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HSTEU 415 A: Europe in the Second World War

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
SMI 111
Eric Johnson PhD
Eric W. Johnson

Syllabus Description:

HSTEU 415 - The Second World War

We live today in the world created by the Second World War. The conflict represented the peak moment for mass mobilization, industrialized warfare, and racialized extremism. It integrated air, sea, and land combat as never before; moving faster and farther than any prior war. It changed the way people from every nation thought about themselves, their fellow citizens, and the states that governed them. It ushered in the atomic age; and set the stage for the Cold War, the United Nations, and the US-led coalition of democratic, capitalist nations that became ascendant in the 1990s.

This class will dive deep into the history of the Second World War, to understand why it happened, how it unfolded, how it was experienced on the battlefield and the home-front, and how it has shaped our modern world.

Topics include:

  • The causes of war in Europe and Asia
  • The ideological confrontation between Fascism, Communism, and Democracy
  • Major wartime events such as the Fall of France, the Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Stalingrad and D-Day
  • The experience and effects of war on soldiers and civilians
  • The Holocaust
  • Grand strategy and the reasons for Allied victory
  • The atomic bomb
  • The end of the war, it's effects, and the contours of the post-war world


Catalog Description: 
Inquiry to discover what the war of 1939-45 was about and what it did to more than five hundred million Europeans.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:16pm