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World War II

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Long Term Causes of World War II
These included Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression and the Failure of the League of Nations
Treaty of Versailles (Cause)
This document placed unfair restrictions on Germany's military; it took away land and placed all blame for the war on Germany (aka: the war guilt)
Great Depression (Cause)
This event began with the crash on Wall Street and lead to global inflation, high unemployment and the rise of fascism
League of Nations (Cause)
This organization failed to keep a just and lasting peace because it excluded countries like Germany and Russia, its members wanted to avoid war and it did not have an army to enforce its policy
Appeasement
The policy of giving in to an aggressor (nation) in hopes of avoiding war; this was used by Britain and France prior to World War II
Neville Chamberlain
The British Prime Minister who practiced a policy of appeasement as Hitler continued to violate the Treaty of Versailles
Fascism
A political movement that promotes an extreme form of nationalism, a denial of individual rights and one-party rule by a dictator
Non-Aggression Pact
An agreement between Stalin and Hitler to not attack each for a period of ten years; secretly, they agreed to divide Poland between them
July 7, 1937
World War II began in Asia when Japan invaded mainland China (date)
September 1, 1939
World War II began in Europe when Germany invaded Poland (date)
Invasion of Poland
World War II began when Germany launched a surprise attack against Poland to regain the Polish Corridor; this caused Britain and France to declare war on Germany.
Phony War
The term given to World War II between September and April because no fighting took place between Germany and the Allies
Blitzkreig
A military strategy involving fast-moving airplanes and tanks, followed by massive infantry forces, to take the enemy by surprise. Then blitzkrieg forces would crush the opposition with overwhelming force
Maginot Line
A system of defensive forts build by the French to offer protection from Germany
Invasion of the Western Front
In April, Hitler attacked Denmark and Norway; In May, Hitler invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium before attacking France in June
June 22, 1940
France surrendered to the superior German army but continued to resist German domination (date)
Dunkirk
The beach where 338,000 Allied soldiers were rescued from German troops by a ragtag fleet of British ships including naval vessels, yachts, motorboats and fishing boats
Winston Churchill
The British Prime Minister who choose to fight rather than surrender when he said, "We shall fight whatever the cost may be...We shall never surrender!"
Operation Sea Lion
Hitler's planned invasion of Great Britain; his plan was to bomb by air and then invade by sea
RAF
The name of the British airforce
Luftwaffe
The name of the German airforce
Battle of Britain
Hitler's campaign of intensive bombing to destroy the will of the British as well as their vital defense systems and their factories; it was a turning point in the war and forced Hitler to abandon Operation Sea Lion
Radar
An electronic tracking system that could tell the number, speed and direction of incoming war planes
Enigma
A German code-making machine that allowed Britain to decoded the secret messages of the Germans
Axis Powers
An alliance between Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II
Erwin Rommel
The German general sent to North Africa to help regain the ground lost by Italy; he was known as the Desert Fox
Invasion of the Balkans
Those countries that refused to join Hitler were attacked; Hitler needed this land in order to build military bases for his future invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Hitler's planned invasion of the Soviet Union; he build military bases in the Balkans so he could capture Russia's rich oil supply
Battle of Stalingrad
Hitler's attempt to take this city became a turning point on the East for the Allies; as a result of this battle, the Russians were able to force the Germans to retreat
December 7, 1941
Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii; as a result, the United States declared war again Japan and her allies (date)
Battle of the Coral Sea
During this battle, both sides used a new kind of naval warfare; the entire battle was fought by airplanes and aircraft carriers (Japan won)
Battle of Midway
During this battle, the Allies allowed Japan to begin its attack then the Allies attacked Japan's naval fleet (Japan's crippled fleet was forced to retreat)
Battle of Guadalcanal
During this battle, the Allies, who wanted to prevent Japan from building an airbase, fought against the Japanese for six month (Japan eventually retreated from the "Island of Death")
Operation Overlord
The Allies planned invasion of Normandy, the northern coast of France; originally it was scheduled for 1942, then 1943; it took place in June of 1944
June 6, 1944
The Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to break through the German lines and to liberate France on their way to Germany; they suffered heavy losses but liberated Paris (date)
Bernard Montgomery
The British general who was sent to command the Allied forces in North Africa after Rommel took the port city of Tobruk
Battle of El Alamein
During this battle, the Allies surprised the Germans and forced them to retreat; this was considered to be a turning point of the war in North Africa
Operation Torch
The Allies planned invasion of North Africa; it was made possible by the Battle of El Alamain
Dwight Eisenhower
The American general who was sent to invade North Africa; as a result of Operation Torch, Germany suffered a crushing defeat
Benito Mussolini
The fascist dictator who committed Italy to war; he was later caught trying to escape -- as a result, he was shot and hung (April 1945)
Total War
A conflict in which the participating countries devote all of their resources to the war effort
Rationing
The limiting of the amount of goods people can buy when goods are in short supply
Propaganda
Information spread to advance a cause or to damage an opponent's cause
Battle of the Bulge
During this battle, Hitler made his last attempt to defeat the Allied Powers on the Western Front
Adolf Hitler
The fascist dictator who committed Germany to war; On April 30, 1945 he committed suicide rather than surrender
May 7, 1945
Germany surrendered to the Allies to end World War II in Europe (date)
Harry S. Truman
The president of the United States who "dropped the bomb" on Japan to force an end to the war in the Pacific
August 6, 1945
The Japanese city of Hiroshima was destroyed by an atomic bomb (date)
August 9, 1945
The Japanese city of Nagasaki was destroyed by an atomic bomb (date)
September 2, 1945
Japan surrendered to the Allies to end World War II in the Pacific (date)
Holocaust
The systematic mass slaughter of Jews and other groups judged inferior; Hitler referred to this as the "Final Solution" -- 6 million Jews were killed
Genocide
The systematic killing of an entire group of people