys were very long and would take several hours by steam train.



People used gas masks to protect themselves against potential gas attacks. These masks are similar to what you see firefighters wear.




Shopping during the war was not as convenient as it is today. People had to go to different places to get what they needed as they did not have supermarkets. If they wanted meat they had to go to the butchers, fruit and vegetables had to be bought in the greengrocer and bread from the bakery. 


during the war meant sharing out food among everyone. During the war you could only buy a certain amount of food each week because a lot of the food in England came from other countries and it wasn't safe to ship them over.

The enemy submarines sunk a lot of the ships carrying the food so there was a shortage of food such as lemons and bananas that come from overseas.

Popular foods that had to be rationed and were in limited supply included meat, fish, cheese, butter, sugar, tea, jam, tomatoes, rice, eggs, peas, milk and biscuits.  



The government went on to announce that they would start to ration clothing. There was a shortage of materials because the factory workers had to  focus on making parachutes and uniforms for the army. People had to use a ration book for their clothes, it was similar to the ration book for food, which included coupons.

clothes-ration-couponsThis system meant people could only buy one new outfit a year! So they had to consider the weather and comfort over style.

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