13 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course– No Prerequisite

The primary purpose of this course is to give the students a realistic, factual outline of the history of the Second World War, with a particular focus on the series of grand political, moral and strategic decisions made by the major actors. Of particular interest will be series of assumptions and miscalculations leading up to the war, the loss of nerve demonstrated at critical moments by the aggressor nations (Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Moscow, Leyte Gulf, etc.), the occasionally quixotic risks taken by the initially defensive allies (Greece, the North Atlantic, Coral Sea, Arnhem, etc.), and the colliding intentions of the different allies for the post-war world. Students will be encouraged to construct a series of time-lines of the years 1939-45 for each continental theatre.

To Buy:

  • The Second World War by John Keegan

Reading List:

Week 1: Every man a soldier; Fomenting world war; pg.10-51

Week 2: The Triumph of Blitzkrieg; Air battle: the Battle of Britain; pg.54-102

Week 3: War supply and the Battle of the Atlantic; Hitler’s strategic dilemma; pg.103-141

Week 4: Securing the eastern springboard; Airborne battle: Crete; pg.142-172

Week 5: Barbarossa; War production; pg.173-219

Week 6: Crimean summer, Stalingrad winter; Tojo’s strategic dilemma; From Pearl Harbor to Midway; pg.220-267

Week 7: Carrier battle: Midway; Occupation and repression; The war for the islands; pg.268-307

Week 8: Churchill’s strategic dilemma; Three wars in Africa; Italy and the Balkans; pg.310-368

Week 9: Overlord; Tank battle: Falaise; pg.369-414

Week 10: Strategic bombing; The Ardennes and the Rhine; Stalin’s strategic dilemma; pg.415-457

Week 11: Kursk and the recapture of western Russia; Resistance and espionage; pg.458-502

Week 12: The Vistula and the Danube; City battle: the siege of Berlin; pg.503-533

Week 13: Roosevelt’s strategic dilemma; Japan’s defeat in the south; Amphibious battle: Okinawa; pg.536-573

Week 14: Super-weapons and the defeat of Japan; The legacy of the Second World War; pg.574-595