World History Project - Origins to the Present
- BEFORE YOU WATCH: The Fallen of World War II
- WATCH: The Fallen of World War II
- READ: The Second World War
- READ: Economics in the Second World War
- BEFORE YOU WATCH: World War II
- WATCH: World War II
- READ: The Holocaust
- READ: Nuclear Weapons
- READ: Thirty Years of Continuous War
- World War 2
BEFORE YOU WATCH: World War II
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.
First read: preview and skimming for gist
Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.
Second read: key ideas and understanding content
Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- What different dates do historians argue mark the start of World War II and why?
- What was the Blitzkrieg, and what did it enable the Nazis to do?
- Why was 1941 such a significant year in the conflict?
- According to John Green, how did the supply of food in different places contribute to World War II?
- John Green claims that the Soviet Union under Stalin was undemocratic. What is the significance of this point for the way we interpret this conflict?
- What factors made World War II a total war?
Third read: evaluating and corroborating
Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to this question:
- John Green argues that World War II atrocities like the Holocaust were possible because of technologies we associate with “Western progress” like state record-keeping and advanced industry. Do you think innovations in science and technology have generally resulted in improving or hurting human societies? Use evidence from this video and other material from this era to support your claim.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.
Want to join the conversation?
- I find it really hard to even think that our worlds went though WW2. My grandpa served in WW2 and lived to tell the story. I know that it was hard for him to lose the friends he had, it is hard to picture myself in his shoes at that time. And it is hard for me to hold on to that idea that it had to happen.(2 votes)
- My father was in that war. He was a prisoner in Germany for about 2 years of it. My brother and I were in Vietnam; he in '68-69 and me in '70. I hope that nobody else ever has to be part of a war: Nobody, Ever!(1 vote)
- What was the Blitzkrieg(1 vote)
- The Blitzkrieg was when Germany first used this attack methods to conquer much of Europe in the beginning of WWII. They mobilized quickly, and invaded Poland, then the Netherlands, Belgium, and finally France. Then they stopped blitzkrieging.(2 votes)
- did you know that the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (English 'mouse') was a German World War II super-heavy tank completed in late 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armored fighting vehicle ever built. Five were ordered, but only two hulls and one turret were completed, the turret being attached before the testing grounds were captured by advancing Soviet military forces.
These two prototypes underwent trials in late 1944. The complete vehicle was 10.2 m (33 ft) long, 3.71 m (12.2 ft) wide and 3.63 m (11.9 ft) high. Weighing 188 metric tons, the Maus's main armament was the Krupp-designed 128 mm KwK 44 L/55 gun, based on the 12.8 cm Pak 44 towed anti-tank gun also used in the casemate-type Jagdtiger tank destroyer, with a coaxial 75 mm KwK 44 L/36.5 gun. The 128 mm gun was powerful enough to destroy all Allied armored fighting vehicles in service at the time, with some at ranges exceeding 3,500 m (3,800 yd).
The principal problem in the design of the Maus was developing an engine and drivetrain which was powerful enough to adequately propel the tank, yet small enough to fit inside it – as it was meant to use the same sort of "hybrid drive", using an internal-combustion engine to operate an electric generator to power its tracks with electric motor units, much as its Porsche-designed predecessors, the VK 30.01 (P), VK 45.01 (P), and Elefant had. The drive train was electrical, designed to provide a maximum speed of 20 km/h (12 mph) and a minimum speed of 1.5 km/h (0.9 mph). However, during actual field testing, the maximum speed achieved on hard surfaces was 13 km/h (8.1 mph) with full motor field, and by weakening the motor field to a minimum, a top speed of 22 km/h (14 mph) was achieved. The vehicle's weight made it unable to use most bridges; instead it was intended to ford to a depth of 2 m (6.6 ft) or submerge up to a depth of 8 m (26 ft) and use a snorkel to cross rivers.
The Maus was intended to punch holes through enemy fortifications in the manner of an immense "breakthrough tank", while taking virtually no damage to any components.
the Germans maus was about to get taken from other team so the Germans put explosives in the hull so they would blow it up so if it gets stolen they don't know what it was or how it was built.(1 vote)
- My dad sever in the WW2 and he died by the germeny empripe(1 vote)