Total War in Europe: World War Two

Subject HIST20060 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 8.5 hours per week: Total time commitment 102 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of 12.5 points at first-year in history or one of the Faculty of Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

131-127 Total War in Europe: World War Two

Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Steven Welch


Steven Welch

Subject Overview:

The war launched by Hitler in September 1939 became the second total war of the twentieth century. This subject will explore the causes of armed conflict, the nature of total war, and some of the consequences (social, economic, cultural and political) of total war in modern European history. Among the topics which will be covered are the following: the situation of Europe after World War I, the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany, interwar diplomacy and its failure to preserve peace, the origins of WWII, the barbarization of warfare, the Holocaust, the war crimes trials and the legacy of total war.


Students who successfully complete this subject should...

  • understand the causes and nature of modern, total war and its impact on politics, society, economics and culture • have an understanding of some of the historiographical arguments on central themes in modern European history
  • develop the skills needed for basic historical analysis (practice in document reading, in bibliographical searching, developing an argument, writing a research essay
Assessment: An essay of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester) and a two-hour final exam 50% (during exam period) Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to be pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

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
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • Demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • Show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
  • Demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualization of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: European Studies
History Major
Jewish Studies
Jewish Studies

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