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World War II Review Guide

Terms and People | Steven Zhao

1. Totalitarianism Used to describe a dictatorship. Political system in which
the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all
aspects of public and private life wherever possible.
Totalitarian regimes had only one leader who had absolute power
One ideology allowed; no other ideologies were tolerated
Secret police were used to instill terror in population
Allowed no dissent (opposition) and the citizens were denied human

Censorship and propaganda were common tools used to further control

the population
2. Benito Mussolini Formed a political party called the Fascisti (fascist). He
was unable to achieve victory in the elections and attempted to overthrow
the government.
3. March on Rome Mussolinis attempt to overthrow the government.
Blackshirts, his political goons, 26000 were gathered and demanded Italian
government to be turned over. King Emmanuel did not want to risk a civil
war, thus handed Mussolini the government.
4. Weimar Republic When the Kaiser (the German leader) abdicated, the
new leaders founded the Weimar Republic, a democracy in Germany.
Germans hoped that by creating a democracy, they would please the
Americans and would cause a push for a more lenient settlement for
5. Inflation Economic condition where the currency of a country lessens in
value. By 1923, inflation was already a serious problem in Germany. Problem
intensified when French and Belgian troops occupied Ruhr Valley which is full
of resources. German currency lost all value. People who had money in banks
ruined, ardent supporters of Nazis. During this crisis, Hitler and the Nazis
attempted to overthrow government, failed. Adolf Hitler, leader of party,
gained popularity by reminded those who were ruined that he would destroy
6. Adolf Hitler Leader of the Nazi Party.
7. NAZI Germany Socialist Workers Party (NAZI in German) Under Hitlers
leadership, the party came to stand for:

Extreme Nationalism Sole reason for existence was to serve the state
Anti-Democratic He said he would destroy it and turn Germany into

Anti-Semitism Dislike or even hate Jewish people. Hitler blamed
Germanys difficulties on the Jews; used them as a scapegoat for
German people. Proved very popular with the population as it relieved
people of the responsibility of bringing in First World War and hardships

that occurred as a result.

Restore Germanys Military Might Treaty of Versailles restricted
German military, therefore Hitler promised to restore military and was

popular with German people.

8. Anti-Semitism Above
9. Scapegoat Someone punished for the errors of others
10.Enabling Act Adolf Hitler receives the power to enact laws without the
involvement of the Reichstag.
11.Night of the Long Knives Hitler had about 1000 people murdered.
Victims were deemed to by enemies of the state by the Nazis.
12.Nuremburg Laws Package of laws, draconian measures against the Jews.
Meant that:
Jews had to wear Star of David at all times.
Jews lost their professional careers and their property
Jews could no way mingle with the German population
Jews lost their citizenship
13.Kristallnacht On November 9th 1938, Nazis encouraged the Germans to
attack Jews and their property. Jewish shops were attacked, windows were
smashed, Jews were beaten in public, and many were imprisoned for no
reason at all.
14.Gestapo Secret police, also called SS. All powerful. They could do anything
they liked as ong as Hitler believed that they were serving the state.
15.Fuhrer The leader. The German people now greeted each other not with
hello, but with salute and a snappy Heil Hitler.
16.Five Year Plans Stalins attempt for the government to completely take
control of all aspects of the economy. Under these plans:
Collectivized farm land by literally ending all private ownership of land.
Large state-owned farms. Former peasants were now paid workers.
This step had to come first because the state needed capital (money)

for investment in other parts of scheme.

Invest in construction of heavy industry. Heavy industry consists of
large projects like the steel and coal industries, production of

armaments, building railroads, ports, highways, and airports. Stalin

virtually ignored the production of consumer goods. Goal was to
modernize Soviet industry so he could build military to defend Soviet

Stalin used harsh and even brutal measures. He introduced the Great
Terror. During this era, anyone who was considered an enemy of his
goals was executed. Consequently, millions of Soviet citizens lost their

17.Great Terror Anyone who was considered an enemy of Stalins goals was
18.Appeasement Policy when a country becomes aggressive, other countries
give the aggressor what they want to prevent another war. As Hitler became
for aggressive in his steps to make Germany a powerful international force,
Britain and France practices appeasement:
The Re-militarization of the Rhineland Treaty of Versailles forced
Germany to remove all military presence from this region on the border
with France. In March 1936, Hitler sent his trooped to the Rhineland.

Britain and France did nothing.

Annexation of Austria In March 1938, German trooped moved into

Austria and made it part of Germany.

Appeasement in Czechoslovakia Crisis unfolded in two stages; most
important cause of the Second World War. When Czechoslovakia was
created, over three million Germans were included within its
boundaries. Hitler wanted these people to be included in Germany.
Crisis came to a head in late September, 1938. After making many
demands regarding the Sudetenland, Hitler finally threatened invasion
on October 1st. British and French panicked. If Hitler invaded, surely the
Czechs would resists and this would lead to war. He demanded and got
the Sudetenland. Wishes of the Czechs were completely ignored. In
exchange, Hitler promised not to invade. Appeasement policy came
crashing down on March 15th 1939 when Hitlers trooped invaded the

rest of Czechoslovakia and it ceased to exist.

19.Nazi-Soviet Pact Hitler approached Stalin to make a non-aggression pact,
a deal whereby they would promise not to attack each other. The deal was
signed on August 23rd, 1939, in the form of the Nazi Soviet Non-Aggression
Pact. Germany and the Soviet Union agreed not to attack each other and to

divide Poland between them. Both knew that they were lying to each other,
but both wanted time. Hitler wanted to avoid a two-front war when invading
20.Blitzkrieg Nazis used blitzkrieg tactics (meaning lightning war) Airplanes
led the attack to knock out key enemy positions, which was immediately
flowered by tank and motorized infantry attacks. Attacking forces would
sweep past the enemy and then close in behind the enemy and trapping
them. Using this strategy, German forces swept through Poland encountering
very little resistance. France and Britain immediately declared war on
Germany. Even though Canada was not automatically obligated to be at war
as part of the British Empire, Canadas declaration followed a week later.
Many Canadians still felt strong ties to Britain and also felt that German
aggression must be stopped. Leaders in Quebec supported Canadas entry
into the war based on Prime Minister Mackenzie Kings promise that
conscription would never be required.
21.Conscription Compulsory military service
22.Phony War From October 1939 to April 1940, everyone expected Germany
to attack Western Europe, but bad weather and indecision prevented this
from happening. Allied trooped and Canadians waited for the attack.
Historians referred to this period as the Phony War, although war was a
reality in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Finland.
23.Evacuation of Dunkirk In May 1940, war in Western Europe began,
although few Canadian trooped were engaged in battle before 1942. In spring
of 2941, the war on the western front began in earnest. Hitlers forces quickly
took Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland. British and French trooped
retreated to the French beaches of Dunkirk only to become trapped.
Approximately 900 ships sailed from England and rescued 340,000 soldiers
from Dunkirk. The evacuation at Dunkirk was significant because it
represented a moral victory for the allies and saved the best of the British
forces who would live to fight another day.
24.British Royal Air Force In the Battle of Britain, Hitler used air attacks on
Britain to prepare for an amphibious invasion. He needed control of the air to
destroy the Royal Navy that patrolled the English Channel and protected
Britain. The RAF and German Air force fought in the airspace over Britain.
Individual Canadians served in Britains airforce.
25.Luftwaffe German Airforfce

26.Battle of Britain The battle between German and Britain at Britain. Fought
for airspace and bombings. Air campaign waged by the German Air Force
(Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of
1940. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely
by air forces, and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing
campaign to that date. British advantage through their use of radar and
superior fighter planes. Radios waves could detect German bomber and
fighter squadrons while they were still over the channel. Enigma was also
another advantage. The German ciper machine enabled the British to receive
and decode German messages.
27.The Blitz German bomber plane got lost and bombed London, Churchill
retaliated bombed Berlin, and Hitler redirected bombings of RAF airfields to
daylight London bombings and made a poor strategic decision. Later, RAF
was able to regroup and win the Battle of Britain. Significant because first
time Hitler had been denied conquest.
28.Dieppe In August 1942, close to 5000 Canadian soldiers landed at Dieppe
on the coast of France. Their objective was to take the beach and town of
Dieppe from Germans. Soldiers were mowed down by German machine guns.
More Canadians died in these few hours than any other day in WW2. Plan
began to unravel even before it started. Element of surprise gone after
landing craft discovered by enemy conboy and noisy fight ensued. Britain
also forwent planned aerial bombardment last second. Disaster at Dieppe
taught the Allies that heavy air and sea support would be required for any
future invasion of France.
29.Operation Barbarossa Codename for massive invasion of Soviet Union.
Motive of invasion was Lebensraum for Aryan superior race. It also had vast
resources desperately needed by Germany. Also to destroy arch rival
communism. Hitler broke Nazi-Soviet pact and 3 million German trooped
smashed into Soviet Union. Soviet enacted Scorched-Earth and destroyed
everything so that Nazis would have nothing to use. Germans stopped
outside of Moscow on Christmas of 1941.
30.Battle of El Alamein War in North Africa started in September 1940 when
Mussolini attacked Egypt. British forces resistedthis attack. Battle for control
of Egypt culminated at Battle of El Alamein. Decisive victory for British, led by

General Bernard Montgomery. Proved to be aturning point in entire war as it

was first time that the Allies had defeated the forces of the Fascist countries.
31.Battle of the Atlantic The longest campaign of WW2. The war in the
Atlantic was fought for control of the shipping lanes between North America
and Britain. Germanys goal was to cut off all Allied supplies to Britain in
hopes of starving Britain into submission.
32.U-boats Underwater attack submarines used by the Germans, were active
even within Canadian waters. German submarines operated in groups called
wolfpacks out of ports in occupied countries. They were sinking Allied ships
faster than they could be built.
33.Convoys To combat this, Allied supply ships began travelling in convoys
where merchant ships are accompanied by destroyers for protection.
34.Royal Canadian Navy Provided much of the protection with their small
warships called
35.Corvettes Small warships used to protect merchant ships
36.Sonar Development of sonar played a major role in reversing the flow of
the Battle of the Atlantic. The sound bounced off the enemy submarines and
alerted Allies to their presence.
37.Battle of Stalingrad Germans attack Stalingrad not because of strategic
goal, but because it was named after Stalin. Strategic goal was to go past
Stalingrad and secure Caucasus oil fields. Soviets had smashing victory
against entire German army in the region. Enormous boost in allied morale.
Proved that German war machine could be defeated.
38.Italian Campaign Germans have been defeated in North Africa and were
in retreat. Allied plan was to take the island of Sicily, just off the coast of
mainland Italy in preparation for a landing on Italy itself.
39.Vandoos French-Canadian unit which drove back Germans in Italy. Canian
forces pushed forward until the Germany army stopped them at Ortana.
Fighting in Italy was one of the toughest of the war.
40.Operation Overlord Great Allied invasion of German-held Europe. Planned
to use naval and aerial bombardment to knock out German defenses. The
invasion of Normandy took over one year in preparation. Most complex
military operation ever attempted.
41.Juno beach was the target assigned for the Canadian forces.
42.V-E Day Victory in Europe on May 8, 1945
43.Pearl Harbour Japanese thought that they wuld need to defeat the
American navy based at Pearl Harbour if they were to continue on a wawr of
conquest in the Pacific. In response to the attack, America declared war on

Japan on December 8, 1941. As a result, Hitler declared war on the United

44.Prisoner of War Prisoners of War taken in back the Japanese were treated
very harshly.
45.Battle of Midway This battle marks the turning point in the Pacific theatre.
The Midwar Islands lie northwest of Hawaii. Japanese were preparing to
conquer these islands, but Americans intercepterd the Japanese fleet and
soundly defeated them. After Midway, Japanese were on the defensive.
46.Island Hopping The technique used by the Americans was to select key
islands about 400 miles apart instead of attacking every island taken by the
Japanese. They were progressively move their base for attack much closer to
Japan itself. Americans simply ignored the islands in between because they
could now cut off supplies to these islands.
47.The Manhattan Project Singe March of 1943, the United States had
funded a very secret, very expensive project to determine if it was possible to
create an atomic bomb. In 1945, US President Harry S. Truman learned that
the atomic test had been successful. Top secret effort costs $2billion and
120000 personnel.
48.Hiroshima American military planners informed Truman that he could
expect from 1 to 1.5 million American casualties and another 12018 months
of fighting using conventional warfare. Therefore, Truman decided to use the
atomic bomb on the Japanese City of Hiroshima. Little Boy was dropped on
the industrial city of Hiroshima. Official deathcount was 78k, but an additional
60k died later of atomic bomb related injuries or diseases.
49.Nagasaki Since Japan did not surrender immediately, Truman ordered the
next atomic bomb to be dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Fat Man was
dropped on the city of 250000 and death toll reached 35k. A total of
approximately 170k people died due to both bombs.
50.V-J Day August 14, 1945 Victory in Japan
51.CWAC Canadian Womens Army Corps in 1941, for the first time in
Canadian history, official womens branches of the army was created.
52.RCAF Womens branch of the airforce
53.WRENS Womens branch of the navy
54.War Supply Board Created and managed by C.D Howe, he was given
almost dictatorial powers in the War Supply Board, the goal of which was to
organize Canadian industry toward the singular purpose of supplying the

front. The government paid for this increased spending on the war effort
through taxes, war bond sales, and gold payments from Britain.
55.Lend Lease Act American government introduced this act in 1941 which
allowed Allied countries to buy materials from the United States without
having to pay up front. Canadian government was worried that Allied
countries would no longer buy from Canada.
56.Hyde Park Declaration Stated that the United States would buy more raw
materials from Canada and would supply Canada with American parts for
weapons production.
57.Propaganda Information that is spread for the purpose of promoting a
particular cause. The information disseminated as propaganda during WWII
were not necessarily truthful. Documentaries and short films were created to
encourage Canadians to participate in the war effort. Posters were also widely
used to create an image of the enemy as evil.
58.British Commonwealth Air Training Plan In 1939, Canada developed
the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan which created facilities in Canada
to train pilots and other crew members from Commonwealth countries. By
1942, there was a huge demand for pilots as Allied countries began the
systematic bombing of German cities. By the end of the war, more than
130000 air personnel were trained at over 230 sites across Canada.
59.Camp X A special spy training facility located just outside of Oshawa,
Ontario. Opened a few days after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour.
Canadian, British, and American spies were trained at this top0secret school.
Several Canadian spies served behind the lines, providing valuable
information about the enemy. Most Canadian government and military
leaders did not even know that Camp X existed. It was also a top-secret
communications centre, where a complex radio called Hydra intercepted
enemy signals and transmitted information between North America and
60.National Resource Mobilization Act Prime Minister King made an
election promise to not introduce conscription for overseas duty. However,
King implemented the National Resource Mobilization Act which require all
men to help with the war effort, but not to serve overseas.
61.Plebiscite By 1942, there was a need for more troops overseas. King held a
plebiscite (a vote on a single issue) asking Canadians to release him from his

promise not to introduce conscription. Majority of Canadians supported

conscription, while majority of French Canadians did not.
62.Enemy Aliens Government required groups of Canadians whose ancestry
was of one of the enemy countries to register as enemy aliens for frear that
they might be spies or might commit acts of sabotage. Over 100000
Canadians were forced to register and about 650 were interned in camps.
63.Internment Camps People feared that Japanese Candians might supply
Japan with secret information or even help them invade Canada. In 1942, the
internment of Japanese Canadians began. Japanese Canadians were stripped
of their rights. They were fingerprinted, photographed, and given an
identification number. In total, 22000 Japanese Canadians were sent to
internment camps.
64.Custodian of Aliens Act Allowed the Canadian government to sell the
possessions of Japanese Canadians without their permission. The items were
sold quickly.
65.Wehrmacht The German Army
66.Depth Charge Anti-submarine warfare weapon that made German
wolfpacks less effective. Depth charges were explosives dropped by escort
ships to destroy U-boats.
67.Enigma Britain took the possession of the Enigma, the German cipher
machine which enabled the British to receive and decode German messages.