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Douglas MacArthur

A General who commanded a broad offensive against the Japanese that would move north from Australia, through New Guinea, and eventually to the Philippines.

Chester Nimitz

An Admiral who commanded a broad offensive against the Japanese that would move west from Hawaii toward major Japanese island outposts in the central pacific.

Battle of Midway

An enormous battle that raged for four days near the small American outpost at Midway Island, at the end of which the US, despite great losses, was clearly victorious. The American navy destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and lost only one of its own; the action regained control of the central Pacific for the US.

Guadalcanal

Where a struggle of terrible ferocity developed and continued for six months, inflicting heavy losses on both sides. In the end, however, the Japanese were forced to abandon the island-and with it their last chance of launching an effective offensive to the south.

George C. Marshall

General who was the army chief of staff who supported a plan for a major Allied invasion of France across the English Channel in the spring of 1943.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Placed at the head of planning the operation that Marshall supported.

George S. Patton

A General who regrouped the American troops and began an effective counteroffensive against the Germans.

Bernard Montgomery

A Field Marshall who was the hero of the battle at El Alamein and led the British forces attacking from the east.

Battle of Stalingrad

Located in southern Russia and was where the Red Army successfully held off a major German assault.

"no-strike" pledge

Where unions agreed not to stop production in wartime.

Smith-Connally Act

Required that unions wait thirty days before striking and it empowered the president to seize a struck war plant.

Smith-Connally Act

Required that unions wait thirty days before striking and it empowered the president to seize a struck war plant.

Office of Price Administration

Held the line against inflation and was first led by Leon Henderson and then by Chester Bowles. The OPA was successful enough that inflation was a much less serious problem in WWII then in WWI.

Revenue Act of 1942

Radically increased income-tax rates.

War Production Board

Under the direction of Donald Nelson and was never able to win complete control over military purchases; the army and navy often circumvented the board. The WPB was never able to satisfy small business complaints, which charged that most contracts were going to large corporations.

Office of War Mobilization

Where most of the WPB's authority was transferred, but it was only slightly more successful.

centimetric radar

Had narrow beams of short wavelength that made radar more efficient and effective than ever before-as the British navy discovered when the instruments of one of its ships detected a surfaced submarine 10 miles away at night and, on another occasion, spotted a periscope at three-quarters of a mile range.

American Boeing B17F

capable of flying a bomb loaded of 6,000 pounds for 1,300 miles, and capable of reaching 37,500 feet. Because it was able to fly higher and longer than the German equivalents, it was able to conduct extensive bombing missions over Germany with much less danger of being shot down.

Ultra Project

Where the Allies had the greatest advantage which came from successful efforts to capture or steal German and Japanese intelligence devices. More important, however, were the efforts of cryptologists to puzzle out the enemy's systems, and advances in computer technology that helped the Allies decipher coded messages sent by the Japanese and the Germans. Much of Germany's coded communication made use of the so-called Enigma machine, which was effective because it constantly changed the coding systems it used. In the first months of the war, Polish intelligence had developed an electro-mechanical computer, which it called the "Bombe," which could decipher some Enigma messages. The American Magic operation also had some success in breaking a Japanese coding system not unlike the German Enigma. The result was the Americans had access to intercepted information that, if properly interpreted, could have altered them to the Japanese raid on Pearly Harbor.

A. Phillip Randolph

The president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and began to insist that the government require companies receiving defense contracts to integrate their work forces. Roosevelt established what became known as the Fair Employment Practices Commission which would investigate discrimination against African Americans in war industries.

Congress of Racial Equality

Mobilized mass popular resistance to discrimination in a way that the older, more conservative organizations had never done.

Fort Dix riots

Occasional riots when black soldiers protested having to serve in segregated divisions.

Navajo "Code-Talkers"

Worked in military communications and spoke their own language over the radio and the telephones.

Braceros Program

A program by which braceros or contract laborers would be admitted to the US for a limited time. Some worked as migrant farm laborers, but many Mexicans were able for the first time to find factory jobs.

Zoot-Suit Riots

Aimed toward Mexican-American teenagers involved in gangs and were know as "zoot-suiters." Animosity towards them produced a four-day riot in Los Angeles, during which white sailors stationed at a base in Long Beach invaded Mexican-American communities and attacked zoot-suiters. The police did little to restrain the sailors, who grabbed Hispanic teenagers, tore off and burned their clothes, cut off their ducktails, and beat them. When Mexicans tried to fight back, the police moved in and arrested them. In the aftermath of the riot, Los Angeles passed a law prohibiting the wearing of zoot suits.

Issei

The first-generation immigrants that made up a third of the Japanese in America. The Nisei were naturalized or native-born citizens of the US that made up two thirds of the Japanese in America.

Japanese Internment

This caused more than 100,000 people to be rounded up, told to dispose of their property however they could, and were taken to what the government euphemistically called "relocation centers." In fact, they were facilities little different from prisons, many of them located in the mountains and desert. Thus a group of innocent, hardworking people were forced to spend up to three years in grim, debilitating isolation, barred from lucrative employment, provided with only minimal medical care, and deprived of decent schools for their children.

WAACS

Women in the army and WAVEs were women in the navy. Most female work was clerical.

Swing

The relatively new jazz form which had emerged from the African-American musical world. During the heyday of swing, band leaders such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller, were among the most recognized and popular figures in American popular culture, rivaling movie stars in their celebrity.

United Servicemen's Organization

Had branches that recruited thousands of young women to serve as hostesses in their clubs. They were expected to dress nicely, dance well, and chat happily with lonely men.

Thomas E. Dewey

Republican nominee for the 1944 election.

Harry S. Truman

From Missouri had won acclaim as chairman for the Senate War Investigating Committee, or the Truman Committee, which compiled an impressive record uncovering waste and corruption in wartime production. Because of this, he was selected to run as Vice-President with Roosevelt.

Battle of the Bulge

Made up of German forces driving through fifty-miles toward Antwerp before they were finally stopped at Bastogne. It was the last major battle of the western front.

Battle of Okinawa

took place on Okinawa, an island only 370 miles south of Japan, and gave evidence of the strength of the Japanese resistance in these last desperate days. Week after week, the Japanese troops on shore launched desperate nighttime attacks on the American lines. The US and its allies suffered nearly 50,000 casualties before finally capturing Okinawa in late June 1945.

Albert Einstein

HIs theory of relativity had revealed the relationships between mass and energy. More precisely, he had argued that, in theory at least, matter could be converted into a tremendous force of energy. He warned Roosevelt that the Germans were developing atomic weapons and that the US must begin trying to do the same.

Manhattan Project

The research for creating atomic weapons, led by General Leslie Groves, because it was devised in the Manhattan Engineer District Office of the Army Corps of Engineers. Over the next three years, the government secretly poured $2 billion into the project-a massive scientific and technological effort conducted at hidden laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and other sites. Scientists in Los Alamos, under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer, were charged with the construction of the actual bomb. On July 16, 1945, in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico, the scientists gathered to witness the first atomic explosion in history: the denotation of a plutonium-fueled bomb that scientists had named Trinity.

Enola Gay

The American B-29 that dropped the atomic weapon on the Japanese industrial center at Hiroshima. Two days later the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. And the following day, another American plane dropped another atomic weapon-this time on the city of Nagasaki.

The Missouri

On September 2, 1945, on board this American battleship, anchored in Tokyo Bay, Japanese officials signed the articles of surrender.

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