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Mukden incident

a "Chinese" attack on a Japanese railway near the city of Mukden (had actually been carried out by Japanese soldiers disguised as Chinese); used by Japan as an excuse to seize Manchuria

Rape of Nanjing

Japanese attack on Chinese capital from 1937-1938 when Japanese aggressorts slaughtered 100,000 civilians and raped thousands of women in order to gain control of China

Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

japan's propaganda during WWII: they were liberating the Asian countries from the evil Westerners; they actually exploited the other Asians as labor

Asia for Asians

an idea that the Japan would build their own asian empire

Tripartite Pact

Pact between Japan, Germany, and Italy signed in September 1940, by which each pledged to declare war on any nation that attacked any of them

Spanish Civil War

civil war in Spain in which General Franco succeeded in overthrowing the republican government

League of Nations

an international organization formed in 1920 to promote cooperation and peace among nations


The union of Austria with Germany, resulting from the occupation of Austria by the German army in 1938.


a rapid and violent military attack with intensive aerial bombardment


the act of appeasing (as by acceding to the demonds of)

Nazi-Soviet Pact

Hitler and Joseph Stalin agreed not to attack each other but divided Poland for an easy win, but Germany didn't keep true to their word and attacked Stalin later


German lightning warfare. Characterized by highly mobility and concentrated forces at point of attack.


an armored vehicle or tank, armored German divisions responsible for breaching enemy lines. Only 6 against Poland, and 9 against France. Underscores importance of strategy versus sheer military size.


Hitler's air force. He tried to use it to bomb England into submission, but this strategy failed. The RAF (Royal Air Force) though fewer in number, were more maneuverable then German planes. The RAF also had radar, a new electronic device that gave the British enough early warning so they would not be caught by surprise.


Hitler's expansionist theory based on a drive to acquire "living space" for the German people

"Comfort Women"

women from Japanese colonies & occupied territories (mainly from Korea & China) forced to serve in military brothels ("comfort houses" / "consolation centers") during WWII; many were war casualties; either killed or had to live w/ deep shame after war


las olas, repeating disturbances that transfer energy through matter or space

Yalta Conference

FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta. Russia agreed to declare war on Japan after the surrender of Germany and in return FDR and Churchill promised the USSR concession in Manchuria and the territories that it had lost in the Russo-Japanese War

United Nations

an organization of independent states formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security

Marshall Plan

A plan that the US came up with to revive war-torn economies of Europe. This plan offered $13 billion in aid to western and Southern Europe.

Truman Doctrine

First established in 1947 after Britain no longer could afford to provide anti-communist aid to Greece and Turkey, it pledged to provide U.S. military and economic aid to any nation threatened by communism.


Nationalist political party founded on democratic principles by Sun Yat-sen in 1912. After 1925, the party was headed by Chiang Kai-shek, who turned it into an increasingly authoritarian movement. (p. 769)


North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an alliance made to defend one another if they were attacked by any other country; US, England, France, Canada, Western European countries

Warsaw Pact

treaty signed in 1945 that formed an alliance of the Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain; USSR, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania


the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance; Soviet dominated group that provided resources to Soviet bloc countries; ends in 1991

Jiang Jieshi

Chinese nationalist leader that was against Mao; supported by the US; loss to Mao, so he and his followers fled to Taiwan


Communist leader who formed the Peoples Republic of China.

Benito Mussolini

Fascist dictator of Italy (1922-1943). He led Italy to conquer Ethiopia (1935), joined Germany in the Axis pact (1936), and allied Italy with Germany in World War II. He was overthrown in 1943 when the Allies invaded Italy. (p. 786)

Adolf Hitler

This dictator was the leader of the Nazi Party. He believed that strong leadership was required to save Germanic society, which was at risk due to Jewish, socialist, democratic, and liberal forces.

Francisco Franco

Spanish general whose armies took control of Spain in 1939 and who ruled as a dictator until his death (1892-1975)

Neville Chamberlain

british prime minister, Prime Minister of Great Britain from -1940. Famous for appeasing Hitler at the Munich Conference.

Franklin 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.

Harry Truman

President of the US after Roosevelt's death; approved the use of the atomic bomb against Japan

Joseph Stalin

Russian leader who succeeded Lenin as head of the Communist Party and created a totalitarian state by purging all opposition (1879-1953)

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