Fall 2014 Special Topics Class: World War II

Graduate students will be able to take a unique World War II class this fall. HY 693 covers events of the war exactly 70 years after they occurred, which means it will cover the events of August to December 1944 — one of the most important and dramatic periods of the war.

After the successful D-Day invasion, people thought the Nazis were finished, but they were not. Instead, they nearly turned the tide in 2 great battles: Operation Market Garden and The Battle of the Bulge.

The former was the largest airborne assault ever attempted — a plan so audacious that Allied leaders could hardly believe it when it was presented to them. American airborne troops distinguished themselves in the battles attempting to secure the bridges that would have allowed Allies forces into Germany.

The latter was the greatest pitched battle ever fought by American forces, costing the US 80,000 casualties. The battle decided the outcome of the war but it was very, very close; even the eternally aggressive General George Patton thought "We might lose this war" during the bitter fighting to relieve American troops surrounded in Bastogne.

Alabama is lucky to have many surviving veterans of these battles and the class will hear their testimony

This class is open to history graduate students and to interested undergraduates as a directed reading. For more information, contact Dr. André Millard.

Below are select images from Dr. Millard's trip to Arnhem to prepare for this fall's class. To see more, visit the class gallery on SmugMug.

The “Crossing Bridge” at Nijmegen.
Dr. André Millard at a memorial to the airborne troops who fought in Operation Market Garden.
Graves of soldiers who lost their lives in Operation Market Garden.
The Arnhem Bridge, also known as the John Frost Bridge.