Key Terms Timeline

  • Congressional Medal of Honor

    The United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress.
  • Conventional Weapons

    Generally refer to weapons that are in relatively wide use that are not weapons of mass destruction (march 25, 1863)
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    Douglas MacArthur

    An American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army who was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign.
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    George Marshall

    Was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense.
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    Chester W. Nimitz

    Five-star admiral of the United States Navy. He held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II. He was the leading U.S. Navy authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation in 1939. He served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1945 until 1947.
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    George S. Patton

    Was a general in the United States Army most well known for his command of the Seventh United States Army, and later the Third United States Army, in the European Theatre in World War II.
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    Dwight Eisenhower

    Was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He had previously been a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.
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    Omar Bradley

    Was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army. From the Normandy landings through the end of the war in Europe, Bradley had command of all U.S. ground forces invading Germany from the west; he ultimately commanded forty-three divisions and 1.3 million men, the largest body of American soldiers ever to serve under a U.S. field commander.
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    Concentration Camps

    Sites of internment during the Holocaust, which were liberated by American forces.
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    Multiple Front War

    Dividing military forces in order to fight on land in Europe and sea/land in the Pacific.
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    The Holocaust

    The mass murder or genocide of approximately six million Jews during World War II, a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-occupied territory.
  • Merchant Marines

    Fleet of merchant vessels that are registered in a country, which varies in capacity. Seafarers on merchant vessels, who hold various military-like ranks and responsibilities and are sometimes members of various maritime trade unions, are required by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers to carry Merchant Mariner's Documents.
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    Flying Tigers

    The 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.
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    Liberty Ships

    Cargo ships built in the United States during World War II.
  • Tuskegee Airmen

    Popular name of a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II.
  • Navajo Code Talkers

    Were United States soldiers during the world wars who used their knowledge of Native-American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages.
  • Bataan Death March

    Was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 60-80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. All old, approximately 2,500–10,000 Filipino and 100-650 American prisoners of war died before they could reach Camp O'Donnell.
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    Battle of Midway

    Was the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet.
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    Island Hopping

    Was a military strategy employed by the Allies in the Pacific War against Japan and the Axis powers during World War II.
  • D-Day Invasion

    The day of the Normandy landings — initiating the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II.
  • Operation Overload

    Code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces.
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    Potsdam Conference

    Meeting that led to the international partitioning of Germany into four separate zones
  • Atomic Weapons

    A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. On 6 August 1945, a uranium gun-type fission bomb code-named "Little Boy" was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on 9 August, a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb code-named "Fat Man" was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. These two bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 people.