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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3330 Europe in an Age of Total Warfare

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Prof Holger Afflerbach

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module


By the conclusion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the concept of total war, according to the definition of Clausewitz;
- deal critically with the type of primary sources presented in class;
- work with different kind of sources - archival material, war letters, autobiographical narratives, oral history, photos, films - and evaluate their value for the historian;
- understand the radicalization of warfare from 1914 to 1945 as a combination of military, technological, political and social developments and interactions;
- understand the connections between war, violence and genocides.

Skills outcomes
Further enhances Common Skills listed below:
- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.

- Skills in interpretation and analysis of complex documentary-based material.


In World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-1945) nearly 70 million people were killed. Both wars devastated Europe and parts of Asia and deserve the title of "total wars" more than any other conflicts in the history of mankind. In this class we want to use different kind of sources to show the radicalization of warfare in both world wars.

We will use, among other materials, files from the archives in foreign ministeries and general staffs, war letters from soldiers and civilians, excerpts from public speeches, newspaper articles, film materials (for example newsreels), photos, autobiographies, and oral history interviews with contemporaries. We will use the materials of the "Liddle Collection".

All these sources will show the consequences of this radicalization of warfare on the level of political and military leadership as well as on the level of "simple" soldiers and civilians.

The class includes a voluntary field trip to the Imperial War Museum - Duxford.

This module is also available to BA-International History and Politics students.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

- Exam preparation;
- researching, preparing, and writing assignments;
- undertaking set reading; and
- self-directed reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed essays, two oral presentations worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationTwo presentations, each supported by 1,000 word written summary10.00
Essay1 x 4,000 word essay to be submitted by 12 noon on Monday of the second week of the January examination period40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

10% oral presentations are redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:07


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