Total War: World War II

Subject HIST20060 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29 hours – 12 x 1.5 hour lectures and 11 x 1 hour tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Steven Welch



Subject Overview:

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 Aisa and Europe, the barbarism of warfare, the home front experiences in the conditions of total war, the Holocaust, and the legacy of total war.

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; and
  • develop skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.
  • A 2000 word primary document analysis due mid semester (50%)
  • A two hour written final exam during the examination period (50%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Mawdsley, Evan., World War II: A New History Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Subject readings will be available online.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: European Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - History
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - History
Hebrew and Jewish Studies

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