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World War II Unit Plan Vocabulary Terms

Axis Powers

the group of nations---including Germany, Italy, and Japan—that opposed the Allies in WWII.

Adolf Hitler

the leader of Nazi Germany. An extreme nationalist and racist who favored military expansionism, ownership of private property with strong government controls. A forceful leader who was anti-communist.

Benito Mussolini

the leader of Fascist Italy. An extreme nationalist who favored military expansionism, ownership of private property with strong government controls. A forceful leader who was anti-communist.

Hideki Tojo

Prime Minister of Japan who believed in Japanese expansion. In 1941, he promised Japanese emperor, Hirohito that he would attempt to preserve the peace with the U.S., but in November of 1941, he ordered the Japanese navy to prepare for an attack on the U.S.

Allies

the group of nations—including Great Britain, The Soviet Union, and The United States—that opposed the Axis Powers in WWII.

Joseph Stalin

the leader of communist Soviet Union. Believed in a sound communist state where property was owned by the government and society was ruled by the working class.

Winston Churchill

British Prime Minister who did not give in to appeasing Hitler's demands and became what was possibly Britain's greatest weapon as his nation faced the Nazis.

Charles de Gaulle

the French general who fled to England after the Nazi takeover of France. In England he set up a French government in exile.

Harry S Truman

served as Vice President to FDR and became the President after FDR's death during his fourth term in office. He made the ultimate decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

U.S. general in command of the Allied forces in the European Theater.

Douglas MacArthur

U.S. general in command of the Allied forces in the Pacific Theater.

Chester Nimitz

U.S. Admiral and commander of naval forces in the Pacific Theater.

Totalitarianism

a political system in which the government exercises complete control over its citizens' lives.

Fascism

a political philosophy that supports a strong, centralized, nationalistic government headed by a powerful dictator.

Nazism

the political philosophy—based on extreme nationalism, racism, and militaristic expansionism—that Hitler put into practice in Germany from 1933-1945

Communism

an economic and political system based on one-party government and state ownership of property.

Appeasement

the granting of concessions to a hostile power in order to keep the peace.

Lend-Lease Act

a law passed in 1941, that allowed the U.S. to ship arms and other supplies, without immediate payment to nations fighting against the Axis Powers.

Marshall Plan

the program in which the U.S. supplied economic aid to European nations to help them rebuild after WWII.

Holocaust

the systematic murder—or genocide—of Jews and other groups in Europe by the Nazis before and during World War II.

Kristallnacht

"night of broken glass," a name given to the night of November 9, 1938, when gangs of Nazi storm troopers attacked Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues in Germany.

Genocide

the deliberate and systematic extermination of a particular racial, national, or religious group.

Ghetto

a city neighborhood in which a certain minority group is pressured or forced to live.

Concentration camp

a prison camp operated by Nazi Germany in which Jews and other groups considered to be enemies of Hitler were starved while doing slave labor or were murdered.

Women's Auxiliary Army Corp (WAAC)

U.S. army unit created during WWII to enable women to serve in non-combat positions.

Office of Price Administration (OPA)

an agency established by Congress to control inflation during WWII.

War Production Board

an agency established during WWII to coordinate the making of military supplies by U.S. industries.

Blitzkrieg

from the German word meaning "lightning war," a sudden, massive attack with combined air and ground forces, intended to achieve a quick victory.

Kamikaze

the deliberate crashing of a bomb-filled airplane into a military target.

D-Day

a name given to June 6, 1944—the day on which the Allies launched an invasion of the European mainland during WWII.

Battle of the Bulge

a month-long battle of WWII, in which the Allies succeeded in turning back the last major German offensive of the war.

V-E Day

a name given to May 8, 1945, "Victory in Europe Day" on which General Eisenhower's acceptance of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany marked the end of WWII in Europe.

Battle of Midway

a WWII battle that took place in early June 1942. The Allies destroyed the Japanese fleet at this location, an island lying northwest of Hawaii. The Allies then took the offensive in the Pacific and began to move closer to Japan.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Japanese cities that were completely destroyed after the U.S. dropped their atomic bombs.

Internment Camps

confinement of Japanese-American citizens in the United States during WWII.

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