Somerville Secondary College

World War II History – Pacific

Featured Learning AreaHumanities – History
Additional Learning AreasHumanities – Geography, Civics
Learning Capabilities DevelopedCritical/Creative Thinking


This subject is advised to be completed after World War I.

This elective is designed to follow on from the other WW II elective, however, it is not a prerequisite. Parallels will be drawn between the rise of the Nazis and Imperial Japan during the 1930s, as well as the war crimes of both: of the Holocaust in Germany, and Imperial Japan’s treatment of Asian civilians and British-Australian POWs. Students will learn about the Japanese invasion of Asia, including the Fall of Singapore, and the disastrous impact this had on Australian efforts to protect the continent from Japanese war efforts. This will lead in to an examination of the Bombing of Darwin and Broome, as well as Pearl Harbour and the first air-sea battles in world history, as the US and Australia attempted to push the Japanese back. After studying the efforts at Kakoda in saving Australia from further attack, the course will then look at how the war was brought to an end with atomic bombs, before finishing with a study of how the end of the war in the Pacific lead to the end of Asian colonisation and the start of the Cold War related conflicts the region later suffered from.