8. Course of World War II Europe and Asia – Flashcards

question
Battle of Kursk
answer
The last attempt by Germany at an offensive in the East in the summer of 1943. It was the largest tank battle of all time. Germany was defeated.
question
Leningrad
answer
This city was besieged by the Germans for about 872 days between September 8 1941 and January 27 1944. For much of this time it could only be supplied in the winter by a road over a frozen lake. One million civilians and another million soldiers died from the fighting or from hunger in the defence of this city.
question
North Africa Campaign
answer
In September, 1940, Mussolini attacked British-occupied Egypt from Libya (an Italian colony). The British drove the Italians out, sank half their fleet at Taranto and occupied Crete. This prompted Hitler to send a force commanded by Rommel to retake North Africa in February 1941. This diverted troops that could have been used in the invasion of Russia. Also, Rommel's forces came close to capturing the Egyptian oil fields and the Suez Canal, which would have cut off Britain's oil supply.
question
Battle of the Atlantic
answer
Ongoing fight from 1940-43 to secure British supply lines across the Atlantic. From 1939-42 German u-boats working in packs made dangerous inroads on British supplies. In 1942, they sank 35% of allied shipping and killed 1/3 of all merchant seamen. The allies were eventually able to turn the tide because of their success breaking the German codes, their adoption of the convoy system, their increasing use of aircraft to protect the convoys, including the use of small aircraft carriers, technological innovations such as the High-Frequency Direction Finder, which could locate u-boats that used their radios, radar, improved sonar, and improved weapons such as the hedgehog, squid and limbo. Also, from 1943 the dramatic increase in US shipbuilding allowed the allies to replace ships more quickly than they were being sunk. About 15% of shipping was lost in 1943, about 7% in 1944 and 2% in 1945. 80% of U-boat crew were killed in World War II.
question
U-Boat
answer
The German name for a submarine. Under Admiral Dönitz, these were used effectively in "wolf packs" to menace allied shipping between 1939 and 1944. Although very slow under water, they were faster than any other vessel on the surface. They also had a low profile, making them difficult to spot. Using radios, these submarines coordinated their efforts and ganged up on ships and convoys.
question
Dönitz
answer
German naval officer who advocated converting almost all of the German navy to u-boats and having them work in "wolf packs" to attack allied merchant vessels. He reasoned that sinking all of Britain's oil tankers would be just as effective as sinking Britain's navy, since her ships could not move without oil. At first, no-one listened to him, but he used his submarines to good effect in 1940-43 and was made commander of the Navy in January 1943. At this point he turned the whole German fleet over to the u-boats. In 1945, Hitler appointed this man as his successor in his will. He fought a brief holding action to allow as many German soldiers to escape the Russians and surrender to the Americans/British as possible, then he surrendered. After the war, he was tried in the first Nuremberg trial and imprisoned for ten years.
question
Condor Aircraft
answer
This was a along-rance aircraft developed by Germany by 1940. It had a range of 3000 km. From mid-1940 to mid-1941 it was used extensively to patrol the eastern Atlantic and sink British ships. From mid-1941 too many were being shot down and this practice stopped.
question
Handicaps facing convoy defense at the beginning of the war
answer
• The convoys could be escorted only for about 300 miles from each Atlantic coast. • There were not enough escort ships and even the available ones lacked endurance and their crews were virtually untrained. • Air cover was really important but all the other aircraft except the Anson were lash-ups, burrowed from entirely dissimilar functions. The navigation aids were not there. Also, cooperation of navy and air was bad due to quarrels between senior officers in Whitehall. It took two years for cooperation to start
question
ASDIC
answer
This was an echo-sounding device designed by the British to detect submerged u-boats. It was not particularly effective, giving an extremely blurry image. Also, the u-boats mainly operated on the surface.
question
Proportion of British merchant seamen killed during the war
answer
1/3
question
Allied Shipping Sunk by U-boats January-June 1942
answer
4,100,000 tonnes 1000 ships
question
Proportion of U-Boat Crewmen killed during World War II
answer
80%
question
New Technology deployed against u-boats during the war
answer
• Improved ASDIC • Hedgehog • Direction-Finding Equipment that could track the sources of German radio signals • Short-wave radar that could detect u-boats on the surface. Aircraft - important because they could force the u-boats to operate under water where they were slow.
question
Improved Tactics deployed to counter u-boats
answer
• January 1943 gave top priority to defeating the u-boats. This meant that more escort vessels were provided, closing the "Atlantic Gap". Also more aircraft - both ground-based aircraft from Iceland and small aircraft carriers. • When a u-boat was detected, every single escort vessel would hone in and attack it, increasing the chance of destroying it. The allies broke the German navy's codes.
question
Stalingrad
answer
A battle that proved to be a key turning point in the war in 1942. The Germans were besieging a city in southern Russia when the Russians encircled them. Hitler wouldn't let his troops retreat, so they were all killed or captured. From this point onward, the Russians gradually pushed the Germans back.
question
Hamburg
answer
This city was bombed by the Western allies in the last week of July 1943. They used a combination of explosive and incendiary bombs and wind conditions were such that this created a firestorm. In all, about 40,000 were killed, mostly by the fire rather than the bombs themselves. However, this was an unusually effective air raid. Over the whole war, an average bombing sortie with a seven-man crew would kill only three Germans, and the air crew would survive only fourteen missions on average. Many historians argue that the resources put into bombing German cities would have been better used elsewhere.
question
Dresden
answer
This city was bombed by the Western allies in February 1945. They used a combination of explosive and incendiary bombs and wind conditions were such that this created a firestorm. In all, somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 were killed, mostly by the fire rather than the bombs themselves. However, this was an unusually effective air raid. Over the whole war, an average bombing sortie with a seven-man crew would kill only three Germans, and the air crew would survive only fourteen missions on average. Many historians argue that the resources put into bombing German cities would have been better used elsewhere. Many also question the strategic value of this particular raid, since the war was almost over and the city had little military significance.
question
Strategic Bombing
answer
A total war strategy involving bombing with the goal of destroying the enemy's economic ability and the will of its citizens to wage war. This was put into practice by both sides in World War II. Historians debate whether it was effective.
question
Targeted Bombing
answer
This was the British strategy early in the war, and at the very end of the war. The 'planes were sent out to bomb particular targets. In 1942, this strategy was abandoned, as it was not possible to bomb accurately at night and German air defences were too strong to bomb in daylight. Only 3% of the bombs dropped got within 5 miles of their targets. The USA employed this strategy in daylight raids throughout the war, relying on close formation flying to reduce casualties.
question
Area Bombing
answer
This was the strategy of the British Air Force from 1942 onward. Instead of trying to hit specific targets, they bombed whole cities with masses of 'planes.
question
Technology developed during the war to make bombing more accurate
answer
GEE - Grid of radio signals projected over Western Europe Window - Clouds of aluminium paper strips to disrupt German radar and gun-aiming apparatus. Improved Radar Flares to illuminate landmarks Target Indicators to mark target Mustang: Long-range fighter that could escort bombers deep into Germany. Helped gain air superiority.
question
45%
answer
Percentage of RAF Bomber Command's aircrew killed during the war.
question
7.4%
answer
Percentage of US 8th Air Force air crew killed during the war.
question
1943: 9% 1944: 17%
answer
Estimated German production decrease due to allied bombing.
question
El Alamein
answer
Two battles were fought near this Egyptian town in July and October 1942. The first halted the German advance towards the Nile and the Suez Canal (which posed a grave threat to Britain's oil supply) and the second began to push the Germans back across North Africa. The Allies were able to win partly because of air superiority and partly because Rommel's forces had advanced so quickly that their supply lines had been stretched to the limit and the Germans faced critical shortages.
question
D Day
answer
June 6 1944. The British, Americans and Canadians invaded occupied France from Normandy in an amphibious landing.
question
Operation Overlord
answer
This was the name of the allied invasion of German-occupied France, It began on June 6, 1944 with an amphibious landing in Normandy. This opened up a proper "second front" in Europe and took some of the pressure off the USSR. However, it should be noted that the USSR had been driving the Germans back for over a year before June 6 1944, which suggests this invasion was not the most important reason why Germany lost the war.
question
Mulberries
answer
Two artificial harbours constructed on the beaches of Normandy to land men and equipment after D-Day. One was destroyed by a storm on June 19, but the other was used to land over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies in the ten months after D-Day. It had 33 jetties and ten miles of floating roadways. It is still considered a marvel of military engineering. It is also an example of the way the allies were much better supplied than the Germans.
question
PLUTO
answer
Acronym for "Petrol Line Under The Ocean". It was a huge flexible pipe laid by the Anglo-Americans under the English Channel shortly after D-Day in order to provide a consistent source of fuel for Operation Overlord. It is an example of one of the many ways the allies were better supplied than the Germans.
question
Warsaw Uprising
answer
This took place form August 1 to October 2, 1944. As the Soviet army approached this city, its inhabitants rose up against the German occupiers. Partly, the goal was to help the allied war effort. A secondary reason was that the non-Communist Poles wanted to liberate themselves and establish their own government before the USSR arrived and imposed a government on them. In the event, the Soviet army stopped to regroup just outside of Warsaw. Not only did they offer no help to the fighters, they also refused to let British and American planes land on their airfields after supplying the Poles. Many people believe Stalin wanted the Germans to kill all the Polish nationalists to make Poland easier to control after the war. About 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed, along with at least 150,000 civilians.
question
Battle of the Bulge
answer
December 16 1944-January 28 1945. Hitler attempted a last offensive at the Western front with 500,000 soldiers attacking at a weak point in the allied lines in the Ardennes forest. They were trying to punch through to retake the key port of Arnhem. It was initially successful, partly because the weather was cloudy and allied 'planes couldn't operate. The outnumbered Americans managed to halt the Germans at Bastogne (helped by a German fuel shortage). Eventually the allies drove the Germans back. This offensive used up the last German reserves of troops and equipment and probably hastened the defeat on the Eastern Front.
question
Operation Market Garden
answer
Sept 17-24, 1944. This was General Montgomery's plan to circumvent the German defenses by taking the Netherlands. It failed, party because some hardened German veterans had been posted there to recuperate. This meant the war dragged on into 1945.
question
V1 and V2 Rockets
answer
Unmanned long-range missiles that Hitler used against Britain in 1944 and 1945. He boasted that this secret weapon would win the war. About 8000-9000 of the first type were fired at Britain, but they could be shot down by anti-aircraft. The second type was the world's first ballistic missile. It flew too fast to be detected before exploding. About 1000 of these were fired. The 8000-9000 of the first type caused about 5,400 deaths and 16,000 injuries while the second type killed at least 2,500 and possibly as many as 9000 in Southern England, France and Antwerp. However, this programme used a lot of resources that would have been better devoted to producing jet fighters and the missiles weren't accurate enough to hit specific targets. At the end of the war, both the USA and the USSR scooped up German scientists from this project, pardoned them, and put them to work on nuclear missiles.
question
Messerschmitt
answer
This was the world's first jet fighter aircraft. It was developed by the Germans and went into operation in mid-1944. It was better armed and faster than anything the allies had. However, Germany did not produce enough of them to affect the outcome of the war. Some historians believe Hitler should have concentrated more resources on these.
question
Tanks
answer
These were crucial weapons in World War II in Europe. They prevented the war from bogging down as in World War I. Ironically, although they had originally been invented by the British, at the beginning of the war it was the Germans who used them to their full potential. Even in the middle of the war, the German "Tigers" were the strongest in use. The Russians had an excellent model called the "T34." The Americans and British relied on the inferior "Sherman" model The big advantage was that they were able to produce these at such a rate that even though they were weaker than the German tanks, there were many more of them.
question
Enigma
answer
A machine for sending and receiving coded messages that was used by the Germans in World War II. They thought their codes were unbreakable, but Polish mathematicians and an odd assortment of British mathematicians, linguists and crossword puzzle enthusiasts working at Bletchley Park developed systematic methods for breaking these codes. (In the process, the first computer was invented by a British mathematician called Turing). This gave the allies a crucial intelligence advantage.
question
Italian Campaign
answer
This began on July 10 1943 with the Anglo-American landing in Sicily. The King promptly dismissed Mussolini and appointed a new Prime Minister who made peace with the Allies and declared war on Germany. The Germans invaded Italy, rescued Mussolini and set him up as ruler of the Northern part of Italy. It took over a year for the allies to fight their way up the peninsula. Rome was finally occupied on June 4, 1944, Mussolini was killed by partisans on April 28, 1945 and the German forces in Italy finally surrendered on May 2, 1945. This campaign did not succeed in breaking through to Germany, but it forced the diversion of German troops form the Russian front and it helped to convince Stalin that Britain and the USA weren't deliberately leaving him to do all the fighting.
question
Nazi-Soviet Pact/ Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
answer
An agreement between the USSR and Germany in 1939. They agreed not to go to war with each other and to divide Poland between them. This left the way clear for Hitler to invade Poland without risking a two front war.
question
German invasion of Poland
answer
This happened on September 1, 1939. This action by Germany provoked Britain and France (and their empires) into declaring war on Germany. However, they did not actually attack Germany at this point. The USSR invaded from the other side in the middle of the month.
question
Blitzkrieg
answer
A tactic adopted by Germany in World War II. It involved dropping paratroopers behind enemy lines to confuse the enemy and disrupt communication, targeted air raids on key transportation and communication centres and rapid invasion by tanks and motorized infantry to subdue the enemy before it had time to react.
question
Phony War
answer
The period between September 1939 and May 1940 in which Britain and France were at war with Germany, but no fighting was taking place (apart from a brief skirmish in Norway).
question
German (including Austria) Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
76,008,000 people 23,329,000 tonnes
question
USSR Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
190,000,000 people 18,800,000 tonnes
question
USA Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
132,122,000 people 51,329,000 tonnes
question
British Population and Steel Production 1939 (not counting empire)
answer
47,961,000 people 13,192,000 tonnes
question
French Population and Steel Production 1939 (not counting empire)
answer
41,600,000 people 6,221,000 tonnes
question
Italian Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
44,223,000 people 2,323,000 tonnnes
question
Norway
answer
This country attempted to remain neutral in World War II. It was strategically important because large quantities of Swedish iron ore were shipped to Germany through its ports and territorial waters. (It also had important minerals that could potentially be used in the making of atomic bombs). Both Germany and the Western Allies planned to invade this country in April 1940. Germany acted first and gained control of the air. The Anglo-French offensive was a complete fiasco. It led to a shake-up in the British government in which Churchill replaced Chamberlain. (Which was ironic, because the campaign had been Churchill's idea.)
question
Winter War
answer
War between the USSR and Finland that lasted from November 30, 1939 to March 13, 1940. It began because the USSR demanded that Finland cede some territory around Leningrad and the Finns refuse. Surprisingly, the Finns managed to fight off the first Russian offensive. This made Germany believe that the Soviet army had been critically weakened by the purges, which encouraged Hitler to invade in 1941. Eventually the Finns were overwhelmed and had to cede the territory. Fortunately, this happened before Britain and France got around to declaring war on the USSR. Another result of this was that Finland allied with Nazi Germany.
question
Denmark
answer
Germany occupied this country in April 1940 as part of its campaign against Norway. It was occupied throughout the war, although the government resisted the Nazis in various ways, including evacuating most Jewish citizens to Sweden before the Nazis could round them up.
question
Churchill
answer
This man replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Britain on May 10, 1940. Chamberlain had to resign because the British campaign in Norway had been such a fiasco. This is significant because this man was very much more committed to the war than Chamberlain had been. He saw no alternative to an all-out fight to the death with fascism, whereas Chamberlain had hoped to avoid full- scale war as late as May 1940. This man is also famous for making stirring speeches to keep the British motivated during the war.
question
Germany conquers the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.
answer
This occurred between May and June of 1940. Germany used Blitzkrieg tactics.
question
Gamelin
answer
This was the commander in chief of the French forces in May 1940. He was 68 years old, cautious and out of date. He chose a headquarters with no telephone, telegraph or radio communications and then never left it. He did not order an advance while the Germans were engaged in Poland (he didn't expect to be ready to advance until 1941), and he ignored reports that the Germans were coming through the Ardennes forest. Under his leadership, the British and French response to the German invasion of France was completely inadequate.
question
Maginot Line
answer
A very strong string of fortresses built on the French-German border in the 1930s with the aim of repelling any future German invasion. This actually backfired, as it caused France to think defensively instead of attacking Germany in 1939, and in the end the Germans simply went around it.
question
Ardennes Forest
answer
A forest in the area where France, Belgium and Luxembourg meet. The French thought that it would be impossible to bring tanks through this forest, so they did not put strong defenses in this area. In 1940, the Germans brought their main force through this area, going around the main French defenses and defeating France in a matter of weeks.
question
Meuse
answer
This is a river flowing from southern France to the North Sea. In May 1940 Germans had to cross it to reach Paris. The French took the precaution of blowing up most of the bridges as they retreated, but they left one intact, fearing that destroying it would lower the water level so much that the Germans would be able to cross without bridges. They also didn't guard the bridge properly. As a result, the German tanks were able to cross near Sedan.
question
Dunkirk Evacuation
answer
This took place from May 27-June 4. About 200,000 soldiers of the British expeditionary force, along with about 130,000 French soldiers, all of whom had been deployed in Belgium, found themselves cut off from the main French army by the German advance. They retreated to the beaches of this town on the English channel. They managed to hold off the Germans for a week while they evacuated, using fishing boats, civilian passenger ships and even pleasure yachts to supplement the Navy. Although this involved abandoning the French, it saved the core of the British army.
question
Operation Sea Lion
answer
This was the name given to Germany's vague plan to invade Britain. It was never put into action, partly because it had not been planned in advance and had to be put together at the last minute, partly because the three branches of the German armed forces couldn't agree on a plan, partly because the Luftwaffe failed to neutralize the RAF in the Battle of Britain and partly because Hitler was more interested in invading the USSR.
question
Battle of Britain
answer
July -September 1940. This was the attempt by the German air force (Luftwaffe) to knock out the British air force (RAF) so as to have control of the skies for a planned invasion of Britain. Germany failed to knock out the British air force, although they came close.
question
Advantages of the RAF in the Battle of Britain
answer
• Radar • Fighting over home ground, so pilots who bailed out could fly again. • Closer to their bases, so they could spend much longer in the air (Luftwaffe could only spend ½ hour over Britain and 10 minutes over London) In September, they launched a bombing raid on Berlin that made Hitler so angry that he stopped attacking air bases and started the Blitz.
question
Blitz
answer
This lasted from September 1940 to the spring of 1941. It was Germany's attempt to persuade Britain to make peace by bombing British cities. All in all, about 40,000 British subjects were killed by bombing during the war. This was fewer than had been expected (because of radar, evacuations and shelters). It was too dangerous to bomb during the day, so the bombs had to be dropped at night. The bombing was too inaccurate to hit high value targets, so cities were bombed at random. It was very unpleasant, but the Germans did not gain any ground by bombing. Meanwhile the change of tactics gave the RAF time to regroup.
question
RADAR
answer
A technology perfected by the British that allowed them to see enemy planes approaching. This was a key reason why they survived the Battle of Britain. It was also adapted to help convoys detect submarines and to help bombers to navigate to their targets at night.
question
Balkan Campaign
answer
Italy had taken Albania on April 1939. In October 1940 they attacked Greece. With British aid, the Greeks repelled the invasion. Meanwhile, when the regent in charge of Yugoslavia made an alliance with the Nazis in March 1941, there was a rebellion and the rebels put the 15-year-old king on the throne and broke off the alliance. These events prompted Hitler to send troops to overrun Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941. This delayed his offensive against the USSR for several crucial weeks. This caused the German forces to be overtaken by winter before they could take Moscow.
question
Barbarossa
answer
The German invasion of the USSR in 1941. At first, this was very successful, but the Germans were overtaken by winter before reaching their objectives and the Russians regrouped and counter-attacked.
question
Purge of the Russian Armed Forces
answer
This took place in 1937-38. Most of the top officers of the army and navy were either imprisoned or shot, including three of the five Field Marshalls, 90% of the Generals and eight of the nine Admirals. This ensured that the army could not form an effective opposition to Stalin, but it also weakened the army at a crucial period in the lead-up to World War II. This perceived weakness of the Soviet army may have encouraged Hitler to attack in 1941.
question
Number of Russian Soldiers killed wounded or imprisoned by the end of September 1941
answer
3 million
question
Trade Space for Time
answer
This was the Russian strategy that defeated German Blitzkrieg tactics. Taking advantage of Russia's huge size, the Russian army simply retreated in the face of the German attack, forcing the Germans to lengthen their supply lines. Then, when winter had frozen the Germans in their tracks, the Russians counterattacked. This strategy was supplemented by the scorched earth policy.
question
Scorched Earth Policy
answer
This was a tactic used by the Russians as they retreated before the German advance in 1941. As they retreated, they destroyed everything they could not take with them. This left the Germans with no way of living off the land. They had to get their supplies all the way from Germany. It was a desperate strategy that was very hard on Russian civilians in the path of the army. In 1943, the Germans used the same tactic as they retreated back across Russia.
question
Zhukov
answer
Possibly the greatest General of World War II. This man first distinguished himself commanding the Russian forces in a brief conflict with Japan over Mongolia in 1938. In 1940 he commanded the Russian forces in their annexation of Bessarabia from Romania. In early 1941, he was made Chief of the General Staff. He lost this position after an argument with Stalin at the end of July, but he retained his position on the military council - making him one of the few people to yell at Stalin and live to tell the tale. He continued to read German tactics accurately and give sound advice as the Germans advanced. From August-October 1941 he commanded the defense of Leningrad and succeeded in preventing the Germans from taking the city. From October 1941 he commanded the defense of Moscow and the successful counterattack that winter. In August 1942 he was in charge of the defense of Stalingrad and presided over the Russian victory there. In 1943 he partially lifted siege of Leningrad and commanded the Russia force sin the Battle of Kursk. He continued to supervise the Russian army's westward advance and was present for the German surrender in Berlin. After the war, Stalin demoted him and sent him to a remote province.
question
October 10 1941
answer
On this date, it started to snow outside of Moscow. The snow would then melt and turn the unpaved Russian roads to mud. This slowed down the German advance. This is also the date that Zhukov took over the defense of Moscow.
question
End of November 1941
answer
On this date, the temperature in the region around Moscow plummeted. The German army was not equipped for he cold. They lacked winter clothing and winter fuel for their vehicles. The vehicles quickly became unusable, and the soldiers were not much better off. This ended all hope of their being able to take Moscow that year.
question
December 5/6, 1941
answer
On this date, Soviet troops counterattacked against the German army around Moscow. These included 40,000 Siberian ski troops, specially trained for winter fighting. This offensive drove the Germans back from Moscow.
question
Lend Lease Agreement March 1941
answer
Although Roosevelt believed it would be necessary for the USA to enter the war against Hitler, the American people were very reluctant to get involved, and he had promised not to bring America into the war during his election campaign. He compromised with this agreement, by which the USA loaned equipment to Britain (and later the USSR) for the duration of the war at no cost. By a previous agreement, the USA also leased various military bases from the British in return for destroyers. This gave the British much-needed equipment and relieved them of the necessity of defending those bases. It also allowed Roosevelt to present his actions as being in the USA's interests. This agreement and the Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 1940 were, of course, completely inconsistent with the USA's official position of neutrality. They played a major role in drawing the USA into the war and they provided absolutely crucial supplies to Britain and the USSR (Just over $50 billion worth).
question
Neutrality Acts
answer
A series of laws passed by the American Congress in the 1930s forbidding Americans from selling war materials of giving loans to any countries fighting wars. In November 1939, Roosevelt managed to get Congress to agree that America could sell to countries fighting wars as long as they paid up front and transported the goods themselves. In March 1941, he pushed through the Lend Lease Act. After the Greer incident in September 1941, US ships could fire on German u-boats. When the US destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a u-boat on October 31, 1941, The US Congress repealed the last vestiges of these laws (effective November 17.) From this point onward, it seemed inevitable that the USA would go to war with Germany.
question
Pearl Harbour
answer
The site of a Japanese attack on the USA on December 7 1941. 2,402 Americans were killed and 1282 wounded (only 48 of the dead were civilians). This brought the USA into the war. Hitler declared war on the USA shortly afterwards and Britain and its dominions immediately declared war on Japan, linking the Sino-Japanese War to the war in Europe and North Africa. Four of the eight battleships of the US Pacific fleet were sunk and the other four damaged. Several smaller ships were also destroyed. The US aircraft carriers were at sea when the raid occurred.
question
Manchukuo
answer
The name the Japanese gave to Manchuria in 1932. They put the former emperor, Puyi in charge and pretended it was an independent country, but in reality it was a colony of Japan and Puyi was a puppet. Manchuria reverted to China in 1945.
question
Boycott
answer
This was an organized campaign by Chinese people to refuse to buy Japanese goods. This tactic had been used successfully during the May 4 Movement, leading Japan to give China back the area around Qingdong, (a formerly German area which it had been given in the Treaty of Versailles) in 1922. After Japan's annexation of Manchuria in 1931, Japanese sales in China fell by two thirds. Japan declared this an act of aggression and attacked Shanghai in 1932.
question
Xian Incident
answer
This occurred in December 1936 when troops under the command of Zhang Xueliang (former warlord of Manchuria) kidnapped Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi) at gunpoint and handed him over to the Communists, insisting that the GMD should be fighting the Japanese, not the CCP. Zhou Enlai negotiated the Second United Front with him. This demonstrates the continued independence of the warlords. It was a propaganda victory for the communists because they were seen to be putting the country before party considerations or their desire for revenge.
question
Second United Front
answer
This lasted from 1937-1944. It was an alliance of the CCP and GMD against the Japanese. Although it was nominally led by Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai Shek) in fact the CCP forces acted independently of the GMD. This alliance was forced on Chiang Kai Shek (Jiang Jieshi) in the Xian incident.
question
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
answer
A clash between Japanese and Chinese troops in the outskirts of Beijing on July 7, 1937. The Japanese government used this as an excuse to occupy Beijing. When Chiang Kai Shek refused to give way, full-scale war broke out between China and Japan.
question
Rape of Nanking
answer
A period of about six weeks after the Japanese occupation of Nanjing on December 13, 1937. Japanese soldiers went on a rampage, raping tens of thousands of women and girls and killing possibly as many as 300,000 disarmed soldiers and civilians.
question
Chongqing
answer
This city on the upper Yangzi River, beyond the Three Gorges, became the capital of Nationalist China after the fall of Wuhan in October 1938. The Japanese could not get at the GMD with ground troops, but equally, the GMD were largely cut off from supplies and contact with the outside.
question
Three All Campaign
answer
A campaign by the Japanese in China from 1941 onwards. It was a response to the CCP's guerrilla warfare in the countryside. They tried to deter peasants from supporting the CCP by killing peasants and their animals, burning crops and villages and poisoning wells in areas from which CCP attacks had come. This caused the peasants to hate the Japanese even more and actually made the survivors more likely to support the CCP.
question
USS Panay
answer
This was an American gunboat that was sunk by the Japanese during their attack on Nanking in December 1937. The Japanese claimed it was an accident, apologise and paid an indemnity and things were smoothed over, but it hurt US-Japanese relations.
question
HMS Ladybird
answer
This was a British ship that was attacked and damaged by the Japanese during their attack on Nanking in December 1937. The Japanese claimed it was an accident, apologise and paid an indemnity and things were smoothed over, but it hurt Anglo-Japanese relations.
question
Thailand
answer
This country was neutral in World War II. In 1941, they allowed Japan to pass through their territory to attack the British colony at Malaya (modern-day Malaysia). This took the British by surprise as they were preparing to fend off an attack on Malaya from the sea.
question
Malaya
answer
British colony invaded by Japan in December 1941. The Japanese took the British by surprise by attacking through neutral Thailand. They then surprised the British by making their way down the peninsula through jungles the British thought were impassible to tanks. By January 30, they had taken the whole colony and threatened Singapore from the land side, where there were no guns.
question
Prince of Wales and Repulse
answer
These two British ships were meant to defend Singapore. They were both sunk by the Japanese on December 10, 1941.
question
Hong Kong
answer
This British colony in China was taken by Japan on December 25 and 26 1941. The Japanese took 12,000 prisoners. It would be occupied until the end of the war.
question
Singapore
answer
This British colony was thought to be an impregnable fortress, but its guns all pointed out to sea and the Japanese approached from the landward side. They took it in February 1942 and held it until the end of the war. 80,000 British and Australian troops surrendered, making it the biggest British military disaster of all time.
question
Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
answer
This oil-producing colony was the main reason for the Japanese offensive of 1941-42. They took it in March 1942 and held it to the end of the war, but they were unable to take advantage of the oil supply after 1943, because of US submarine warfare, which managed to sink 6/7 of Japanese shipping.
question
Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere
answer
This was the name the Japanese used for the empire they conquered. At its furthest extent, in mid-1942, it included Korea, Taiwan, most of China's coast, Hong Kong Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, the Philippines, Indonesia, most of New Guinea, the Aleutian Islands and most of the Southwestern Pacific Islands.
question
Port Moresby
answer
This was a city on the south side of New Guinea. When the Japanese failed to take it in mid 1942, it represented the first time their advance had been halted by the allies. Since capturing this city would have brought Australia into bombing range, this was an important battle.
question
Midway
answer
This is an American island about halfway across the Pacific. The Japanese fleet tried to ambush the US fleet there in June 1942, but the US had broken their codes and was ready for them. The US sank all four Japanese aircraft carriers, losing only one of their own. Japan lost 248 aircraft to the USA's 150. This was a disaster for the Japanese, because they could not replace the lost carriers and pilots whereas the USA had plenty of reserves and could produce replacement ships and 'planes quickly. From this point onward, Japan would be pushed back.
question
MacArthur's "Island Hopping" campaign
answer
This offensive approached Japan from a generally southeastern position, fighting up through New Guinea and the Philippines, and taking part of Borneo is order to cut Japan off from its conquests in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). Then it combined with the other US force to attack Okinawa. A key feature of this operation was that only strategically important islands were taken. Others were bypassed, but cut off from their supply lines, so they ceased to be a threat.
question
Nimitz's Campaign
answer
This offensive approached Japan from a generally Eastern position, beginning in the Gilbert islands, then the Marshall islands, the Marianas Islands (bringing land-based bombers in range of Japan), then Iwo Jima (which brought almost all of Japan in easy range of land-based bombers). Then it combined with the other US force to attack Okinawa. A key feature of this operation was that only strategically important islands were taken. Others were bypassed, but cut off from their supply lines, so they ceased to be a threat.
question
Leyte Gulf
answer
This took place on October 23-26 1944. It was the largest naval battle of all time, involving 282 warships and hundreds of aircraft. It destroyed the Japanese naval force tasked with defending the Philippines. This victory made it possible for the USA to take the Philippines, which cut the Japanese off from their oil supply in Indonesia. This severely handicapped the remaining Japanese navy vessels. This battle is also noteworthy because it was the first time the Japanese deployed kamikaze pilots. Evan Thomas points out that in this battle the USA had more ships than the Japanese had pilots, which illustrates the disparity in power between the two sides.
question
Marianas Islands, including Saipan
answer
These formed a key part of Japan's defensive perimeter in 1944. The USA took them in June-July that year. This brought land-based bombers in range of Japan. (although the distance was quite large). Almost all of the 25,000 defenders of Saipan either died or committed suicide, which was typical of he behavior of the Japanese. This attitude also forced the USA to take heavy casualties.
question
Philippines
answer
This American colony lay directly between Japan and the oil wells of the Dutch East Indies. Japan invaded it on December 8 1941 and drove the Americans out on May 8, 1942. MacArthur, the defending general vowed to return. The USA reinvaded in October 1944 and retook most of the colony by that December, but fighting continued in outlying areas even after the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
question
Iwo Jima
answer
This is a small, barren still-smoking volcanic island 600 miles from the coast of Japan. It was strategically important because it had an airstrip from which land-based aircraft could reach Japan easily. The US attacked on February 19 1945. The Japanese defended it fanatically, hoping the USA would get tired of losing soldiers and make peace. The battle lasted until March 25. The USA committed 70,000 men, of whom 6,812 were killed and 19,217 wounded. Japan had just over 22,000 defenders, of whom 21,844 were killed and 216 captured.
question
Okinawa
answer
Although Saipan had been a Japanese mandate between the wars, this island was the first of the Japanese home islands to be invaded (having been incorporated into Japan in the 1870s). The US invaded the main island on April 1 1945 and finally conquered it on June 22. The Japanese deployed over 2000 Kamikaze pilots in an effort to repel the US navy. They sank 30 US warships and damaged 200 more. They deployed 120,000 defenders, of whom about 94,136 were either killed or committed suicide. About 10,000 were captured (the first mass surrender of Japanese soldiers in the war. The USA attacked with 183,000 soldiers, of whom 12,520 were killed. 94,000 civilians died in the battle, many of them pressured to commit suicide or join suicidal attacks by the Japanese soldiers. The Japanese hoped to inflict heavy enough losses to induce the USA to make peace without occupying Japan, but in fact the casualty figures became part of the calculation justifying the use of the atomic bombs.
question
Kamikaze
answer
This word literally means "divine wind", a reference to the storms that prevented the Mongol invasion of Japan in the 13th century. These were Japanese pilots who deliberately flew 'planes packed with explosives into US ships, beginning in October 1944 at the battle of Leyte Gulf (there had been spontaneous suicide attacks before that, but those were the first planned ones), and peaking in the naval battle preceding the invasion of Okinawa on April-June 1945, in which more than 2000 such attacks were undertaken, sinking 30 US ships and damaging 200 more. The Japanese hoped this demonstration of fanaticism would induce the USA to end the war without occupying Japan, but in the end it helped the USA to decide to deploy the atomic bombs.
question
South East Asia Command
answer
This was set up in August, 1943 under British general Louis Mountbatten with the objective of retaking Burma and opening the "Burma Road" supply route to China. They achieved this in May, 1945.
question
Hiroshima
answer
This Japanese city was one of the few left relatively untouched by US conventional bombing. As a result, it was selected as the site for the dropping of the first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. 70,000 people were killed immediately and a further 70,000 were injured. Tens of thousands more would die of radiation sickness over the next few months and years. 97% of buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. Historians debate whether or not this was necessary to force Japan to surrender.
question
Nagasaki
answer
The second atomic bomb was dropped on this city on August 9, 1945. Somewhere between 60,000-80,000 died about half on August 9 and the rest over the next few months. Historians debate whether or not this was necessary to force Japan to surrender.
question
March 9 1945 Air Raid on Tokyo
answer
This conventional air raid killed about 80,000 people and destroyed a quarter of the city - comparable casualties and damage to that caused by the atomic bombs.
question
Report of the US Strategic Bombing Group
answer
This was an American investigation into the efficacy of the bombing campaign against Japan that was published in July 1946. It concluded that Japan would have surrendered before the panned US invasion, and even before November 1, even if the USSR hadn't entered the war, even if there had been no atomic bombs and without the USA having to invade.
question
Admiral William D Leahy
answer
This was Truman's Chief of Staff. In his autobiography, he asserted that the atomic bombs did not help the USA to win the war and that their use was not justifiable. He thought they were dropped because the scientists and others wanted to justify the vast sums that had been spend on the project.
question
Niall Ferguson
answer
This historian argues that the use of the atomic bomb made sense, given the Allies' commitment to finding ways to kill the maximum number of the enemy at the least possible risk to their own soldiers. The US was already bombing Japanese cities. Between June 1944 and August 1945 they had flown 30,000 sorties. In the process they had lost 74 'planes and 900 men. It was logical to turn to a weapon that would reduce US casualties further.
question
Scott Lucas
answer
This historian argues that the main reason the bombs were dropped was to end the war before the Russians could make substantial gains in Manchuria and claim a right to help occupy Japan. Also, it sent a message to the Russians about American power.
question
Atlantic Gap
answer
This was the area in which convoys could not be given air-cover due to the limited range of available land-based aircraft. It was difficult to bridge it until 1943 because few escort carriers were available. Also, long-range aircraft would have been effective but the Americans needed most of these in the Pacific. And Lancaster bombers, which could also have been effective, were used to bomb Germany despite admiralty appeals.
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1942
answer
35%
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1943
answer
15%
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1944
answer
7%
question
% of alllied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1945
answer
2%
1 of

Unlock all answers in this set

Unlock answers
question
Battle of Kursk
answer
The last attempt by Germany at an offensive in the East in the summer of 1943. It was the largest tank battle of all time. Germany was defeated.
question
Leningrad
answer
This city was besieged by the Germans for about 872 days between September 8 1941 and January 27 1944. For much of this time it could only be supplied in the winter by a road over a frozen lake. One million civilians and another million soldiers died from the fighting or from hunger in the defence of this city.
question
North Africa Campaign
answer
In September, 1940, Mussolini attacked British-occupied Egypt from Libya (an Italian colony). The British drove the Italians out, sank half their fleet at Taranto and occupied Crete. This prompted Hitler to send a force commanded by Rommel to retake North Africa in February 1941. This diverted troops that could have been used in the invasion of Russia. Also, Rommel's forces came close to capturing the Egyptian oil fields and the Suez Canal, which would have cut off Britain's oil supply.
question
Battle of the Atlantic
answer
Ongoing fight from 1940-43 to secure British supply lines across the Atlantic. From 1939-42 German u-boats working in packs made dangerous inroads on British supplies. In 1942, they sank 35% of allied shipping and killed 1/3 of all merchant seamen. The allies were eventually able to turn the tide because of their success breaking the German codes, their adoption of the convoy system, their increasing use of aircraft to protect the convoys, including the use of small aircraft carriers, technological innovations such as the High-Frequency Direction Finder, which could locate u-boats that used their radios, radar, improved sonar, and improved weapons such as the hedgehog, squid and limbo. Also, from 1943 the dramatic increase in US shipbuilding allowed the allies to replace ships more quickly than they were being sunk. About 15% of shipping was lost in 1943, about 7% in 1944 and 2% in 1945. 80% of U-boat crew were killed in World War II.
question
U-Boat
answer
The German name for a submarine. Under Admiral Dönitz, these were used effectively in "wolf packs" to menace allied shipping between 1939 and 1944. Although very slow under water, they were faster than any other vessel on the surface. They also had a low profile, making them difficult to spot. Using radios, these submarines coordinated their efforts and ganged up on ships and convoys.
question
Dönitz
answer
German naval officer who advocated converting almost all of the German navy to u-boats and having them work in "wolf packs" to attack allied merchant vessels. He reasoned that sinking all of Britain's oil tankers would be just as effective as sinking Britain's navy, since her ships could not move without oil. At first, no-one listened to him, but he used his submarines to good effect in 1940-43 and was made commander of the Navy in January 1943. At this point he turned the whole German fleet over to the u-boats. In 1945, Hitler appointed this man as his successor in his will. He fought a brief holding action to allow as many German soldiers to escape the Russians and surrender to the Americans/British as possible, then he surrendered. After the war, he was tried in the first Nuremberg trial and imprisoned for ten years.
question
Condor Aircraft
answer
This was a along-rance aircraft developed by Germany by 1940. It had a range of 3000 km. From mid-1940 to mid-1941 it was used extensively to patrol the eastern Atlantic and sink British ships. From mid-1941 too many were being shot down and this practice stopped.
question
Handicaps facing convoy defense at the beginning of the war
answer
• The convoys could be escorted only for about 300 miles from each Atlantic coast. • There were not enough escort ships and even the available ones lacked endurance and their crews were virtually untrained. • Air cover was really important but all the other aircraft except the Anson were lash-ups, burrowed from entirely dissimilar functions. The navigation aids were not there. Also, cooperation of navy and air was bad due to quarrels between senior officers in Whitehall. It took two years for cooperation to start
question
ASDIC
answer
This was an echo-sounding device designed by the British to detect submerged u-boats. It was not particularly effective, giving an extremely blurry image. Also, the u-boats mainly operated on the surface.
question
Proportion of British merchant seamen killed during the war
answer
1/3
question
Allied Shipping Sunk by U-boats January-June 1942
answer
4,100,000 tonnes 1000 ships
question
Proportion of U-Boat Crewmen killed during World War II
answer
80%
question
New Technology deployed against u-boats during the war
answer
• Improved ASDIC • Hedgehog • Direction-Finding Equipment that could track the sources of German radio signals • Short-wave radar that could detect u-boats on the surface. Aircraft - important because they could force the u-boats to operate under water where they were slow.
question
Improved Tactics deployed to counter u-boats
answer
• January 1943 gave top priority to defeating the u-boats. This meant that more escort vessels were provided, closing the "Atlantic Gap". Also more aircraft - both ground-based aircraft from Iceland and small aircraft carriers. • When a u-boat was detected, every single escort vessel would hone in and attack it, increasing the chance of destroying it. The allies broke the German navy's codes.
question
Stalingrad
answer
A battle that proved to be a key turning point in the war in 1942. The Germans were besieging a city in southern Russia when the Russians encircled them. Hitler wouldn't let his troops retreat, so they were all killed or captured. From this point onward, the Russians gradually pushed the Germans back.
question
Hamburg
answer
This city was bombed by the Western allies in the last week of July 1943. They used a combination of explosive and incendiary bombs and wind conditions were such that this created a firestorm. In all, about 40,000 were killed, mostly by the fire rather than the bombs themselves. However, this was an unusually effective air raid. Over the whole war, an average bombing sortie with a seven-man crew would kill only three Germans, and the air crew would survive only fourteen missions on average. Many historians argue that the resources put into bombing German cities would have been better used elsewhere.
question
Dresden
answer
This city was bombed by the Western allies in February 1945. They used a combination of explosive and incendiary bombs and wind conditions were such that this created a firestorm. In all, somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 were killed, mostly by the fire rather than the bombs themselves. However, this was an unusually effective air raid. Over the whole war, an average bombing sortie with a seven-man crew would kill only three Germans, and the air crew would survive only fourteen missions on average. Many historians argue that the resources put into bombing German cities would have been better used elsewhere. Many also question the strategic value of this particular raid, since the war was almost over and the city had little military significance.
question
Strategic Bombing
answer
A total war strategy involving bombing with the goal of destroying the enemy's economic ability and the will of its citizens to wage war. This was put into practice by both sides in World War II. Historians debate whether it was effective.
question
Targeted Bombing
answer
This was the British strategy early in the war, and at the very end of the war. The 'planes were sent out to bomb particular targets. In 1942, this strategy was abandoned, as it was not possible to bomb accurately at night and German air defences were too strong to bomb in daylight. Only 3% of the bombs dropped got within 5 miles of their targets. The USA employed this strategy in daylight raids throughout the war, relying on close formation flying to reduce casualties.
question
Area Bombing
answer
This was the strategy of the British Air Force from 1942 onward. Instead of trying to hit specific targets, they bombed whole cities with masses of 'planes.
question
Technology developed during the war to make bombing more accurate
answer
GEE - Grid of radio signals projected over Western Europe Window - Clouds of aluminium paper strips to disrupt German radar and gun-aiming apparatus. Improved Radar Flares to illuminate landmarks Target Indicators to mark target Mustang: Long-range fighter that could escort bombers deep into Germany. Helped gain air superiority.
question
45%
answer
Percentage of RAF Bomber Command's aircrew killed during the war.
question
7.4%
answer
Percentage of US 8th Air Force air crew killed during the war.
question
1943: 9% 1944: 17%
answer
Estimated German production decrease due to allied bombing.
question
El Alamein
answer
Two battles were fought near this Egyptian town in July and October 1942. The first halted the German advance towards the Nile and the Suez Canal (which posed a grave threat to Britain's oil supply) and the second began to push the Germans back across North Africa. The Allies were able to win partly because of air superiority and partly because Rommel's forces had advanced so quickly that their supply lines had been stretched to the limit and the Germans faced critical shortages.
question
D Day
answer
June 6 1944. The British, Americans and Canadians invaded occupied France from Normandy in an amphibious landing.
question
Operation Overlord
answer
This was the name of the allied invasion of German-occupied France, It began on June 6, 1944 with an amphibious landing in Normandy. This opened up a proper "second front" in Europe and took some of the pressure off the USSR. However, it should be noted that the USSR had been driving the Germans back for over a year before June 6 1944, which suggests this invasion was not the most important reason why Germany lost the war.
question
Mulberries
answer
Two artificial harbours constructed on the beaches of Normandy to land men and equipment after D-Day. One was destroyed by a storm on June 19, but the other was used to land over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies in the ten months after D-Day. It had 33 jetties and ten miles of floating roadways. It is still considered a marvel of military engineering. It is also an example of the way the allies were much better supplied than the Germans.
question
PLUTO
answer
Acronym for "Petrol Line Under The Ocean". It was a huge flexible pipe laid by the Anglo-Americans under the English Channel shortly after D-Day in order to provide a consistent source of fuel for Operation Overlord. It is an example of one of the many ways the allies were better supplied than the Germans.
question
Warsaw Uprising
answer
This took place form August 1 to October 2, 1944. As the Soviet army approached this city, its inhabitants rose up against the German occupiers. Partly, the goal was to help the allied war effort. A secondary reason was that the non-Communist Poles wanted to liberate themselves and establish their own government before the USSR arrived and imposed a government on them. In the event, the Soviet army stopped to regroup just outside of Warsaw. Not only did they offer no help to the fighters, they also refused to let British and American planes land on their airfields after supplying the Poles. Many people believe Stalin wanted the Germans to kill all the Polish nationalists to make Poland easier to control after the war. About 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed, along with at least 150,000 civilians.
question
Battle of the Bulge
answer
December 16 1944-January 28 1945. Hitler attempted a last offensive at the Western front with 500,000 soldiers attacking at a weak point in the allied lines in the Ardennes forest. They were trying to punch through to retake the key port of Arnhem. It was initially successful, partly because the weather was cloudy and allied 'planes couldn't operate. The outnumbered Americans managed to halt the Germans at Bastogne (helped by a German fuel shortage). Eventually the allies drove the Germans back. This offensive used up the last German reserves of troops and equipment and probably hastened the defeat on the Eastern Front.
question
Operation Market Garden
answer
Sept 17-24, 1944. This was General Montgomery's plan to circumvent the German defenses by taking the Netherlands. It failed, party because some hardened German veterans had been posted there to recuperate. This meant the war dragged on into 1945.
question
V1 and V2 Rockets
answer
Unmanned long-range missiles that Hitler used against Britain in 1944 and 1945. He boasted that this secret weapon would win the war. About 8000-9000 of the first type were fired at Britain, but they could be shot down by anti-aircraft. The second type was the world's first ballistic missile. It flew too fast to be detected before exploding. About 1000 of these were fired. The 8000-9000 of the first type caused about 5,400 deaths and 16,000 injuries while the second type killed at least 2,500 and possibly as many as 9000 in Southern England, France and Antwerp. However, this programme used a lot of resources that would have been better devoted to producing jet fighters and the missiles weren't accurate enough to hit specific targets. At the end of the war, both the USA and the USSR scooped up German scientists from this project, pardoned them, and put them to work on nuclear missiles.
question
Messerschmitt
answer
This was the world's first jet fighter aircraft. It was developed by the Germans and went into operation in mid-1944. It was better armed and faster than anything the allies had. However, Germany did not produce enough of them to affect the outcome of the war. Some historians believe Hitler should have concentrated more resources on these.
question
Tanks
answer
These were crucial weapons in World War II in Europe. They prevented the war from bogging down as in World War I. Ironically, although they had originally been invented by the British, at the beginning of the war it was the Germans who used them to their full potential. Even in the middle of the war, the German "Tigers" were the strongest in use. The Russians had an excellent model called the "T34." The Americans and British relied on the inferior "Sherman" model The big advantage was that they were able to produce these at such a rate that even though they were weaker than the German tanks, there were many more of them.
question
Enigma
answer
A machine for sending and receiving coded messages that was used by the Germans in World War II. They thought their codes were unbreakable, but Polish mathematicians and an odd assortment of British mathematicians, linguists and crossword puzzle enthusiasts working at Bletchley Park developed systematic methods for breaking these codes. (In the process, the first computer was invented by a British mathematician called Turing). This gave the allies a crucial intelligence advantage.
question
Italian Campaign
answer
This began on July 10 1943 with the Anglo-American landing in Sicily. The King promptly dismissed Mussolini and appointed a new Prime Minister who made peace with the Allies and declared war on Germany. The Germans invaded Italy, rescued Mussolini and set him up as ruler of the Northern part of Italy. It took over a year for the allies to fight their way up the peninsula. Rome was finally occupied on June 4, 1944, Mussolini was killed by partisans on April 28, 1945 and the German forces in Italy finally surrendered on May 2, 1945. This campaign did not succeed in breaking through to Germany, but it forced the diversion of German troops form the Russian front and it helped to convince Stalin that Britain and the USA weren't deliberately leaving him to do all the fighting.
question
Nazi-Soviet Pact/ Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
answer
An agreement between the USSR and Germany in 1939. They agreed not to go to war with each other and to divide Poland between them. This left the way clear for Hitler to invade Poland without risking a two front war.
question
German invasion of Poland
answer
This happened on September 1, 1939. This action by Germany provoked Britain and France (and their empires) into declaring war on Germany. However, they did not actually attack Germany at this point. The USSR invaded from the other side in the middle of the month.
question
Blitzkrieg
answer
A tactic adopted by Germany in World War II. It involved dropping paratroopers behind enemy lines to confuse the enemy and disrupt communication, targeted air raids on key transportation and communication centres and rapid invasion by tanks and motorized infantry to subdue the enemy before it had time to react.
question
Phony War
answer
The period between September 1939 and May 1940 in which Britain and France were at war with Germany, but no fighting was taking place (apart from a brief skirmish in Norway).
question
German (including Austria) Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
76,008,000 people 23,329,000 tonnes
question
USSR Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
190,000,000 people 18,800,000 tonnes
question
USA Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
132,122,000 people 51,329,000 tonnes
question
British Population and Steel Production 1939 (not counting empire)
answer
47,961,000 people 13,192,000 tonnes
question
French Population and Steel Production 1939 (not counting empire)
answer
41,600,000 people 6,221,000 tonnes
question
Italian Population and Steel Production 1939
answer
44,223,000 people 2,323,000 tonnnes
question
Norway
answer
This country attempted to remain neutral in World War II. It was strategically important because large quantities of Swedish iron ore were shipped to Germany through its ports and territorial waters. (It also had important minerals that could potentially be used in the making of atomic bombs). Both Germany and the Western Allies planned to invade this country in April 1940. Germany acted first and gained control of the air. The Anglo-French offensive was a complete fiasco. It led to a shake-up in the British government in which Churchill replaced Chamberlain. (Which was ironic, because the campaign had been Churchill's idea.)
question
Winter War
answer
War between the USSR and Finland that lasted from November 30, 1939 to March 13, 1940. It began because the USSR demanded that Finland cede some territory around Leningrad and the Finns refuse. Surprisingly, the Finns managed to fight off the first Russian offensive. This made Germany believe that the Soviet army had been critically weakened by the purges, which encouraged Hitler to invade in 1941. Eventually the Finns were overwhelmed and had to cede the territory. Fortunately, this happened before Britain and France got around to declaring war on the USSR. Another result of this was that Finland allied with Nazi Germany.
question
Denmark
answer
Germany occupied this country in April 1940 as part of its campaign against Norway. It was occupied throughout the war, although the government resisted the Nazis in various ways, including evacuating most Jewish citizens to Sweden before the Nazis could round them up.
question
Churchill
answer
This man replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Britain on May 10, 1940. Chamberlain had to resign because the British campaign in Norway had been such a fiasco. This is significant because this man was very much more committed to the war than Chamberlain had been. He saw no alternative to an all-out fight to the death with fascism, whereas Chamberlain had hoped to avoid full- scale war as late as May 1940. This man is also famous for making stirring speeches to keep the British motivated during the war.
question
Germany conquers the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.
answer
This occurred between May and June of 1940. Germany used Blitzkrieg tactics.
question
Gamelin
answer
This was the commander in chief of the French forces in May 1940. He was 68 years old, cautious and out of date. He chose a headquarters with no telephone, telegraph or radio communications and then never left it. He did not order an advance while the Germans were engaged in Poland (he didn't expect to be ready to advance until 1941), and he ignored reports that the Germans were coming through the Ardennes forest. Under his leadership, the British and French response to the German invasion of France was completely inadequate.
question
Maginot Line
answer
A very strong string of fortresses built on the French-German border in the 1930s with the aim of repelling any future German invasion. This actually backfired, as it caused France to think defensively instead of attacking Germany in 1939, and in the end the Germans simply went around it.
question
Ardennes Forest
answer
A forest in the area where France, Belgium and Luxembourg meet. The French thought that it would be impossible to bring tanks through this forest, so they did not put strong defenses in this area. In 1940, the Germans brought their main force through this area, going around the main French defenses and defeating France in a matter of weeks.
question
Meuse
answer
This is a river flowing from southern France to the North Sea. In May 1940 Germans had to cross it to reach Paris. The French took the precaution of blowing up most of the bridges as they retreated, but they left one intact, fearing that destroying it would lower the water level so much that the Germans would be able to cross without bridges. They also didn't guard the bridge properly. As a result, the German tanks were able to cross near Sedan.
question
Dunkirk Evacuation
answer
This took place from May 27-June 4. About 200,000 soldiers of the British expeditionary force, along with about 130,000 French soldiers, all of whom had been deployed in Belgium, found themselves cut off from the main French army by the German advance. They retreated to the beaches of this town on the English channel. They managed to hold off the Germans for a week while they evacuated, using fishing boats, civilian passenger ships and even pleasure yachts to supplement the Navy. Although this involved abandoning the French, it saved the core of the British army.
question
Operation Sea Lion
answer
This was the name given to Germany's vague plan to invade Britain. It was never put into action, partly because it had not been planned in advance and had to be put together at the last minute, partly because the three branches of the German armed forces couldn't agree on a plan, partly because the Luftwaffe failed to neutralize the RAF in the Battle of Britain and partly because Hitler was more interested in invading the USSR.
question
Battle of Britain
answer
July -September 1940. This was the attempt by the German air force (Luftwaffe) to knock out the British air force (RAF) so as to have control of the skies for a planned invasion of Britain. Germany failed to knock out the British air force, although they came close.
question
Advantages of the RAF in the Battle of Britain
answer
• Radar • Fighting over home ground, so pilots who bailed out could fly again. • Closer to their bases, so they could spend much longer in the air (Luftwaffe could only spend ½ hour over Britain and 10 minutes over London) In September, they launched a bombing raid on Berlin that made Hitler so angry that he stopped attacking air bases and started the Blitz.
question
Blitz
answer
This lasted from September 1940 to the spring of 1941. It was Germany's attempt to persuade Britain to make peace by bombing British cities. All in all, about 40,000 British subjects were killed by bombing during the war. This was fewer than had been expected (because of radar, evacuations and shelters). It was too dangerous to bomb during the day, so the bombs had to be dropped at night. The bombing was too inaccurate to hit high value targets, so cities were bombed at random. It was very unpleasant, but the Germans did not gain any ground by bombing. Meanwhile the change of tactics gave the RAF time to regroup.
question
RADAR
answer
A technology perfected by the British that allowed them to see enemy planes approaching. This was a key reason why they survived the Battle of Britain. It was also adapted to help convoys detect submarines and to help bombers to navigate to their targets at night.
question
Balkan Campaign
answer
Italy had taken Albania on April 1939. In October 1940 they attacked Greece. With British aid, the Greeks repelled the invasion. Meanwhile, when the regent in charge of Yugoslavia made an alliance with the Nazis in March 1941, there was a rebellion and the rebels put the 15-year-old king on the throne and broke off the alliance. These events prompted Hitler to send troops to overrun Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941. This delayed his offensive against the USSR for several crucial weeks. This caused the German forces to be overtaken by winter before they could take Moscow.
question
Barbarossa
answer
The German invasion of the USSR in 1941. At first, this was very successful, but the Germans were overtaken by winter before reaching their objectives and the Russians regrouped and counter-attacked.
question
Purge of the Russian Armed Forces
answer
This took place in 1937-38. Most of the top officers of the army and navy were either imprisoned or shot, including three of the five Field Marshalls, 90% of the Generals and eight of the nine Admirals. This ensured that the army could not form an effective opposition to Stalin, but it also weakened the army at a crucial period in the lead-up to World War II. This perceived weakness of the Soviet army may have encouraged Hitler to attack in 1941.
question
Number of Russian Soldiers killed wounded or imprisoned by the end of September 1941
answer
3 million
question
Trade Space for Time
answer
This was the Russian strategy that defeated German Blitzkrieg tactics. Taking advantage of Russia's huge size, the Russian army simply retreated in the face of the German attack, forcing the Germans to lengthen their supply lines. Then, when winter had frozen the Germans in their tracks, the Russians counterattacked. This strategy was supplemented by the scorched earth policy.
question
Scorched Earth Policy
answer
This was a tactic used by the Russians as they retreated before the German advance in 1941. As they retreated, they destroyed everything they could not take with them. This left the Germans with no way of living off the land. They had to get their supplies all the way from Germany. It was a desperate strategy that was very hard on Russian civilians in the path of the army. In 1943, the Germans used the same tactic as they retreated back across Russia.
question
Zhukov
answer
Possibly the greatest General of World War II. This man first distinguished himself commanding the Russian forces in a brief conflict with Japan over Mongolia in 1938. In 1940 he commanded the Russian forces in their annexation of Bessarabia from Romania. In early 1941, he was made Chief of the General Staff. He lost this position after an argument with Stalin at the end of July, but he retained his position on the military council - making him one of the few people to yell at Stalin and live to tell the tale. He continued to read German tactics accurately and give sound advice as the Germans advanced. From August-October 1941 he commanded the defense of Leningrad and succeeded in preventing the Germans from taking the city. From October 1941 he commanded the defense of Moscow and the successful counterattack that winter. In August 1942 he was in charge of the defense of Stalingrad and presided over the Russian victory there. In 1943 he partially lifted siege of Leningrad and commanded the Russia force sin the Battle of Kursk. He continued to supervise the Russian army's westward advance and was present for the German surrender in Berlin. After the war, Stalin demoted him and sent him to a remote province.
question
October 10 1941
answer
On this date, it started to snow outside of Moscow. The snow would then melt and turn the unpaved Russian roads to mud. This slowed down the German advance. This is also the date that Zhukov took over the defense of Moscow.
question
End of November 1941
answer
On this date, the temperature in the region around Moscow plummeted. The German army was not equipped for he cold. They lacked winter clothing and winter fuel for their vehicles. The vehicles quickly became unusable, and the soldiers were not much better off. This ended all hope of their being able to take Moscow that year.
question
December 5/6, 1941
answer
On this date, Soviet troops counterattacked against the German army around Moscow. These included 40,000 Siberian ski troops, specially trained for winter fighting. This offensive drove the Germans back from Moscow.
question
Lend Lease Agreement March 1941
answer
Although Roosevelt believed it would be necessary for the USA to enter the war against Hitler, the American people were very reluctant to get involved, and he had promised not to bring America into the war during his election campaign. He compromised with this agreement, by which the USA loaned equipment to Britain (and later the USSR) for the duration of the war at no cost. By a previous agreement, the USA also leased various military bases from the British in return for destroyers. This gave the British much-needed equipment and relieved them of the necessity of defending those bases. It also allowed Roosevelt to present his actions as being in the USA's interests. This agreement and the Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 1940 were, of course, completely inconsistent with the USA's official position of neutrality. They played a major role in drawing the USA into the war and they provided absolutely crucial supplies to Britain and the USSR (Just over $50 billion worth).
question
Neutrality Acts
answer
A series of laws passed by the American Congress in the 1930s forbidding Americans from selling war materials of giving loans to any countries fighting wars. In November 1939, Roosevelt managed to get Congress to agree that America could sell to countries fighting wars as long as they paid up front and transported the goods themselves. In March 1941, he pushed through the Lend Lease Act. After the Greer incident in September 1941, US ships could fire on German u-boats. When the US destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a u-boat on October 31, 1941, The US Congress repealed the last vestiges of these laws (effective November 17.) From this point onward, it seemed inevitable that the USA would go to war with Germany.
question
Pearl Harbour
answer
The site of a Japanese attack on the USA on December 7 1941. 2,402 Americans were killed and 1282 wounded (only 48 of the dead were civilians). This brought the USA into the war. Hitler declared war on the USA shortly afterwards and Britain and its dominions immediately declared war on Japan, linking the Sino-Japanese War to the war in Europe and North Africa. Four of the eight battleships of the US Pacific fleet were sunk and the other four damaged. Several smaller ships were also destroyed. The US aircraft carriers were at sea when the raid occurred.
question
Manchukuo
answer
The name the Japanese gave to Manchuria in 1932. They put the former emperor, Puyi in charge and pretended it was an independent country, but in reality it was a colony of Japan and Puyi was a puppet. Manchuria reverted to China in 1945.
question
Boycott
answer
This was an organized campaign by Chinese people to refuse to buy Japanese goods. This tactic had been used successfully during the May 4 Movement, leading Japan to give China back the area around Qingdong, (a formerly German area which it had been given in the Treaty of Versailles) in 1922. After Japan's annexation of Manchuria in 1931, Japanese sales in China fell by two thirds. Japan declared this an act of aggression and attacked Shanghai in 1932.
question
Xian Incident
answer
This occurred in December 1936 when troops under the command of Zhang Xueliang (former warlord of Manchuria) kidnapped Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi) at gunpoint and handed him over to the Communists, insisting that the GMD should be fighting the Japanese, not the CCP. Zhou Enlai negotiated the Second United Front with him. This demonstrates the continued independence of the warlords. It was a propaganda victory for the communists because they were seen to be putting the country before party considerations or their desire for revenge.
question
Second United Front
answer
This lasted from 1937-1944. It was an alliance of the CCP and GMD against the Japanese. Although it was nominally led by Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai Shek) in fact the CCP forces acted independently of the GMD. This alliance was forced on Chiang Kai Shek (Jiang Jieshi) in the Xian incident.
question
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
answer
A clash between Japanese and Chinese troops in the outskirts of Beijing on July 7, 1937. The Japanese government used this as an excuse to occupy Beijing. When Chiang Kai Shek refused to give way, full-scale war broke out between China and Japan.
question
Rape of Nanking
answer
A period of about six weeks after the Japanese occupation of Nanjing on December 13, 1937. Japanese soldiers went on a rampage, raping tens of thousands of women and girls and killing possibly as many as 300,000 disarmed soldiers and civilians.
question
Chongqing
answer
This city on the upper Yangzi River, beyond the Three Gorges, became the capital of Nationalist China after the fall of Wuhan in October 1938. The Japanese could not get at the GMD with ground troops, but equally, the GMD were largely cut off from supplies and contact with the outside.
question
Three All Campaign
answer
A campaign by the Japanese in China from 1941 onwards. It was a response to the CCP's guerrilla warfare in the countryside. They tried to deter peasants from supporting the CCP by killing peasants and their animals, burning crops and villages and poisoning wells in areas from which CCP attacks had come. This caused the peasants to hate the Japanese even more and actually made the survivors more likely to support the CCP.
question
USS Panay
answer
This was an American gunboat that was sunk by the Japanese during their attack on Nanking in December 1937. The Japanese claimed it was an accident, apologise and paid an indemnity and things were smoothed over, but it hurt US-Japanese relations.
question
HMS Ladybird
answer
This was a British ship that was attacked and damaged by the Japanese during their attack on Nanking in December 1937. The Japanese claimed it was an accident, apologise and paid an indemnity and things were smoothed over, but it hurt Anglo-Japanese relations.
question
Thailand
answer
This country was neutral in World War II. In 1941, they allowed Japan to pass through their territory to attack the British colony at Malaya (modern-day Malaysia). This took the British by surprise as they were preparing to fend off an attack on Malaya from the sea.
question
Malaya
answer
British colony invaded by Japan in December 1941. The Japanese took the British by surprise by attacking through neutral Thailand. They then surprised the British by making their way down the peninsula through jungles the British thought were impassible to tanks. By January 30, they had taken the whole colony and threatened Singapore from the land side, where there were no guns.
question
Prince of Wales and Repulse
answer
These two British ships were meant to defend Singapore. They were both sunk by the Japanese on December 10, 1941.
question
Hong Kong
answer
This British colony in China was taken by Japan on December 25 and 26 1941. The Japanese took 12,000 prisoners. It would be occupied until the end of the war.
question
Singapore
answer
This British colony was thought to be an impregnable fortress, but its guns all pointed out to sea and the Japanese approached from the landward side. They took it in February 1942 and held it until the end of the war. 80,000 British and Australian troops surrendered, making it the biggest British military disaster of all time.
question
Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
answer
This oil-producing colony was the main reason for the Japanese offensive of 1941-42. They took it in March 1942 and held it to the end of the war, but they were unable to take advantage of the oil supply after 1943, because of US submarine warfare, which managed to sink 6/7 of Japanese shipping.
question
Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere
answer
This was the name the Japanese used for the empire they conquered. At its furthest extent, in mid-1942, it included Korea, Taiwan, most of China's coast, Hong Kong Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, the Philippines, Indonesia, most of New Guinea, the Aleutian Islands and most of the Southwestern Pacific Islands.
question
Port Moresby
answer
This was a city on the south side of New Guinea. When the Japanese failed to take it in mid 1942, it represented the first time their advance had been halted by the allies. Since capturing this city would have brought Australia into bombing range, this was an important battle.
question
Midway
answer
This is an American island about halfway across the Pacific. The Japanese fleet tried to ambush the US fleet there in June 1942, but the US had broken their codes and was ready for them. The US sank all four Japanese aircraft carriers, losing only one of their own. Japan lost 248 aircraft to the USA's 150. This was a disaster for the Japanese, because they could not replace the lost carriers and pilots whereas the USA had plenty of reserves and could produce replacement ships and 'planes quickly. From this point onward, Japan would be pushed back.
question
MacArthur's "Island Hopping" campaign
answer
This offensive approached Japan from a generally southeastern position, fighting up through New Guinea and the Philippines, and taking part of Borneo is order to cut Japan off from its conquests in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). Then it combined with the other US force to attack Okinawa. A key feature of this operation was that only strategically important islands were taken. Others were bypassed, but cut off from their supply lines, so they ceased to be a threat.
question
Nimitz's Campaign
answer
This offensive approached Japan from a generally Eastern position, beginning in the Gilbert islands, then the Marshall islands, the Marianas Islands (bringing land-based bombers in range of Japan), then Iwo Jima (which brought almost all of Japan in easy range of land-based bombers). Then it combined with the other US force to attack Okinawa. A key feature of this operation was that only strategically important islands were taken. Others were bypassed, but cut off from their supply lines, so they ceased to be a threat.
question
Leyte Gulf
answer
This took place on October 23-26 1944. It was the largest naval battle of all time, involving 282 warships and hundreds of aircraft. It destroyed the Japanese naval force tasked with defending the Philippines. This victory made it possible for the USA to take the Philippines, which cut the Japanese off from their oil supply in Indonesia. This severely handicapped the remaining Japanese navy vessels. This battle is also noteworthy because it was the first time the Japanese deployed kamikaze pilots. Evan Thomas points out that in this battle the USA had more ships than the Japanese had pilots, which illustrates the disparity in power between the two sides.
question
Marianas Islands, including Saipan
answer
These formed a key part of Japan's defensive perimeter in 1944. The USA took them in June-July that year. This brought land-based bombers in range of Japan. (although the distance was quite large). Almost all of the 25,000 defenders of Saipan either died or committed suicide, which was typical of he behavior of the Japanese. This attitude also forced the USA to take heavy casualties.
question
Philippines
answer
This American colony lay directly between Japan and the oil wells of the Dutch East Indies. Japan invaded it on December 8 1941 and drove the Americans out on May 8, 1942. MacArthur, the defending general vowed to return. The USA reinvaded in October 1944 and retook most of the colony by that December, but fighting continued in outlying areas even after the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
question
Iwo Jima
answer
This is a small, barren still-smoking volcanic island 600 miles from the coast of Japan. It was strategically important because it had an airstrip from which land-based aircraft could reach Japan easily. The US attacked on February 19 1945. The Japanese defended it fanatically, hoping the USA would get tired of losing soldiers and make peace. The battle lasted until March 25. The USA committed 70,000 men, of whom 6,812 were killed and 19,217 wounded. Japan had just over 22,000 defenders, of whom 21,844 were killed and 216 captured.
question
Okinawa
answer
Although Saipan had been a Japanese mandate between the wars, this island was the first of the Japanese home islands to be invaded (having been incorporated into Japan in the 1870s). The US invaded the main island on April 1 1945 and finally conquered it on June 22. The Japanese deployed over 2000 Kamikaze pilots in an effort to repel the US navy. They sank 30 US warships and damaged 200 more. They deployed 120,000 defenders, of whom about 94,136 were either killed or committed suicide. About 10,000 were captured (the first mass surrender of Japanese soldiers in the war. The USA attacked with 183,000 soldiers, of whom 12,520 were killed. 94,000 civilians died in the battle, many of them pressured to commit suicide or join suicidal attacks by the Japanese soldiers. The Japanese hoped to inflict heavy enough losses to induce the USA to make peace without occupying Japan, but in fact the casualty figures became part of the calculation justifying the use of the atomic bombs.
question
Kamikaze
answer
This word literally means "divine wind", a reference to the storms that prevented the Mongol invasion of Japan in the 13th century. These were Japanese pilots who deliberately flew 'planes packed with explosives into US ships, beginning in October 1944 at the battle of Leyte Gulf (there had been spontaneous suicide attacks before that, but those were the first planned ones), and peaking in the naval battle preceding the invasion of Okinawa on April-June 1945, in which more than 2000 such attacks were undertaken, sinking 30 US ships and damaging 200 more. The Japanese hoped this demonstration of fanaticism would induce the USA to end the war without occupying Japan, but in the end it helped the USA to decide to deploy the atomic bombs.
question
South East Asia Command
answer
This was set up in August, 1943 under British general Louis Mountbatten with the objective of retaking Burma and opening the "Burma Road" supply route to China. They achieved this in May, 1945.
question
Hiroshima
answer
This Japanese city was one of the few left relatively untouched by US conventional bombing. As a result, it was selected as the site for the dropping of the first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. 70,000 people were killed immediately and a further 70,000 were injured. Tens of thousands more would die of radiation sickness over the next few months and years. 97% of buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. Historians debate whether or not this was necessary to force Japan to surrender.
question
Nagasaki
answer
The second atomic bomb was dropped on this city on August 9, 1945. Somewhere between 60,000-80,000 died about half on August 9 and the rest over the next few months. Historians debate whether or not this was necessary to force Japan to surrender.
question
March 9 1945 Air Raid on Tokyo
answer
This conventional air raid killed about 80,000 people and destroyed a quarter of the city - comparable casualties and damage to that caused by the atomic bombs.
question
Report of the US Strategic Bombing Group
answer
This was an American investigation into the efficacy of the bombing campaign against Japan that was published in July 1946. It concluded that Japan would have surrendered before the panned US invasion, and even before November 1, even if the USSR hadn't entered the war, even if there had been no atomic bombs and without the USA having to invade.
question
Admiral William D Leahy
answer
This was Truman's Chief of Staff. In his autobiography, he asserted that the atomic bombs did not help the USA to win the war and that their use was not justifiable. He thought they were dropped because the scientists and others wanted to justify the vast sums that had been spend on the project.
question
Niall Ferguson
answer
This historian argues that the use of the atomic bomb made sense, given the Allies' commitment to finding ways to kill the maximum number of the enemy at the least possible risk to their own soldiers. The US was already bombing Japanese cities. Between June 1944 and August 1945 they had flown 30,000 sorties. In the process they had lost 74 'planes and 900 men. It was logical to turn to a weapon that would reduce US casualties further.
question
Scott Lucas
answer
This historian argues that the main reason the bombs were dropped was to end the war before the Russians could make substantial gains in Manchuria and claim a right to help occupy Japan. Also, it sent a message to the Russians about American power.
question
Atlantic Gap
answer
This was the area in which convoys could not be given air-cover due to the limited range of available land-based aircraft. It was difficult to bridge it until 1943 because few escort carriers were available. Also, long-range aircraft would have been effective but the Americans needed most of these in the Pacific. And Lancaster bombers, which could also have been effective, were used to bomb Germany despite admiralty appeals.
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1942
answer
35%
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1943
answer
15%
question
% of allied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1944
answer
7%
question
% of alllied shipping sunk by u-boats in 1945
answer
2%