Student Activity

World War II Diplomacy: Europe through the Course of the War

WWII Diplomacy
Photo caption

WWII Diplomacy is a series of interactive maps showing events in the European theater of WWII.

Explore this series of interactive maps to gain a visual understanding of the events that took place in the European theater of WWII.

Note: This interactive uses Adobe Flash.

Guiding Questions and Primary Sources

  1. Map 1: June 1941
    1. What information does this map show? What information is missing? How does that make the map misleading or difficult to interpret?
    2. What do the labels in the map legend mean? What were the differences between the different kinds of territory related to the Axis powers?
  2. Map 2: December 1941, Eastern Front
    1. Read about the German invasion of the Soviet Union from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    2. ​​​​​​​Learn more about the Eastern Front with this article and collection of primary sources from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    3. View a collection of primary sources about the Eastern Front on the Digital Public Library of America.
    4. When was the turning point on the Eastern Front? How is this shown on the map?
    5. What factors contributed to the defeat of German forces on the Eastern Front, despite their initial advantage?
  3. Map 3: January 1943, Casablanca Conference
    1. ​​​​​​​What was the Casablanca Conference? Who attended?
    2. How was the conference portrayed in the U.S. press and received by the U.S. public? Chronicling America allows you to explore this question, perhaps starting with a summary of press coverage from the Washington, D.C. Evening Star.
    3. What were the outcomes of the conference?
  4. Map 4: November 1943, Tehran Conference
    1. Read the agreements reached at the Tehran Conference.
    2. ​​​​​​​What was the Tehran Conference? Who attended?
    3. How had the map of the war changed since the Casablanca Conference in January 1943?
    4. What were the priorities of the different leaders at the conference?
    5. Curate a selection of five photographs of the Tehran Conference, writing a short blurb for each about what it depicts and why you have selected it.
  5. Map 5: February 1945, Yalta Conference
    1. Read the agreements reached at the Yalta Conference.
    2. What was the Yalta Conference? Who attended?
    3. How had the map of the war changed since the Tehran Conference in November 1943?
    4. How did U.S. responses to the Yalta Conference change from the immediate aftermath of the Conference to after Roosevelt's death in April 1945?