Explore the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of Americans who served
During World War II, the US Army administered more than 200 surveys to over half a million American troops to discover what they thought and how they felt about the conflict and their military service. The surviving collection of studies is now accessible to the public for the first time at The American Soldier in World War II. Browse and search over 65,000 pages of uncensored, open-ended responses handwritten by servicemembers, view and download survey data and original analyses, read topical essays by leading historians, and access additional learning resources.
Essays from leading historians introduce you to some of the topics covered by the army's wartime surveys, with highlights from relevant studies, questions and answers, and handwritten soldier responses.
Surveys were given to enlisted personnel and officers at points around the globe, from the Aleutian Islands and battlefields of Europe to the far reaches of the South Pacific. Explore the army's survey data, mixing and matching results, filtering responses, and downloading what you want.
Information and resources for students, teachers, history enthusiasts, scholars, and others, including lesson plans, guides to WWII military terminology, and general help with using this website and the survey datasets.
About the Surveys & Data
Background on the US Army's effort to survey half a million citizen-soldiers and how the data was collected, analyzed, and stored
How to Work with the Data
Help for working with survey data, including survey structures, variables, data types, file formats, codebooks, and more
Lists and explanations of army acronyms, abbreviations, slang, posts, and theaters, as well as survey jargon and other uncommon terminology
Customizable lesson plans for educators on World War II, the experiences of US troops, and 1940s American culture and society, linked to topical essays by leading historians
Browsing, Refining & Searching
How to browse, refine, and search survey responses by keyword, a particular time or place, or from soldiers with certain characteristics
Results of surveys were closely guarded by army command, with troops receiving only what had been carefully vetted, and the public receiving even less. Read the survey digests distributed to servicemembers during the war and a four-volume series of scholarly books released afterward based on this unprecedented experiment in applied social research.
What the Soldier Thinks
A restricted digest of survey findings for officers and enlisted personnel, issued from 1942 through 1945
The American Soldier
An academic book series published in 1949 and 1950 highlighting survey data, methodologies, and findings