World War II


The "lightening war" style of fighting championed by the Nazis in which armored columns or panzer divisions supported by airplanes broke quickly through the opposition's ranks; regular infantry units then would move in to hold the new territory

Battle of Britain

Loss (or at least stalemate) in this famous conflict prevented Nazi Germany from an all out amphibious assault on Great Britain; nicknamed the "Blitz

Operation Barbarossa

Technical name for the ultimately disastrous German invasion of the Soviet Union, which began in June 1941

Iron Curtain

Phrase coined by Winston Churchill in a speech in Fulton, Missouri, in March 1946

Final Solution

Devised at the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, this was the ultimate plan for the Nazis to rid Europe of the Jews and other undesirables


Wartime conference in which the Grand Alliance agreed that the British and Americans would invade the continent of Europe through France and that Germany would be partitioned after the war; the effect of this agreement was that the Soviet Union would libe

De Gaulle

Leader of the Free French movement

Diplomatic Revolution

Between 1933 and 1939, Hitler and Nazi Germany achieved a "____ ____" in Europe by violating time and again the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles with no repercussions

Collective Security

Only twenty years after the war to end all wars, Europe plunged back into the nightmare of total war; the efforts at _____ in the 1920s�the League of Nations, the attempts at disarmament, the pacts and treaties�all proved meaningless in view of the growth


Northwestern Czech region that bordered Germany, was home to 3 million ethnic Germans, and contained important frontier defenses and considerable industrial resources


This "Desert Fox" was the German leader of the Afrika Korps; after defeat at El Alamein and the invasion of north Africa by the British and Americans, he surrendered in May 1943


At the beginning of 1943, the Allies agreed to fight until the Axis powers surrendered _____


The German air force


Nazi mobile killing units that predated the death camps


Policy pursued with Germany by the Western powers that was based on the belief that if European states satisfied the reasonable demands of Nazi Germany, the Nazis would be content, and stability and peace would be achieved in Europe

Munich Conference

The high point of Western appeasement of Hitler; allowed Hitler to occupy the Sudetenland; after it, British PM Neville Chamberlain infamously said that "peace for our time" had been achieved


This naval pact allowed Germany to build a navy that would be 35% of the size of the British navy, with equality in submarines

Total war

World War II was even more of a _____ than the Great War


Wartime conference in which the following was agreed to: the establishment of the United Nations, Germany (and Berlin) would be divided up into four occupation zones, the Soviet Union would help the USA in the war against Japan, and that self-determinatio

White Rose

Famous resistance movement by a small group of German university students and one professor at the University of Munich to distribute pamphlets denouncing the Nazi regime as lawless, criminal, and godless; its members were caught, arrested, and promptly e


Head of the German SS and Einsatzgruppen

Maginot Line

Name for the series of concrete and steel fortifications armed with heavy artillery that the French had built (from 1930-1935) on the German border


Hitler was a firm believer in the doctrine of _____ (living space), espoused by Karl Haushofer, a professor of geography at the University of Munich, which maintained that a nation's power depended upon the amount and kind of land it occupied


Ultimately responsible for the deaths of 2/3 of Europe's Jews


Posing as a man of _____ in his public speeches, Hitler emphasized that Germany wished only to revise unfair provisions of Versailles by peaceful means and achieve Germany's rightful place among the European states

Non-agression Pact

General name for the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union by which both sides agreed to not fight each other and to divide up Poland; this treaty gave Hitler the freedom to attack Poland

Cold War

The total victory of the Allies in World War II was not followed by a real peace, but by the beginnings of a new conflict known as the _____ that dominated European and world politics until the end of the 1980s


The greatest tank battle of WWII, in which the Soviets destroyed 18 of the best German panzer divisions


_____ Three"--Nickname of the chief leaders and nations of the Grand Alliance�FDR/USA, Josef Stalin/Soviet Union, Winston Churchill/Great Britain

Soft Underbelly of Europe

Churchill's nickname for Italy

Battle of the Bulge

The last German offensive in Western Europe


Harbor where the Japanese attacked the American naval fleet on December 7, 1941 (a day that will "live in infamy")

Operation Overlord

Technical name for D-Day�June 6, 1944�the greatest naval invasion in world history

VE Day

Nickname of May 7, 1945


World War II in Asia arose from the ambitions of _____, whose rise to the status of world power had been swift

VJ Day

Nickname of August 15, 1945


Name for the peaceful annexation of Austria by Germany in March 1938, which was a violation of the Treaty of Versailles


Contentious wartime conference that many historians see as a prelude to the emergence of the Cold War


Leader of the authoritarian Vichy Regime, the Nazi puppet government of non-occupied France

Lend Lease Act

American military aid program for the Allied cause that was begun in March 1941

Axis Powers

Germany, Italy, and Japan


Although other countries may have helped make the war possible by not resisting Hitler's Germany earlier, it was Nazi Germany's actions that made World War II _____


Hitler reoccupied and militarized this German region in March 1936 with no repercussions

Rome Berlin Axis

Agreement signed between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in October 1936 that recognized each nation's common interests

Anti-Comintern Pact

Agreement signed in November 1936 between Germany and Japan by which both nations would maintain a common front against communism


They had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose _____, they will have war"�Winston Churchill on the Munich Conference


Nickname of the "phony war" between the Axis and Allied powers during the winter of 1939/1940 in which there was no military engagement

Law of non-combatants

Key idea of the just war theory which states that civilians ought not be targets of war


Radio detection and ranging


Sound navigation and ranging


The bloodiest battle in world history with approximately two million casualties; has been called the "turning point of the war

Crimes against humanity

Technical charge against Nazi wartime leaders at the Nuremberg Trials


Planned economies, rationing, propaganda, censorship, women in the workforce, and _____ controls were all policies pursued on the home front