Online Class: World War ll

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Course Description

World War II was a conflict like no other in human history. Everything that had made the First World War such a monumental event was soon eclipsed by the colossal scale and impact of the next. World War II involved more nations and soldiers than any major war before or since. The technology was grander and more deadly. The villains were easily identifiable, worthy adversaries bent on global domination. The resistance to the Axis Powers; comprised of Germany, Japan, and Italy; was pushed to their limit in terms of providing soldiers and war materiel. The epic battles of World War II on land, through the air, and at sea were waged with ferocity unlike any other war--on two fronts.


The political and economic fallout from the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles did not bring about the lasting peace that was hoped. Rather, the outcome of World War I left the German nation a major power in Europe--and bitter over their defeat. The worldwide effects of the Great Depression had a major impact on the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, but the effects were most notably felt in Germany.


This discontent led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, his Nazi Party, and the creation of the Axis. Determined to re-establish Germany as the true superpower in Europe, the Germany military sprung into action, conquering large amounts of Western Europe before many of the neighboring countries could realize what had happened. At the same time, Italy invaded North Africa and Japan began to expand its influence by conquering many islands in the Pacific.


The effects of World War II cannot be underestimated, as they still impact lives and nations to this very day. The political re-structuring that occurred following the defeat of the Axis Powers left the world a very different place: the creation and use of nuclear arms, the establishment of the nation-state of Israel, the division of much of Eastern Europe, the rapid expansion of Communism throughout much of Asia and Europe, the division of Germany, America's rise to superpower status, and far more. Clearly, the impact of this greatest of wars cannot be emphasized enough.


Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics

Topics covered include:

  • Lesson 1: Terminology, Part I
  • Lesson 2: Terminology, Part II and Course Structure
  • Lesson 3: Setting the Stage: The Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • Lesson 4: Adolph Hitler's Life & Career
  • Lesson 5:The Other Axis Powers: Italy and Japan
  • Lesson 6:Opening Salvos & Germany Starts the War
  • Lesson 7: The Phony War
  • Lesson 8: The Battles of France and Britain
  • Lesson 9: The North African Campaign
  • Lesson 10: The Eastern Front
  • Lesson 11: The Italian Campaign
  • Lesson 12: The Pacific Theatre
  • Lesson 13: The End of the War: Victories in Europe and Japan
  • Lesson 14: The Horrors of the Third Reich
  • Lesson 15: The Aftermath of World War II
  • Lesson 16: Prominent Figures of World War II: The Axis
  • Lesson 17: Prominent Figures of World War II: The Allies

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with an assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define World War II terminology.
  • Know setting the stage for war: The Fall of the Weimar Republic.
  • Know Adolph Hitler's Life and career.
  • Know the other Axis powers.
  • Describe the Phoney War.
  • Know the battles of France and Britain.
  • Describe the North African Campaign.
  • Know the Eastern Front, Italian Campaign, and the Pacific Theatre.
  • Know the end of the War.
  • Know the horrors of the Third Reich.
  • Know the aftermath of World War II.
  • Know prominent figures of World War II, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Assignment 1: What to gain?15
Lesson 1 Exam: Terminology, Part I100
Assignment 2: Personal Interests15
Lesson 2 Exam: Terminology, Part II and Course Structure100
Assignment 3: Nazi Party Rise15
Lesson 3 Exam: Setting the Stage: The Fall of the Weimar Republic80
Assignment 4: Who was Hitler?35
Lesson 4 Exam: Adolph Hitler’s Life & Career90
Assignment 5: Key Axis People20
Lesson 5 Exam: The Other Axis Powers: Italy and Japan80
The Maginot Line as a Metaphor20
Assignment 6: The Maginot Line15
Lesson 6 Exam: Opening Salvos – Germany Starts the War80
Stopping the Phoney War?10
Assignment 7: The Phoney War15
Lesson 7 Exam: The Phoney War20
The Battle of Britain25
Assignment 8: Time Line15
Lesson 8 Exam: The Battles of France and Britain100
Assignment 9: Why Africa?15
Lesson 9: The North African Campaign120
Hitler's Blunder -- A two front War!25
Assignment 10: Stalin and Cold Weather30
Lesson 10: The Eastern Front150
Assignment 11: Italian Campaign Timeline20
Lesson 11: The Italian Campaign80
Lend Lease Act25
Assignment 12: United States Involvement30
Lesson 12: The Pacific Theatre140
Why didn't the U.S. drop an Atomic Bomb on Germany?25
Assignment 13: War Ends25
Lesson 13: The End of the War: Victories in Europe and Japan100
Assignment 14: The Holocaust25
Lesson 14 Exam: The Horrors of the Third Reich110
The Marshall Plan: Preventative Maintenance?40
Assignment 15: Israel15
Lesson 15 Exam: The Aftermath of World War II110
Assignment 16: Hollywood15
Lesson 16 Exam: Prominent Figures of World War II: The Axis100
Assignment 17: American Involvement25
Lesson 17 Exam: Prominent Figures of World War II: The Allies100
Total Points:2175

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