World War II at 75

World War II Overview

More than 16 million Americans served in World War II, considered the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And just days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. From then until the war's end in 1945, U.S. service members fought primarily in Europe and the Pacific, battling the enemy to protect the free world. More than 400,000 Americans died during the war, forever changing the course of American history. 

  • Duration: 1939-1945
  • American Involvement: 1941-1945
  • American Deaths: 405,399
  • Overseas American Burials: 92,958
  • MIA/Lost or Buried at Sea: 78,985
  • American WWII Cemeteries Overseas: 14
  • American ABMC WWII Monuments: 14

World War II Videos

Black and white photo of a large crowd celebrating in a city

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Today in History, May 8, 1945: The War Ends in Europe

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On May 8, 1945 World War II ended in Europe. This piece was produced by the United News Company in 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives...
On Their Shoulders

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On Their Shoulders

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Seen at the Normandy Visitor Center, this tells the story of three men who were killed in action on D-Day or soon after.
Sicily-Rome American Cemetary Visitor Film

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Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Visitor Film

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Seen in the visitor center at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, this film tells the story of those Americans who fought in the Italian...
Black and white photo of video

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Historic Coverage from the D-Day Invasion

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Watch historic footage produced by the Coast Guard, showing and explaining elements of the Normandy invasion.

Featured World War II Photos