Thursday, 1 May 2014

History 12-1: Japan and the War in the Pacific

Today we began by examining sources about the Nanking atrocities of 1937-38.  We read reports from both Japanese and Chinese investigators.  We also saw how the events were reported in four contemporary Japanese school books.  It gave us an insight to some of the psychology of warfare.  We ask ourselves how could normal people allow their behaviour to change in such a way.  I noted that in Golding's novel Lord of the Flies the same question is addressed.

Next, I gave a PPT lesson on the Pacific using some basic questions as guides.  Why, for example, would Japan attack the USA, a country with nine times the industrial output and 97% the agricultural output?

For homework, I asked for a one-page, double-spaced response to the following prompt:

"Discuss the nature of the war in the Pacific."  

This prompt, or a form of it, often appears in unit exams.  You have studied the blitzkrieg strategy of Europe; how does the strategy of the Pacific compare?  Were the weapons the same?  Were the soldiers the same?  Were the tactics the same?  Were the outcomes the same?  You get the idea.

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