World War Two at our School
Brief History of World War 2
Allies (friends) of New Zealand were Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, USSR, France, South Africa, India and Burma. War started on the 17th of September 1939 till Germany surrendered at 2.41am, the 7th May 1945. Japan surrendered on the 14th August 1945.
Who were the enemies?
The enemy countries were Japan, Germany, Italy.
How many New Zealanders went to war?
According to the New Zealand Official Year Book, by the 15th August 1945, 160,000 New Zealanders had entered the war - 96,000 in the army, 12,000 in the navy, 52,000 in the airforce.
How many New Zealanders died?
31,633 New Zealand people died in all services.
How many prisoners of war were there from New Zealand?
25,989 were held as prisioners of war between 1941 and 1945.
In the early morning, 6 June 1944 (D-Day) a huge sea invasion took place on the beaches of Normandy, France. Operation Overlord, as the allied invasion of France was called, was the result of years of detailed planning. More than 150,000 U.S.A., British and Canadian soldiers went across the English Channel under the charge of the Allied Commander in Chief, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
2,500 soldiers died in one day. The Germans thought they were going somewhere else and had their defences at another place, but before night, five beaches were safe in Allied hands. That was the start of the Germans being beaten. Trucks, tanks and troops went with lots of equipment.
When the soldiers got off the boats, they jumped into the water and they didn't know if there were mines or not. They had big guns, back packs, hard helmets and goggles, and they got wet up to waist height - there was no wharf. It must have been really scary. You can't move fast in water so the soldiers couldn't run away from the Germans shooting at them. The first people usually got shot.
Who was Hitler?
Adolf Hitler was born 114 years ago. He was a bad man. He lived between 1889-1945, and when he was young he wanted to be an artist. He was born on April 20th in Austria, but moved to Germany. Hitler wanted to kill all the people who were not blond and blue eyed, even though he was not either of these. That is how World War 2 started. Hitler killed himself and his partner Eva Braun, after most of his men were killed, in an underground bunker on April 30 1945.
Hitler was a soldier in World War 1, and he became the leader of the Nazi Party. Hitler brainwashed German people to follow him, when he wanted all Jews, Gypsies, Negroes, handicapped people and mentally ill people, dead. He was a racist.
World War Two began in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland because he wanted all German speaking people to be in one country, with him in charge.
Hitler killed over 12 million people - that's three times as many people as live in New Zealand.
What happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and in under five days more than 138,661 people died. It exploded 600m or 2,000 feet above the city, causing a blinding heat flash and a blast that flattened 13 square kilometres, or five square miles of buildings. More than 200,000 people out of Hiroshima and Nagasaki died. An atomic bomb is a big bomb that, when it explodes, sends up a huge cloud that is shaped like a mushroom on top of another mushroom. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was dropped at 8.15am on the 6th of August, 1945. It was dropped by a US Superfortress bomber. The 4,082kg atomic bomb - "Little Boy" - was 2,000 times more powerful than any previous bomb.
What is VE Day?
VE day was the day when the war in Europe was over - 7 May 1945. Everyone in New Zealand was very happy on this day.
What is VJ Day?
VJ day was on 15 August 1945, and is when Japan surrendered. They surrendered after two atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Ngasaki.
World War 2 was finally over.
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