WWII Seminar THE TOTAL TOTAL WAR
Paper 2 Style Question: “Compare and contrast the factors which contributed to a state of total war in both WWI and WWII”
Science in Total War
How and why is WWII considered a total war?
- Concentration on technological and scientific developments primarily for offence or defence in war.
- Concentration on medical and biological experiments and research.
^Both involved mobilization of available population and resources.
Total War: “A war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.”
1. Mobilization of Population and Resources in Technological and Scientific Developments
Eg. Manhattan Project
2. Mobilization of Population and Resources in Medical and Biological Experiments
Eg. Human Experimentation
Economy in Total War
- The economic cost of World War I has been estimated at ___________________ billion
- The economic cost of World War II has been estimated at ___________ billion or US$1.5 trillion.
- Of this, the US spent _______, Britain _______, Germany ______, and the USSR _________.
- Some of Canada’s contribution to the economic and development aspect includes: 11 billion dollars of munitions, 1.7
million small arms, ___________ aircraft, ______ million tones of explosives, 9000 boats and ships, Radar sets and
Compare and Contrast the economic factors contributing to the state of total war in both World War I and World War II.
World War I Similarities World War II
WWII Seminar THE TOTAL TOTAL WAR
Society in Total War
Similarities in Social Aspects of Total War (between WWI and WWII)
Conscription (obligatory or “moral” responsibility)
Use of propaganda to inspire nationalism, patriotism
Increased role of women during the war (factories, munitions, farms, etc.)
Differences in Social Aspects of Total War (between WWI and WWII)
US War Economy Great Britain USSR Japan
- “Arsenal of Democracy” - Enormous increase in - Poor start of war economy - “Modern wars were won on
employment rates lead to the failure of the home front as well as on
- Production highly encouraged production, negatively the battle front.”
- “Corsets become parachutes
- Regular industries became affecting civilians and their
and chinstraps; lace curtains quality of life - Japan needed resources
converted into war-specific become sand-fly netting; golf therefore invaded Manchuria
industries (ex. Car manufacturers = balls become gas masks;
tanks/armoured vehicles, garment mattresses become life - Soldiers were trained to
factories = uniforms and jackets; saucepans become defend their land/country by
parachutes) steel helmets.” ANY possible means
- Propaganda --
Air raids and civilian bombings occurred and neutral countries were bombed accidentally
o Unprepared for bombings at the beginning of the war, but eventually, bomb shelters became more
o had been prepared with bomb shelters and plans since 1935
o there were bomb shelters in 82 different cities in basements and towers
“Assess the significance of the role that WWII played in changing social standards in society.”
Kenneth Paul O'Brien, Lynn H. Parsons The war, to an extent, was a ‘good war’ in that it had not only negative
consequences, but also some positive effects, such as the increased education of men who joined the army.
Daron Acemoglu, David H. Autor and David Lyle WWII did change the roles of women in society, however, this had
negative implications as it decreased from the value and wage of a working man.