World War Two was the greatest conflict in history. An estimated 60 million men, women and children died in a war that engulfed the globe and shaped the world in which we live. It was the defining event in the history of the twentieth century. This comparative, transnational survey will focus on the political, social and cultural aspects of this conflict, and working with diverse historical materials and perspectives. It will deal with the war in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, addressing topics including: German and Japanese war aims; Blitzkrieg in Poland and France; propaganda, civilian mobilisation and total war; allied leadership, co-operation and division; civilians under occupation (collaboration and resistance) and the experience of prisoners of war; racial policies and genocide; wartime intelligence and espionage; the debates over mass bombing and recourse to atomic weapons; and concepts of post-war reconstruction and the emergence of new international institutions. We will survey the contexts and legacies of the war, and evaluate its enduring historical significance.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand the history of the Second World War, its origins, its course and its outcomes;
- understand the major controversies and moral debates surrounding the Second World War;
- understand the different models of interpretation that have been used to explain key aspects of the Second World War;
- critically analyse primary and secondary sources, identify bias and possible omission, and assess the relevance of information to the particular topic under discussion, using the basic skills of historical inquiry and historical analysis; and
- apply evidence and theory, formulate arguments and express their views in both oral and written form.
This course can be counted towards a Contemporary Europe, International Relations or History major and is a designated course for the BA (European Studies).
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
One 1,000 word essay (20%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5]
One 3,000 word case study essay (40%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5]
A three-hour examination (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 4, 5]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingEvan Mawdsley, World War II: A New History (Cambridge)
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3994||24 Feb 2020||02 Mar 2020||31 Mar 2020||29 May 2020||In Person||N/A|