This four session course will explore a new perspective on the key event of the 20th century-World War II. The course will cover the origin of the war, the key factors determining the outcome, the strategies employed by both the Axis powers and the Allies, and the unique perspective of each of the major participants-Germany, Japan, Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. Session 1 will cover factors that made the war almost inevitable despite opposition to the war by most countries involved. Session 2 will assess the early victories of the Axis powers, why they occurred and the mistakes made by both sides. Session 3 will cover a key year 1941 and how the final Axis and Allied coalitions were formed by happenstance and blunders, specifically the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the Japanese attack on the United States. Session 4 will explore the operational evens for the balance of the war as the overwhelming power of the Allies crushed the Axis powers.