WWII Notes
This homework is something a little different: rather than focusing on the facts
(which students have been trained by years of school to do, and do well), focus on
the themes, the over-riding ideas expressed by the author. This is a skill that most
students have not been taught to do, and it comes slowly. The title of the chapter
is “Rejections of Democracy,” and that should reveal one of the author’s main
ideas in this section. The homework questions ask you to state and expand on
these themes.
1. What does the author mean by “Rejections of Democracy”? What specific
pieces of evidence does he cite that support his idea? (These should be BIG
stories, not tiny details; look first at the big story from each section of the
2. The second section is titled “Decline of the West?” Why does he include a
question mark here? What is he trying to convey in this section?
3. What do the titles “Fascist Fury” and “Hitler’s Hatreds” mean? Why the fury;
why the hate?
4. Summarize the war in a sentence or two: who starts out winning; does that
change, and if so, why?
1. Starting WWII
a. The Legacy of WWI
b. The Axis Alliance
c. Axis Militarism
d. Unification and Appeasement
e. War
2. Axis Expansion
a. Fall of France
b. Battle of Britain
c. Invasion of Russia
d. Japan in China
3. Turning Points
a. American Reluctance
b. Pearl Harbor
c. Three Big Battles
4. Defeating Germany
a. Invading Italy
b. Bombing Germany
c. D-Day
d. Ending the Reich
5. Defeating Japan
a. Island Hopping
b. The Atomic Bomb
c. Hiroshima & Nagasaki
6. Impact of the War
a. Death & Destruction
b. The Holocaust
c. The Atomic Age
d. A Bi-lateral World