World War II is divided into nine chronological chapters, each introduced by a general overview of the military and political situation. This is followed by a comprehensive timeline, covering events in all theaters of the war. The opening chapter analyzes the build-up of hostility in the years leading up the war, both in Europe and in the Pacific. Similarly the final chapter analyzes the immediate and long-term consequences of the war and the way it has shaped recent history. In the chapters that cover the events of the war itself, the main spreads move from one theater of war to another but are linked by an easy-to-use system of cross referencing to earlier events and the consequences of the actions described on the spread. The main spreads are interspersed with features, eyewitness accounts, and galleries of weaponry and equipment.
This title differs from DK's previous World War II title, in that it is a spread-by-spread account á la History (with "previous" and "following" tabs placing each spread in chronological context) of the war, rather than a narrative that needs to be read from start to finish.