Rather than go through all of the battles of World War 2, I had assigned a pre-determined list of major battles of the war to students and had them research the battles. They had to put together a research project that discussed the important features of “their” battle–who is involved; is the battle on land, sea, or in the air; what kinds of new weapons might have been used (compared to World War 1); what the outcome of their battle was; and anything else noteworthy about the battle. The original plan was to have students present their battles to the class, but COVID had other plans. So I put together a summary of all of the battles according by using the students’ projects and supplied them with an overview of all of the battles (similar to a “debriefing” process). The final stage was to have the students complete a “counterfactual” scenario based on their knowledge of their particular battle in coordination with the summary document.
For example, one student suggested that if the British had not had such a sophisticated radar system that had been developed just prior to the war, the Battle of Britain might have gone differently. If Nazi Germany had bombed the British into submission, then … (students were supposed to develop two more possibilities based on this counterfactual scenario). The original plan, before COVID, was to award a small prize for the best counterfactual scenario as picked by the students (I would have provided them with a “top 3”).