Young Scots have best knowledge of WWII


YOUNG adults in Scotland have a better knowledge of the Second World War than their counterparts in the rest of Britain according to a new survey.

Two thirds of Scottish youngsters aged 18-25 could successfully identify the invasion of Poland as the starting point of the war.

52% of those surveyed knew that VE Day came after the sinking of the Titanic and 50% understood that the death toll of the war was 60m.

Young Scots impressed the researchers with their historical knowledge
Young Scots impressed the researchers with their historical knowledge

Young London historians were found to be the most lacking, scoring just 34%, 18% and 38% on the same subjects.

The survey was commissioned on behalf of SSAFA, the armed forces charity, as the 70th anniversary of VE Day approaches on Friday.

The poll also found that more than half of those questioned did not know that VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe and more than a third were unable to name Winston Churchill as the Prime Minister at the close of the conflict.

38% of the participants also believed that the first moon landing, Britain’s entry into the EEC and the fall of the Berlin Wall occurred prior to VE Day, while 70% dramatically underestimated the death toll of the war.

David Murray, Chief Executive of the SSAFA, said: “It is a real shame that across the UK our young people do not share the same basic level of military knowledge as those in Scotland.”

“Many of them probably have not-too-distant relatives who fought in what was by far the biggest world war we have seen, in terms of lives lost.