Hist 400 – World War II and the Holocaust

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HIST 400 – World War II and the Holocaust
Dr. Jerry W Jones



Founder’s Hall 217R

Course Overview

An examination of the era of the Second World War from the rise of the revisionist powers in the early 1930s to the end of World War II. Emphasis is on the war in Europe and the Holocaust but the Pacific War is also treated.

Course objectives
1. Understand the reasons for the rise of militarism and dictatorship in the three Axis powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan
2. Understand the factors leading to the early Axis victories and comprehend the reasons for the weakness of the democracies before 1943.
3. Become familiar with the key events of the era and the principal military and political leaders on both sides of the conflict
4. Understand the factors allowing final Allied victory, including Axis blunders and Allied successes. Also realize the economic basis for waging industrial war, as well as its human cost.
5. Understand the relationship between the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of the war.
6. Realize the global nature of the war
7. To the extent it is possible for us, comprehend genocide. Realize that the Holocaust was sponsored by a modern state, had thousands of collaborators throughout Europe, and was carried-out on an industrial scale with industrial methods.
8. Comprehend the legacy of the Second World War for the modern (or Post-Modern) world
Required Textbook
Michael Lyons, World War II: A Short History, any edition, Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1989
Recommended Textbook
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. The elements of style (any ed.). New York: McMillan, 1959.
―A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore
Course Requirements
There will be two exams, a midterm and a final. The exams are half essay and half multiple choice/true-false. The Final Exam is not comprehensive. The essay portion concerns class lecture and major themes in the readings and the multiple choice questions test specific, detailed knowledge of the text. I will provide a study-guide for each exam with key terms, events, personalities from the chapters covered for that exam (See course schedule). Each multiple-choice/true-false question will involve key terms from the study guide. Questions that more than 2/3s of the class answer wrong will be dropped from the exam.
Lectures and readings complement one another but do not follow exactly the same organization. You are expected to be familiar enough with the readings to apply the material to class discussions. We will not spend class time going over the book, per se. Readings and lectures for this course are complementary
Each exam will have two essay questions, students will choose one. The essays will cover material in lectures up to the date of the exam.
The written requirement is a 6-10 page literature review of two books from the attached booklist Specific parameters and grading criteria are below.
Grading Criteria for Exams
The essay questions are structured to require students to demonstrate mastery of the major events and personalities we cover as they illustrate the major themes of our course. These themes are summarized in the course objectives. At the beginning of each lecture I write key terms on the board for that day, and will expect mastery of those terms if you write an essay on that topic. Grades for essays are based upon the demonstrated depth and breadth of understanding of those elements.

Literature Review Guidelines

Reviews should be six to ten pages in length and conform to the style of academic reviews. There is no cover page. Heading is the bibliographical information of the book. Text is double-spaced with one-inch margins and 12-point type, usually the default on your word processor. There should be no sub-headings. Your name should be at the end of your review. Good style and grammar are expected. Papers should follow the standards in Strunk and White Elements of Style..

The objective of the review is critical analysis of the merits of the articles. You must address the basic questions of author’s thesis, purpose, and objectivity. Further, you should compare and contrast how the two articles treat the subject, or how they complement one another.
Be specific and support your conclusions. Appraise the author’s style and extent of research, including an evaluation of sources. As a rule avoid quotes, especially lengthy ones.

Papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word as a Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard

Grading Rubric for Reviews

Missing or late Work – D or Failing

Needs Improvement “C”

Meets Expectations “B”

Exceeds Expectations “A”


Citation is incorrect or missing. Appropriate length

Incomplete Citation. Too Brief

Meets length expectations. Complete Citation

More than adequate length with no problems with citation

Style and Mechanics

Missing or Not readable

Serious style and grammar flaws. Poor word choice.

No major style and grammar problems or major word-choice errors

Excellent style and grammar. Excellent word-choice


Missing, not on approved material, late, or plagiarized.

Few insights, poorly supported. Inadequate vocabulary

Good insights with supported conclusions. Adequate vocabulary

Great insight, depth. Higher thinking and vocabulary. Excellent support for conclusions

Drop Policy

If you discover that you need to drop this class, you must go to the Records Office and ask for the necessary paperwork. Professors cannot drop students; this is always the responsibility of the student. The record’s office will give a deadline for which the form must be returned, completely signed. Once you return the signed form to the records office and wait 24 hours, you must go into Duck Trax and confirm that you are no longer enrolled. If you are still enrolled, FOLLOW-UP with the records office immediately. You are to attend class until the procedure is complete to avoid penalty for absence. Should you miss the deadline or fail to follow the procedure, you will receive an F in the course.

Academic Integrity

Texas A&M University - Central Texas expects all students to maintain high standards of personal and scholarly conduct. Students found responsible of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials. The faculty member is responsible for initiating action for each case of academic dishonesty and report the incident to the Associate Director of Student Conduct. More information can be found at http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/studentconduct/facultyresources.php.

Warning: Clear cases of plagiarism result in a failing grade for the course
For general guidance about what constitutes plagiarism or for tips on writing and citation see: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/
Disability Support Services

If you have or believe you have a disability and wish to self-identify, you can do so by providing documentation to the Disability Support Coordinator. Students are encouraged to seek information about accommodations to help assure success in their courses. Please contact Vanessa Snyder at (254) 501-5836 or visit Founder's Hall 114. Additional information can be found at http://www.tamuct.edu/departments/disabilitysupport/index.php.

General Conduct
All students are expected to behave in a courteous manner toward the instructor and other students at all times. Disruptive or disrespectful behavior will be grounds for dismissal from the class.

Punctuality is expected.

Tape recorders are permitted in class, if accompanied by their owners

It is inappropriate and unprofessional to listen to an iPod, mp3 player, or any other such device in the classroom; this also includes Bluetooth headsets.

Reading or doing homework for other classes during class-time is inappropriate.
INFORMATION LITERACY focuses on research skills that prepare individuals to live and work in an information-centered society. Librarians will work with students in the development of critical reasoning, ethical use of information, and the appropriate use of secondary research techniques including: exploring information resources such as library collections and services, Identify sources such as subject databases and scholarly journals, executing effective search strategies, retrieving, recording, and citing relevant results correctly, and interpreting search results and deciding whether to expand the search. Library Resources are outlined and accessed through the web page. http://www.tarleton.edu/centraltexas/departments/library/

Communication and feedback

I return graded papers a week after the submission date. I am not available 24/7. I respond to email within 24 hours Monday to Friday. Unless I am out-of-town, I check phone messages during office hours Monday to Thursday. I send blanket email messages for the class to your student email account. If you do not use your student email you will miss important messages about the course.

Late Policy:

Any assignment submitted after the due date/time will be subject to a penalty of 10 percent per 24 hour period late.

Attendance Policy:

Full attendance and active participation are keys to having meaningful and productive class activities and discussions. Students are expected to attend every class and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings for the day.

Make-up Work

Make-up work may only be done for valid and verifiable reasons such as illness, death in the immediate family, legal proceedings, participation in University-sponsored activities, and military deployment. If possible, notification should be in advance and the make-up should be taken as close to the exam date as practical. Make-up exams may be in a different format, such as writing an extra essay. No Make-up exams will be given during finals week, No late work accepted during finals week.


Grading Criteria Rubric and Conversion:

Midterm Exam 100 points 25%

Final Exam: 100 points 25%

Book Review: 200 points 50%

Total: 400 points 100%
Final grades will be computed according to the following scale:

A = 90-100% (360-400 points)

B = 80-89% (320-359 points)

C = 70-79% (280-319 points)

D = 60-69% (240-279 points)

F = 59-0% (240-0 points)

Class Schedule

Jan 13 Introduction,

Jan 15 Legacy of World War I
Jan 20 MLK Day

Jan 22 Rise of Dictators

Jan 27 Rise of Dictators

Jan 29 Rising Sun

Feb 3 Military Developments, Munich

Feb 5 Blitzkrieg und Sitzkrieg

Feb 10 Norway

Feb 12 Battle for France

Feb 17 Battle of Britain

Feb 19 Barbarossa

Feb 24 Moscow

Feb 26 Holocaust

Mar 3 Pearl Harbor

Mar 5 Midterm Exam, Multiple Choice will cover Lyons Chapters 1 to 12.

Mar 10 Spring Break

Mar 12 Spring Break

Mar 17 Coral Sea – Midway - Guadalcanal

Mar 19 Stalingrad

Mar 24 Torch

Mar 26 Sicily - Italy

Mar 31 Italy

April 2 Air War

April 7 Battle of the Atlantic

April 9 D-Day,Normandy

April 14 Leyte Gulf

April 16 The Bulge

April 21 Kursk

April 23 Battle for Berlin

April 28 End of the Reich

April 30 Collapse of Japan

May 5 Final Exam, Lyons 13-26. Literature Review Due by 11:59
Note: Although it is unlikely, the instructor may make modifications to this syllabus at any time.
Approved Books
Michael Sherry. The Rise of American Air Power.

Eric Larrabee, Commander in Chief. NY: Harper and Row, 1987

Millett and Murray. Calculations. NY: Free Press, 1992

Gordon Prange. At Dawn We Slept

Gerhard Weinberg. A World at Arms

Nathan Miller. War at Sea. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.

Samuel Eliot Morrison. Two Ocean War

B.H. Liddell Hart. History of the Second World War. Putnam

Spector The Eagle Against the Sun

Keegan The Second World War.

John Costello The Pacific War

Buell EJ King

Antony Beevor Stalingrad

Cornelius Ryan Bridge too Far, Longest Day, Last Battle

Alan Clark Barbarossa

Alistair Horne To Lose a Battle

Doughty Seeds of Disaster

Michael Howard Mediterranean Strategy in the Second World War

Manstein Lost Victories

Overy The Air War

Fuchida Midway

Hayashi Kogun

Hastings Overlord

Clay Blair Silent Victory

Black World War II: A Military History

Alistair Horne To Lose a Battle

Earnest May Strange Victory

David Glantz When Titans Clashed

Chris Bellamy Absolute War

Antony Beevor Stalingrad

Antony Beevor Fall of Berlin, 1945

Antony Beevor DDay

Max Hastings Overlord

Rick Atkinson An Army At Dawn (any of his trilogy)

Veranov The Third Reich at War

Citino Death of the Wehrmacht, The Quest for Decisive Victory, The Wehrmacht Retreats

Roberts Stalin’s General

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