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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Millennials Clueless About World War II

Two-thirds of millennials don’t know which countries emerged victorious from World War II, according to research. A poll of 2,000 adults found 41 per cent of 18-34-year-olds are oblivious to the fact the UK fought on the side of the Allies.

The research found Brits know remarkably little about the key events and people from World War II – despite 61 per cent believing they have good knowledge about the most significant event in history.

With this week commemorating the 83rd anniversary of Dunkirk, 40 per cent are unaware of the mission which successfully evacuated more than 338,000 Allied soldiers from northern France.

Meanwhile, one in 10 (11 per cent) millennials believe the ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’ refers to the day the Nazis surrendered in 1945.

The study, commissioned to mark the launch of Company of Heroes™ 3: Console Edition on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, found 41 per cent are clueless D-day was the bringing together of land, sea and air forces to the beaches of Normandy.

And one in 20 of the millennials polled even believe D-day happened in Germany.

Millennials Unsure About WWII History

As Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is set to hit the big screen next month, 74 per cent of adults don’t know the Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking that produced the first nuclear weapons.

While 31 per cent admit they have never heard of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and 24 per cent are unaware the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Remarkably, four per cent of millennials believe the first nuclear weapon was used on Berlin and three per cent think it was dropped on Chernobyl, Ukraine.

There is also a lack of knowledge even in relation to events on British soil.

Barely half (53 per cent) know the UK didn’t have the same Prime Minister throughout the duration of World War II.

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) are unaware it was Neville Chamberlain in office at the start of the conflict – and 22 per cent are clueless it was Winston Churchill in power at the end.

Half (49 per cent) of those polled, via OnePoll, believe it is important to have a good knowledge of World War II, however, this drops to just over a third (36 per cent) for 18-34-year-olds.

As a result, less than a quarter (23 per cent) of millennials feel they lack knowledge about the event that shaped the world they live in today.

Game To Be Seen As 'Educational'

This is despite 59 per cent admitting they don’t know that WWII is an abbreviation for the conflict which ultimately led to an estimated 35 to 60 million casualties globally.

Indeed, millennials are more interested in who is top of the music charts (22 per cent), the names of celebrity babies (20 per cent), and how many followers they have on social media (20 per cent) than what happened during World War II.

To celebrate the launch of Company of Heroes 3: Console Edition, SEGA and Relic Entertainment teamed up with SAS: Who Dares Wins star and former member of the Parachute Regiment, Jay Morton, to deliver the first physical copy of the game via skydive.

Jumping from 15,000 feet and free falling at a speed of 120mph, Jay delivered the game’s premium edition to Stewart Clark, based near Oxford, ahead of the game’s launch to ensure the franchise’s biggest fan received the console release of the third instalment before anyone else.

Jay Morton said: “As someone with 14 years of military service, including a decade within the UK Special Forces and four within the Parachute Regiment, I was delighted to help SEGA launch Company of Heroes 3 on console."

“I have completed many skydives during my career, but it was a new experience to deliver the game to fans, paying homage to our predecessors by wearing an authentic World War II British paratrooper’s uniform."

“It’s important we remain knowledgeable about World War II and that we don’t forget the harsh lessons that were learned.”

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