- Sep 5, 2016
You’re lucky you actually covered the war. For me, I already knew quite a lot about WWII and a bit about WWI as I was going into year 10 from books, documentaries and HOIV. And the pre ww2 stuff was only about Germany in my school.That's basically my school. I didn't know anything about WWI until about seventh grade, and that was because I read Scott Westerfield's Leviathan (young adult alternate history trilogy about the Central Powers using mechas to fight the Entente's genetically engineered monsters which incidentally got me into alternate history). I didn't learn about WWI in a class until high school. Even then the causes were just reduced to "Balkans are a powder keg, don't question it, then a guy got shot." We focused a lot on trenches and the military technology (but not on specific battles) and then jumped straight to Versailles, Hitler, Nazis, and World War II. We did a little about the Great Depression, mostly in the context of the Dust Bowl, Roosevelt and the New Deal (but mostly Roosevelt), and a little Lend-Lease (or I might be confusing that with my college courses). For World War II, we focused on Germany and Japan (and not much about Italy other than mentioning Mussolini). After a brief discussion on the causes, which focused on Hitler and the Nazis and a little on Chamberlain and appeasement, we jumped straight to the invasion of Poland, then to Pearl Harbor/Stalingrad, and then to D-Day and the rest of the war. At least for Japan we learned about Midway and some of the Pacific campaign before going to Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and the atomic bombs (no mention of China or the Southeast Asia campaigns). We also sped through the Nuremberg trials a lot. We stop around the founding of the UN. At least we did get some focus on the home front and the Manhattan Project (though most of the stuff I learned on Manhattan Project came from my physics class, of all places). The only other time I learned about the home front was a college course I took on Britain in World War I, and that only focused on the British home front. It was a shame we glossed over so much. There was a lot of nuance in both wars and the interbellum that would've helped us understand the wars and their consequences much better.
Sorry for the wall of text, I just needed to vent after realizing how little my middle and high schools covered in history.