History 0107. WORLD WAR TWO

080-120: 11:40A.M.-12:30 P.M.., MWF                                           Fall Semester 2006

Credit Hours: 3                                                                               Classroom: 007 Anderson Hall Lecture Hall

Professor: Gregory J. W. Urwin, Ph.D.                                              Office: 931 Gladfelter Hall

Office Hours: M 10:00- 11:00 A.M.; W 10:00-11:00 A.M., 2:30-4:20 P.M., or by  appointment

Office Telephone Number: 215-204-3809                                    E-Mail Address: gurwin@temple.edu

Home Page:  http://www.temple.edu/history/People/urwin/

Teaching Assistant:  Jason W. Smith                                              TA Office:  923 Gladfelter Hall

TA Office Hours:  MW 1:00-2:00 P.M.

TA E-Mail Address:  jwsmith@temple.edu

TA Office Phone:  215-204-9876

Course Description: This course offers a survey of World War II, the largest and most destructive armed conflict in human history, with coverage of its causes and consequences. It utilizes the prism of grand strategy to analyze national policy and military strategy. In addition to detailed descriptions of major military operations, the course will assess the impact that Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Winston S. Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt had on the war. While this course emphasizes military events and wartime diplomacy, some attention will be paid to the internal politics of the major belligerents and economic factors. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Goals and Objectives:

Knowledge Based Skills: 1) Strategy, Tactics, and Logistics; 2) Impact of Evolving Military Technology; 3) Impact of Politics on Military Affairs; 4)War's Impact on Society; 5) Social Pressures and the Military; 6) Recruitment, Training, and Motivation; 7) Military Professionalism.

Skill-Based Goals: 1) Spatial Awareness; 2) Writing Proficiency; 3) Appreciation for Historical Context; 4) Improved Reading Comprehension; 5) Sequential Logic; 6) Analytical Thinking; 7) Preparation for a Lifetime of Learning; 8) Research Skills; 9) Computer Literacy.

Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin (right) and Temple doctoral student David J. Ulbrich (left) display their
colors on arrival at Wake Island on August 25, 2002.  Wake was an American possession attacked
and ultimately conquered by the Imperial Japanese Navy, December 8-23, 1941.  Dr. Urwin went to
Wake to assist Greystone Communications in making a two-hour documentary for the History
Channel based on his book, Facing Fearful Odds:  The Siege of Wake Island.

Main Text: Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett, A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War.  Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001.

Collateral Texts: Stephen G. Fritz, Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995.

Gregory J. W. Urwin, Facing Fearful Odds:  The Siege of Wake Island.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.

Adrian R. Lewis, Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Semester Grade: The student's final grade will be based on the total number of points earned in two exams (100 points apiece, or 200 points, total), a book review and a review essay (100 points apiece, or 200 points, total), two computer exercises (25 points apiece, 50 points, total), and three quizzes (50 points apiece, or 150 points, total). Class attendance and participation will also affect the grade. It is up to any student who misses a test or quiz to schedule a make-up session with the teaching assistant.

Book Review Assignment: In addition to the main text and threecollateral readings, each student is expected to read an additional book dealing with different aspects of World War II and submit a written review of the same. The title for one of these reviews may be chosen from a reading list provided by Dr. Urwin on his web site (http://www.temple.edu/history/People/urwin/). Students may choose any book found on this list.  Students may choose any book found on this list.  Read only books found on Dr. Urwin’s list.  If you choose another without Dr. Urwin’s permission, your review will not be accepted.

The review should be typed (in 10- or 12-point font), double-spaced, and five to seven pages long. This written assignment must be carefully proofread, as spelling, grammar, and punctuation will have an important effect on your grade.

The book review should be accompanied by the printout of some article from an Internet web site that pertains in some way to the book that you have reviewed.

For detailed tips on what is expected in your reviews, see the separate guide on Dr. Urwin's web site  (http://astro.temple.edu/~gurwin/BookReview).

Finding a Book for Your Book Review: The Paley Library here at Temple has a strong military history collection. You should be able to find many of the books listed on the reading list there. If there is a particular title that you want to read, check it out early. If the Paley Library does not have it, you should be able to order a copy via interlibrary loan - provided you do not wait until the last minute. If you find a promising World War II title that is not in the Paley Library and really want to read it, you may bring it to Dr. Urwin for his approval. If you have any trouble picking a suitable title, feel free to consult with Dr. Urwin.

Motorcycle-mounted reconnaissance troops from the German 7th Panzer Division
survey the landscape somewhere in northern France, May 1940.
(Gregory J. W. Urwin Collection)

Review Essay: The other major written assignment concerns a book to be read by everyone in class– Facing Fearful Odds:  The Siege of Wake Island by Gregory J. W. Urwin.  You are to write an essay on the last half of this book (Parts III and IV, or pages 223 through 576, which focus on the Battle of Wake Island, December 8-23, 1941.)  This essay can be a book review in part.  Feel free to summarize the contents of this part of the book, its literary quality, and the success or failure of the author in researching and interpreting the past.

In addition to all that, be sure you answer the following questions regarding the fight for Wake Island.  Why were Wake’s defenders taken by surprise by the first Japanese air raid on December 8, 1941, even after they received a warning of the commencement of hostilities six hours earlier by Pearl Harbor?  Despite this setback, how did Wake’s outnumbered American garrison manage to exact such a high price from their Japanese foes before the atoll was captured?  What did the Americans do right during the course of the siege, and what did the Japanese do wrong?  Feel free to address other issues that you feel are pertinent to an evaluation of the Wake Island Campaign.  Dealing with these issues should consume the great part of your paper.

Feel free to use your imagination and be creative.  Nevertheless, you must observe the same high standards in spelling, grammar, and proper sentence and paragraph structure as expected for the book review.  You must also find an Internet web site dealing with some aspect of the Wake Island Campaign or World War II in the Pacific.  Print out some of the historical information that you find on that site and attach it to your essay.

Statement on Academic Freedom:  Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02 <http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02.

Academic Honesty Statement: Students are expected to do their own work on all exams, quizzes, and other exercises. Anyone caught cheating in class and/or plagiarizing material in the book reviews will fail the course. The American Heritage Dictionary defines plagiarism as: "1. To steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one's own. 2. To appropriate passages or ideas from another and use them as one's own."

Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: Temple University adheres to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need an accommodation under this Act due to a disability, contact Disability Resources and Services at 204-1280 or 11280.  You may also access Disability Resources and Services at this web site: http://www.temple.edu/disability/Handbook/Noframes/noframes.html.

Some Basic Regulations

1) No food, liquids, or tobacco products may be consumed in class.

2) It is a sign of poor manners for men to wear hats or caps indoors (except for religious reasons). All students will remove any headgear with brims or bills for tests and quizzes.

3) Anyone leaving class after an exam or quiz (i.e., cutting the lectures after these exercises) will fail that particular exercise.

4) If you must miss class for some foreseeable reason, have the courtesy to notify the teaching assistant in advance.

5) Anyone caught cheating will flunk the course.

6) Students who disrupt class will be liable to punitive quizzes that may lower their grades. Persistent misbehavior can lead to expulsion or other disciplinary action.

Members of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division in the village of St. Marcouf somewhere
behind Utah Beach, June 8, 1944.  Note the men's distinctive "Screaming Eagle"
division patch on their shoulders.  (Courtesy of National Archives)


Week 1: 28 August-1 September
        Origins of the War in Europe and the Invasion of Poland

           Williamson and Murray, Chs. 1-3

Week 2: 4-8 September (No class on Labor Day, 4 September)
        Nazi Blitzkrieg:  Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and France

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 4, pp. 63-83

Week 3: 11-15 September
         Hitler Diverted:  The Battle of Britain, the Mediterranean, and North Africa

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 4, pp. 83-90, Ch. 5

Week 4: 18-22 September
        Operation “Barbarossa”:  Hitler Invades the Soviet Union

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 6
           Quiz: Fritz, Frontsoldaten (22 September)

Week 5: 25-29 September
        Origins of the Pacific War, Pearl Harbor, and Japan’s Six Months of Conquest

           Williamson and Murray, Chs. 7-8

Week 6: 2-6 October
        The Allies Turn the Tide against Hitler:  North Africa and Stalingrad

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 11
           Quiz: Urwin, Facing Fearful Odds, Parts I & II, pp. xv-xvi, 1-221 (6 October)

Week 7: 9-13 October
        The Battle of the Atlantic and the Air War against Germany

           Williamson and Murray, Chs. 10, 12

Week 8: 16-20 October
        Catch-Up, Review, and Midterm Exam

       Midterm (20 October)

Week 9: 23-27 October
        Turning Point in the Pacific:  Guadalcanal and MacArthur’s Campaigns in New Guinea and New Britain

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 9

Week 10: 30 October-3 November
        German Disasters on the Eastern Front, 1943-1944

           Williamson and Murray, Ch. 14, pp. 387-410
           Review Essay, Urwin, Facing Fearful Odds, Parts III & IV, pp. 223-576, Due (3 November)

Week 11: 6-10 November
        Promise and Frustration:  The Allies Invade Sicily and Italy

          Williamson and Murray, Ch. 14, pp. 374-87

Week 12: 13-17 November
        Operation OVERLORD and the Liberation of France

          Williamson and Murray, Ch. 15

Week 13: 20-24 November (Thanksgiving Holiday, 23-24 Nov.: No Class on Friday)
          The American Drive across the Pacific, 1944

            Williamson and Murray, Ch. 13
             Quiz, Lewis, Omaha Beach (20 November)

Week 14: 27 November-1 December
        The Collapse of Germany

          Williamson and Murray, Ch. 16

Week 15: 4-8 December (Study Days, 7, 8 December)
        Japan’s Final Agonies:  Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Atomic Bomb

          Williamson and Murray, Chs. 18-20, Epilogue
          Book Review (your choice of title) Due (4 December)

Final Exam Week: 11-16 December

          Final Exam, Monday, 11 December 2006, 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Major General Orlando Ward reviews the U.S. 1st Armored Division before it was blooded at Tunisia's
Kasserine Pass in mid-February 1943.  (Courtesy of National Archives)

Course Materials

Lecture Terms

Textbook Terms and Essay Questions for Midterm and Final Exams

Approved List of Titles for Your Book Review

How To Do Book Reviews

Question for Your First Quiz

Questions for Your Second Quiz

Question for Your Third Quiz

Notes on Army Organization

Table of Organization for German Panzer Division (Single Tank Regiment)

Red Army Tables of Organization, June 1941

Table of Organization, U.S. Infantry Division, July 15, 1943