If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

BEFORE YOU WATCH: The Fallen of World War II

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What was the general profile up people who make up military deaths as opposed to civilian deaths?
  2. Where did the most Nazis die?
  3. What country lost the most casualties as a percentage of its population?
  4. Who lost the most soldiers and civilians in the war and why?
  5. Which side purposely targeted civilians during World War II? Give some examples?
  6. Was World War II the deadliest war in history?
  7. What does this video mean by “The Long Peace”?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. The video concludes that, since World War II, large conflicts have been less common and less deadly. How do you explain this trend?
  2. Do you think World War II was the most devastating event in world history? Why or why not?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user EvanIturbide
    did you know that the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (English 'mouse') was a German World War II super-heavy tank completed in late 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armored fighting vehicle ever built. Five were ordered, but only two hulls and one turret were completed, the turret being attached before the testing grounds were captured by advancing Soviet military forces.

    These two prototypes underwent trials in late 1944. The complete vehicle was 10.2 m (33 ft) long, 3.71 m (12.2 ft) wide and 3.63 m (11.9 ft) high. Weighing 188 metric tons, the Maus's main armament was the Krupp-designed 128 mm KwK 44 L/55 gun, based on the 12.8 cm Pak 44 towed anti-tank gun also used in the casemate-type Jagdtiger tank destroyer, with a coaxial 75 mm KwK 44 L/36.5 gun. The 128 mm gun was powerful enough to destroy all Allied armored fighting vehicles in service at the time, with some at ranges exceeding 3,500 m (3,800 yd).[4]

    The principal problem in the design of the Maus was developing an engine and drivetrain which was powerful enough to adequately propel the tank, yet small enough to fit inside it – as it was meant to use the same sort of "hybrid drive", using an internal-combustion engine to operate an electric generator to power its tracks with electric motor units, much as its Porsche-designed predecessors, the VK 30.01 (P), VK 45.01 (P), and Elefant had. The drive train was electrical, designed to provide a maximum speed of 20 km/h (12 mph) and a minimum speed of 1.5 km/h (0.9 mph).[5] However, during actual field testing, the maximum speed achieved on hard surfaces was 13 km/h (8.1 mph) with full motor field, and by weakening the motor field to a minimum, a top speed of 22 km/h (14 mph) was achieved.[6] The vehicle's weight made it unable to use most bridges; instead it was intended to ford to a depth of 2 m (6.6 ft) or submerge up to a depth of 8 m (26 ft) and use a snorkel to cross rivers.

    The Maus was intended to punch holes through enemy fortifications in the manner of an immense "breakthrough tank", while taking virtually no damage to any components.

    the Germans maus was about to get taken from other team so the Germans put explosives in the hull so they would blow it up so if it gets stolen they don't know what it was or how it was built.
    (4 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • duskpin tree style avatar for user jamietennison715
    how can i understand this?
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user