World War II (1939–1945)
Study Questions & Essay Topics
Always use specific historical examples to support your arguments.
1. Compare the roles of Germany and Japan during World War II. Generally speaking, were their aggressions fundamentally similar or fundamentally different?
2. Consider the role of technology during World War II. Did it fundamentally affect the outcome of the war? If so, how? If not, why not?
3. Explain Germany’s mistakes in Russia and the ways in which they affected the outcome of the war.
Suggested Essay Topics
1. How and why was Germany allowed to annex Austria and the Sudetenland? Was there any justification for Britain and France’s policy of appeasement?
2. Discuss the role that Italy played in World War II. How did the nation become involved in the conflict? How did its participation affect the direction of the war and Germany’s fortunes?
3. Discuss the issues surrounding the United States’ decision to use atomic bombs against Japan. What motives were behind this action, and what arguments have been made against it?
4. Explain how the situation in Europe immediately following the fall of Germany led directly to the Cold War. In your opinion, should the Western Allies have acted to oppose Soviet domination of Eastern Europe?