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WWII Vocab

Terms

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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 immediately.
Fair Employment Practices Commission
established to combat discrimination in industries that held government contracts.
Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact
1939 agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. The two nations agreed not to attack one another and to split the country of Poland between them.
Munich Conference
1938 conference at which European leaders attempted to appease Hitler by turning over the Sudetenland to him in exchange for promise that Germany would not expand Germany's territory any further.
Civil Defense
protective measures in case of attack. For examples, in the during WWII volunteers scanned the skies for enemy aircraft and coastal cities enforced blackouts
Operation Overlord
The Allied invasion of Normandy in June of 1944.
Nuremberg Laws
established legal basis in Nazi Germany for discrimination against Jews.
Fascism
any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism
United Nations
organization founded after World War II to promote international peace and cooperation.
Axis Powers
Japan, Germany, and Italy
Magic
Code name for U.S. code-breaking operations against the Japanese.
Erwin Rommel
The Desert Fox. Commander of the Axis forces in North Africa.
Douglas MacArthur
American general, who commanded allied troops in the Pacific during World War II.
Death Camps
camps used under the rule of Hitler in Nazi Germany for the purpose of killing prisoners immediately.
Winston Churchill
Prime minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945 and again 1951-1955.
Siege
military blockade
Neutrality Acts
Originally designed to avoid American involvement in World War II by preventing loans to those countries taking part in the conflict; they were later modified in 1939 to allow aid to Great Britain and other Allied nations.
Neville Chamberlain
Prime Minister of Great Britain from -1940. Famous for appeasing Hitler at the Munich Conference.
Maginot Line
String of steel and concrete bunkers along the German border from Belgium to Switzerland set up by the British and French
Benito Mussolini
head of the Italian Fascist party. Mussolini was known as El Duce and was leader of Italy, the first Fascist regime, during World War II.
Office of Price Administration
set limits on consumer prices and rent to prevent inflation.
Internment Camps
Detention centers where more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were relocated during World War II by order of the President.
Revenue Act of 1942
raised corporation taxes and required nearly all Americans to pay income taxes.
Rationing
Taking items that are in short supply and distributing them according to a system. For instance, during World War II, gas, sugar, and butter were a few of the items rationed in the United States.
Hideki Tojo
Prime Minister of Japan during World War II.
Island Hopping
the American navy attacked islands held by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. The capture of each successive island from the Japanese brought the American navy closer to an invasion of Japan.
Allied Nations
Those countries fighting against the Axis powers, i.e. Britain, France, USA, Canada, USSR etc
WACs
Women's Army Corps
Korematsu v United States
1944 Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court upheld the order providing for the relocation of Japanese Americans. It was not until 1988 that Congress formally apologized and agreed to pay $20,000 to each survivor.
V-E Day
Victory in Europe, May 8, 1945
Disarmament
giving up military weapons
Office of War Information
established by the government to promote patriotism and help keep Americans united behind the war effort.
Holocaust
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 World War II.
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.
The War Production Board
supervised the conversion of industries to war production. For example, automakers shifted from making cars to trucks and tanks.
National War Labor Board
helped resolve labor disputes that might slow down war production.
Appeasement
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.
Totalitarian
a single party and leader who suppress all opposition and control all aspects of people's lives
Anti-Semitism
policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jews
Code Talker
Used a special code based on the Navajo language to send messages. The Japanese never broke the code.
Bracero Program
United States labor agents recruited thousands of farm and railroad workers from Mexico. The program stimulated emigration for Mexico.
Rosie the Riveter
Advertising campaign character who encouraged women to take factory jobs.
Lend-Lease Act
Approved 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."
Atlantic Charter
Anglo-American declaration that stated the countries aims for the outcome of the war. Stated 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.
Ethiopia
African nation invaded by fascist Italy in 1935
Adolf Hitler
Leader of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich in Germany during World War II.
Nazism
The doctrines of nationalism, racial purity, anti-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.
Potsdam Declaration
Ultimatum from the Potsdam Conference that was issued by the United States, Great Britain and China to Japan offering that country the choice between unconditional surrender and total annihilation.
Dictator
Political leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force
George Patton
Famous American General who fought in North Africa and Europe.
Annex
Process by which a government gains control over a territory not presently under their jurisdiction. It usually involves either conquest or the use of force. Germany annexed the Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
Dunkirk
city in the northwest 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.
Pearl Harbor
United States military base on Hawaii that was bombed by Japan, bringing the United States into World War II. Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.
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.
American First Committee
Organization created by isolationists who argued that the United States should keep out of Europe's business.
Kamikaze
Japanese suicide pilots who loaded their planes with explosives and crashed them into American ships.
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 may of the prisoners died en route.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
American General who began in North Africa and became the Commander of Allied forces in Europe.
D-Day
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.
Manchuria
Province in northeast China invaded by Japan in September 1931
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 World War II. He is the only president to have been elected 4 times, a feat no longer permissible due to the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.
Royal Air Force
Britains air force
Battle of the Bulge
Term used to describe the actions following the German offensive through the Ardennes forests in December 1944.
Mobilization
the gathering of resources and preparation for war.
Genocide
Wiping out an entire group of people
IL Duce
the Leader; Benito Mussolini
Nisei
American-born children of Japanese immigrants; second generation Japanese Americans.
Tuskegee Airmen
332 Fighter Group famous for shooting down over 200 enemy planes. African American pilots who trained at the Tuskegee flying school.
Manhattan Project
Code name for the U.S. effort during World War II to produce the atomic bomb. Much of the early research was done in New York City by refugee physicists in the United States.
Battle of Britain
an aerial battle fought in World War II 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.
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.
WAVES
Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service in the Navy
V-J Day
Victory of Japan, September 2, 1945
Blitzkrieg
German lightning warfare. Characterized by highly mobility and concentrated forces at point of attack.

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