Environmental History, the Second World War, and Urban Resilience

  • Simo Laakkonen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


In public imagination World War II was waged above all by omnipotent states and armies. However, no other war in human history has been waged with such ferocity and devastation done to cities, against cities, and in cities. Warfare between the major powers depended completely on the R&D and mass production of industrial products in towns and cities. Consequently, World War II was the first war in which military strategies systematically aimed at and succeeded in devastating towns and cities and killing civilian populations on a massive scale. This essay discusses urban environmental histories of World War II in terms of three concepts, that is, shock city, model city, and resilient city.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simo Laakkonen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TurkuTurkuFinland

Personalised recommendations