REPLAY: BENZONIA ACADEMY LECTURE SERIES/December 2021: “Christmas 1944. The last one of the Second World War.” Presented by Brian McCall

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REPLAY: Benzonia Academy Lecture Series

“Christmas 1944.  The last one of the Second World War”

Watch on YouTube by clicking on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkyclxxTJ5I&t=1210s

Brian McCall’s recommended WWII reading list:

The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson http://liberationtrilogy.com/

Pacific War Trilogy by Ian W. Toll

https://www.amazon.com/Pacific-War-Trilogy-3-book-series/dp/B084SRTBJC?ref=dbs_m_mng_rwt_0000_ext

The Second World War by Antony Beevor

https://www.amazon.com/Second-World-War-Antony-Beevor/dp/0316023752

The Second World War by John Keegan

https://www.amazon.com/Second-World-War-John-Keegan/dp/0143035738/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1HCYKGR0AFWPG&keywords=keegan+the+second+world+war&qid=1639087983&s=books&sprefix=keegan%2Cstripbooks%2C182&sr=1-1

Christmas Under Fire, 1944 by Kevin Prenger

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-under-Fire-1944-World/dp/1087410614/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=christmas+1944&qid=1639088042&s=books&sr=1-3

Originally presented via Zoom on December 9, 2021, McCall’s presentation details why doubts about the Allied victory to come were fading with every news bulletin reporting progress on all fronts.   Huge numbers of tanks, planes, trucks, guns, and troops headed to the battlefields and contested oceans. At sea, the Nazi U-boat threat was finally beaten back, while most warships of the Japanese navy were either sunk or in retreat.

1945 had the very real possibility of seeing final victory and peace–but no one could really know what that peacetime world would look like. But before the celebrations could begin, much fighting, destruction, terror, pain, heartbreak, and death had to be endured. At home, civilians around the world in Allied, Axis, and neutral nations all waited in a state of determination or anxiety about what the new year would bring. Christmas 1944 was unlike any other in modern times.

McCall earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and MA degrees in American History from Central Michigan University and in Scottish and modern British History from the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland. He has been a member of the Interlochen Arts Academy Liberal Arts faculty since 1998 as an instructor of history and political science.  He has also served as an adjunct American History instructor at Northwestern Michigan College.  

McCall currently serves as vice president of the Traverse City Historical Society.  He is a former board president of the Benzie Area Historical Society, a past board member for Michigan Legacy Art Park and the Northwestern Michigan College International Affairs Forum, and past member of the Grand Traverse Heritage Center Advisory Council. 

This presentation is part of the Benzonia Academy Lecture Series, held on the second Thursday of each month, and offered by the Benzie Area Historical Society.