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World War II Index/Glossary of Terms

Overlord (Operation Overlord)

The code name for the Allied invasion of occupied Europe that began on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Owen Stanley Mountains

A mountain range in southeastern New Guinea, an island nation in the Southwest Pacific. The Japanese pushed a drive over these mountains in late 1942 from the Buna-Gona area.

Pacific Theater

Collective term for the war in the Pacific. Theater can be spelled in Theatre. SOPAC is the South Pacific Area or South Pacific Force. SWPA is the South West Pacific Area.


A German tank or tank unit.

Papua New Guinea

An island nation in the Southwest Pacific. General MacArthur with American and Australian forces seized the island from the Japanese in April 1944.


Elite U.S. Army troops trained to parachute in behind enemy lines. Airborne paratroopers played key roles in the fights on D-Day, in Sicily and Italy, in the invasion of Holland; in the Battle of the Bulge; and in the final plunge into Germany.


The capital city of France. German troops occupied Paris starting in June 1940. The Allies liberated Paris in August 1944.


Intelligence derived from low-level enemy encrypted communications.

Pearl Harbor

The American naval base on Hawaii. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 in a surprise bombing raid that killed over 2,000 American soldiers, sank or badly damaged 18 ships, and destroyed 181 planes.

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