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WWII History Vocab


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Potsdam Declaration
Ultimatum from the Potsdam Conference that was issued by the United States, Great Britain and China to Japan offereing that country the choice between unconditional surrender and total annihilation
Code name for U.S. code-breaking operations against the Japanese.
United Nations
organization founded after WWII to promote international peace and cooperation
V-E Day
Victory in Europe, May 8, 1945
the doctrines of nationalism, racial purity, anit-Communism, and the all-powerful role of the State. The National Socialist German Workers Party, otherwise known as the Nazi Party. Nazism was advocated by Adolf Hitler in Germany.
Japanese suicide pilots who loaded their planes with explosives and crashed them into American ships
Royal Air Force (RAF)
Britain's air force
German lightning warfare. Characterized by highly mobility and concentrated forces at a point of attack.
Code Talker
Used a special code based on the Navajo language to send messages. The Japanese never broke the code.
June 6, 1944, the day on which Allied forces landed in Normandy, France to begin a massive offensive against the Germans in the occupied territory of Europe.
Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service in the Navy
Axis Powers
Japan, Germany, and Italy
Process by which a government gains control over a territory not presently under their jurisdiction. It usually invovles eitehr conquest or the use of force.
Military blockade
policy by which Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, and France agreed to Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland in agreement for not taking any additional Czech territory
Joseph Stalin
general secretary of the Communist Part of the Soviet Union, he led from 1922 until his death in 1953 and established a communist totalitarian state
Neville Chamberlain
Prime Minister of Great Britain. Famous for appeasing Hitler at the Munich Conference.
Erwin Rommel
The Desert Fox. Commander of the Axis forces in North Africa
Cash and Carry
policy adopted by the United States in 1939 to preserve neutrality while aiding the Allies. Britain and France could buy goods from the United States if they paid in full and transported them.
Province in northeast China invaded by Japan in September 1931.
Allied Nations
Those countries fighting against the Axis powers. Britain, France, USA, Canada, USSR etc
Island Hopping
the American navy attacked islansd held by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. The capture of each successive island from the Japanese brought the American navy closer to and invasion of Japan.
American First Committee
An organization creaded by isolationists who argued that the United States should keep out of Europe's business
Munich Conference
1938 conference at which European leaders attempted to appease Hitler by turning over the Sudetenland to him in exchange for a fromise that Germany would not expand Germeny's territory any further.
Civil Defense
protective measures in case of attack as in when WWII volunteers scanned the skies for enemy aircraft and coastal cities enforced blackouts.
Pearl Harbor
United States military base on Hawaii that was bombed by Japan, bringing the U.S. into WWII. Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941
political leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force.
Takind items that are in short supply and distributing them according to a system. For instance, during WWII, gas, surgar, and butter were a few of the items rationed in the U.S.
Fair Employment Practices Commission
Established to combat discrimination in industries that held government contracts.
giving up military weapons
George Patton
Famous American General who fought in North Africa and Europe
Concentration Camps
prison camps used under the rule of Hitler in Nazi Germany. Conditions were inhuman, and prisoners, mostly Jewish people, were generally starved or worked to death, or killed immediantly.
Lend-Lease Act
approve by Congress in March 1941; The act allowed America to sell, lend, or lease arms or other supplies to nations considered "vital to the defense of the United States".
Bracero Program
United States labor agents recruited thousands of farm and railfoad workers from Mexico. The program stimulated emigration for Mexico.
Bataan Death March
April 1942, American soldiers were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps by their Japanese captors. It is called the Death March because so many prisoners died.
any movement, ideology, or attitude that flavors dictatorial government, centralized conrtol of pribate enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism.
Battle of Britain
an aerial battle fought in WWII in 1940 between the German Luftwaffe(air force), which carried out extensive bombing in Britain, and the British Royal Air Force, which offered successful resistance.
Hideki Tojo
Prime Minister of Japan during WWII
Revenue Act of 1942
raised corporation taxes and requried nearly all Americans to pay income taxes
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
the 32nd president of the United States. He was president from 1933 until his death in 1945 during both the Great Depression and WWII. He is the only president to have been elected 4 times, a feat no longer permissible du to the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution
Manhattan Project
Code name for the U.S. effort during WWII to produce the atomic bomb. Much of the early research was done in New York City by refugee physicists in the U.S.
Atlantic Charter
Anglo-American declaration that stated the countries aims for the outcome of the war, that people of every nation should be free to choose their own form of government and live free of fear and want, disarmament, and a permanent system of general security.
the gathering of resources and preparation for war
Women's Army Corps
Dwight D. Eisenhower
American General who began in North Africa and became the Commander of Allied forces in Europe
Neutrality Acts
Originally desighned to avoid American involvement in WWII by preventing loans to thoes countries taking part in the conflict; they were later modified in 1939 to allow aid to Great Britain and other Allied nations.
Benito Mussolini
head of the Italian Fascist party. Mussolini was know as "El Duce" and was leader of Italy, the first Fascist regime, during WWII
Douglas MacArthur
American general, who commanded allied troops in the Pacific During WWII
African nation invaded by fascist Italy in 1935
Tuskegee Airmen
332 Fighter Group famous for shooting down over 200 enemy planes. African American pilots who trained at the Tuskegee flying school
Office of War Information
Established by the government to promote patriotism and help keep Americans united behind the war effort
Wiping out and entire group of people
Harry S. Truman
33rd president of the United States. He assumed the presidency at the death of FDR in 1945 and served until 1953. Under his leadership the United States saw the end of the Second World War with the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan and also the establishment of the Truman Doctrine for foreign policy, which seeks to limit the spread of Communism.
Operation Overload
The Allied invasion of Normandy in June of 1944
Rosie the Riveter
Advertising campaign character who encouraged women to take factory jobs.
policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jews
the systematic extermination of millions of European Jews, as well as Roma, Slavs, intellectuals, homosexuals, and political dissidents, by the Nazis and their allies during WWII.
Battle of the Bulge
Term used to describe the actions following German offensive through the Ardennes Forest in December 1944
V-J Day
Victory of Japan, September 2, 1945
Maginot Line
String of steel and concrete bunkers along the German border from Belgium to Switzerland set up by the British and the French.
Korematsu v United States
1944 Supreme Court case where teh Supreme Court upheld the order providing for the relocation of Japanese Americans. It was not until 1988 the Congress formally apologized and agreed to pay &20,000 to each survivor
a single party and leader who suppresses all opposition and controls all aspects of people's lives
IL Duce
the Leader; Benito Mussolini
Office of Price Administration
set limits on consumer prices and rent to prevent inflation
National War Labor Board
Helped resolve labor disputes that might slow down war production
Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact
1939 agreement that between Germany and the Soviet Union. The two nations agreed not to attack one another and to split the country of Poland between them
Winston Churchill
Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945 and again in 1951-1955
American-born children of Japanses immigrants; second generation Japanese Americans
Death Camps
camps used under the rule of Hitler in Nazi Germany for the purpose of killing prisoners immediately.
The War Production Board
supervised the conversion of industries to war production. For example, automakers shifted from making cars to trucks and tanks
a city in the norhwest corner of France where the allied troops were trapped by the advancing Germany army. 800 British ships, ranging from warships to fishing boats, crossed the channel from England to rescue over 300,000 British and French troops.
Adolf Hitler
Leader of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich in Germany during WWII
Nuremberg Laws
established legal basis in Nazi Germany for discriminaiton against Jews
Internment Camps
Detention centers where more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were relocated during WWII by order of the President

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