D-Day-June 6, 1944 - Led by Eisenhower, over a million troops (the largest invasion force in history) stormed the beaches at Normandy and began the process of re-taking France. The turning point of World War II. Winston Churchill - Prime minister of Great Britain during World War II. Stalingrad - Site of critical World War II Soviet victory that reversed Germany's advance to the East. In late 1942, Russian forces surrounded the Germans, and on Feb. 2, 1943, the German Sixth Army surrendered. First major defeat for the Germans in World War II. Tehran Conference - December, 1943 - A meeting between FDR, Churchill and Stalin in Iran to discuss coordination of military efforts against Germany, they repeated the pledge made in the earlier Moscow Conference to create the United Nations after the war's conclusion to help ensure international peace. Okinawa - The U.S. Army in the Pacific had been pursuing an "island-hopping" campaign, moving north from Australia towards Japan. On April 1, 1945, they invaded Okinawa, only 300 miles south of the Japanese home islands. By the time the fighting ended on June 2, 1945, the U.S. had lost 50,000 men and the Japanese 100,000. Battle of the Bulge - December, 1944-January, 1945 - After recapturing France, the Allied advance became stalled along the German border. In the winter of 1944, Germany staged a massive counterattack in Belgium and Luxembourg which pushed a 30 mile "bulge" into the Allied lines. The Allies stopped the German advance and threw them back across the Rhine with heavy losses. Manhattan Project - A secret U.S. project for the construction of the atomic bomb. Hiroshima, Nagasaki - First and second cities to be hit by atomic bombs, they were bombed after Japan refused to surrender and accept the Potsdam Declaration. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki was bombed on August 9, 1945. Yalta Conference - February, 1945 - Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta to make final war plans, arrange the post-war fate of Germany, and discuss the proposal for creation of the United Nations as a successor to the League of Nations. They announced the decision to divide Germany into three post-war zones of occupation, although a fourth zone was later created for France. Russia also agreed to enter the war against Japan, in exchange for the Kuril Islands and half of the Sakhalin Peninsula. Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) - He formed the French resistance movement in London immediately after the French surrender at Vichy. He was elected President of the Free French government in exile during the war and he was the first provisional president of France after its liberation. Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) - After Lenin died in 1924, he defeated Trotsky to gain power in the U.S.S.R. He created consecutive five year plans to expand heavy industry. He tried to crush all opposition and ruled as the absolute dictator of the U.S.S.R. until his death. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) - German fascist dictator. Leader of the National Socialist Workers Party, or Nazis. Elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he quickly established himself as an absolute dictator. Blitzkrieg - series of "lightning campaigns" to conquer.
Tojo (Hideki) - Prime Minister of Japan (1941-1944) and leading advocate of Japanese military conquest during World War II. Lend lease Act - Authorized the president to transfer, lend, or lease any article of defense equipment to any government whose defense was deemed vital to the defense of the U.S. Allowed the U.S. to send supplies and ammunition to the Allies without technically becoming a co-belligerent. Atlantic Charter - August 1941 - Drawn up by FDR and Churchill with eight main principles: • Renunciation of territorial aggression
• No territorial changes without the consent of the peoples concerned • Restoration of sovereign rights and self-government
• Access to raw material for all nations
• World economic cooperation
• Freedom from fear and want
• Freedom of the seas...