World War Two Sites

What are the best Second World War Sites to Visit?

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There's a host of fascinating WWII sites, memorials and museums which can be visited today and among the most high profile are Bletchley Park, Anne Frank’s House and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Other popular sites tend to include the Cabinet War Rooms, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the German Resistance Memorial Centre.

We’ve put together an experts guide to WW2 Historical Places, with our top ten places to visit as well as a full list of World War Two Sites, which shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is a country estate fifty miles north of London. In 1938 its changed from being a residential house to a vital British intelligence centre which was crucial to the outcome of the Second World War.

As Adolph Hitler’s campaign to invade Europe intensified, Bletchley Park was taken over by the government, who deemed it the perfect place to move the Government Code and Cypher School. Bletchley Park, known by the codename Station X, became the site where the British managed to decipher the machinations of the Enigma, the highly effective code encryption machines used by the Nazis.

Today, visitors can explore the history of Bletchley Park’s role during the war. With a brand new visitor centre, an interactive multimedia guide and an immersive introduction, visitors can have a fun and informative journey.

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2. Anne Frank’s House

Anne Frank’s house was the site where German Jewish teenager and Holocaust victim Anne Frank, her family, the van Pels family and later a man called Fritz Pfeffer went into hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

Although known as Anne Frank’s House, the site was originally her father’s office building and all eight inhabitants lived in a secret annex in the attic hidden by a moveable bookcase. Tragically, the group’s whereabouts were eventually betrayed to the Nazis and, on 4 August 1944, they were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps. Anne Frank died in Bergen-Belsen in March 1945, but her diary was later discovered by her father and published to worldwide acclaim.

Anne Frank’s House is now a museum allowing visitors to see the moving bookcase, walk through the cramped secret annex and gain a true appreciation of the hardship this group endured in their fight for survival.

The Anne Frank Museum has collected and exhibits many original letters, photos and objects belonging to the Frank family as well as to the van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer. Anne Frank’s original diary is also on display.

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3. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as the A-Bomb Dome or the Genbaku Dome, in Hiroshima in Japan was the only building in the city which survived following the first ever explosion of an atomic bomb.

On 6 August 1945, US forces dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was the first ever use of the ‘A-bomb’. At the time, Japan was still at war with Allied forces in World War II and US President Harry S. Truman hoped that this action would cause the Japanese to surrender.

The atomic bomb devastated the city. The destruction was so great that what is now the Peace Memorial building was the only structure which remained. Its survival is all the more remarkable given its location just 500 feet or so from the centre of the explosion.

Originally constructed in 1915, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial building is a domed structure which served as an office building for businesses as well as the Japanese government during the war. Today, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial building forms part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which also includes a museum. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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4. Cabinet War Rooms

The Cabinet War Rooms are part of the underground bunker complex in London where Winston Churchill and his government operated during World War Two.

It was from the Cabinet War Rooms that Churchill, his cabinet and some 500 civil servants worked, and sometimes slept, throughout the War. The War Rooms were left untouched from 1945, when they were no longer needed, until the 1980s when they were restored and opened to the public. Not all rooms are open to the public and the complex is believed to have around 200 rooms in total.

Those which are open include the cabinet war room, where Churchill’s war cabinet met, Churchill’s office and his bedroom. This underground office block even included a canteen and a hospital. Visitors should allow at least 90 minutes to savour the atmosphere of this iconic Second World War site.

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5. The Holocaust Memorial - Berlin

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is an installation commemorating the genocide of the Jewish people perpetrated under Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

The Holocaust was an attempt by Hitler to exterminate the Jews and any other people who he considered “racially inferior” in what he called the “Final Solution”.

The Memorial is a monument to the six million European Jews who died in the Holocaust. Made up of a vast dark granite maze and a subterranean information centre which has details about the victims, the Holocaust Memorial is a moving site.

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6. HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast is a Royal Navy light cruiser ship that played a role in both World War II and the Korean War. It is now open to the public in London under the remit of the Imperial War Museum. Launched in March 1938, HMS Belfast was commissioned by the Royal Navy in 1939, not long before the outbreak of World War II.

During the war, HMS Belfast took part in the blockade on Germany, patrolling northern waters from the Scapa Flow naval base in Orkney. In fact the Belfast was one of the Navy’s most formidable vessels and certainly its largest. As such, she was designated the flagship of the Tenth Cruiser Squadron, which protected Arctic convoys travelling to the Soviet Union.

Some of the most important successes of HMS Belfast was its contribution to the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst during the Battle of the North Cape in December 1943, its assistance in disabling the German’s last heavy surface unit, Tirpitz, in 1944 and its part in ‘Operation 'Neptune', the naval element of the Normandy Landings of D-Day, also in 1944.

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7. World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Oahu provides an all-encompassing insight into the conflict in the Pacific in the Second World War, from the attack on Pearl Harbor, to the  US entry into World War II and beyond.

Visitors can see and experience several of the most important sites from this period, including the USS Arizona Memorial, Ford Island, USS Missouri, the USS Oklahoma Memorial and the Pacafic Aviation Museum. 

Besides the site in Oahu, other branches of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument are located in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and in Newell, California (Tule Lake Unit).

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8. Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is a museum and a memorial of the Holocaust, in which over six million Jews, and at least five million from other ethnic groups, were murdered in an act of genocide perpetrated by the German National Socialist Party (the Nazis) under Adolph Hitler.

Beginning with the persecution of the Jews in Germany in 1933, the Nazis began a campaign in which Jews and other social and ethnic groups were taken into forced labour and extermination camps, suffering torture, intolerable conditions and mass executions.

Through exhibits including photographs, victims’ accounts, art installations and information panels, Yad Vashem offers a moving – and harrowing – account of the events of the Holocaust.

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9. German Resistance Memorial Centre

The German Resistance Memorial Centre is a monument and museum to those who fought against the National Socialist government led by Adolf Hitler – the Nazis – before and during World War II. In particular, it commemorates the attempted assassination of Hitler and subsequent attempted coup led by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944, the so-called “July 20 Plot”.

The Centre is located in the former Bendler Block in Berlin’s Mitte district, once the diplomatic quarter. As the headquarters of the Army High Command under Nazi rule, this was both the site where the July 20 Plot was planned and where its members were executed by firing squad.

Today, the Memorial is located on a street formerly called Bendlerstrasse and now renamed “Stauffenbergstrasse”. The courtyard of the German Resistance Memorial Centre, where the executions took place, has a memorial statue. This bronze statue depicts a man with bound hands.

The museum explores the history of opposition to Nazi Germany, including the events in which National Socialism flourished and the attempts made to overthrow it.

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10. Kranji War Memorial

The Kranji War Memorial is a monument in the northern Singapore region of Kranji in honour of the men and women who lost their lives defending Singapore from Japanese invasion during World War II.

Made up of twelve columns, representing the formation in which the military marches, a wing-shaped roof representing the air force and crowned with a wall which portrays the periscope in dedication to the navy, the Kranji War Memorial is a fitting commemoration of all three branches of the armies who fought for Singapore’s freedom. In fact, soldiers from numerous countries fought for this cause, including those from Britain, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Canada, Malaya, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The approximately 24,300 names inscribed on the columns of Kranji War Memorial are those of the soldiers from all of those countries whose bodies were never found together with the words “They died for all free men”. Kranji War Memorial is a beautiful yet haunting reminder of Singapore and neighbours the Kranji War Cemetery.

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Full list of World War Two Sites

Beyond the most famous WW2 Historical Places, there’s many similar places to visit, including HMS Belfast, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and Yad Vashem to name but a few. We’re constantly expanding this list of World War Two Sites and you can view the current selection below.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is an iconic burial site and a national monument.

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Arnhem Bridge

Arnhem Bridge was the site of a legendary battle during during World War II and was part of the biggest airborne operation ever undertaken.

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Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz Birkenau was the largest Nazi concentration camp or death camp during World War II and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Australian 9th Division War Memorial

The Australian 9th Division War Memorial is dedicated to the Australian soldiers who fought in North Africa during World War II.

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Austratt Fort

Austratt Fort is a World War II fort built by occupying forces at the time.

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Averof Museum

The most famous Greek warship, the Averof saw action for over 40 years including during the two world wars.

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Bastogne War Museum

The War Museum in Bastogne examines the history of World War Two with particular emphasis on the campaign known as the Battle of the Bulge.

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Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial

The Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial commemorates the biggest historic naval battle of World War II.

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Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum

The Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum traces the events of this famous World War II battle.

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Big Red One Assault Museum

The Big Red One Assault Museum looks at the history of the US First Infantry Division in World War II.

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Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is a Romanesque gateway, a political symbol and one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks.

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Canadian National War Memorial

The Canadian National War Memorial commemorates losses from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

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Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum is the national military history museum.

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Changi Museum

The Changi Chapel and Museum is dedicated to the lives and stories of civilian and Allied prisoners held at the Changi prison camp by the Japanese during WWII.

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Churchill’s Secret Bunker

Churchill’s Secret Bunker was designed to be used as the nerve centre of the British government during WW2 in the event of Britain being unable to defend itself from air attack.

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Chuuk Lagoon

America’s triumphant 1944 attack on Japan’s base at the Chuuk Lagoon in the South Pacific, they created the world’s largest graveyard of ships and aircraft.

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Coriano Ridge War Cemetery

Coriano Ridge War Cemetery is a World War II Commonwealth cemetery in Coriano in Italy.

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Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau Concentration Camp was a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.

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Darwin Military Museum

Detailing Darwin's military history during WWII, this museum houses many artefacts and exhibits from the early 1940s.

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Dover Castle

The medieval Dover Castle is one of Britain’s most significant fortresses and has a fascinating and diverse history.

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Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial

The Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial commemorate the commonwealth troops that fought there in both World Wars.

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Dunkirk War Museum

The Dunkirk War Museum or “Memorial du Souvenir” tells the story of the famous World War II allied evacuation of Dunkirk.

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Dutch National Monument

The Dutch National Monument is a World War II memorial in Amsterdam.

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El Alamein Battlefield

El Alamein Battlefield in Egypt was the site of a crucial Allied victory in the Second World War.

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El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery

The El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery is a British operated military cemetery near the site of the Battle of El Alamein.

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El Alamein War Museum

The El Alamein War Museum is dedicated to the Second Battle of El Alamein fought in 1942 during World War II.

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Ellis Island

Ellis Island is a famous island off New York City which served as an immigration centre from 1892 to 1954.

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Enfidaville War Cemetery

Enfidaville War Cemetery is a World War II Commonwealth graveyard in Tunisia.

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Fort Lytton

Fort Lytton 19th century garrison which helped protect Brisbane until the end of World War II.

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Fort Petrie Military Site and Museum

Fort Petrie was a World War II era fortification in Nova Scotia.

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Fort Scratchley

Fort Scratchley in Newcastle is a 19th century coastal defence battery which now operates as a museum.

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Fort Vallorbe

Fort Vallorbe was a World War II artillery fort which had great strategic importance defending the Col de Jougne Pass as well as the Swiss-French border.

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Franja Partisan Hospital

Franja Partisan Hospital was a secret World War II hospital in Western Slovenia.

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Frihedsmuseet

Frihedsmuseet in Copenhagen is a museum of the history of the Danish resistance during the Nazi occupation during World War Two.

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General Patton Memorial Museum - Ettelbruck

The General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck is a World War II museum focusing on the German invasion of Luxembourg.

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German El Alamein Cemetery

The German El Alamein Cemetery is the burial place of those German soldiers who died in the Battle of El Alamein.

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Gold Beach Museum

The Gold Beach Museum tells the story of one of the D-Day Landings.

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Green House

The Green House looks at life and history of Lithuania’s Jewish community and the devastating effects of the Holocaust.

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Grey Point Fort

Grey Point Fort is a WWI era coastal defence battery and one of the best preserved early 20th century coastal forts anywhere in the British Isles.

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Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz

Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz was the site where the Nazis planned the extermination of the Jews known as the Holocaust.

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House of Terror

The House of Terror is a moving museum about the two extreme regimes which successively ruled Hungary in the twentieth century.

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Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is a London-based museum dedicated to world conflict.

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Imperial War Museum Duxford

Duxford Imperial War Museum in Cambridge explores military history on land, by air and by sea.

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Italian El Alamein Memorial

The Italian El Alamein Memorial commemorates the Italian casualties of the World War II Battle of El Alamein.

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Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum is a museum of the history, culture and heritage of Japanese Americans.

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Jewish Museum - Berlin

The Jewish Museum in Berlin explores the history of Germany’s Jewish community.

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KZ Majdanek

KZ Majdanek was a Nazi concentration camp near Lublin in Poland, operational from 1941 to 1944.

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Kanchanaburi War Cemetary

WWII cemetery where 7,000 POWs Japanese prisonners are buried.

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Kastellet

Kastellet in Copenhagen is a seventeenth century fort used by the Germans during the Second World War.

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Konigstein Fortress

Konigstein Fortress in Dresden has been everything from a stronghold to a World War II prisoner of war camp.

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Krakow Ghetto Wall

Krakow Ghetto Wall is the last remaining wall of the Krakow Jewish ghetto created by the Nazis in during their occupation of Poland in World War II.

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Kranji War Cemetery

Kranji War Cemetery is a veterans’ cemetery and the burial place of two of Singapore’s presidents.

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Kristiansand Canon Museum

A huge defence battery in Norway, built by the Germans in 1941, the Kristiansand Canon Museum contains one of the largest land-based guns in the world.

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Kvalvik Fort

Kvalvik Fort is a well preserved World War II fort and onetime submarine station in Norway.

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Kwai River Bridge

Bridge was part of the Death Railway constructed by the Japanese during WW II.

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Lascaris War Rooms

The Lascaris War Rooms in Malta were important military headquarters during World War II.

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Le Memorial at Caen

Le Memorial at Caen is a history museum dedicated to World War Two and other conflicts.

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Leyte Landing Memorial

The Leyte Landing Memorial commemorates a vital point in the World War II Battle of Leyte, when American forces landed.

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Longhua Martyrs Cemetery

The Longhua Martyrs Cemetery commemorates those communists who died under the Kuomintang and was a WWII Japanese internment camp.

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Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery

The Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery was a World War II German defensive battery.

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Lorraine American Cemetery

The Lorraine American Cemetery is home to the largest number of US WWII graves in Europe.

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Luxembourg National Museum of Military History

The Luxembourg National Museum of Military History focuses particularly on the World War II conflict known as the Battle of the Bulge.

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Malta at War Museum

The Malta at War Museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of Malta during the Second World War.

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Mamayev Hill

Mamayev Hill in Russia is a dramatic memorial to the Battle of Stalingrad of World War II.

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Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Mauthausen Concentration Camp was a notorious Nazi internment camp in northern Austria.

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Memorial des Camps de la Mort

The Memorial des Camps de la Mort commemorates the suffering of those persecuted by the Nazis in Marseille during World War II.

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Mgarr Second World War Shelter

The Mgarr Second World War Shelter in Malta is one of the largest of its Second World War bomb shelters.

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Mont Orgueil

Mont Orgueil is a medieval castle with an historic role in the defence of Jersey as well as having been a prison and a German base.

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Monte Cassino War Cemetery

Monte Cassino War Cemetery is the biggest British and Commonwealth war cemetery from WW2 in Italy.

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Musee Airborne

Musee Airborne is a World War Two museum dedicated to the Normandy Landings of 1944.

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Musee de la Reddition

Musee de la Reddition is the site where Germany surrendered in World War II.

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Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising is dedicated to the history of Slovakia’s resistance against the Nazi government.

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National Memorial Fortress of Breendonk

Fort Breendonk is better known as is best known as Auffanglager, a Nazi prison camp during the German occupation of Belgium.

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National Museum of American Jewish Military History

The National Museum of American Jewish Military History is dedicated to exploring the roles of Jewish Americans in US military history.

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Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War Two graveyard with a visitor centre.

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Norway Resistance Museum

The Norway Resistance Museum is dedicated to the country’s national history during World War II.

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Omaha Beach Museum

The Omaha Beach Museum chronicles the events of the largest of the D-Day Landings in Normandy in World War II.

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Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge in Normandy was captured by British forces at the start of D-Day, the Allied invasion of France.

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Pointe Du Hoc Memorial

The Pointe Du Hoc Memorial is located on one of the sites of the Normandy Landings of World War Two.

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Porthcuno Telegraph Museum

The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum examines the history of telegraphic development as well as housing Britain’s vital WWII underground communications centre.

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Reichstag

The Reichstag Building was the seat of the German Government from 1894 to 1933 and is now the seat of the German Bundestag.

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Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery

The Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery is a World War II graveyard for Commonwealth forces in Rimini.

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Royal Navy Submarine Museum

Home of the WWII submarine HMS Alliance, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum is a family-orientated, interactive museum detailing the history of British submarine warfare.

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Sachsenhausen was a Nazi concentration camp 35km outside of Berlin during the Second World War.

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Schoenenbourg Maginot Line fort

The Schoenenbourg Maginot Line fort was one of a network of forts built on the France-Germany border following World War One.

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Soviet Memorial Treptow

Located in Berlin’s Treptower Park, the Soviet Memorial was designed by architect Yakov Belopolsky in order to remember the Soviet soldiers who were killed in the 1945 Battle of Berlin.

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Stalingrad Battlefield

Stalingrad Battlefield was the site of the bloodiest battle in World War II and a major Soviet victory.

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Sword Beach

Sword Beach was one of the five landing beaches of the Normandy D-day Landings during World War II.

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The Atomic Testing Museum

The Atomic Testing Museum tells the story of the atomic age and of the more local National Testing Site.

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The Berlin Flak Tower

The Berlin Flak Tower is a World War II bunker and anti-aircraft tower built under Hitler’s orders.

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The Brest-Hero Fortress

The Brest-Hero Fortress played an important role in 20th century military history.

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The Juno Beach Centre

The Juno Beach Centre explores the history of the Canadian forces in World War II.

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The Kasserine Pass

The Kasserine Pass in Tunisia was the site of a major US defeat during World War II.

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The London Royal Air Force Museum

The London Royal Air Force Museum offers a great overview of the history of aviation in combat as well as housing over 100 aircraft from around the world.

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The Malta Aviation Museum

The Malta Aviation Museum houses numerous aircrafts and other interesting objects, mostly relating to World War II.

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The Mardasson Memorial

The Mardasson Memorial is a WW2 memorial located in the Beligium town of Bastogne which commemorates the American soliders who lost their lives during the Battle of the Bulge.

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The Merville Gun Battery

The Merville Gun Battery is a former German World War II fortification neutralised by the Allies on D-Day.

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The Nagasaki Peace Park

The Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of this Japanese city by American forces in World War II.

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The Nanjing Memorial

The Nanjing Memorial commemorates the 1937 massacre of Nanjing’s population by Japanese forces.

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The National Liberation Museum

The National Liberation Museum examines the history of the German occupation of the Netherlands during WW2, as well as the legacy and reconstruction of the post-war era.

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The National World War II Memorial

The National World War II Memorial in Washington DC is a civilian and military memorial.

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The North Africa American Cemetery

The North Africa American Cemetery is a World War II military graveyard in Tunisia.

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The Pacific Aviation Museum

The Pacific Aviation Museum tells the story of US aviation in this region during World War II.

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The Paneriai Memorial Museum

The Paneriai Memorial Museum in Lithuania is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust.

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The Pegasus Bridge Museum

The Pegasus Bridge Museum in Normandy is dedicated to the British 6th Airborne Division, the first Allied troops to land on D-Day.

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The Warsaw Ghetto Fighters Monument

The Warsaw Ghetto Fighters Monument commemorated those who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

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Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

Theresienstadt Concentration Camp was operated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

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US National Museum of the Pacific War

The US National Museum of the Pacific War is a World War II museum focusing on the story of the Pacific theatre.

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US National World War II Museum

The US National World War II Museum in New Orleans tells the story of the war, focusing particularly on amphibious attacks.

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USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial is a monument to the American service people who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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USS Missouri Memorial

The USS Missouri Memorial was a World War II battleship and the site where Japan officially surrendered to the Allies.

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Umschlagplatz

Umschlagplatz was the place from which the Jewish community of Warsaw were sent to death camps in World War II.

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United States Holocaust Museum

The United States Holocaust Museum commemorates the Holocaust and explores the issue of genocide as a whole.

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Utah Beach Memorial

The Utah Beach Memorial commemorates the Normandy Landings at Utah Beach on D-Day.

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War in the Pacific National Park

The War in the Pacific National Park in Guam commemorates the efforts of this region in World War II.

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Warsaw Ghetto

The Warsaw Ghetto was established by the Nazis to forcibly house the Jewish population of the city.

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Warsaw Rising Museum

The Warsaw Rising Museum focuses on the Polish insurgency against Nazi German forces in 1944 during World War Two.

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Weißensee Cemetery

The largest Jewish cemetery in Europe, the Weißensee Cemetery in Berlin is home to about 115,000 graves. It is popular with visitors due to its beautiful art nouveau mausoleums and mourning hall.

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Western Approaches Museum

Take command of the British Navy with a visit to the Western Approaches Bunker and submerse yourself in the history of the decisive Battle of the Atlantic.

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Westwall Museum

The Westwall Museum allows visitors to enter tunnels which formed part of this renowned line of World War II fortifications.

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Wolf’s Lair

The ‘Wolf’s Lair’ is the name given to Hitler’s headquarters in Poland during World War II and the site of Claus von Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt.

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Yasukuni Shrine

The Yasukuni Shrine is a sacred temple in Kudan erected by Emperor Meiji in 1869 coupled with a military museum.

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Our database of World War Two Sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. So, if you know of other WW2 Historical Places, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by contacting us today.