During World War II, every county had many soldiers that were willing to fight in the war. Fighting in this war was not easy. The soldiers had to work hard, and there was always the possibility that they could be shot, injured, or killed. War was a very dangerous place, and often the soldiers had to do all that they could just to stay alive. You can create your own scene of what it would have looked like from the trenches if you have a sandbox. You can click here, and even tho the sight is designed for World War I, much of the features and battlegrounds would have been the same. However, not every soldier during World War II was on the ground. At this time, many people who were helping to fight were in the air, and they were called paratroopers. This meant that they used parachutes and jumped out of airplanes onto the battleground! If you would like to make your own paratrooper, click here.
The technology that the soldiers used was pretty new during World War II. One of the important technologies used was airplanes. Airplanes were used not only to transport soldiers and paratroopers, but they were also used to drop bombs. Bombings were a way of hurting the enemy from above. Planes would fly over enemy territory and drop bombs on the enemy’s supplies and buildings. If you would like to print out and make your own World War II planes, you can click here! On the ground, new technology was also rolling out destruction. World War II saw new ideas within vehicles called tanks. Tanks were basically huge guns that were driveable. These weapons were huge and did a lot of damage. You can make your own tanks out of Legos if you click here!
Soldiers were also given equipment that they could keep on themselves. One of these pieces of equipment was a gas mask. During World War II, gases were being used to confuse the soldiers enemies. It burned their eyes and made it very hard to breathe. So the soldier was given a gas mask that would help them breathe and see if they needed it. You can make your own gas mask here.
One of the most unique and interesting group of soldiers, however, was a group called the Code Talkers. This was a group of American soldiers that were all a part of the Navajo Native American tribe. This group of Native Americans had their own unique language, one that only they could understand. This meant that they could send messages back and forth to each other, and if the enemy got a copy of the message, they wouldn’t be able to understand it. To make it even harder, they would add a cipher to their messages. A cipher is a disguised way of writing, or a code. That way, even if the enemy cracked the code, they wouldn’t be able to understand the Navajo language to get the important information. would you like to try creating your own coded message? Although this activity isn’t quite like what the Code Talkers used, it lets you write a message using symbols! Then, you can have someone else try to solve it!
One other very important thing that the soldiers were given was their food. If you were out fighting against the enemy everyday, you would get pretty hungry! Just like we learned yesterday that the people at home were getting rations, so were the soldiers. They just weren’t the same rations. A soldier’s rations were designed to last longer without spoiling, so the food was often dry and able to be stored for long periods of time. Hardtack was a common type of cracker/bread combination that lasted a long time and kept soldiers bellies full! If you grab mom or dad, you can head over to Prepared Survivalist and make your own hardtack! And be sure to come back tomorrow for our last lesson on World War II.