How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

World War II Terms

STUDY
PLAY
The Treaty of Versailles
Refused to allow either defeated German or Communist Russia to participate in peace conference negotiations, forced Germany to sign a war-guilt clause that was used to justify imposing large war reparations payments; changed map of Europe, created league of nations, left legacy of bitterness
Fascism
A political movement that promotes an extreme form of nationalism, a denial of individual rights, and a dictatorial one-party rule.
The Nazi Party
National Socialist German Workers' Party was founded in Germany on January 5, 1919. It was characterized by a centralist and authoritarian structure. Its platform was based on militaristic, racial, antisemitic and nationalistic policies. Raised to power by Hitler in 1933
Mein Kampf
'My Struggle' by hitler, later became the basic book of nazi goals and ideology, reflected obsession
Appeasement
A policy accepting demands to an aggressor in the hopes of avoiding war. Associated with Neville Chamberlain's policy of making concessions to Adolf Hitler.
The Munich Conference
- Hitler took Austria and Czechoslovaki, The high point of appeasement was
The NON-aggression Pact
the pact that freed Hitler to use force on Poland, This treaty stated the Germany would not attack the USSR and the USSR would not attack Germany. They also promised to divide Poland.
Totalitarianism
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
Militarism
A policy of glorifying military power and keeping a standing army always prepared for war
Nationalism
love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it
Imperialism
A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries poitically, socially, and economically.
Blitzkrieg
"Lightning war"; Germany's newest military strategy including intial strikes by luftwaffe followed by invasion of fast tanks and infantry in order to quickly destroy another nation.
The Maginot Line
Elaborate defensive barrier in northeastern France built in the 1930s. Named after its principal creator, Andre Maginot, it was an ultramodern defensive fortification along the French-German frontier
Dunkirk
A city in northern France on the North Sea where in World War II (1940) 330,000 Allied troops had to be evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk in a desperate retreat under enemy fire.
The Battle of Britain
September 7-November 2, 1940 - A series of air attacks launched by Germany against England to prepare the way for Germany to invade the British Isles from across the English Channel and gain superiority over the Royal Air Force.
The Battle of the Atlantic
longest campaign of the second world war, this was where nations fought over the control of shipping lanes b\t north america and britain. eventually allies won
The Lend-Lease Program
Under the Lend-Lease Program, President Roosevelt authorized the sale of surplus military equipment to the Allies. The Lend-Lease Programs was used primarily to help Great Britain and the Soviet Union resists Nazi Germany.
Pearl Harbor
(FDR) , 1941 United States military base on Hawaii that was bombed by Japan, bringing the United States into World War II. Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.
December 7, 1941
Date of Pearl Harbor
The Bataan Death March
This event brought war crimes against Japan for their inhumane treatment of America & Philippine POW'S, 1942. It involved the forcible transfer of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in the Philippines from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps.
Auschwitz
Nazi extermination camp in Poland, the largest center of mass murder during the Holocaust. Close to a million Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and others were killed there.
El Alamein
Town in Egypt, site of the victory by Britain's Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery over German forces led by General Erwin Rommel (the 'Desert Fox') in 1942-1943. Allies Won., Allied taking of Morocco and Algeria
Operation Overlord
After the Tehran Conference,United States and Britain began planning an invasion of France under this code name., the code name for the Allied invasion of Europe at Normandy on June 6, 1944; also known as D-Day
D-Day
(FDR) , June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which "we will accept nothing less than full victory." More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day's end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy.
June 6, 1944
D-Day Date
Omaha Beach
deadliest beach landing on D-day, One of 5 beaches invaded during WWII D-Day. Biggest struggle because of deep water, little to no cover, and bluffs with Germans and machine guns, majority of the invasion on Normandy will be from here
Utah Beach
the second American landing site in France on D-Day, First American steps on French soil were made here. Less than 200 casualties.
The Yalta Conference
FDR, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met at Yalta, on the Black Sea, in Feb. 1945 to plan the future of Europe after WWII. Their decisions shaped Europe for the remainder of the 20th century.
The Battle of the Bulge
Starting in December 1944 and ending in January 1945 this battle was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes Mountains region of Belgium that caught the Allies by surprise., first major Battle that the US army fought, Hitler's last-ditch attempt to achieve a victory against the Americans and British came in
Midway
A famous battle which was turning point where American naval forces defeated Japanese naval forces.
Guadalcanal
First U.S. Offensive An island in the Solomons (just north of Australia). US soldiers got their first taste of difficult jungle warfare here., 5 Sullivan Brothers died on the USS Juneau, ship was torpedoed. Southern Solomon Islands came under Allied control, Australia was in less danger of attack.
Tarawa
second time the United States was on the offensive (the Battle of Guadalcanal had been the first); the first island the Allies captured in their attempt at "island-hopping", the bloodiest amphibious attack up to that time, 1943 and the first offensive in the critical central Pacific region
Iwo Jima
a bloody and prolonged operation on the island of Iwo Jima in which American marines landed and defeated Japanese defenders (February and March 1945)
Mt. Suribachi
This is the highest point on Iwo Jima and is where five U.S. marines and one navy medic raised the American flag after Iwo Jima was taken away from the Japanese.
Okinawa
1945 Allied forces capture Okinawa; mass suicides, THE LAST OFFENSIVE BATTLE OF WWII., The U.S. Army in the Pacific had been pursuing an "island-hopping" campaign, moving north from Australia towards Japan. On April 1, 1945, they invaded Okinawa, only 300 miles south of the Japanese home islands. By the time the fighting ended on June 2, 1945, the U.S. had lost 50,000 men and the Japanese 100,000.
Kamikaze
"divine wind", Japanese suicide pilots
The Manhattan Project
A secret research and development project of the US to develop the atomic bomb. Its success granted the US the bombs that ended the war with Japan as well as ushering the country into the atomic era
Hiroshima
City in Japan, the first to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, on August 6, 1945. The bombing hastened the end of World War II. (p. 797)
Enola Gay
American plane that dropped the first atomic bomb
Nagasaki
Japanese city in which the second atomic bomb was dropped (August 9, 1945).
USS Missouri
On September 2, 1945, the Japanese emperor formally surrendered on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The United Nations
Established in 1945 to replace the League of Nations, An organization of nations that was formed in 1945 to promote peace, security, and cooperation.
Joseph Stalin
Bolshevik revolutionary, head of the Soviet Communists after 1924, and dictator of the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953. He led the Soviet Union with an iron fist, using Five-Year Plans to increase industrial production and terror to crush opposition
Adolph Hitler
- The leader of Nazi Germany from 1933 until his suicide in 1945. Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and for killing more than 11 million people during the Holocaust.
Hirohito
emperor of Japan who renounced his divinity and became a constitutional monarch after Japan surrendered at the end of World War II (1901-1989), Emperor of Japan during WWII
Neville Chamberlain
1938; gullible British Prime Minister; declared that Britain and France would fight if Hitler attacked Poland., British statesman who as Prime Minister pursued a policy of appeasement toward fascist Germany (1869-1940)
Winston Churchill
A noted British statesman who led Britain throughout most of World War II and along with Roosevelt planned many allied campaigns. He predicted an iron curtain that would separate Communist Europe from the rest of the West.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
1882-1945. 32nd President. Renounced right of U.S. to intervene in Latin America. Felt America should be "Arsenal of Peace" at onset of WWII. Was "anti-imperialist" and sought to end European colonialism. Gave "Infamy Speech" and declared war on Japan in 1941., 32nd US President - He began New Deal programs to help the nation out of the Great Depression, and he was the nation's leader during most of WWII
Douglas Macarthur
(1880-1964), U.S. general. Commander of U.S. (later Allied) forces in the southwestern Pacific during World War II, he accepted Japan's surrender in 1945 and administered the ensuing Allied occupation. He was in charge of UN forces in Korea 1950-51, before being forced to relinquish command by President Truman.
Erwin Rommel
"Desert Fox"-May 1942; German field marshal noted for brilliant generalship in North Africa during World War II (1891-1944) German and Italian armies were led by him and attacked British occupied Egypt and the Suez Canal for the second time; were defeated at the Battle of El Alamein; was moved to France to oversee the defenses before D-Day; tried to assassinate Hitler.
Bernard Montgomery
A British army general who defeated the Germans at El Alamein in Egypt, and began pursuing them westward.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1952, 1956; Republican; Domino Theory established, Cold War deepened, sent US military advisors to Vietnam; president when Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education, and created the Interstate Highway System (for purposes of national defense)
Chester Nimitz
Nimitz served as an Admiral in the Battle of Midway in 1942. He commanded the American fleet in the Pacific Ocean and learned the Japanese plans through "magic" decoding of their radio messages. With this intercepted information, Nimitz headed the Japanese off and defeated them.