Teaching History Online
Number 57: 27th October, 2002
7. World War II
Spartacus Educational publishes Teaching History Online every week. The newsletter includes news, reviews of websites and articles on using ICT in the history classroom. Members of the mailing list are invited to submit information for inclusion in future editions of Teaching History Online. In this way we hope to create a community of people involved in using the Internet to teach history. Currently there are 21,140 subscribers to the newsletter.
English Civil War: Easily the best website so far created on the English Civil War. The site includes a collection of timelines: Parliament and Constitution 1640-60, The First Civil War 1640-46, The Second Civil War 1647-49, The Third Civil War 1649-51, The Commonwealth 1649-53, Cromwell's Protectorate 1654-58 and The Restoration 1659-60. There is also twenty-four biographies of leading figures in the conflict and descriptions of sixty-two battles and sieges.
Studs Terkel: Oral History: Produced by the Chicago Historical Society, this website looks at the life and work of Studs Terkel, one of the world's most important oral historians. Organized into galleries that are largely centered around the extensive interviews that Mr. Terkel did for his books, Division Street, Hard Times, The Good War, Race and Talking to Myself. Each gallery contains dozens of audio clips of these interviews. The website also contains a multimedia interview with Studs Terkel, featuring him talking about his books, writing oral history, and documenting everyday life in the United States.
Guardian Century: "The maiden voyage of the White Star liner Titanic, the largest ship ever launched, has ended in disaster. The Titanic started her trip from Southampton for New York on Wednesday. Late on Sunday night she struck an iceberg off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. By wireless telegraphy she sent out signals of distress, and several liners were near enough to catch and respond to the call. Conflicting news, alarming and reassuring, was current yesterday. Even after midnight it was said all the passengers were safe. All reports, of course, depended on wireless telegrams over great distances." That is the way the Manchester Guardian opened its account of the sinking of the Titantic on 16th April, 1912. This excellent website contains hundreds of important articles that have appeared in the Guardian during the 20th Century.
William Bauchop Wilson: In his unpublished autobiography, William Bauchop Wilson wrote about how as a child he attended lessons with his father at Hugh Kerwin's cobbler shop. "As I look back on the group of men that formed our little circle in the early days at Arnot, many of them classed as illiterate, I am still amazed at the knowledge they possessed of many religious, social, economic, political, historical and scientific questions, their wisdom and tolerance in discussing them, and their wide acquaintance with good literature. It was a splendid school for any boy to attend." It certainly was and Wilson, as America's first Secretary of Labor, helped shape the modern United States. This excellent website is devoted to the life and work of this great man.
Egypt: Secrets of an Ancient World: This excellent website on ancient Egyptian civilization has been produced by the National Geographic Society. It includes Explore the Pyramids where visitors can scroll across the different pyramids, revealing their interior organization and a number of facts about their construction. There is also a timeline that gives information about each of the different Egyptian dynasties. Other features include a quiz game on daily life in Ancient Egypt and several lesson plans on Mummies.
HyperHistory is an expanding scientific project presenting 3,000 years of world history with an interactive combination of synchronoptic lifelines, timelines, and maps. As the author, Andreas Nothiger, points out the "synchronoptic concept depicts a full panorama of history in such a way that it will appeal to a cultivated public at large. A true picture of the world would be incomplete if it equates history with the history of wars and politics and neglects all other aspects of life. The addition of scientific, cultural and religious facts and events are therefore a key to a fundamental knowledge of society." Over 2,000 files are interconnected throughout the site. In addition to that HyperHistory provides several hundred links to the world wide web. The growing site itself contains presently over 50 MB of images and text files, but individual files are kept small enough to allow for a quick display.
World War II: Dave Depickere from Belgium has produced an interesting website on the Second World War. On the site you have the following sections: Battle Reports (information on battles, raids, generals); The Battlefield Today (itineraries and pictures of the battlefields in Europe); Fact or Myth (a look at controversial issues); The People's War : (stories of how people lived and viewed the war) and Veterans (stories of soldiers who fought in the great war and a place where they can meet and search for comrades).
Naval Weapons of World War II: There is no shortage of reference books on the warships that fought the Second World War, but the weapons they carried have often been ignored. This situation is rectified in this classic work, which is encyclopaedic in scope and largely based on original research. Divided by country (including minor powers not directly involved in the war), the book covers all the major weaponry of the period. Weapons of earlier vintage that were employed during the war, and those that were at an experimental, trial or design stage in 1945 are also included.(Conway Maritime Press, ISBN 0 0 85177 924 7, £45.00)