Happy V-J Day
One of the most compelling, uh, *things* (good word, bk!) I found to help understand the war experience was this PBS-compiled collection of WWII artwork (paintings, some sketches) completed by people who were actually there:
You couple this collection with some first-hand accounts and I think you’d probably be 80% of the way there (where “there” is as far as someone who wasn’t there can be to comprehending there).
Some relevant-to-the-holiday samples:
For full effect, though, view the whole series on the website. There’s sort of a cumulative thing that happens.