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Teacher's Comment :

Kwak Suk Chun - Development, Deployment and Impact of Airborne Infantry during World War II

Suk Chun is a history buff who spent several years of his young life in Britain, speaks English with a British accent. He has a special interest in military history.
The topic he chose required bibliographic research. He was fortunate and found accounts on the history of airborne infantry (parachutists, troops transported by gliders) of the U.K., the U.S., the U.S.S.R. and of Germany, all printed in English. He ordered these four books from antiquarian booksellers overseas; based on these, he wrote a comparative analysis which is well-organized and concise. By comparing the various national experiences, he is capable of describing how the success of airborne infantry in one country influenced decisionmaking in another and vice versa; Suk Chun's convincing analysis goes a step beyond what the four books describe on a nation by nation basis.
Suk Chun worked independently; he had about a year for this project (the time it took for his books to arrive has to be taken into account). His paper would satisfy the criteria for a presentation in a university seminar. For an essay published in an academic magazine I would expect a wider basis of information and expect the writer to include German and Russian language sources in his research.

Suk Chun's paper serves as an excellent example for a research paper in history at a high school environment; based on a limited information basis he can establish an independent analysis within a limited period of time, with limited effort; in his case, the project could even have been concluded in less than a year. It also serves as an example for the importance of the choice of topic and the factor of luck; if accounts on the history of the airborne infantry of Germany and the U.S.S.R. would have only been available in German respectively Russian language, if any of these books would have been available in online catalogues of antiquarian booksellers, the entire project might not have been realized.

December 21st 2005

Alexander Ganse

Kwak Suk Chun Development, Deployment and Impact of Airborne Infantry during World War II

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