World War 2 Facts for Kids
These facts from World War 2 should help place the immense scale and magnitude of the war into perspective. Too often we think back to a great war such as this one and fail to fully appreciate the true scope of what World War 2 was. As society becomes more and more modernized and travels further from what life was like back in the 1940s, it becomes more and more important to keep in mind the specifics of such a turning point in our history.
World War 2 Facts:
- The youngest American soldier to fight in the war was 12-year-old Calvin Graham. He was wounded in battle and later discharged for lying about his real age.
- The first American soldier was killed by the Russians in 1940 in Finland.
- Strangely enough, the United States Army deployed and used more ships than the United States Navy.
- 84 German Generals were executed at the command of Adolf Hitler throughout the duration of the war. The reasons for their execution varied.
- Surprisingly, amongst the first Germans captured at Normandy were numerous Korean soldiers. Originally, the Koreans fought for the Korean army (obviously), but were captured by the Japanese and forced to fight for the Japanese army. When the Japanese army was captured by the Russian army, the Koreans went on to fight for Russia. Finally, this long and amusing chain came to an end as the Koreans were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German army.
- Approximately 40,000 men served on U-Boats during the war. Of those 40,000, approximately 30,000 never made it through the war.
- Germany's experience in the air wasn't too successful during the war. Approximately between 40 and 45 percent of all their aircraft were destroyed due to accident and not due to combat.
- Between 1939 and 1945, the Allied armies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs.
- The number of Americans who joined the armed forces for World War 2 is numbered around 12 million.
- Though the number of Americans who joined the war is around 12 million, many more moved to take jobs that would help the war effort. The approximate number of Americans who moved to take on war jobs was 15 million strong.
- Italy was stuck with a hefty sum of money to pay following the war. Their reparations amounted to $36 million.
- The average length of service for someone in the U.S. Military was 33 months.
- The estimated number of people serving worldwide during World War II was 1.9 billion.
- Air raids caused huge scores of deaths to civilians. The estimated number of civilians killed in Germany during air raids was 543,000 while the number was 60,400 in Britain.