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World War II Terms


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The name for the German made and used tank. It was mainly used during the military technique "Blitzkrieg" in which used at its top speed was able to easily anihilate anything in its path. A main reason why Hitler's Blitzkrieg was so succesful.
Phoney War or Sitzkrieg
Lack of action on the westernfront between the defeat of Poland and 1940.
Lend Lease
An act in which the Americans would give materials to powers who were fighting in causes friendly to America. These materials were sent to Europe and to Russia. They made it possible for Russia and Britain to last much longer on the battlefield with the better equiped German army.
The location which the British and Americans conquered in order of the Free French Forces movment to succede in liberating France.
German Military Technique meaning "Lightning War". Tested durring the Spanish Civil War. Involved airplanes that destroyed key positions and cauesd havok, followed by the Panzer and troop divisions, using pincer attacks easily defeated its enemies.
French Marshall Petain was the man who ended up running the government in Vichy France. Who also collaborated with the Nazi's.
Siege of Leningrad
A siege that lasted 900 days and killed many lives. The conquering of Leningrad was one of the major objectives of Barbarossa. The population escaped on what was called the "Road of Life". The battle would continue for quite somtime and didn't end till January of 1944. Leningrad symbolized the Nazi-Soviet conflict.
British plane which had superior manoeuvrability allowing it to take down the Luftwaffe much easier. Important during the Battle of Britain.
Fall of Mussolini
Time when Mussolini was captured by Italian partisans and then hanged with his wife. This was after he lost control in Rome and was forced to run to the North where he was placed as a Puppet Dictator.
Atlantic Charter
Made off the coast of Newfoundland in August, 1941. The Atlantic Charter was the fourteen points of WWII. This was the beginning of the Grand Alliance.
*Note the chater acted as a model for the United Nations.
Iwo Jima and Okinawa
Two islands which would result in huge casualties for the Americans as the Japanese troops they were fighting would rather commit suicide than surrender.
Operation Sea Lion
The invasion of the British Isles. The Battle of Britain was a phase of this plan.
Island Hopping
The technique in 1943 used by the Americans to aircrafts and to just remove the Japanese from strategic islands in order to get more closer to the islands of Japan. This saved the Americans much fighting and casualites.
The name of the attack on the Soviet Union. Named after the fabled German Warrior from the 1190's. The 3 goals of the plan where Lebensraum, the resources the Soviet Union had and Germany wanted, and to crush Communism. The attack began on the 22nd of June, 1941. The war although not a complete failure was stopped by the Russian Winter which did more than the Red Army could ever do to the Nazi army.
Emperor Hirohito
The emperor of Japan who took over after his father's death in December 1926. He would end up approving the attacks on China and on Pearl Harbor. He would then call for the surrender of Japan on the 15th of August of 1945. He would remain as Emperor untill his death.
The Italian Campaign
An allied campaign aimed at defeating Italy. The campaign started in Sicily on July 9th, 1943 against the Italian army and then against the Nazi's after Italy had surrendered. The war in Italy ended on May 2nd, 1945.
Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis
The alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan Whom were at war with Britain, USA, and Russia.
*Note word "Axis" made by Mussolini
Battle of Britain
From the 10th of July to 30th September. This battle was the battle betwen the British RAF and the German Luftwaffe. The key was to destroy the british ability to fight back in the air so Germany could invade the British Isles.
V-1, V-2, Buzz Bomb
These weapons were the beginning of cruise like missles. Since there was no hope of winning the war the Germans launched the V-1's, an unmnaned flying bomb. The V-2 was a ballistic missle that flew at supersonic speeds and terrorized the London Population. These had little outcomes on the war, but would become a part of future warfare.
Axis Powers
Germany, Italy, and Spain called their friendship the Axis during the Spanish Civil War.
*Note Mussolini came up with the term "Axis"
Normandy Invasion/D.Day
The actual invasion of France. This attack by American forces on Utah and Omaha beaches, the British on Gold and Sword beaches, along with the Canadians on Juno beach. The mission was a success and was the beginning of the Second front or part of operation Overlord.
The Fall Of France
The conquering of France on the 22nd of June. Caused by the succesfulness of the blitzkrieg strategy, the uselessness of the Maginot Line, the strength of the Luftwaffe compared the french Airforce, and the extremist parties who were against the war with Germany.
General Tojo
The prime minister of Japan in 1941, he would end up leading Japan into the wars against Britain and Japan.
The use of Radio waves to detect objects from far off distances. This was used a lot during the Battle of Britain which allowed the British to detect the Luftwaffe while it still flew above the channel. This allowed for British planes to intercept them before they could hit their targets.
Afrika Corps
The German forces lead by General Rommel to aid the Itallian forces in North Africa in their attacks against Britain. The unit would fight till they surrendered on May 13th, 1943.
Sir Winston Churchill
A British Admiral then the Prime Minister. Winston Churchill would become a big part of Britain's war efforts all throughout WW2 until the end of the war when he losses the election to Clement Atlee.
Harry S. Truman
President of America he would take over Roosevelts place after Roosevelt died. Ordered the A-Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Operation Torch
American lead operation by General Eisenhower in Morroco which aided the British against the Afrika Corps. This lead to the Afrika Corps surrender in 1943.
Fortress Europa
Nazi Propaganda which made it believe that with the conquering of all of France, Europe was virtually impossible to invade.
The point of escape for British Troops after the fall of Belgium. Between May 27th and 4th of June 340,000 troops transported and considered a moral victory. Hitler did not crush them as they left on the beach even though he could of. This allowed many of Britains troops to fight again another day.
Battle of Stalingrad
The battle which focused on taking out Stalingrad. The failure of this mission resulted in, the surrender of 300 000 German Troops, some of his best. Denied the Germans access to the Caucasus oil fields. Protected the supply route between USSR and Iran where the lend-lease aid was at. It also put Germany on the defence as this is where USSR began to push German troops back to Germany.
The War Time Confrences
Confrences in which the Allies would meet and discuss strategy and war aims. The first was off the coast of Newfoundland where the Grand Alliance was formed and the Atlantic Charter made. In Casablanca it was agreed that Germany should unconditionally surrender. In Quebec the A-Bomb was discussed. Chiang joined in Cairo to discuss the Eastern War. Tehran was one of the first big three conferences where the Polish Frontier, Second Front, and Pacific war were all discussed. In Yalta they discussed what would happen to Germany, Nuremburg War Trials, USSR to enter the Pacific War, Disarming of Germany, and the United Nations Issues. Thje last was in Postdam where they discussed the disarm of Germany and deprive her of her ability to make war. Also they defined the allied Control Council which was to govern Germany.
Vichy France
Southern France which was allowed a semi-independant government in Vichy. Had no real independance and began to work with the Nazi's after a while. This government was lead by Marshal Petain.
Joseph Stalin
Leader of the Soviet Union ever since Lenin's death, he would end up joining the Grand Alliance after the Germans invaded the USSR and be a big part in the Victory of Nazi Germany.
Marshall Zhukov
The most important Russian military commander during WW2. He was involved in all of the major Soviet defences and offences all the way up to 1945 where he represented the USSR at Germany's surrender. He is a major reason to why the USSR did not lose to the Nazi's in WW2.
El Alamein
British Victory by General Montgomery, whos "Desert Rats" were able to defeat Rommel and the German/Italian army. This victory allowed the Suez Canal to remain in allied hands, Germans were denied the oil of the middle east, and also showed that Hitler's best troops could also be defeated.
The Operation to break through France and give the Nazi's a second front. Lead by Dwight Eisenhower, 3 million troops would push through France and into Berlin. The attack was meant to happen on 5th of June of 1944 but ended up happening on June 6th of 1944.
Free French Forces
A group formed by General Charles DeGaulle which was first announced over BBC radio to all french people to join them in the fight against Nazi Germany. The goal was to Free France. They ended up getting much support in the French Colonies, and when France was liberated, had 400 000 members. A very big asset to the victories over Nazi Germany.
Well known for his efforts in Dunkirk and training back in Britain incase of a Nazi Invasion, lead British forces in Afrika. While in Afrika he was known to have raised morale of the troops whom had lost many battles against the German Panzer divisions lead by Field Marshal Rommel. With victory at El Alamein and the aid of the americans, was able to crush the Afrika Corps.
Russo-Finnish War
November 30th, 1939 Russia would invade Finland without even declaring war. The reason for the invasion resulted in Russia making sure Germany could not simply move through Finland and then easily move in to Crush Russia. The war would last over 100 days and Russia would add a lot of Finland to the USSR. Later on however, Germany would use Finland to invade the USSR almost making the invasion of Finland pointless.
Liberation of France
The goal to liberate France from the Nazi's control. They would end up fighting in between July and August along with the Resistance and Free French Forces. It would end after August 25th when they marched triumphantly into Paris.
Rommel [Dessert Fox]
A Panzer General for the Nazi's during WW2, he personaly asked Hitler for the command of the 7th Panzer Division. His group was called the Phantom division during the attacks on France as no one could find them. After taking command of the Afrika Corps, he was able to push back the British with ease using the Blitzkrieg strategy. Because of his victories he would be promoted to Field Marshal and be known as the Desert Fox. Forced to retreat after USA joined the war and forced his forces back.
May 7th, 1945
The day that Germany unconditionally surrendered, and the European phase of the war was now over.
Manhattan Project
A project started in 1943 to create the "A-Bomb". It was unsure if the weapon was going to be completed in time so it was not of great importance of the war till July of 1945 it was confirmed that the test was a success. 3 Bombs were created, one was used for the test, the other 2 dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Grand Alliance
The Alliance of Britain and America which would goto war against Germany and Japan during WW2. The Grand Alliance was formed the same time the Atlantic Charter was.
Battle of the Atlantic
The battle for Britain to keep her sea lanes to America and to the rest of the Empire. The Germans were crushing the allies a lot by sinking more ships than the allies were building. When the British started using better Radar and safe convoys, they were able to crush many of the German U-Boats finnaly giving the allies most of the atlantic back.
Invasion of Sicily
The first phase of the Italian Campaign, which would be the location that the Allies could attack Italy. After the taking of Sicily the Italians removed Mussolini and the Italian troops no longer fought. The allies would be forced then to fight the Germans in Italy.
Battle of Midway Islands
The turning point of the Pacific theater. The battle was a victory for the Americans who were able to destroy 4 japanese aircraft carriers, and 1 heavy cruiser which resulted in a major blow to the Japanese Navy.
Introduced at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in October 1944. The word kamikaze means devine wind, and the term was used for Pilots who with bombs on their planes were sent on suicide missions to crash against American ships. This attack was almost impossible to defend against and cost many Americans there lives.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Two of Japan's cities that had the "A-Bomb" dropped on them killing thousands. This would result in the Japanese surrender.
United Nations Declaration
The declaration signing of 25 countries including Britain, USA, and USSR to found the UN. Its focus was to first defeat the Axis.
Franklin Roosevelt
American President who created the Lend-Lease program and declared war on Japan and Germany after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He would die before the war ended and would be replaced by President Truman.
Second Front
The second front was the western front which the allies wanted to open up in France. With it Germany would be forced to fight two fronts like in WW1 and would not be able to withstand the attack. This was the objective of Operation Overlord.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ameircan General who took command of Operation Overlord. He would lead 3 million men into Normandy, through France, and into Berlin where they would end the war. Before this he lead Operation Torch in Africa which pushed back General Rommel's forces and forced them to retreat back to Germany.
General DeGaulle
A French General who led the Free French Forces movement durring 1940 - 1944 which aided the allies heavily in the reoccupation of France.
Pearl Harbor
American Naval Base in Hawaii which was attacked by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941 in order to weaken the American Pacific fleet forcing it not to engage in a war with Japan because of the costs. This would secure the empire of Japan. This event ended America's isolationism and brought them alongside Britain and Russia against the Axis.

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