Our world today is what it is in large part because of World War II. The course will help you develop an in-depth knowledge of this seminal and transformative conflict. It will focus on key battles, war theaters, and patterns of combat, but equally important, it will bring in and incorporate a variety of personal wartime experiences. The course will underscore the immensity and diversity of the war effort made by civilians as well as by military personnel. It will also seek to come to terms with the war’s catastrophic and destructive impact on dozens of countries and dozens of millions of lives. The way World War II is taught and studied is often shaped by particular countries’ roles and experiences in it. By casting this war as a global conflict that involved and affected people on all continents, our course will seek to build on students’ diverse backgrounds and interests and expand their understanding of one of the most devastating conflicts of all times. Three fundamental questions about World War II will drive our course’s progress: Just what kind of conflict was it? Why did it happen? How did it shape our world?