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World War II Index/Glossary of Terms

Aleutian Islands (Aleutians)

Alaskan islands seized by the Japanese in 1942, including Attu, Kiska, and Agattu. They were retaken in 1943.


The secret Allied mission to investigate Nazi atomic research.

Stephen Ambrose

Prolific and popular author of history books including Band of Brothers, Citizen Soldiers, and D-Day.

Anvil (Operation Anvil)

The code name for the Allied landing in the South of France in August 1944.


The U.S. made an amphibious landing at Anzio in Italy behind the German lines on January 22, 1944 and had the area secured by March 2, 1944.

Arcadia Conference

A summit between the the U.S. and Britain that began in Washington, DC on December 22, 1941. The conference ended on January 14, 1942 with Roosevelt and Churchill agreeing to establish a Combined Chiefs of Staff and to the make defeating Germany their first priority. Winning the war in Europe would come before winning the war in the Pacific.


The Allies tried an ambitious combined airborne-ground assault on Arnhem, Holland in September 1944 as an attempt to shorten the war with Germany. This operation, Operation Market-Garden, failed and over 6,000 Allied soldiers were taken prisoner.


The Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps were liberated by Soviet troops in January 1945. The Soviets discovered hundreds of corpses from people who were recently murdered, thousands of people barely alive, and the earthly remains of approximately one million men and women.


A Central European nation invaded and annexed by Germany on March 12, 1938.

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