Nickname given to region of Southern Europe (North Africa, Sicily, Italy) that Churchill wanted to attack instead of creating a second front in Northern Europe (France). He felt the chance of success against the Axis was greater in this region in Europe.
Minister of Armaments and Munitions (1942), Minister for Armaments and War Production (1943-45). An architect by trade he choreographed the Nuremberg rally. As Minister for Armaments and War Production he tripled its output production the last three years of the war.
Mountain range in Belgium. During the Battle of the Bulge the Allies tried to prevent Germans from driving their tanks through this forest. The key location of the fighting was in and around Bastonge, Belgium.
This battle was a military engagement that was part of Operation Market Garden. It was fought in and around a Dutch town that bares the battles name. The Allies were defeated. The movie A Bridge Too Far is about the battle and Operation Market Garden.
Name of Hitler’s defensive fortifications he had built along the western coast of Europe. They were constructed to defeat any amphibious assault that might be attempted by the Allies. Although never completed, it went from Denmark to Southern France.
Key city for both the Allies and Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. The city is the hub for series of roads that the Germans need to be able to access in order to carry out their plans for the Battle of the Bulge. The 101st Airborne and other troops defended the city even though they were completely surrounded and ill-equipped.
Battle of Bulge
The last German offensive in World War II. It occurred in the winter of 1944-45. The Germans were trying to divide American forces in the Ardennes and push on to take the valuable port of Antwerp. They were aided by poor weather and surprise. Their inability to bust the Americans out of Bastogne prevented the attack from being a success.
Battle of Warsaw
The conflict began in August of 1944. It was a struggle by the Polish resistance to liberate a major city of Poland from the German occupation before the arrival of Soviet Army. The polish forces eventually surrendered October 1, 1944. In retaliation for their losses the Germans systematically destroyed more than 80 percent of the city before the Soviets took the city on January 17, 1945.
British general who led the British forces to victory in northern Africa against the German general Erwin Rommel. He will also command troops in Italy, and Holland (Market Garden). He had an enormous ego but inspired his troops. Critics think he suffered from “a case of the slows” because of how tentative he was to engage the enemy unless he knew he had the advantage.
Location of a commando raid by Allies in August of 1942 (The town is a port in Northern France). The raid was a tremendous failure but the lessons the Allies learned from the military operation were valuable when they were developing the plans for Operation Overlord
This individual was the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II. Led the advance in North Africa, Italy, and France. Was responsible for planning and implementing Operation Overlord (Cross-Channel invasion of France).
Name of Hitler’s “companion” throughout his time as leader of Germany. Even though she was dating the leader of the Nazis, she was never allowed to be seen with him in public. During the last few days of the war she was married to Hitler. Shortly thereafter she committed suicide with her new husband.
This term, which was developed by the Nazis, refers to their attempts to kill all the European Jews.
Controversial American General who was the commander of US II Corps in Tunisia, the US Seventh Arm in the invasion of Sicily, and in July 1944 he led the Third Army in race across France from Normandy. Also known for relieving the troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
Exception Soviet military officer during World War II. He found favor with Stalin and rose quickly in rank. He became a specialist in armored warfare. He helped modernize Russia’s Army by helping to create armored divisions despite opposition by some Soviet leaders.
German 6th Army
German army that fought at the Battle of Stalingrad. Prior to Stalingrad this German army had enormous success fighting its campaigns in France. Forced to finally surrender after being surrounded by Soviet troops, 91,000 Germans were marched of to Russian detention camps. Only a few thousand survived to make it back to Germany after the war.
German defense line in Italy south of Rome. Allies could not get past the line in December (1943) and January (1944). The fall of Monte Cassino in May helped the Allies cross the Gustav Line and finally liberate Rome.
An improved antisubmarine weapon developed by the Allies and used against the Germans in 1943. The weapon was a mortar that hurled a ring of depth charges 250 ahead of a ship. The depth charges it delivered exploded only on contact.
Nazi leader that organized the SS and Gestapo. He supervised the execution of millions of Jews in concentration camps during World War II. He committed suicide in 1945.
Nickname was the Desert Fox. Obtained distinction for his command of tanks during the Blitzkrieg attacks on France. Hitler ordered him to Northern Africa to help prevent the defeat of the Italians. The army he commanded was called the Africka Korps.
German word for “Crystal Night.” It was a night of terror for the Jews in German in November of 1938. Nazis burned down synagogues, Jewish businesses, and placed approximately 20,000 Jews in concentration camps.
The capture of this Soviet city was one of the three objectives of Operation Barbarossa. The city was the old capital of Russia, it was the symbolic capital of the Russian Revolution, plus it was one of major ports of the Soviet navy as well numerous Soviet industries. The German strategy of trying to starve the Soviets into submission produced enormous casualties. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history.
A Greek defensive line opposite the Bulgarian border. The Greek forces defended the line during Germany’s invasion of Greece and were flanked by German troops, which then cut them off from the rest of the Greek and Allied Forces.
Code name for the floating harbors that were brought across the English Channel after the D-Day invasion. They were vital because they allow the Allies to unload the men, supplies and equipment needed to successfully fight the Germans in France.
This individual was ousted from power by the Italians after the Allies successfully invaded Sicily. In September of 1943 he was rescued from his mountaintop jail in a daring German airborne raid and was brought back behind German lines to set up a puppet government (Salo Republic) in northern Italy. When German forces started retreating in April 1945 he declared he would make a last stand in the Alps. When he arrived at the Alps location he was joined by just six men. He then joined a Germany convoy headed north. The convoy was eventually stopped and he and his mistress Clara Petacci were kept prisoners. In late April the two were shot and their bodies strung up by their ankles in a main square in the city of Milan for all to see.
Laws created by the Nazis to deprive Jews of German citizenship and political rights. They also forbade marriage and sexual relations between Jews and non-Jewish Germans.
Code name for the Nazi invasion of the USSR. It began on June 22 1941 when the 4.5 million Axis troops poured over the border. To date, it is the largest invasion in history.
Soviet attempts to repel German offensive designed to straighten out the line and push back the Russian bulge in order to trap and destroy nearly one-fifth of the Red Army. The Germans failed and were forced to retreat which began their long withdraw from Soviet territory.
Operation Market Garden
The Allied objective was to secure a bridge over the Rhine River so that troops could enter the Ruhr region and hopefully end the war. The operation was a failure for the Allies.
Code name for the Allied military plans to invade France in 1942. It was favored by Stalin and the Americans but opposed by Churchill and the British
A fast, durable, well-made American fighter that’s tremendous flying range allowed it to escort bombers in 1944 that were bombing Germany. The fighter helped the Allies obtain air superiority over the Germans in 1944.
Location of oil fields in Rumania that were vital to the German war effort. Russia’s occupation of Bessarabi which was only 100 miles from this location, made Hitler very nervous about the security of this oil supply.
Longest river in Germany that extends deep into the country. Valuable transportation rout that the Allies tried to control with Operation Market Garden.
A military strategy used by the Soviets during World War II. The policy called for destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. The strategy forces the opposition to supply all the materials its army needs to survive and fight the war.
Controversial SS General who led Panzer tanks during Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. He spends most of the rest of his life in prison after the war for war crimes.
Even after Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, Stalin kept elite divisions in Siberia to fight off the Japanese attack. When the attack never came, Stalin was able to move these troops near Moscow and launch his counter attack.
The letters are short for Schutzstaffel which is German for “elite guard.” Originally formed to be a bodyguard for Hitler and other Nazi leaders. It was led by Heinrich Himmler. In 1930’s the German elite guard expanded its responsibilities to include the suppression of Nazi political opponents within Germany and the persecution of the Jews. It supervised the concentration camps.
Name given to the general headquarters of the Soviet Supreme Command during World War II. It conceived basic strategy while the general staff developed actual operational plans for the conduct of the war.
Name of the main battle tank of the Red Army throughout WWII. It was considered one of the finest tanks of World War II. First used in the battle of Moscow, it could operate in any conditions. It was used most effectively in large numbers, when their numbers could over power heavier German tanks.
First time Stalin attended a conference with Churchill and Roosevelt. They focused primarily on strategic coordination between the western Allies and the Soviet Union. Stalin supported Churchill and Roosevelt’s decision to delay Overlord and promised to declare war on Japan after Germany’s defeat.
Name given to German submarines. They were Germany’s main weapon against the overwhelming naval advantages of the Allies. One of their major objectives during the war was to destroy and disrupt materials that were being imported into Britain.
Pilotless flying bombs that were ground-launched or air-launched from German bombers. They were powered by pulse-jet engines and carried 1,875 pounds of impact-fused high explosives. They were used against the Allied cities in Britain and Belgian.
Major river in the Soviet Union that the Germans sought to control by capturing the city of Stalingrad. The river was a vital source of transportation between the Caspian Sea and central Russia. If Hitler could have controlled the river he could have move men and supplies into Northern Russia
System developed by German Admiral Donitz to attack Allied convoys. The strategy called for a U-boat who spotted an Allied convoy of ships to radio the position to headquarters which then told other U-boats in the area where and when to rendezvous. Once assembled, the U-boats struck usually above surface and at night using the cover of darkness to hide themselves. Surface attacks achieved a higher kill rate.
Conference attended by the “Big Three.” It was the first conference that focused on what should be done after World War II was over. It was at this conference they decided to divide Germany into 4 occupational zones.
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