loading spinner

An Oxford World War II Conference

Immerse yourself in the story of WWII in Oxford, where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the outbreak of the war through lectures and expert-led speaker discussions.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21453RJ
8 days
Starts at

An Oxford World War II Conference

Immerse yourself in the story of WWII in Oxford, where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the outbreak of the war through lectures and expert-led speaker discussions.
8 days
Starts at
8 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
Program No. 21453RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
No Dates
There are no dates available.
Enter your email address and we will contact you as soon as dates are available.

Notify me

At a Glance

On September 1, 1939 the threads of an increasingly tense web of international relations began to snap as German forces crossed the Polish border. One year later armed conflict was again in full swing across the world, with no end in sight. We invite you to join distinguished scholars and historians in Oxford, England for a historic conference event, the seventh in Road Scholar’s World War series. Delve into the origins, outbreak and early stages of the Second World War with leading experts at the conference.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Gain insight into the outbreak of the Second World War with renowned experts, authors, historians and broadcasters during a private conference in Oxford.
  • Enjoy the experience of studying at Oxford.
  • Join speakers for discussions of the military campaigns and political machinations of 1939 and 1940.

General Notes

This conference program has a maximum of 120 like-minded participants, is classroom-based and features acclaimed experts. For field trips, the group will be divided into smaller groups.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Lights that Failed: European History 1919-1933
by Zara Steiner
Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man
by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality and Hitler’s Lightning War – France 1940
by Lloyd Clark
The Duel: The Eighty Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler
by John Lukacs
The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French Defence, 1933-1940
by Martin Alexander
Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis
by Ian Kershaw
When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940
by Robin Prior
When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees
by Julie Summers
France 1940: Defending the Republic
by Philip Nord
Churchill: Walking with Destiny
by Andrew Roberts
Winston Churchill dominates our view of the history of Britain in the twentieth century - the brash, brave and ambitious young aristocrat who sought out danger in late Victorian wars, the mercurial First Lord of the Admiralty who was responsible for the Dardanelles disaster in 1915, the Home Secretary who crushed the General Strike in 1926, the Colonial Secretary who rode with T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell at the Pyramids, the Chancellor who took the country back to the Gold Standard and then spent more than ten years in the political wilderness - and who, finally, was summoned to save his country in 1940. 'I felt that I was walking with destiny, and all my life had been but preparation for that hour.' Andrew Robert's titanic new biography interprets all these events, especially Churchill's leadership during the Second World War, which he sees through the prism of all Churchill's earlier life. He gives full visibility to Churchill's flaws, and brilliantly explains his genius. Roberts has used over forty collections of papers not available to Churchill's previous biographer Roy Jenkins (2001) and he is the first Churchill biographer to be granted access by the Queen to the private diaries of King George VI. This is the Churchill biography for our times and the next generation.
The Triumph of the Dark: European History 1933 – 1939
by Zara Steiner
The Third Reich in Power
by Richard Evans
The Coming of the Third Reich
by Richard Evans
1939: Countdown to War
by Richard Overy
Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War
by Tim Bouverie
First to Fight: The Polish War 1939
by Roger Moorhouse
Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris
by Ian Kershaw
The Peace That Never Was: A History of the League of Nations
by Ruth Henig
Britain, France and Belgium 1939-1940
by Brian Bond
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years
by Martin Gilbert
Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940
by John Kiszely
Strange Defeat
by Mark Bloch
The Battle of Britain: Five Months which Changed History
by James Holland

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.