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This subject will focus on the second total war of the twentieth century and will explore questions about the causes of armed conflict, the nature of total war, and some of the consequences (social, economic, cultural and political) of total war for modern European and global history. Among the topics we will examine this semester are the following: the situation of Europe and Japan after World War I, the rise of facism in Italy and Germany, interwar diplomacy and its failure to preserve peace, the origins of WWII in Asia and Europe, the barbarism of warfare, the home front experiences in the conditions of total war, the Holocaust, and the legacy of total war.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a general knowledge of the principal figures and significant events of World War II
- Understand the concept of total war and its impact on politics, society, economics and culture
- Gain an understanding of some of the historiographical arguments on topics related to World War II and the practice of total war
- Be able to analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments
- Demonstrate research skills using printed and electronic sources in preparation of a critical primary source analysis
- Develop skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.
Last updated: 22 November 2023