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World War II: The People's War 1939-1945

  • Nov 18, 2012 · 3:00 PM
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World War II was the bloodiest, most devastating military conflict in human history. Taking more then 50 million lives, WW2 was conducted on three different continents. In less then 6 years it caused the deaths of millions of soldiers and civilians, through bombing and battle raids, mass executions, and genocidal policies. Millions of civilians contributed to the war effort by working at factories and plants to produce tanks, aircraft, artillery shells, ships, mines and guns. Never before or since has the world seen such a mobilization effort. But what were the reasons for this devastating war? Were they geo-political (territorial), philosophical, ideological or all of the above? Why did humanity unleash all it's tools of modern war industry on itself? From battle of France and Britain to the Battle of Moscow and Stalingrad, from Midway and Okinawa to Normandy and Berlin, the soldiers from Germany, Soviet Union, U.S, Italy, Japan, Poland, France and Great Britain massacred one another on the daily basis. In our next group meetup, we'll attempt to answer these question.


Reading Suggestions:

Stalingrad: How the Red Army Survived the German Onslaught by Michael K Jones

When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler by David Glantz

Siege of Budapest by David Glantz

No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe[masked] by Norman Davies

Flags of our Fathers by Ron Powers

D-Days in the Pacific by Donald L Miller


Snacks are optional


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  • Wendy

    not as focused as other ones, but still very interesting

    November 18, 2012

  • Jim P.

    Very good, though it quickly became clear we needed to continue the subject at a subsequent meetup.

    November 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello all. My name is Jenn and I am new to the group. I love studying European history! I think it is the most interesting subject to read, discuss, and watch via movie/televsion media. I am new to this group but am really looking forward to this discussion this Sunday. Unfortunately, I have not started any of the readings and don't think I will be able to finish them in two days since I'm working both tomorrow and Saturday. Would it be okay if I just come and listen? I will also be completing as much reading as possible, I just don't think I will be able to finish it.

    November 15, 2012

  • Bronislav M.

    Sure, once a month sounds good. I tend to give more time, so people can catch up on their reading :-)

    October 20, 2012

    • Wendy

      As a member of the group, I did think it was okay for me to respond to a big change proposed by one of its members. I am not sure what you took as visceral--?? I have been in this group since its inception, and I believe I have a right to respond. Have a nice evening, Nancy

      October 21, 2012

    • Tracy

      Once every two months suits me too.

      October 22, 2012

  • Anthony C.

    I have committed a great portion of my life to the study of World War II, I am greatly looking forward to this one (AAAND I won't get lost driving again, ha-ha!). Hope other people are as open to discussing the abysmally under-appreciated Soviet war effort and other non-E.T.O. (European Theater of Operations) topics as well--so much WWII history is grossly and unfairly Eurocentric.
    May I recommend a few good Hollywood and documentary films as supplements to the reading:
    --War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin (BBC)--a very well done summary of the political and military situation on WWII Russian Front.
    --Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West (BBC)--covers everything from Non-Aggression Pact thru Yalta and Potsdam Conferences and VJ Day.
    --Tora! Tora! Tora! Perhaps the greatest of Pearl Harbor docudramas.
    --MacArthur (starring the indomitable Gregory Peck in the titular role).
    Also, "D-Days in the Pacific" was produced as a History Channel documentary.

    October 22, 2012

    • Wendy

      Hey, thanks, Anthony!

      October 22, 2012

  • Nancy D.

    I agree, actually. Bron, would you be up for having us over once a month?

    October 20, 2012

    • Wendy

      This is way too much for me! I have too much going on. I think what we're doing now is just right.

      October 20, 2012

  • Shelley H.

    I am ver disappointed that I cannot make the November 18th meet up due to a previous commitment, These meet ups are only once a month. I wish we could have them more often.

    October 19, 2012

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