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World War II Index/Glossary of Terms


An important Japanese base on the Pacific island of New Britain, northeast of Australia and New Guinea. Rabaul was the main base in the Japanese Southeast Area and was well situated to support Japanese advances southward. Therefore, taking the base was a principal objective for the Allies.


Elite U.S. Army troops trained for deep-penetration raids behind enemy lines and amphibious raids on enemy-held coasts. They were created as the American equivalent of British Commandos.

Rastenburg Assassination Plot

An attempt by German military leaders in July 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler, so that they could negotiate peace with the Allies. The attempt failed and Hitler had about 200 suspected plotters executed.

Rendova Island

An island just off New Georgia in the Solomons in the Pacific. U.S. Army and Marine forces landed here in June 1943 with the principal goal of taking the Japanese air base at Munda. The air base fell after nearly six weeks of hard fighting on August 5, 1943.

Joseph J. Rochefort

Commander Joseph J. Rochefort was a codebreaker for the U.S. Navy. He helped enable the history-turning Battle of Midway.


This eastern European nation was invaded by Germany on October 7, 1940. In November of that year, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and became an official part of the Axis. In August 1944, the USSR invaded Romania.


The capital city of Italy. After the Allies take Southern Italy in September 1943, German troops occupied Rome. The Allies captured Rome in June 1944.

Rome-Berlin Alliance

The foundation of the Axis. An agreement that was signed between Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini on October 25, 1936.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

The British air force. RAAC is the Royal Australian Air Corps; RCAF is the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Royal Navy (RN)

The British navy. RM is the Royal Marines. RAN is the Royal Australian Navy; RCN is the Royal Canadian Navy.


In April 1945 the Allies trapped over 300,000 German troops on the Ruhr River.

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