World War II
Glossary and Terms
- Allied Powers - Countries that fought against the Axis Powers. Primary members included the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, France, and China.
- Appeasement - This was the policy of many countries when Hitler first started to take over Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia. They gave in to Hitler's demands in order to avoid going to war. When Hitler invaded Poland, they realized that appeasement would not work and France and Great Britain declared war on Germany.
- Axis Powers - An alliance formed by Germany, Italy, and Japan. These countries wanted to expand and conquer other countries. They were opposed by the Allied Powers.
- Blitzkrieg - This means "lightning war" in German. Hitler would attack quickly and try to take over a country before it had time to fight back.
- Concentration camp - A place where the Germans put people they did not like such as Jewish people.
- D-Day - The day that United States and British forces attacked the German forces on the shores of Normandy, France. A turning point in the war as the Allies defeated the Germans.
- Eastern Front - The Germans called the war with the Soviet Union the Eastern Front.
- Fascism - A type of government ruled by a dictator. Germany with Hitler and Italy with Mussolini were fascist governments.
- Fuhrer - The title Adolf Hitler gave himself. It means "leader" in German.
- Final Solution - A term used by the Nazis which meant the extermination of the Jews.
- Gestapo - The Nazi police force. They were mean and very powerful in Germany during WWII. They hunted down enemies of the Nazi party as well as Jewish people.
- Holocaust - A term used to describe the murder of 6 million Jewish people by the German Nazi Party.
- Kamikaze - A term used to describe how Japanese pilots would intentionally crash their planes into US battleships. The planes were sometimes full of explosives and the pilots knew they were going to die.
- Luftwaffe - The name for the German air force.
- Manhattan Project - The code name for the research and development program where scientists invented the atomic bomb.
- Nazi - The Nazi Party was a political party in Germany led by Adolf Hitler. The full name was the Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party.
- Pact of Steel - A treaty signed by the Germany and Italy. It was later signed by Japan and called the Tripartite Pact. This pact created the Axis Powers alliance.
- RAF - The air force of Great Britain. It stands for the Royal Air Force.
- V-E Day - Victory in Europe Day. The day the Allied victory in Europe was celebrated; May 8, 1945.
- V-J Day - Victory in Japan Day. The day the Allied victory in Japan was celebrated; September 2, 1945.
- Wehrmacht - The name for the German army.
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